Lise Johnson

Counsel

Johnson Lise

Lise Johnson’s practice focuses on representing governments in investment treaty arbitration and public international law matters. She also supports governments from around the world engaged in formulating domestic and international investment law and policy, evaluating risks of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and developing strategies and options for minimizing those risks.

Investment Law and International Investment Treaties

Ms. Johnson’s work concentrates on the intersection of investment law and complex regulatory spheres such as climate policy, governance of extractive industries and infrastructure, and development of industrial policy.

She has participated as a delegate in ISDS reform negotiations at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), both during development of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency, and in ongoing efforts to address concerns with ISDS. She has also participated in various government committees and fora established to inform investment treaty policy, and has provided briefings to legislative bodies including the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, the UK House of Lords and the European Parliament, on issues relating to investment treaty negotiations.

Ms. Johnson is frequently asked to provide background and guidance in meetings and initiatives organized by various intergovernmental organizations including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UNCITRAL, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); and the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA).

Ms. Johnson joined Curtis from the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) at Columbia University in New York, and remains as a Senior Fellow with the center. Prior to joining CCSI, she was an advisor with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and a litigator at an international law firm.

Publications

Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs & Ella Merrill, “Investor-State Dispute Prevention: A Critical Reflection,” Dispute Resolution Journal vol. 75, no. 4 (2021).

Lise Johnson & Lisa E. Sachs, “Trends in International Investment Agreements (Annual Review),” in Yearbook on Investment Law and Policy, Lise Johnson & Lisa E. Sachs (eds) (Oxford University Press, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).

Lise Johnson & Brooke Güven, “The Policy Implications of Third-Party Funding in Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” CCSI Working Paper (CCSI, 2019).

Lise Johnson & Brooke Güven, “Securing Adequate Legal Defense in Proceedings under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study” (Government of the Netherlands, 2019).

Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes & Lise J. Johnson, “Human Rights Law and the Investment Treaty Regime” in Research Handbook on Human Rights and Business, Surya Deva and David Birchall (eds) (Edward Elgar, 2020).

Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs & Nathan Lobel, “Aligning Investment Treaties with Sustainable Development Goals,” Columbia Journal of Transnational Law vol 58 (2019).

Lise Johnson & Lisa E. Sachs, “Investment Treaties, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and Inequality: How International Investment Treaties Exacerbate Domestic Disparities,” in International Rules and Inequality: Implications for Global Economic Governance, José Antonio Ocampo (ed) (Columbia University Press, 2019).

Lise Johnson et al.., Rethinking International Investment Governance: Principles for the 21st Century (CCSI, 2018).

Lise Johnson & Brooke Güven, “The Settlement of Investment Disputes: A Discussion of Democratic Accountability and the Public Interest,” Investment Treaty News (March 2017).

Lise Johnson, “Greening FDI: Defining, Measuring and Catalyzing Green Investment by Multinational Enterprises” (UNEP, 2017).

Lise Johnson, “A Fundamental Shift in Power Permitting International Estoppel,” UCLA Law Review: In Discourse (February 2018).

Lise Johnson & Brooke Güven, “International Investment Agreements: Impacts on Climate Change Policies in India, China and Beyond,” in Trade in the Balance: Reconciling Trade and Climate Policy, Kevin Gallagher (ed) (Global Economic Governance Initiative, 2016).

Lise Johnson, “Space for Local Content Policies and Strategies” (GIZ, 2016).

Lise Johnson, “Regulation of Investment Incentives at the International Level,” in Rethinking Investment Incentives: Trends and Policy Options (Columbia University Press, 2016).

Lise Johnson, Jeffrey Sachs & Lisa E. Sachs, “Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Public Interest, and US Domestic Law” (CCSI, 2015).

Lise Johnson, “The Impact of Investment Treaties on Governance of Private Investment in Infrastructure,” EUI Working Papers, RSCAS 2014/32 (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Global Governance Program, 2014).

Lise Johnson & Merim Razbaeva, “State Control over Interpretation of Investment Treaties” (CCSI, 2014).

Lise Johnson & Oleksandr Volkov, “Investor-State Contracts, Host-State ‘Commitments’ and the Myth of Stability in International Law,” American Review of International Arbitration vol. 24, no. 3 (2013).

Lise Johnson & Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, “New UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules on Transparency: Application, Content and Next Steps,” Investment Treaty News (September 2013).

Chinese Outward Investment, An Emerging Policy Framework, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson & Jianping Zhang (eds) (IISD & IIER, 2012).

Lise Johnson & Elisabeth Tuerk, “CIEL's Experience in WTO Dispute Settlement: Challenges and Complexities from a Practical Point of View,” in Civil Society, International Courts and Compliance Bodies, Tullio Treves et al. (eds) (TMC Asser Press, 2005).

Lise Johnson’s practice focuses on representing governments in investment treaty arbitration and public international law matters. She also supports governments from around the world engaged in formulating domestic and international investment law and policy, evaluating risks of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and developing strategies and options for minimizing those risks.