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Christopher Vajda was the judge of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland at the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) from 2012 until the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union in 2020. During that time he was party to judgments in a broad spectrum of fields, including aviation, banking, competition and state aid, constitutional law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, data protection and privacy, environmental protection, public international law, international trade and investment agreements, public procurement, sanctions, and tax. He has a particular expertise in investor-state dispute resolution as a judge who 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.
He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1979. He was appointed a KC in 1997. He practised at Monckton Chambers until 2012. He is a member of the Luxembourg Bar.
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 was appointed to chair an arbitration panel in the Middle East involving a telecommunications dispute.
Since his return to Chambers he has been retained in a number of cases across the world involving EU and/or UK law. He has also provided expert Opinions for courts and arbitration tribunals. 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 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), public procurement and tax and on investment protection treaties. He is fluent in French (the working language of the CJEU) and speaks German.
He accepts instructions for advisory work, as an arbitrator (see separate arbitration page), and as an expert witness.