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International Arbitration

International arbitration is the leading method for resolving cross-border disputes in a neutral forum, often offering businesses greater confidentiality, flexibility, finality and enforceability than traditional court litigation.

Our barristers have wide experience of acting as advocates in arbitrations conducted under all of the major institutional rules, including the ICC, LCIA, ICDR, SCC, SIAC, HKIAC, CIETAC, and ICSID rules, as well as other major arbitral rules such as UNCITRAL. Our barristers also act in court litigation ancillary to arbitration, such as disputes about the validity of arbitration agreements, claims for pre-arbitration injunctive relief, and challenges to and the enforcement of arbitral awards.  We have experience of arbitrations involving parties from a wide range of industry sectors, including energy, mining, oil & gas, banking & financial services, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, commodities, international investment, and projects & construction.

Several of our barristers and Associate Members also regularly sit as arbitrators, including Sir William Blackburne (formerly a judge of the English High Court), Simon Nesbitt QC (formerly co-head of international arbitration at Hogan Lovells), and Paul Klaas (formerly chair of Dorsey & Whitney’s international disputes practice).

Examples of our work in the field of international arbitration include:

  • An LCIA arbitration seated in London between two Nigerian companies involving claims for payment under a Sale & Purchase Agreement and related Guarantees for two deep offshore oil mining leases in Nigeria, and counterclaims relating to management of the relevant oilfields
  • An LCIA arbitration seated in Dubai under the Rules of the Dubai International Financial Centre concerning investment banking fees and margin calls on derivatives
  • An ICSID arbitration seated in Washington, DC, concerning copper mining investments
  • Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. v OJSC Rosneft Oil Company.  Part of the long running Yukos affair, claims to enforce arbitral awards worth nearly half a billion dollars which had been set aside by the Russian courts
  • An  ICC arbitration seated in Bucharest between German and Austrian construction companies on the one hand, and a Romanian state agency on the other, regarding claims arising under an agreement for the rehabilitation of highway bridges
  • A Swiss Rules arbitration seated in Zurich between a German chemical manufacturer and a US chemical manufacturer involving a trade secrets/licensing dispute concerning chemical coatings for containers
  • IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd v Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.  An application to enforce in England a Nigerian arbitral award worth over $150m
  • An LCIA arbitration seated in London between a Dutch company and a Tanzanian company involving claims for breach of an exclusivity agreement governed by Dutch and English law and concerning the acquisition of a Tanzanian company
  • An ICC arbitration seated in Paris between a French electronics manufacturer and a US airline involving a dispute over the manufacture of aircraft simulators
  • JSC Zestafoni G Nikoladze Ferralloy Plant v Ronly Holdings Ltd.  An arbitration claim in the Commercial Court challenging an Award relating to contracts for supply and manufacture of ferroalloys at a plant in Georgia under ss. 67 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996
  • An ICDR arbitration seated in New York between a Japanese food processing company and British, US and German food processing companies concerning corporate control issues between formerly related corporations
  • An ad hoc arbitration seated in London under the UNCITRAL Rules between the local subsidiaries of two major oil companies, relating to back-in rights arising under a joint operating agreement for the exploitation of an oilfield in the South China Sea
  • An ICDR arbitration seated in New York between a North American distributor and an Australian winery owner involving a dispute concerning North American distribution rights of fine wines
  • An LCIA arbitration seated in London between an Australian coal mining company and an Indian steel manufacturer involving an $80 million contract claim

We also do domestic arbitrations in, for example, Real Estate. As well as acting as advocates in litigation, we are also very familiar with acting and advising in expert determinations and arbitration and as a legal advisor to an arbitrator or expert.

In real estate disputes, expert determinations and arbitrations typically, although not exclusively, arise in the context of rent reviews.  We are well used to dealing with these forms of dispute resolution in this context where the more traditional arbitral bodies’ rules do not apply and the arbitrator relies on the lease and the Arbitration Act for guidance.

Download our International Arbitration Brochure:

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CIArb’s New Guidelines: Safe Ports for Arbitral Storms III

7 June 2018

Members and non-members of the Institute came together on 26 April 2018 for an informative panel discussion on the new Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ Guidelines which offer international arbitration practitioners an authoritative guide for dealing with the challenging scenarios that often arise in practice.

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L-R: Paul Klaas FCIArb, Tim Hardy FCIArb, Simon Nesbitt QC

Kindly hosted by Maitland Chambers, the three-arbitrator discussion panel consisting of Paul Klaas FCIArb (captain arbitrator), Simon Nesbitt QC, FCIArb (barrister arbitrator) and chaired by Tim Hardy FCIArb (CIArb dignitary arbitrator) began with a welcome for all participants.

Simon Nesbitt QC started with a brief introduction of himself, his role in the former events focussing on of the CIArb International Arbitration Practise Guidelines and an explanation of the evening’s format and ‘illustrative scenario’ which was based upon a real case.

Tim Hardy discusses the guidelines in further detail, divulging specifically what went into the formulation, the team’s thought processes and overview of each specific guideline such as ‘Jurisdiction and Challenges’, ‘Managing Arbitrations and Procedural Orders’, ‘Documents-Only Arbitration’ and ‘Drafting Arbitral Awards: ‘General’, ‘Interest and Costs’.

Tim ends with a charming analogy of some satisfying feedback he had received for the existing guidelines, from his son, who relied upon them while practising in Singapore.

The evening then moved onto the actual scenario which concerned a GPS malfunction that allegedly grounded a crew-ship called ‘Royal Majesty’.

The unfortunate event took place within the area of Erewhon (which is explained to be an anagram of ‘nowhere’), the relevance of which was to ensure participants and those privy would not rely on their specific jurisdictional background, promoting them to use their intrinsic sense of right or wrong, which ultimately showed that the CIArb Guidelines are intended to be applied internationally.