Melis Acuner 

Partner – London
T.+44 (0) 20 7170 8575
100 Bishopsgate
London EC2N 4AG, UK
United Kingdom V-CARD

Melis Acuner has extensive experience advising clients in high-profile cross-border disputes, criminal and civil investigations and regulatory matters. Melis focuses on international arbitration and litigation, including complex multijurisdictional disputes involving multiple parallel proceedings.

From 2016-2020, Melis has been named a Future Leader in arbitration by Who’s Who Legal. WWL reports that Melis is identified by peers for her "excellent leadership skills, strategic judgement and ability to manage complex international arbitrations." The publication also quotes sources who state Melis “gets things done and always delivers” and “is able to withstand very considerable pressure while maintaining composure and good humour, and can tell it like it is while retaining the clients’ trust and confidence.” Melis is also featured in The Legal 500’s 2019 “International Arbitration Powerlist UK.”

Melis is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR of the International Chamber of Commerce, and has acted in numerous international commercial arbitrations conducted in English and/or French under the auspices of leading international arbitral institutions.

Melis also has experience defending government inquiries and conducting internal investigations related to anti-corruption, money laundering and fraud. She has conducted reviews of corporate compliance provisions and structures, and advised on the improvement of these structures and related policies and procedures designed to prevent and detect potential violations of law. Melis has acted for corporations, individuals and governments across a range of industry sectors, including oil and gas, energy, telecommunications, consumer goods, media, construction, banking and finance, insurance and pharmaceuticals.

Melis is also a board member of the Turkish British Lawyers Association and regularly speaks and writes on international arbitration and investment treaty law. Prior to joining Cadwalader, she was a European Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. She is a native speaker of English, French and Turkish and also speaks Spanish fluently.



Melis's recent cross-border disputes work includes representing, among others:

  • a Middle Eastern oil and gas company in multibillion dollar LCIA arbitrations;
  • United Capital Partners Group on parallel arbitration and multijurisdictional litigation proceedings relating to interests in VKontakte, Russia’s largest social online networking service. The matter was settled in September 2014 following the US$1.47 billion sale of a stake in VK.Com Limited to Mail.Ru Group Limited;
  • an Eastern European company in connection with a dispute in excess of €1 billion arising out of its shareholding in a telecoms company in the Middle East;
  • an international investment bank in connection with the subprime crisis involving high-value, multijurisdictional proceedings in the U.S. and UK;
  • a European investment bank in relation to claims for portfolio losses arising out of an investment management agreement with a Cyprus entity;
  • an Eastern European company in connection with a multibillion dispute under the Energy Charter Treaty;
  • an international hedge fund in connection with a dispute arising out of an investment management agreement subject to LCIA arbitration with a seat in London;
  • a Spanish and Dutch company faced with the nationalization of its Venezuelan subsidiary subject to arbitration under the ICSID rules; and
  • a telecommunications company in connection with a dispute subject to ICC arbitration with the seat in Geneva.

*Several of the above representations were handled by Melis prior to joining Cadwalader.



Melis Acuner 


  • England & Wales
  • Paris


  • Robert Schuman University and London School of Economics
  • Pantheon Assas, Paris 2
    Postgraduate Diploma in Law


To assist individuals in working from home during the coronavirus social-distancing period, Cadwalader is providing clients and friends free access to our legal research platform, the Cadwalader Cabinet.