Professor Derrick Wyatt QC

Year of Call: 1972 Silk: 1993

Clerk: Kate Trott

Professor Derrick Wyatt QC

Year of Call: 1972 Silk: 1993

Clerk: Kate Trott


"His vast knowledge of EU law and his immense experience in the General Court and the Court of Justice are invaluable."
- Chambers & Partners 2014

"Derrick Wyatt QC is a "very experienced and bright EU lawyer" whose "exceptionally strong client commitment" draws particular applause from commentators."
- Chambers & Partners 2013


Professor Wyatt has specialised in in litigation before the CJEU and the EU General Court in Luxembourg, and in giving legal advice to businesses and governments. This has included numerous aspects of EU law, Public International Law, Constitutional law in the UK and Cyprus, and, latterly, Brexit issues. He has appeared in approximately 100 cases before the European Courts in Luxembourg and has represented and/or advised businesses in the UK, Ireland, USA, Germany, Iran and Syria, and the Governments of the UK, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus. He has been increasingly engaged in Brexit issues. In March 2016 he appeared before the House of Lords EU Select Committee giving expert evidence on the process for Brexit under Article 50. In May he addressed the Irish Centre for European Law in Dublin on the likely impact of Brexit on the north/south border. Since the Brexit referendum, he has briefed the media on Brexit issues, and briefed lawyers and financial service providers on Article 50 issues and the likely course of future trade negotiations between the UK and the EU. In September this year he again appeared before the House of Lords EU Select Committee, giving evidence on the need for extensive parliamentary scrutiny of the negotiation of the Brexit agreements. In November he addressed the European University Institute in Florence arguing that “cherry-picking” was a bad description of the UK’s aims in Brexit negotiations.

practice areas


The litigation in which Professor Wyatt  has acted as counsel has involved the role of the EU institutions in lawmaking and external relations/treaty powers; agricultural funding and fisheries policies; effects of shifting baselines on the territorial sea and fishing rights; free movement of individuals and companies (including EU citizenship issues, cross border medical treatment, taxation impeding free movement of businesses, “special shares” or "golden shares"/corporate structures liable to impede free movement of capital/cross border direct investment); environmental law (including environmental impact assessments, pollution control, cross border shipment of waste, regulation of trade in endangered species, energy regulation, the EU emissions trading scheme, including aviation emissions, and international law limitations on regulation of aviation emissions in foreign airspace); EU Restrictive Measures (Sanctions) against Iran and Syria; telecommunications; and state aids. He has also advised government bodies on public procurement issues and tendering procedures for oil and gas resources.

Available as arbitrator in cases involving issues of European Union (EU) Law and Public International Law.  EU experience includes Economic Sanctions, Freedom of Establishment and Freedom to provide Services, Discriminatory effects of National Tax rules, Cross Border Corporate establishment, Golden Shares and Special Shares, Capital Movement, State aids, Human Rights, Environmental Law, Public procurement (including procedures for bidding for oil and gas concessions), Public International Law/Treaty issues.

Important cases in which Professor Wyatt has appeared as counsel in international litigation before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the General Court of the European Union include:

  • Case T-565/12 National Iranian Tanker Company v EU Council, representing the National Iranian Tanker Company at the oral hearing before the General Court in January 2014 in its challenge to economic sanctions imposed by the EU Council; case still pending.
  • Case T-494/10 Bank Saderat Iran v EU Council, judgment of 05/02/2013, representing Bank Saderat Iran in its successful challenge before the General Court to EU economic sanctions, and in the appeal filed by the Council which is currently pending.
  • Case C-366/10 Air Transport Association of America and others v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, [2011] ECR I - 0000, representing US airlines in their challenge in the ECJ on grounds of EU Law and Public International Law to the extra-territorial application of EU environmental rules on aviation emissions.
  • Case C-346/08 Commission v UK [2010] ECR I - 3491 (representing the UK in the European Court in case on the interpretation of European Environmental rules on emissions from large combustion plants/aluminium smelter in the UK).
  • Case C-428/07 Horvath [2009] ECR I - 6355 (representing the UK in the ECJ in case involving issues of UK constitutional law/devolution to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and European agricultural funding and environmental rules).
  • Case C-278/05 Robins and Others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2007] ECR I -1053 (representing the UK in the ECJ in case involving liability of the UK for deficits in employees' occupational pension funds after insolvency of their employers).
  • Joined Cases C-87/03 and C-100/03 Spain v Council of the EU [2006] ECR I - 2915 (representing the UK in the ECJ on European and international fisheries/catch quotas/requirements of relative stability/non-discrimination).
  • Case C-533/03 Commission v Council [2006] ECR I - 1025 (representing the UK in the ECJ in case involving power of EU re tax rules).
  • Case C-376/03 D v Inspecteur [2005] ECR I - 5821 (representing the UK in the ECJ in case involving alleged discriminatory effects of double tax conventions).
  • Case 61/03 Commission v. United Kingdom [2005] ECR I - 2477 (representing the UK in the ECJ challenging EU supervision of decommissioning of JASON military nuclear reactor).
  • Case C-126/01 GEMO SA [2003] ECR I - 13769 (state aids: representing the UK in the ECJ - whether a free service to commercial operators amounts to state aid).
  • Case C-98/01 Commission v United Kingdom [2003] ECR I - 4641 (the special share in BAA amounts to a restriction on capital movement/direct investment; representing the UK in the ECJ).
  • Opinion 1/00. Proposed agreement between the European Community and non-Member States on the establishment of a European Common Aviation Area [2002] ECR I - 3493 (representing the UK in the ECJ on issues relating to the proposed international agreement on aviation issues).
  • Case C-74/99 The Queen -v- Secretary of State for Health and Others, ex parte Imperial Tobacco Ltd and Others.[2000] ECR I - 8599 (representing UK companies in the ECJ in successful challenge to EU restrictions on advertising).
  • Case C-340/96 Commission v United Kingdom [1999] ECR I - 2023 (representing the UK in the ECJ in case involving environmental rules and mechanisms for enforcing drinking water quality standards;).
  • Case C-212/97 Centros [1999] ECR I - 1459 (representing the UK government in the ECJ on the right of establishment of UK companies in other Member States).
  • Case C-302/94 R v Secretary of State ex parte BT [1996] ECR I - 6417 (representing UK company BT before the ECJ in case involving telecommunications/open network provision).
  • Opinion 1/94 Competence of the Community to conclude international agreements concerning services and the protection of intellectual property [1994] ECR I 5267 (representing the UK in the ECJ in case involving EU rights to conclude GATS and TRIPS agreement within framework of WTO).
  • Case C-146/89 Commission v United Kingdom [1991] ECR 3533 (representing the UK in the ECJ, issues relating to international law, effect of ambulatory baselines on territorial sea and fishing rights).

