Robert Amsterdam is an international lawyer with 35 years experience
working on high-profile cases in emerging markets. His law firm Amsterdam
& Partners LLP, with offices in London and Washington DC, is frequently
sought after for its unique practice areas which explore synergies between
public international law, international criminal law, and political advocacy.
Amsterdam has been retained by multinational mining and energy
corporations on issues pertaining to resource nationalism and expropriation,
while also representing sovereigns in disputes with foreign investors. His
unique blend of political advocacy and international law has led to his
retention by several world leaders, such as the former Prime Minister of
Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra, former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda,
Ugandan MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), Governor Godswill Akpabio of
Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria, among other high profile figures.
With significant experience on the ground in emerging economies across
Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America, Amsterdam has successively settled
disputes for major corporations such as PWC and the Four Seasons Hotel &
Resorts Group, while also advising companies on opening new markets and
managing political risk.
The law firm is well known for its pro bono practice in human rights,
including the defense of the award-winning democracy activist Dr. Chee
Soon Juan of Singapore, Ilya Ponomarev, an exiled Russian State Duma
Deputy, and the journalist Stephan Templ, who recently became the first
Jewish political prisoner of Austria. The firm has also represented Georges
Tadonki, a United Nations employee who survived a campaign of intimidation
by officials in Zimbabwe – a case which resulted in Amsterdam & Partners
LLP being awarded the 2013 Global Pro Bono Dispute of the Year Award
from American Lawyer.
Amsterdam has also represented high profile political prisoners, such as the
former head of the Yukos oil company in Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and
the Venezuelan businessman Eligio Cedeño, who was successfully released
As a prolific columnist and blogger, Amsterdam’s writings have been
published in the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times, the Wall
Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Fordham International Law
Journal, among other publications. Amsterdam has made several television
appearances on networks such as CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, BBC, and Fox
News. A profile feature of Amsterdam was published in the magazine
American Lawyer in February 2012.
Amsterdam is a member of the Canadian and International Bar Associations,
and is licensed as a solicitor in the United Kingdom. He earned his BA from
Carleton University in Ottawa, and studied law at Queen’s University in