ISDS lawyers urge corporates to sue for claimed Brexit losses

October 3, 2017: Corporate Europe Observatory reports that ISDS lawyers are predicting that foreign investors may be able to sue for claimed losses after Brexit.

In conferences and alerts for their global corporate clients, some top investment arbitration law firms are advising foreign investors  that they could use ISDS agreements to claim millions in compensation from the British government for losing access to EU markets. Britain has over 100 bilateral investment  and energy treaties containing ISDS that are separate from its EU membership and will continue after Brexit.

Depending the result of the Brexit negotiations, such claims could be about anything from foreign carmakers or financial companies losing free access to the EU market, to the government removing subsidies for certain sectors. One lawyer from UK-based law firm Volterra Fietta has even suggested that “there may some investors that would have come to the UK expecting to have a certain low wage group of employees”, which might sue for losses resulting from less access to lower paid EU workers in Britain.

This is yet another example of the wide scope of potential ISDS claims, how the ISDS industry drums up businiess and why ISDS should not be included in trade and investment agreements.