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Maria Fogdestam Agius

Partner

Phone
+46 766 170 943

Assistant
Eva Jehrin

My practice as part of the firm’s Dispute Resolution Group focuses on international dispute settlement. In particular, I advise and represent States and private entities in matters pertaining to public international law, treaty-based dispute settlement and international human rights.

I have expertise on a wide range of public international law topics, including inter alia the law of treaties, the law on State responsibility, the law on State and diplomatic immunity, international investment law, the law of the sea and Business & Human Rights. I have experience of protecting foreign investments through international arbitration, advising individuals and companies on claims against governments and on the enforcement of awards against sovereign entities. I have equally assisted States defending against claims before international courts and tribunals and safeguarding sovereign and diplomatic immunities before national courts. I have represented corporate as well as sovereign clients in international arbitration and litigation and have appeared as an advocate before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the Swedish Supreme Court. I also practice in human rights, advising in particular on Business and Human Rights regulatory and guidance frameworks, corporate ESG responsibilities and human rights due diligence.

I hold a Master of Laws in Public International Law and Procedural Law and a Doctor of Laws in Public International Law, both from Uppsala University.

Prior to joining Westerberg & Partners in 2020, I practiced for six years at the public international law firm Volterra Fietta in London, where I primarily worked on State-to-State disputes and high-profile investor-State arbitration cases. Notable representations in the public domain include acting for the United Arab Emirates in Qatar v. United Arab Emirates (International Court of Justice), acting for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Nigeria v. Interocean (ICSID), acting for the Arab Republic of Egypt in Al Jazeera v. Egypt (ICSID) and acting for Owens-Illinois EG on annulment in OIEG v. Venezuela (ICSID). I also provided advice to a number of governments on public international law matters, including inter alia the legality of military intervention and the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights, reservations to treaties and State and diplomatic immunities. I furthermore advised private parties on investor claims and Business and Human Rights issues.

Before entering into practice, I taught public international law at Uppsala University, acted as a clerk and junior judge at a Swedish district court and conducted an internship with the International Criminal Court.

I regularly speak and publish on public international law issues in various venues.

Selected speaking engagements and publications

  • “Protecting Swedish investments in Russia through international arbitration” (with
    Jacob Ericson), International Law Office, Expert Contribution, 2022
  • “Swedish Supreme Court Weighs in on Immunity of Sovereign Wealth Fund Assets
    Under Central Bank Management” (with Ginta Ahrel), Kluwer Arbitration Blog,
    2022
  • “Protecting Foreign Investments (Part III): Calculating loss and valuing claims”,
    presentation and moderation at seminar organised by Westerberg & Partners as
    part of a series on protection of foreign investments through international
    arbitration, online, 2021
  • “Protecting Foreign Investments (Part II): Why engage with arbitration finance?”,
    presentation and moderation at seminar organised by Westerberg & Partners as
    part of a series on protection of foreign investments through international
    arbitration, online, 2021
  • “Protecting Foreign Investments (Part I): Managing risks and planning ahead”,
    presentation and moderation at seminar organised by Westerberg & Partners as
    part of a series on protection of foreign investments through international
    arbitration, online, 2021
  • “Obligations of non-State actors with respect to COVID-19 protections in noninternational
    armed conflict”, presentation at seminar organised by Volterra Fietta
    as part of a series on COVID-19 and international law, online, 2020
  • “Human Rights and ESG Diligence in a COVID-19 World”, presentation at
    seminar organised by Volterra Fietta as part of a series on COVID-19 and
    international law, online, 2020
  • “Post-Brexit EU-UK dispute settlement: critical and contentious issues”,
    presentation at seminar organised by Young Public International Law Group and
    Arnold & Porter, online, 2020
  • “Who’s at Fault with the Cobalt? Class actions against corporate end users for
    supply chain working conditions” (with Graham Coop), Commercial Dispute
    Resolution, 11 March 2020
  • “Financial Institutions and Human Rights: Identifying and Mitigating Risks”,
    presentation at Volterra Fietta Breakfast Seminar, London, 2019
  • “Human Rights and the Money Trail: Challenges for Financial Institutions in the
    Field of Business and Human Rights”, presentation at Global Business and Human
    Rights Scholars Association, 5th Annual Conference, University of Essex,
    Colchester, England, 2019
  • “Corporate liability for human rights impacts” (with Robert Volterra and Graham
    Coop), International Trade Magazine, 9 September 2019, pp. 24–25
  • “Protection of Investments in War-Torn States: A Practitioner’s Perspective on
    War Clauses in Bilateral Investment Treaties” (with Suzanne Spears) in: Katia Fach
    Gómez, Anastasios Gourgourinis and Catharine Titi (eds), International Investment
    Law and the Law of Armed Conflict, Special Issue of the European Yearbook of International
    Economic Law (Springer 2019) pp. 283–317; based on presentation at Colloquium on
    International Investment Law and the Law of Armed Conflict, National and
    Kapodistrian University of Athens, 2017
  • Interaction and Delimitation of International Legal Orders (monograph, Brill/Martinus
    Nijhoff, 2014)
  • “Strategies and Success in Litigation and Negotiation in the WTO”, (2012) 17
    International Negotiation pp. 139–162; based on presentation at Fourth International
    Biennale on Commercial Negotiations – A New Approach to Commercial
    Relations, Negocia Grande École du Commerce, Paris, 2010
  • “The New Global Law and the Interfacing of Legal Orders: The Constitutional
    Implications of Regime Collisions”, invited guest speaker, presentation at
    University of Edinburgh, 2011
  • “Assessing the Judgment of Judges – The External Relations of the European
    Court of Justice”, presentation at Uppsala University European Law Colloquium:
    The Coherence and Effectiveness of EU External Relations after Lisbon, 2011
  • “Special Regimes Beyond the Postmodern Condition: A Performatist Reading”,
    presentation at conference on Method or Methods in Legal Science – New
    Methodological Challenges in Postmodernity, Uppsala, 2010
  • “Dying a Thousand Deaths: Recurring Emergencies and Exceptional Measures in
    International Law”, (2010) 2 Göttingen Journal of International Law pp. 219–242; based
    on presentation at Inter-disciplinary Workshop on Strategies for Solving Global
    Crises – The Financial Crisis and Beyond, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen,
    2009
  • “Fact-Finding in Dialogue Between International Courts and Tribunals”,
    presentation at Fourth International Graduate Legal Research Conference, King’s
    College London, 2010
  • “The Invocation of Necessity in International Law”, (2009) 56 Netherlands
    International Law Review pp. 95–135
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