Prof Yarik Kryvoi

    LLM (Harvard), PhD, MCIArb, Attorney (New York Bar)

    kryvoi@post.harvard.edu | twitter


Short bio

Professor Yarik Kryvoi is the Senior Research Fellow in International Economic Law and Director of the Investment Treaty Forum at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).

For several years he practised international commercial law and dispute resolution. He advised investors, states, international organisations and non-governmental organisations on matters of international law, commercial arbitration and investor-state arbitration.

Professor Kryvoi has published extensively on international dispute resolution, international economic law, employment law as well as law and policy in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

He is also a respected advisor to governments internationally on public sector excellence. His areas of expertise include promoting the rule of law, commercial and investor-State dispute resolution, courts and other judicial authorities, economic crimes, and the regulation of foreign direct investments.

Main areas of expertise

Experience as a consultant

  • UAE Prime Minister’s Office (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

  • World Trade Organisation (Geneva, Switzerland)

  • The World Bank (Washington, D.C., USA)

  • Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States (Minsk, Belarus)

  • Freedom House (Washington, D.C., USA)

  • The Emirate of Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

  • International Labour Organization (Geneva, Switzerland)

  • Private clients


Positions of responsibility

  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), Examiner & Tutor

  • International Courts Committee, ABA Section of International Law, Senior Advisor (former Co-Chair)

  • CIS Arbitration Forum, Founder & Editor

  • ICSID Review - Foreign Investment Law Journal, Journal of International Dispute Settlement, International and Comparative Law Quarterly - occasional referee for article submissions

  • International Law Materials (American Society for International Law), Corresponding Editor

  • European Parliament, Independent Legal Expert (Commercial Law, Comparative Law, International Law)

  • International Encyclopaedia of Laws, Kluwer Law International, Member of International Advisory Board



Work experience

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Associate (London, UK)

  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, International Consultant (Washington, DC, USA)

  • US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, Extern Law Clerk to Judge Stephen F. Williams (Washington, DC, USA)

  • Harvard Law School, Research Assistant to Professor Reinier Kraakman (Cambridge, MA, USA)

  • Belarusian State University, Lecturer (Minsk, Belarus)

  • International Labour Organisation, Legal Intern (Geneva, Switzerland)

  • Baker & McKenzie, Summer Associate (St Petersburg, Russia)


Recent publications

  • ‘The Path of Investor-State Disputes: from Compensation Commissions to Arbitral Institutions’, ICSID Review - Foreign Investment Law Journal (forthcoming 2019) || + Abstract || || Download ||

    Protection of aliens under international law has progressed from them being clanless individuals or outlaws completely at mercy of the local lord, with no entitlement to the peace and protection of the locality in the earliest times to the modern sophisticated investor-State dispute settlement mechanisms.

    Several fundamental changes have occurred since the constitution of the early compensation commissions of the 18th century leading to the modern system of resolution of investor-State disputes. First, a growing number of multinational enterprises operating globally have become major actors on the international public law plain, in areas in the past reserved only for States. Second, international organisations and other nonstate actors have dramatically strengthened their influence with efficient international arbitration institutions dominating the system of investor-State dispute resolution after the end of the Cold War.

    The methods for resolving investor-State disputes have evolved primarily along the lines of creating specialised institutionalised forms. While early commissioners relied on their subjective understanding of justice and fairness, today the expectation is applying agreed set of rules, so that failure to do so may result in annulment of the award.

    The evolution of various methods of international dispute settlement and the emergence of new methods, such as international investment courts, does not necessarily mean that the older forms of dispute resolution will die like the dinosaurs. They will continue to function, albeit with modifications and will inform the future models of international dispute settlement.

  • ‘Investment Promotion and Protection in the Canada-UK Trade Relationship: Knowledge Synthesis Report’ (2018) || + Abstract || Download ||

    A new investment agreement between Canada and the UK constitutes a crucial opportunity to include innovative provisions from recent international agreements and to explore new possibilities to construct a more legitimate regime. In order to support evidence-based decision-making in the negotiation of such an agreement, a comprehensive review of the range of opportunities must be provided. What are the provisions that can be included in an investment agreement between the two states to address controversial issues and support the reform of the international investment regime?

