Guy joined Carter-Ruck in 1988 and has been a partner since 1990.  As head of the firm’s International department Guy has a wide-ranging practice in the field of Public International Law, European Law and Human Rights involving administrative and regulatory processes with an international or diplomatic context.  His work is at the forefront of the field of challenges to asset freezing measures, or ‘targeted sanctions’. He is highly rated in these areas by the legal directories and is ranked as a Band 1 Sanctions Law expert by Chambers & Partners.

Having developed his media law expertise under the personal tutelage of Peter Carter-Ruck, Guy has since acquired a special expertise in the law relating to economic sanctions.

Guy has represented and advised many clients who have challenged such sanctions measures before a range of tribunals including the High Court in London, the General Court and the ECJ in Luxembourg as well as before the United Nations Office of the Ombudsperson in New York. Frequently Guy has been able to deploy his media law expertise in the context of his sanctions work.

Guy coordinated the leading case on targeted sanctions, heading successful international efforts by Saudi Arabian businessman and philanthropist Sheikh Yassin Abdullah Kadi since 2001, to overturn asset freezing orders around the world, wrongly imposed in the aftermath of the horrific 11 September attacks.

Guy is also a media litigation and reputation management specialist and his practice has a particular emphasis on copyright, trademarks, breach of confidence and other intellectual property issues arising in a media context.

Guy has written extensively for key publications on Sanctions and International Law issues.  He is highlighted as a leading individual in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

  • Guy is a Band 1 ranked lawyer in Chambers 2024 for Sanctions Law.  He is praised as ‘clearly an expert in his field and being very knowledgeable [and] having ‘great skills in handling sanctions cases’
  • Legal 500 2024 rank guy as a Leading Individual and report he is ‘a renowned specialist in challenges to targeted sanctions’ and ‘his long experience in dealing with EU sanctions can be instrumental to success.’
  • Guy is a Band 1 ranked lawyer in Chambers 2023  for Sanctions Law
  • Chambers 2023 report that ‘Guy has notable expertise in challenging freezing measures and targeted sanctions against individuals’ [and has] ‘extensive experience representing clients in challenges to sanctions measures, both at the domestic and international level’ and ‘often represents clients in challenges to measures imposed by individual governments, as well as the European Union and United Nations’
  • Guy is highlighted as a Leading Individual for Public International Law – Legal 500, 2023 and 2022
  • Legal 500 2023 report that Guy ‘is a hugely experienced partner who has litigated some of the highest profile cases. He is very knowledgeable, and excellent at seeing the bigger picture and looking after clients… he is wise, thorough and knowledgeable, and has a shrewd tactical sense and an outstanding international lawyer. In cases involving sanctions in particular, he has played a pioneering role in the advance of fair procedures in this area.’
  • Legal 500 2022 sources report that Guy is ‘brilliant’ and has ‘impeccable judgement, with an exceptional work ethic and fundamental decency – a powerful combination.‘ They also report ‘he is a clear leader in the field’
  • Global Investigations Review’s Guide to Sanctions (Third Edition) (July 2022)
  • LBC Radio – Amber Heard v Johnny Depp libel verdict:  Guy was interviewed by journalist Rachel Johnson on LBC on the widely reported libel proceedings between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (June 2022)
  • Global Investigations Review’s Guide to Sanctions (Second Edition) (July 2021)
  • Global Investigation Review’s Guide to Sanctions (First Edition) (August 2020).  The Guide is the first of its kind to clearly dissect UN Sanctions in a practical and concise manner
  • Report on the UK implementation of the first autonomous sanctions for human rights abuses (co-written with Charles Enderby Smith and Blackstone Chambers)
  • Chambers 2020 sources report he is ‘extremely intelligent, diligent, responsive and a delight to work with’ and that ‘his practice encompasses a wide range of issues pertaining to public international law, international sanctions and human rights advice’
  • Legal 500 2020 highlights Guy as an Elite Leading Lawyer for Public International Law and ‘peerless in international sanctions work, with a combination of huge experience and excellent client care’. Market sources also report ‘Guy Martin leaves no stone unturned; his combination of legal knowledge, political savviness and client care is second to none’
  • Guy is Highly Commended in the 2018 WorldECR Awards, the leading journal for sanctions and export controls practitioners, in the category ‘Practitioner of the Year’. The magazine, published, reports that Guy’s work ‘is at the forefront of the field of challenges to asset freezing measures, or ‘targeted sanctions’
  • The Legal 500 directory says Guy is ‘wonderful with clients’
  • In the media context, Guy is described by Legal 500 as a ‘star’. Guy has over 20 years’ experience in media law, specifically in copyright, trademarks, breach of confidence/ privacy and other issues arising in a media context as well as general libel and reputation management work
  • Guy is a regular noted speaker at legal conferences he has presented seminars at New York University, University College London, and the International Bar Association. He has written for the Centre for International Legal Studies on Jurisdiction and Dispute Resolution
  • Guy is the lead partner representing His Majesty King Juan Carlos I in the defence of the claim brought against him in the High Court of England and Wales by Corinna Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. In December 2022 the Court of Appeal (King LJ, Simler LJ and Popplewell LJ) delivered judgment upholding His Majesty’s claim to sovereign immunity in respect of allegations made against him by the claimant of conduct pre-dating His abdication of the Spanish throne.  The press release is available here
  • Guy is the lead partner in the high profile and widely publicised sanctions case of the late former Egyptian president of Egypt, Mohamed Hosni Elsayed Mubarak, and members of his family. In December 2020 the highest court in the European Union, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), annulled sanctions imposed on the former President of Egypt and members of his family, ruling that the sanctions were unlawful from the outset. On 1 January 2021 the UK removed the former Egyptian President and his family members from the sanctions list enacted by the UK authorities as a consequence of Brexit, and in March 2021 the EU lifted all remaining sanctions which it had imposed on the Mubarak family. Guy and the team had further success in April 2022 with a judgment of the EU General Court annulling later sanctions which had been imposed on the Mubarak family.  The press releases are available here
  • Guy represented Mr Kadi in his two successful appeals to the ECJ in 2008 and 2013. In its 2008 judgment the ECJ delivered a landmark decision in favour of Mr Kadi and struck down EU asset freezing regulations on the ground they breached Mr Kadi’s fundamental human rights. It was as a result of this judgment that the Office of the Ombudsperson was created by the UN Security Council in December 2009

The ECJ’s judgment in this case, which has become known as Kadi I, has been described by leading academic commentators as ‘the most important judgment ever delivered by the ECJ on the relationship between EC and international law and one of its most important judgments on fundamental rights’

  • Guy advised the prominent film director Taghi Amirani and the pre-eminent film editor Walter Murch (the Godfather I, II and III, Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) concerning their film Coup 53, a historical documentary about the CIA/MI6 sponsored coup in Iran which took place in August 1953. The film has won many awards and it has received numerous accolades which can be viewed here
  • Guy has represented clients from Syria, Tunisia, Burma (Myanmar) and Zimbabwe in the targeted sanctions field. Guy acted for Burmese national Pye Phyo Tay Za both in his action before the General Court, and subsequent successful appeal to the Grand Chamber of the ECJ, which in March 2012 annulled European asset freezing orders applicable to Mr Tay Za
  • In the media context he has acted for Sovereign States, high-ranking dignitaries, leading business people, universities, celebrities, religious leaders, and multi-national corporations
  • Guy is a member of the British Literary and Copyright Association, Chatham House, the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, the American Society for International Law and the European Society for International Law