International Arbitration (Dispute Resolution)

International Arbitration

The relative ease with which arbitral awards can be enforced abroad, particularly when compared with High Court judgments, along with the confidential nature of arbitration proceedings have led to arbitration becoming an increasingly popular option for our clients.

We have cutting-edge experience, acting both as counsel and as arbitrators, involving all of the major arbitral institutions. We have conducted over a dozen investor-state arbitrations before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). We have also conducted many commercial arbitrations, subject to a variety of governing substantive and procedural laws, before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and many other institutions, as well as ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

As a leader in its field, Art Law has a presence in almost every conceivable area of the art market. Our clients - including international collectors, artists, dealers, public and private institutions, art foundations, museums, galleries, trustees, settlors and beneficiaries, governments and auction houses - rely on us for legal, commercial and strategic advice, which is informed by our deep understanding of the complexities of the art market. Arbitration can offer an alternative forum for resolving art disputes than litigation, which for some clients can be attractive. Reputation and discretion are paramount in the art world - the confidential nature of arbitral proceedings provides a means of discreetly resolving disputes, without matters being aired in the public courts and a way of limiting potential reputational damage that can arise not only to the parties but also the underlying artwork(s). At the same time, the flexibility of arbitration (compared to litigation) enables the process to be tailored to the specific dispute, thereby ensuring a more efficient and potentially less costly means of resolution, with the ability also to appoint an arbitrator with appropriate expertise. Given the international nature of the art market and the players operating therein, the fact that arbitral awards are treated in most countries as judgments of their own courts also ensures that enforcement can be more readily effected.

Contact: Amanda Gray

Our Construction team has extensive experience in domestic and international arbitration, and have been involved in numerous domestic arbitrations concerning defective works, extensions of time and loss and expense on a wide range of commercial and residential developments acting for employers and contractors. Our lawyers have also advised developers on a number of international arbitrations arising out of the construction of hotels across the Middle East, as well as on carbon trading disputes.

Contact: Richard Gerstein

As one of few firms acting at the highest level for both LLPs and individual members, the Employment department has significant experience advising on partnership disputes. The flexibility of management and remuneration structures afforded by the private agreements made between LLP members is also frequently a source of dispute. The vast majority of LLP agreements require ultimate resolution of such disputes by way of arbitration, taking advantage of the confidentiality, flexibility and certainty that such a forum affords the LLP. We have particular experience of acting in the arbitration of high stakes restrictive covenant and unlawful competition disputes. We also frequently advise on disputes over valuable and complex remuneration arrangements in LLP agreements, and the rights and obligations as between the LLP and its members.

LLPs and Partnerships and Team Moves and Restrictive Covenant.

Key contact: Jennifer Millins

Mishcon de Reya has a wealth of experience acting on complex and high-value disputes in the energy sector, representing clients across the oil & gas, renewables, and power sectors. We have acted in disputes relating to offshore windfarms, solar projects, and power stations, combining an understanding of the technical issues that arise in large-scale projects with the advocacy experience to best protect our clients' position. In the oil & gas sector, our lawyers have a deep understanding of the business and operations side of the industry. Our expertise extends to disputes across the value chain, encompassing upstream, midstream, and downstream disputes relating to all aspects of the industry, such as PSCs and JOAs, energy services and contracting, offshore construction, oil trading, gas supply contracts, LNG sales contracts, pipeline disputes, royalties, pre-emption rights, accounting issues, and sale and purchase/M&A disputes.

Contact: Alexander Slade

The insurance disputes team is recognised as a market leading team in terms of representing policyholders in insurance arbitration proceedings brought against insurers. The team acts on policy coverage disputes arising under a broad range of policies, including financial lines/D&O, W&I, property damage and business interruption (PDBI), bankers' blanket bond, trade credit, cyber, construction, employment practices, fidelity/crime, fiduciary/PTL, political risk and professional indemnity policies. The team represents international institutional (FTSE 100-350) and high-net worth private clients in ad hoc arbitrations governed by the Arbitration Act 1996, as well as those governed by institutional rules, including the LCIA, ICC, SIAC and ARIAS. Sonia is additionally recognised for her expertise in handling Bermuda Form arbitrations, most often relating to life science/pharma disputes. As well as acting for policyholders in insurance coverage arbitrations, the team has for many years acted in reinsurance disputes, most often for reinsurers denying cover for claims presented by cedant insurers. In 2020, the team was at the forefront of dealing with insurance coverage disputes relating to losses emanating from SARS-CoV-2/the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the only team that successfully intervened in the FCA Test Case, and in parallel handled the Hiscox Action Group arbitration.