    The objectives underlying the final report are to allow policy-makers to undertake the negotiation process with a clear sense of the various provisions that are available to address the most controversial issues of international investment law and their legal implications. The report demonstrates that an investment agreement can respond to legitimacy concerns raised by a variety of stakeholders. More specifically, it provides a side-by-side comparison of provisions that have already been included in IIAs and model agreements for three specific themes: 1) dispute settlement possibilities; 2) the breadth of investment protection; and 3) obligations imposed on foreign investors.

    For each theme of the knowledge synthesis, the material that has been collected and analyzed is synthesized through a side-by-side comparison of provisions and their legal implications.

    1. Dispute settlement possibilities: The mechanism allowing private investors to submit investment claims to international arbitration has come under increasing public scrutiny, with several actors criticizing its lack of legitimacy. Some policy-makers and negotiators have responded to these criticisms through various means. The report focuses particularly on six approaches that have been included in IIAs and model agreements. These approaches range from a reformed investor-state dispute settlement mechanism through the inclusion of new provisions, a return to diplomatic protection and state-to-state arbitration, reliance on domestic courts, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, hybrid approaches, and an investment court system.

    2. Breadth of investment protection: Addressing concerns raised by stakeholders can also be achieved by further clarifying the content of standards of protection that are traditionally included in IIAs. An enhanced level of precision is especially visible with respect to fair and equitable treatment (FET) and expropriation. Various options have been used by states to qualify FET provisions and to list the elements included in this standard of protection. Other provisions include a limiting definition of indirect expropriation or various forms of carve-outs, including for general regulatory measures.

    3. Obligations imposed on foreign investors: With a view to countering the generally asymmetric nature of IIAs, some states have chosen to address foreign investors’ responsibilities in various ways. Some examples refer to these responsibilities in the preamble of an IIA or in provisions referring to the concept of corporate social responsibility. More constraining provisions impose direct obligations on foreign investors, call for an explicit consideration of the investment’s negative impact or deny substantive protection for investment made through corruption or other fraudulent means.

  • ‘ICSID Arbitration Reform: Mapping Concerns of Users and How to Address Them’, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (2018) || + Abstract || Download ||

    This paper summarises key practical concerns of some members of the Investment Treaty Forum related to ICSID arbitration, as well as a wider community of experts, how the ICSID reform proposals address these concerns and makes suggestions for further improvement.

    The paper looks at key concerns of ICSID arbitration users such as timely appointment of arbitrators and challenges to it, over-committed arbitrators and their conflicts of interest, access to emergency arbitrators and fast-track arbitration procedure, procedure for summary rejection of claims and amicable settlement of disputes, consolidation of proceedings, allocation of costs and security for costs, timely rendering of awards and consistency of ICSID annulment decisions.

    The paper also includes a comparison between the ICSID Arbitration Rules and other major arbitration rules designed for investment arbitration proceedings: the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Rules (SCC Rules), and the 2017 EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

  • ‘Economic Crimes in International Investment Law’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp. 577-605 (2018) || + Abstract || Download ||

    The protection of foreign investment by treaties often clashes with the State's sovereign right to investigate economic crimes committed by investors. This article examines the different approaches taken by tribunals to questions concerning admissibility and jurisdiction, applicable law, the standard of review, the burden and standard of proof and deference to actions taken by domestic courts and regulators related to economic crimes.

    It concludes that investors should not automatically be deprived of treaty protections and their access to investment arbitration blocked. The arbitration agreement, being autonomous from the main contract (or the relevant treaty), should, as a rule, remain valid even if the conduct of investors is tainted by economic crimes.

    The article calls on investment tribunals to reflect in their awards on the contributory fault of the parties when representatives of States and investors are both complicit in economic crimes. To achieve greater legal certainty and procedural efficiency, a new generation of investment treaties and the practice of investment tribunals should draw on not only applicable domestic law but also existing sources of international law concerning economic crimes or national best practice.

  • Law and Practice of International Arbitration in the CIS Region (co-edited with Kaj Hobér) (Wolters Kluwer, 2017). || + Abstract || Buy ||

    Law and Practice of International Arbitration in the CIS Region offers the first comprehensive overview of commercial arbitration in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. After the collapse of the Soviet Union over a dozen new states emerged with their individual systems of international commercial arbitration.

    Today, the former Soviet republics such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and others generate a significant and growing amount of work for the major Western and CIS regional, international arbitral institutions.

    This book, a country-by-country analysis of regulation and practice of international arbitration in ten CIS jurisdictions, examines notable developments in the use of arbitration mechanisms contained in bilateral and multilateral investment treaties affecting the region.




Yarik Kryvoi, 2019