Qualifications & Further Information


MA. (Cambridge), LL.M. (Cambridge), J.D. (Chicago), Barrister, Queen’s Counsel (QC)

Panellist, Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration: 2014


Visiting Professor of Law, University of Oxford 2009-.

Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Oxford 2009-.

Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall Oxford 2009-.

Professor of Law, University of Oxford 1996-2009.

Queen's Counsel 1993

Legal Practice as barrister 1986- (Brick Court Chambers)

Fellow of St. Edmund Hall Oxford and CUF Lecturer 1978 -

Fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge 1975-1978

Lecturer, University of Liverpool Law Faculty 1971-1975

Further Information

He has combined academic life (as a Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and a Professor of Law at the University of Oxford), with practice as a lawyer (barrister/QC at the English bar). He has lectured in European Law and in Public International Law at Oxford, and supervised and examined doctoral students writing dissertations on EU law, Public International Law, and Comparative Constitutional Law issues. Lectures at other universities include European Internal Market issues at Florida State University (USA), the commercial policy of the EU (relations between the EU and the WTO) at the University of Amsterdam, and occasional papers/lectures in Cambridge, London, Warsaw, and Zagreb. He took early retirement from his full time academic posts in 2009, was appointed a Visiting Professor of Law at Oxford, and in that capacity has been teaching on the (graduate) BCL and M Juris course European Business Regulation - the Law of the EU's Internal Market.


His publications include a continuing contribution to Wyatt and Dashwood's European Union Law, Hart Publishing, 6th edition 2011 He is responsible in particular for the chapters and sections on

The Right of Establishment and the Freedom to Provide Services;

Corporate Establishment, Cross-Border Acquisitions, Capital Movement (direct investment), and Golden and Special Shares;

Company Law Harmonisation (including the European Company Statute, Merger Directive, Takeover Bids Directive etc) ;

The Legal Effects of International Agreements;

Intellectual Property Rights in the EU, including effects on trade in goods, exhaustion of patent, copyright and trade mark rights, etc.


Professor Wyatt has also published numerous articles, chapters in larger works, reviews etc. He was a contributor to Cyprus and European Union Membership, Opinion on Cyprus membership of EU, edited by the Attorney General of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2002. Opinions he has written (jointly with distinguished international lawyers) for the Government of Cyprus on EU legal issues have been disclosed by that Government and have been cited in relevant literature, see Palley, An International Relations Debacle, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2005, page 250, footnote 19; Katselli, International and Comparative Law Quarterly Vol. 55 (2006) The Ankara Agreement, Turkey and the EU, at pages 708 and 716.

He is a member of the Editorial Committees of the British Yearbook of International Law (OUP), and the Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy (Zagreb). He is an advisory editor for Studies of the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law (Hart Publishing).

Directory Quotes

  • "Praised for his ability to handle EU sanctions cases, he has a good deal of experience in appearing before the European courts. As a leading academic in the field, his knowledge of the law is held in high regard by sources.  Expertise: "His vast knowledge of EU law and his immense experience in the General Court and the Court of Justice are invaluable." (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • "Derrick Wyatt QC is a "very experienced and bright EU lawyer" whose "exceptionally strong client commitment" draws particular applause from commentators. His leading position in the tables is justified by the impressive roll call of past and present cases he has handled, covering the full spectrum of EU litigation." (Chambers & Partners 2013)

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