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Christopher Vajda QC

Call: 1979 | 2020 Luxembourg | Silk: 1997

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Education

MA (Cambridge), EC law – Université Libre Bruxelles

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Introduction

Christopher Vajda QC accepts instructions to sit as an arbitrator as well as providing legal advice, including expert legal opinions.

Judge at the 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 investor-state dispute resolution following his time as a judge at the CJEU 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.

Barrister

Christopher Vajda QC had a wide-ranging practice. 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 asked to chair a conciliation panel set up to resolve a dispute involving one of the EU Institutions.

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  • Books, recent publications and lectures

    He is a contributor to International Commercial Courts: The Future of Transnational Adjudication edited by Stavros Brekoulakis and Georgios Dimitropoulos (to be published in 2021), 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.

  • Chronology

    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.

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