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Christopher Vajda KC accepts instructions to sit as an arbitrator.
Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union
Christopher Vajda was the UK judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) from 2012 until the withdrawal of the UK from the EU in January 2020 when his mandate ceased. During that time he was party to judgments in a broad spectrum of fields, including banking, competition and state aid, data protection and privacy, energy, environment, private and public international law, public procurement, sanctions, tax, trade and investment protection agreements, and transport. He has a particular expertise in competition, state aid, procurement and sanctions law as well as investor-state dispute resolution where he sat in Opinion 2/15 on the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Singapore and in Opinion 1/17 on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada. Further details of the cases he sat on can be obtained from his clerk at Monckton Chambers.
Prior to becoming a judge at the CJEU Christopher Vajda KC had a wide-ranging practice at the English Bar. He acted on numerous occasions for the UK Government, Government Departments and public bodies such as the Bank of England, the BBC and various sectorial regulators. He also acted for a large number of companies in fields such as aviation and transport, competition and state aid, energy, IT and telecommunications and tax. He appeared frequently before the CJEU, and all English courts, including the UK Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. He appeared before arbitration panels (including in the sporting field) and was appointed to chair an arbitration panel in the Middle East involving a telecommunications dispute.
Since his return to Chambers he was appointed by the President of the CJEU to chair a Conciliation Commission to resolve a dispute within an EU Institution. In 2022 he was appointed by the EU as a member of its panel of persons suitable for appointment as Chairpersons for Arbitrations to which the EU is a party. He has recently sat in an ICC arbitration, is currently sitting in an arbitration in a sports case, and acting as an expert witness in an ICSID arbitration.
He is a professor at the College of Europe in Bruges and a visiting professor at King’s College, London, a lecturer on private international law at Luxembourg University and a member of the LCIA. He has written and spoken extensively, particularly in the area of competition and state aid (he was a contributor to Bellamy & Child, European Union Law of Competition for over 20 years), and on investment protection treaties. He is fluent in French (the working language of the CJEU) and speaks German.
He is a contributor to International Commercial Courts: The Future of Transnational Adjudication edited by Stavros Brekoulakis and Georgios Dimitropoulos (CUP, 2022), to Liber Amicorum Jiri Malenovsky (2020), The applicability of Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to international agreements to which the EU is a contracting party, and to Bellamy & Child, European Union Law of Competition (3rd to 6th editions between 1983 and 2008).
Recent published articles include: The role of judges in the development of Competition Law, China Antitrust Law Journal (2019); Greening the law: The Reception of Environmental Law and its Enforcement in International law and European Union Law, co-author with Michael Rhimes, The Columbia Journal of European Law (2018); The EU and Beyond: Dispute Resolution in International Economic Agreements, The European Journal of International Law (2018); Law as a Tool to build cross-Border Markets: the experience of the Court of Justice of the EU in opening up Government contracts, Public Contract Law Journal (2018); and The Common law and the CJEU, Journal of the Common Law Society Prague (2018).
Recent lectures include: The impact of Achmea: 3 years later (New York State Bar Association (2021); The keynote address to the Bar European Group (2021); Current issues facing the European Court and its users (Burrell Lecture, London, 2019); The Rule of Law within the EU and national legal orders (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, 2019); Towards a Re-Definition of Dispute Resolution Fora: Insights from the CJEU (HBKU College of Law & Public Policy, Doha, Qatar, 2018); The Autonomy of the EU Legal Order (The Stockholm Centre for Commercial Law and the Institute of European and Comparative Law, Oxford, 2018); and Privacy and Cyber Laws: a view from the Court of Justice of the European Union (Asian Academy of International Law, Hong Kong, 2017).
He has also been invited to speak at a number of universities including Bologna, Cambridge, Edinburgh, George Washington (Washington DC), King’s College London, HKU (Hong Kong), Milan, Oxford, Stockholm, and Valencia.
He is a visiting professor at King’s College, London, a lecturer on private international law at Luxembourg University and a member of the LCIA. He is fluent in French (the working language of the CJEU) and speaks German.
6 July 1955 Born, UK national.
1974-1977 Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
1977 BA (Cantab) in Law.
1977-1978 Wiener Ansbach scholarship to study for a postgraduate degree in EEC law at the Institut d’études européennes (IEE) of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).
1978 Licence spéciale en droit européen (ULB/IEE), Grande distinction.
1979 Called to the Bar of England and Wales.
1981-2012 Member of Monckton Chambers, London.
1993-1999 Member of the Executive Committee of the Association International des Jeunes Avocats
1996 Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland.
1997 Appointed Queen’s Counsel.
2003 Bencher of Gray’s Inn, London.
2003-12 Part time judge in the Crown Court.
Oct 2012-Jan 2020 Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
2019 Visiting Professor of Law at King’s College, London.
2020 Returned to practice at Monckton Chambers, London.
Admitted as a member of the Luxembourg Bar.
2021 Lecturer at the University of Luxembourg in private international law.