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Simon Nesbitt QC

Call 2015
Silk 2015

snesbitt@maitlandchambers.com

Simon Nesbitt QC practises exclusively in the field of international arbitration, both accepting appointments to sit as arbitrator, and appearing as counsel to parties involved in arbitrations.  He has experience of numerous international arbitrations under all of the major institutional rules including the ICC, LCIA, SIAC, SCC, HKIAC and ICSID rules, as well as ad hoc arbitrations, most often under the UNCITRAL rules, involving parties from a wide range of industry sectors including:

  • energy, mining, oil and gas
  • banking and financial services
  • food and beverage
  • pharmaceutical
  • commodities
  • international investment
  • projects and construction

Before joining Maitland Chambers, Simon was Global Co-Head of International Arbitration at the leading worldwide law firm Hogan Lovells.  He originally qualified as a Solicitor in England in 1994.  In 1997, he successfully sat for the Paris Bar Exams and was admitted as an Avocat à la Cour.  In 2015, he was one of only five solicitors to be appointed Queen’s Counsel.  He moved to Maitland later that same year, becoming a Barrister and Member of Lincoln’s Inn.  He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Experience

Simon’s recent experience as Arbitrator includes the following:

  • Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration seated in London between an Italian manufacturer of pharmaceutical equipment and its Indian distributor for breach of a distribution agreement governed by Italian law.
  • Chairman in an LCIA arbitration seated in London of claims by a Russian bank against a consortium of international investors under a shareholders agreement, seeking transfer to the claimant of valuable shares in a Russian energy company, by way of enforcement of security for various loans.
  • Chairman in an ICC arbitration seated in Vienna of claims arising under a share sale agreement between US claimants and a Polish respondent, relating to the purchase of shares in a Romanian bank.
  • Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration seated in Bucharest of claims brought by German and Austrian construction companies against a government agency responsible for administration and maintenance of the public rail infrastructure, arising under a contract for the rehabilitation of 41 railway bridges.
  • Co-arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration seated in London of claims by Austrian and Maltese banks under a subordinated loan agreement, including an anti-suit injunction application by the claimants to restrain one of the respondents from pursuing proceedings in a foreign court in breach of the arbitration agreement.
  • Sole arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration seated in London of claims brought by a Pakistani power company under a Power Purchase Agreement against a state-owned entity and the Pakistani government, concerning the operation of an electricity power generation plant.
  • Co-arbitrator in an ICC arbitration seated in London, concerning claims arising under a services agreement entered into between an Australian claimant and Mozambique respondent.
  • Sole arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration seated in London between a Spanish bank and a UK-based asset management company, concerning claims for alleged breach of warranties and negligent misrepresentation in connection with a share subscription agreement.
  • Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration seated in Bucharest between two offshore companies concerning a dispute over the ownership of real estate in Romania.
  • Sole arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration seated in London of claims under two Airbus aircraft leasing agreements between two offshore claimants and a West African airline for damages for unpaid rental, loss of income and breach of aircraft maintenance obligations.

Simon’s experience as Counsel in international arbitrations includes the following major cases:

