John Branson represents clients in cross-border disputes across a range of industries. He acts in complex, high value matters with a focus on commercial and investment arbitrations. Mr. Branson has experience with commercial claims, such as breach of contract and business torts and has represented foreign sovereigns in international investment disputes. Mr. Branson’s experience includes advising clients and appearing as counsel in arbitrations under most of the leading institutions (ICSID, PCA, SIAC, Swiss Rules, LCIA, ICDR) as well as ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL Rules. In addition to international arbitration, Mr. Branson regularly defends and prosecutes claims before Federal and State courts.

Prior to beginning his legal career, Mr. Branson served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps, where he ultimately attained the rank of Captain. He deployed to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2008.  For his service in Afghanistan, Mr. Branson was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor distinction.

Presentations and Publications

  • Speaker, The Magic Words: Language Translation in Litigation and Arbitration, American Bar Association Webinar, July 2019.
  • Panel Chair, Cultural Issues in Commercial Arbitration: Asia and Australia, 7th Annual AtlAS Conference, November 2018.
  • Panel Chair on Pending Reforms in Investment Arbitration, 10th Biennial Arbitration Symposium, June 2018, Salzburg Austria.
  • Speaker, Threshold Issues in Investment Arbitration, 2017 Union Internationale des Avocats Congress, Toronto, Canada
  • Author and Speaker, Tenth Annual Juris Conference on Investment Treaty Arbitration, May 2016
  • Arbitrator, Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Hong Kong, March 2016
  • Guest Speaker, Wake Forest University School of Law, International Law Society, Presentation on Recent Developments in International Arbitration, November 10, 2015
  • John D. Branson, Damages in Investment Arbitration—a Revolutionary Remedy or Reward for Rich Corporations at the Expense of the World’s Poor?  A Fundamental Examination of Chorzow’s Children, The Journal of Damages in International Arbitration, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1 (2016).

Professional Activities

  • Director, Charlotte International Arbitration Society (CIAS), 2015 – 2017
  • International Bar Association

Honors and Awards

Selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers, 2018, 2019


Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Represented foreign sovereign against alleged $1 billion expropriation claim under bi-lateral investment treaty and administered by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).  All claims were settled without compensation to the claimant.  Multiple attempts to rescind the settlement were defended in subsequent procedures and were defeated.
  • Prosecuted a breach of contract case and defended against counterclaims valued by Respondents at $468 million.  The client was made whole, recovering approximately $40 million in damages and costs while every counterclaim was dismissed.  The case fell under the auspices of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
  • Representation of foreign sovereign against alleged $200 million expropriation claim under multiple investment treaties, each consolidated for administration under the ICSID Convention.
  • Representing a US food service company against a Swiss company regarding intellectual property and contractual matters in an international commercial arbitration seated in Zurich and administered by the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI).

Bar admissions

New York

North Carolina


  • LL.M, King’s College London
  • J.D., University of South Carolina
    • cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
    • Order of the Wig and Robe
    • Articles Editor, South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business
  • B.S., University of Maryland: Political Science and Government