Contact: Sonia Campbell

Mishcon de Reya has one of the UK's largest IP practices, acting on all forms of IP disputes including some of the most significant and influential cases of recent years.

Combining the expertise of our IP and arbitration experts, we have acted on several major international arbitrations, across various sectors, including IT disputes, patent disputes in sectors such as telecoms, security and life sciences, copyright, and IP licensing disputes. Our team members also act as expert witnesses in arbitrations.

Examples of recent arbitrations which our IP team has been involved in include:           

  • Acting for the claimant in a claim for breach of contract relating to a software development contract for a state-owned monopoly's telecoms provider (LCIA, London seat, sole arbitrator);
  • Representing the claimant software developer in a copyright infringement dispute with its licensee, a major Far East bank (UNCITRAL, three arbitrator panel);
  • Acting for a founder of a hologram protection technology business concerning shareholder rights and licensing arrangements (LCIA, London seat, sole arbitrator);
  • Acting for a Spanish distributor in relation to royalty payments, audit rights and exploitation of licensing arrangements concerning catalogue of Hollywood films (IFTA, London seat, sole arbitrator);
  • Acting for an entertainment client concerning an alleged IP infringement at a major music awards ceremony (LCIA, London seat, 3 arbitrator panel);
  • Advising FTSE-100 company on a contractual dispute concerning provision of three vessels raising issues of communications and technology, as well as legal issues of acceptance, testing and delivery (ICC, London seat, 3 arbitrator panel);
  • Advising leading insurer concerning coverage following network outage of national mobile telecommunication network, raising technology issues concerning IT infrastructure (LCIA, London seat, 3 arbitrator panel).

Contact: Peter Nunn

Investor-State arbitration and public international law are specialised and dynamic areas of legal practice. When foreign direct investments go wrong, the issues involved are often political in nature and raise questions as to the rule of law, the level of protection available to foreign investments, the right of the state to regulate, and complex points of public international law. We have acted in almost 20 investment treaty arbitrations across a number of sectors, particularly the energy sector, and have advised on investment treaty rights and public international law matters in numerous other circumstances. We have the knowledge and expertise to navigate clients through complex issues and to achieve successful results for our clients, whether in pre-arbitration negotiations or, if not, through the arbitral process, annulment/set-aside applications, and enforcement actions.

Contact: Alexander Slade

Our multidisciplinary Sports Group has acted on some of the most highest profile sporting matters in recent years, representing professional boxers, esports players, football clubs, governing bodies and agents. They have acted in a number of sports arbitrations including proceedings before FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Before the CAS, they successfully defended a former Vice President of the IAAF against disciplinary charges, which included the first case on infringing the autonomy of sport.

Contact: Tom Murray

We work on matters for parties all over the world. We have particular expertise in disputes in Africa and Asia/South Asia, but also in other regions including Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS, the Middle East and the Caribbean. By way of example, we have represented clients in arbitrations seated in London, Paris, New York, Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New Delhi, Jakarta, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Johannesburg, and many other places, working with local counsel where appropriate.

Our work spans a range of sectors, including energy, mining, construction and engineering, banking and finance, commodities, telecommunications, shipping, real estate and life sciences.  Our lawyers are experienced in arbitration-related English High Court litigation and proceedings before other state courts, including injunction applications, investigatory and discovery efforts, and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Privacy Notice

The protection of your personal data is of great importance to us. We therefore process your data only in accordance with legal provisions (GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018).

Mishcon de Reya LLP is proud to be a signatory to the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge. In order to comply with our commitments set out in the pledge, we record gender statistics for arbitrators recommended to clients, nominated and appointed in arbitrations in which this firm is instructed. Anonymised gender statistics may be made publicly available.

Further, Mishcon de Reya LLP processes the data of such arbitrators in connection with is provision of legal services. The information we routinely collect from arbitrators in connection with those services is their names and professional contact details. We store those details to track the number and type of arbitrations in which arbitrators are involved in matters involving this firm in order to pursue the legitimate interests of the firm and clients involved in arbitrations in which we are instructed.

We may store arbitrator data for such duration as is necessary for the fulfilment of these purposes or for the compliance with statutory retention obligations.

All data subjects whose personal data we process have the right to request from us access to and rectification or erasure of personal data, or the restriction of processing concerning them, or to object to our processing of the data, as well as the right to data portability. Additionally, data subjects have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office about our processing of their personal data.

You can reach us at the following contacts: Mishcon de Reya LLP, Africa House, 72 Kingsway, London WC2B 6AH T +44 20 3321 7000.

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