Gavan Griffith was Solicitor-General of Australia for 14 years between 1984 and 1997. Since leaving that office he has been engaged in a London based international practice as an International commercial and investment disputes arbitrator. He has held diverse appointments as chairman, member or sole arbitrator and expert in treaty based, public law and international commercial disputes in administered and non-administered arbitrations over a wide range of matters, including between States, under treaties, and diverse commercial disputes in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, ICSID, and in under the ICC, LCIA, KLRCA and the HKIAC and other institutional rules, sited in London, Washington, Paris, Australia, The Hague, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, PNG and elsewhere.
He has been an ICSID appointed arbitrator in disputes since 1984, and currently is President of the ad hoc Annulment Committees in Azurix v Argentina and Enron v Argentina.
He has practiced as counsel in Australia and England since 1964 and holds 8 commissions as Queen's Counsel. He joined 4 Essex Court, now Essex Court Chambers, on his call at Lincoln's Inn in 1969. He holds a D.Phil (Oxon) and is a sometime visiting law fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford As the leader of the Australian bar he has pleaded over 250 peak constitutional matters and appeals before the full bench of the High Court of Australia, including over 65 treaty based cases. He also has pleaded in foreign courts, including the Courts of Appeal of Malaysia, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Nauru, and also before the ICJ, ICSID and other tribunals.
On the public law side, he was counsel and agent for Australia in the International Court of Justice in several matters, including Nauru v Australia, Portugal v Australia, the two Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinions and also the attempted revival of the Nuclear Tests Case, New Zealand v Australia. He was appointed by Ireland to the Ospar Tribunal in Ireland v United Kingdom.
As delegate (and sometime Vice-Chairman) to UNCITRAL for 14 years, he participated in the settling and adoption of the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law and the Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings. He was a member of the PCA for almost 20 years, and has been appointed to 2 PCA Tribunals. He also led Australia's delegation to the Hague Conference on Private International Law for 10 years, and was also a member and Chairman of the INTELSAT Panel of Legal Experts. In 1994-1995 he was seconded as legal counsel to the United Nations, New York. He also was a sometime delegate to UNIDROIT and also to the 6th Committee of the United Nations.