  • An LCIA arbitration in London on behalf of the Nigerian subsidiary of an Italian oil major claiming US$200 million in respect of the sale of oil mining interests and defending counterclaims of US$500 million relating to deep offshore oil well drilling, completion, production and shut-off activities.
  • An ICC-rules arbitration, administered by SIAC in Singapore, between power company Alstom against PRC company Insigma Technology, resulting in a US$27 million award for misuse of a pollution control technology used in the construction of coal-fired power plants.
  • An ad hoc arbitration between the Nigerian subsidiaries of US and Norwegian international oil companies and a state oil company, in a US$2 billion claim for damages for breach of the terms of an off-shore production sharing contract.
  • An ICC arbitration in Geneva between a Hungarian oil and gas company and an Austrian oil and gas company, involving claims by the purchaser for breach of tax warranties under an agreement for the purchase of shares in an aviation fuel business.
  • A US$6 billion ad hoc arbitration between a privately-held UAE oil and gas company and a Middle Eastern state oil company in a claim for damages for failure to perform a long-term gas supply contract.
  • A US$75 million ICC arbitration between the Gabonese subsidiary of a major international oil and gas group and a major customer, arising out of alleged breaches of a pipeline transportation and purchasing agreement.
  • An LCIA arbitration in London concerning a $1 billion joint venture dispute between three Ukrainian businessmen relating to the ferroalloys industry in the Ukraine.
  • An ICC arbitration in Paris between two Channel Islands investment funds and an international hotel group under a "strategic partnering agreement" governed by French law relating to a sale and leaseback transaction. The tribunal was mandated to decide as amiables compositeurs.
  • A US$800 million ad hoc arbitration under Nigerian law, seated in Nigeria, between a major international oil company against a Nigerian state entity, relating to a costs allocation and cargo lifting dispute under a Production Sharing Contract.
  • An ICC arbitration between two major international brewing groups relating to their respective interests in Kenya, arising out of breach of a joint venture agreement, and advising on related proceedings in Uganda.
  • An ICC arbitration between a major Italian foodstuffs producer and a Hong Kong counterparty, arising under a manufacturing and distribution contract dispute in connection with a substantial investment in Ghana.
  • An ad hoc arbitration under the 1976 UNCITRAL Rules between a US oil company and the Chinese subsidiary of an international oil company concerning claims for breach of a Joint Operating Agreement relating to the former's right to back in to a sole risk exploration project.
  • Obtaining pre-arbitral court injunctions for international brewer SABMiller against East African Breweries Limited to prevent acquisition of a rival brewery in Tanzania in breach of a joint venture, and representing SABMiller in a subsequent ICC arbitration in London.

Languages

French (fluent)
Italian (fluent)

Appointments

Queen’s Counsel
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Qualifications

MA Hons (First Class) Pembroke College, Oxford
Law Society Final Examinations, College of Law, York
Paris Bar Examinations, Ecole Nationale des Barreaux, Paris

Selected Publications

  • The 2014 LCIA Rules: a commentary, ed. Prof Loukas Mistelis, Kluwer
  • International Arbitration: bestriding the narrow world, PLC Magazine
  • The Status and Operation of Unilateral or Optional Arbitration Clauses in 22(1) Arbitration International 133
  • International Arbitration: A Handbook, ed. Prof Phillip Capper (contributing author)
  • What to do with a reluctant witness, The European Lawyer
  • Le contentieux et ses modes de résolution, Guide des affaires en Grande-Bretagne (French Chamber of Commerce)
  • International Arbitration: achieving uniformity on the global stage, In Brief
Testimonials

Chambers Global, 2015

Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration – UK

“A "meticulous and measured" arbitration specialist with particular expertise in the energy space. His recent clients include an international oil entity in East Africa and a major beverages company in Asia.”

Chambers Global, 2015

Dispute Resolution – Africa-wide

“Simon Nesbitt … is an esteemed international arbitration specialist. He is noted for his work in Nigeria and in the oil and gas sector. "He's tough, hard-working and very clever," said one source.”

Chambers UK, 2014

International Arbitration

"Much of Simon Nesbitt's practice over the last year has centred on disputes arising in Asia and Africa. He is commended for his breadth of sector expertise, having handled arbitrations in relation to oil and gas, banking and financial services, commodities trading, pharmaceutical and telecoms issues." It also praises his “client-friendly, practical approach and energetic, humorous style”.

Chambers UK, 2014

International Arbitration

“The "excellent" Simon Nesbitt is praised for his advocacy skills. He recently acted on a number of complex proceedings in the energy sector, and has been praised for his approach. Grateful clients say he is "remarkable" and can "take a calculated risk and goes in exactly as far he should go, but not a step more."

Chambers UK, 2013

International Arbitration

“Sources comment that "it is an absolute pleasure working with Simon" due to his dedication to client service; and peers say he is "terrific – charming yet deadly."”

Legal 500, 2010

International Arbitration

"Particularly talented" and "a superb advocate: steady, convincing, always alert to every nuance, exceptionally good on both paper and on his feet".