*Please note the amended start time of 1.00pm for today's seminar.


After the UK's historic vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016, there will be a seismic shift in the international legal framework currently in place for the UK. The immediate and longer-term practical effects of this will take many different forms, but one of the key areas of impact will be in the UK's trading relationships with the EU and with countries around the world.

This throws up a wealth of questions at a time when major free trade agreements (TPP, TTIP and CETA) are already under the public spotlight. In the present political environment, what are the potential options for a new UK-EU relationship, and what are the implications of these choices; what could be achieved under an "EU-UK FTA";  what will it mean if the UK defaults to WTO rules; and what should the UK look for in its agreements with other states? Is Brexit an opportunity for the UK to set a new "gold standard" in free trade – and if so, what could that look like?

Speaker's bio:

Jessica Gladstone is a partner in Clifford Chance focusing on public international law and disputes, including international commercial, investment and inter-state arbitration, complex litigation, and public law challenges. She advises on international trade, economic sanctions, business and human rights, and sovereign immunities.

Jessica has represented states and corporates in a number of high profile international and investor-state cases, including  Singapore v Malaysia (Railway Lands); British Caribbean Bank v Attorney General of Belize (the seminal case on anti-arbitration injunctions); and she recently appeared before the Privy Council for a government in a politically sensitive public law challenge. Other recent mandates include advising on the drafting of host-government agreements and inter-governmental treaties for a major international pipeline project; and representing Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund IPIC and Aabar in a $6.5bn arbitration against the Malaysian Ministry of Finance and sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Jessica co-heads Clifford Chance's international trade practice, advising clients on the potential impact of Brexit on their businesses, on the WTO, FTAs and other potential models for the UK's future, and building dialogues between the UK Government and the private sector to ensure commercial interests are properly represented in the new arrangements with the EU and 3rd states. 

A former legal adviser for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Jessica has experience negotiating treaties and other agreements with foreign governments, and representing the UK at the United Nations, Council of Europe, and in cases before the European Court of Human Rights. Jessica is commended as an "outstanding" practitioner (Chambers UK, 2016) and ranked in all the leading directories. She is a visiting lecturer in international arbitration at King College London, and a member of the CIArb/Law Commission Expert Advisory Group on Reform of the Arbitration Act.

Jessica is a founding trustee of Advocates for International Development (A4ID), and Chair of the Board of Rule of Law Expertise UK (ROLE UK).


The Public International Law Discussion Group at the University of Oxford is a key focal point for PIL@Oxford. The PIL Discussion Group hosts a weekly speaker event and light lunch. Topics involve contemporary and challenging issues in international law. Speakers include distinguished international law practitioners, academics, and legal advisers from around the world.

The group typically meets each Thursday during Oxford terms in The Old Library, All Souls College, with lunch commencing at 12:30. The speaker will commence at 12:45 and speak for about forty minutes, allowing about twenty five minutes for questions and discussion. The meeting should conclude before 2:00.

Practitioners, academics and students from within and outside the University of Oxford are all welcome. No RSVP is necessary.

The discussion group's meetings are part of the programme of the British Branch of the International Law Association and are supported by the Law Faculty and Oxford University Press.

To join the Public International Law Discussion Group email list, which offers details of all events and other relevant information, send a message to: pil-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk . (You do not need to write any text in the body of the message, or even put anything in the Subject: line unless your mailer insists on it.) You will be sent a confirmation request, and once you reply to that, a message confirming your subscription. Alternatively, email Jenny Hassan to be added to the PIL mail list.

Convenors of the Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group are Patricia Jimenez Kwast and Nikiforos Panagis.

Kindly sponsored by the ILA - British Branch Association and Oxford University Press.