Young Public International Law Group

Connecting PIL practitioners


The Young Public International Law Group (“YPILG”) is a network of young public international law practitioners from law firms, the bar, international organisations, governments and academic institutions around the world. The purpose of YPILG is to connect early to mid-career PIL practitioners to one another, to facilitate exchanges of ideas and knowledge-sharing in the PIL field, and to promote the next generation of PIL professionals.

The YPILG hosts a number of events throughout the year, including an annual conference, lectures by leading academics and practitioners of public international law topics, practical training sessions in PIL practice and other informal networking events, some of which will have a specific “women in PIL” focus.

Meet our team

YPILG is supported by:





About Us

Conway Blake

Debevoise & Plimpton

Conway is a senior associate at Debevoise & Plimpton, where he acts as counsel on a range of international law disputes, including investor-state disputes, inter-state disputes, and domestic court proceedings raising issues of corporate social responsibility and public international law. He has a substantial pro bono practice, and is actively involved in strategic international human rights litigation.

Tell Me More

Lucas Bastin

Essex Court Chambers

Lucas specialises in public international law, investment treaty arbitration and international commercial arbitration. Having previously practised for several years in the International Arbitration and Public International Law Groups of Latham & Watkins, Lucas carried across to the Bar a strong full-time practice in these areas.

Tell Me More

Jessica Gladstone

Clifford Chance

Jessica Gladstone is a Partner at Clifford Chance with extensive practice advising on complex litigation, international commercial and investment arbitration, and public international law across a variety of jurisdictions and industries. She is ranked in major legal directories for public international law, international arbitration and commercial litigation.

Tell Me More

Alison Macdonald KC

Essex Court Chambers

Alison is a member of Essex Court Chambers. She has an extensive practice in public international law, international arbitration and criminal law, and practices in both international and domestic courts and tribunals.

Tell Me More

Ashique Rahman

Fietta LLP

Ashique Rahman is a partner at Fietta LLP. He advises States, international organisations and multinational companies on the entire spectrum of public international law topics, including arbitration proceedings brought under international investment agreements.

Tell Me More

Laura Rees-Evans

Fietta LLP

Laura Rees-Evans is counsel at Fietta LLP, a specialist public international law firm in London.  Laura’s practice focuses on contentious and non-contentious aspects of public international law (PIL) and international arbitration.  Laura is identified as a recommended lawyer in the dispute resolution / PIL and international arbitration categories of The Legal 500 UK 2021.

Tell Me More

Amy Sander

Essex Court Chambers

Amy is a barrister at Essex Court Chambers, specialising in public international law (which she taught at Cambridge University). She is recommended in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as a leading junior in public international law. Amy was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (the Attorney General’s Public International Law C Panel) in 2014. She has appeared before the ICJ in four cases and is currently counsel in a fifth case (Kenya v Somalia).

Tell Me More

Chris Stephen

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Chris Stephen is an Assistant Legal Adviser at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).  Since joining FCDO in 2013, he has represented the UK at the United Nations in Geneva and New York and before the International Court of Justice in contentious proceedings.  Chris is currently on loan to the Legal Secretariat to the Advocate General for Scotland, working for one of the UK Government’s Law Officers.  In doing so, Chris has worked on constitutional litigation including the prorogation case (Cherry/Miller) and Continuity Bill reference heard by the UK Supreme Court and the Article 50 (Wightman) case heard before the CJEU.

Tell Me More

Philippa Webb

Twenty Essex

Philippa is a barrister at Twenty Essex and Professor of Public International Law at King’s College London. Her practice covers all aspects of public international law, and reflects her expertise in the law of State immunity. She previously worked as Legal Officer and Special Assistant to Judge Rosalyn Higgins DBE QC during her presidency of the International Court of Justice.

Tell Me More

News & Events

To become a member of YPILG and be added to our mailing list, please send your name, affiliation and contact details to  Please email us at the same address should you wish to unsubscribe.

Forthcoming events

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) event that was due to be held on Tuesday 31 March 2020 has had to be postponed due to the global health crisis.  Details will be posted here when it is rescheduled.  It will be a panel event on the topic of “The evolving role of the international lawyer in government”.  The panellists will be Sir Franklin Berman KCMG QC (Essex Court Chambers), Douglas (Legal Director, GCHQ), Shehzad Charania (Director, Attorney General’s Office) and Helen Mulvein (Legal Counsellor, FCO Legal Directorate), with Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG (Distinguished Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House) as chair.

We welcome proposals for future events.  Should you wish to suggest an event, please submit a completed event proposal form to

Past events

On 23 June 2020, YPILG and Arnold & Porter hosted a webinar on public international law in the UK, post-Brexit. On the fourth anniversary of the Brexit referendum vote, and with the transition period due to end in less than six months, it was a timely moment to take stock of the implications for public international law of the UK’s departure from the European Union. Presented by “new voices” in PIL (Maria Fogdestam-Agius, Jackie McArthur, Bart Wasiak, Joel Dahlquist and Elizabeth Chan), this webinar explored a wide range of perspectives on the topic of PIL in the UK, post-Brexit. The event was moderated by YPILG board members Lucas Bastin of Essex Court Chambers and Laura Rees-Evans of Fietta LLP. A video recording of the webinar is available here, and a write-up of the webinar is available on Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

The Foreign & Commonwealth’s Legal Directorate has hosted its Annual International Law Seminar on the 9 May, 2019 at 9.30 – 17.00 and has reserved a number of places for YPILG members.  The aim of the Seminar was to generate dialogue amongst government lawyers, academics and private practitioners, on the work undertaken by the Legal Directorate.

On 5 January 2018, YPILG hosted the launch event for the pilot mentoring programme at the Great Hall of King’s College London.

On 12 December 2017, YPILG in collaboration with Essex Court Chambers hosted an informal discussion with Professor Lowe QC on Lessons learned as a public international law academic, counsel and arbitrator.

On 11 September 2017, YPILG hosted an informal networking event at the Four Sister’s Townhouse in London.

On 11 September 2017, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP hosted YPILG’s first event in Asia at their offices in Singapore.  The event was a debate on the topic “This house believes that a permanent investment court is required to address legitimate concerns with the present ISDS regime”.  The debate was introduced by Paul Tan and moderated by Stephen Fietta and Daniel Seah.

On 4 May 2017, YPILG in collaboration with Matrix Chambers hosted a panel discussion on Advocacy before international courts and tribunals: a practical guide.  The panellists were Michelle Butler (Matrix), Dr Kate Parlett (20 Essex Street), Amy Sander (Essex Court Chambers) and Will Thomas (Freshfields), with Alison Macdonald QC (Matrix) as moderator.

On 16 March 2017, YPILG in collaboration with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, hosted a talk from Catherine Amirfar, on the outlook for international law under the Trump Administration, as well as sharing reflections on her time at the State Department.

On 31 January 2017, YPILG in collaboration with Essex Court Chambers hosted a Q&A session on “Public international law in 2016 and beyond – key developments of the past year and expectations for the future”. The panellists were Stephen Fietta (Fietta), Professor Dan Sarooshi (Essex Court Chambers), and Paul Tan (Rajah & Tann), with YPILG Board member Lucas Bastin (Essex Court Chambers) as moderator.

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law held an event on careers in public international law on 18 January 2017, reserving a number of places to YPILG members.

YPILG’s launch event was held at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on 29 November 2016.  Professor Vaughan Lowe QC and Iain Macleod, FCO Legal Adviser, introduced the Group.