IAIN SANDFORD helps commercial stakeholders and States develop and deploy winning strategies for resolving complex international disputes. Iain has particular depth of experience in international economic disputes, and is familiar with a wide range of techniques and forums for addressing international problems.
Iain’s understanding of the international problem-solving toolbox is bolstered by experience as a panelist in WTO dispute settlements and as a mediator in commercial disputes. He is listed on the WTO’s Indicative List of dispute settlement panelists.
In his 25-year career, Iain has lived and worked in New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland. He has a strong practical knowledge of public international law and, as a public servant in New Zealand, was counsel to teams negotiating bilateral investment treaties, and negotiating and implementing a diverse range of intergovernmental agreements and arrangements. He has undertaken law reform and other consulting projects for intergovernmental organizations including the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Immediately before joining Sidley, Iain led the international trade practice of a large Australian law firm. Iain successfully represented clients in safeguard, anti-dumping, and countervailing duty proceedings in Australia. Iain also counselled clients (notably universities and cultural institutions) on their international engagements. In particular, he advised institutions on economic sanctions and export control, as well as private international law, including with respect to artwork looted during the Nazi period in Europe.
Iain features prominently in the international trade and WTO rankings of the leading bar publications. Most recently, Iain has been awarded “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in Switzerland 2022 in the Trade Law category. He has been recognized in the 2022 edition of Chambers Europe and Chambers Global for International Trade/WTO, where a source notes: “He is one of the most brilliant people I know.” Iain is also ranked as a Thought Leader for Trade and Customs (Switzerland) by Who’s Who Legal 2022.