Robert Amsterdam is an international lawyer with 36 years experience working on high-profile cases in emerging markets. His law firm Amsterdam & Partners LLP, with offices in London and Washington DC, is frequently sought after for its unique practice areas which explore synergies between public international law, international criminal law, and political advocacy.
Amsterdam has been retained by multinational corporations on issues pertaining to resource nationalism and expropriation, while also representing sovereigns in disputes with foreign investors. His unique blend of political advocacy and international law has led to his retention by several governments and world leaders, such as the Republic of Turkey, the former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra, former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria, among other high profile figures.
Amsterdam is well known for his representation of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Jewish-Russian dissident and Amnesty International-recognized prisoner of conscience, who was imprisoned for ten years for opposing the rule of President Vladimir Putin before securing his release in 2013.
The pro bono practice of Amsterdam & Partners was awarded at the 2013 Global Legal Awards from the American Lawyer for Amsterdam’s successful representation of Dr. Georges Tadonki, a United Nations whistleblower who exposed a cover-up of a cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe and suffered persecution and the loss of his job as a result.
The firm has also been involved in the high-profile representation of Stephan Templ, a Jewish journalist and author who has been falsely imprisoned by the Government of Austria based on a restitution claim for Nazi-looted property belonging to his family. In an interview on the case with the Guardian, Amsterdam commented, “From the first look at this case, we thought it was political, and had nothing to do with the law or a sense of justice, but everything to do with singling out this Jewish troublemaker. (…) This entire case is predicated on a legal fiction – the state has never been damaged and it’s an absolutely historic obscenity for Austria to claim this is the case.”
As a prolific columnist and blogger, Amsterdam’s writings have been published in the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Fordham International Law Journal, among other publications. Amsterdam has made several television appearances on networks such as CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, BBC, and Fox News. A profile feature of Amsterdam was published in the magazine American Lawyer in February 2012.