DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Essex Court Chambers

Arbitration (International)

17 ranked barristersBand 1Global Market LeadersGlobal 2021 View ranking table

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Essex Court Chambers has long enjoyed a reputation as the go-to set for international arbitration. Its barristers are consistently recognised for their truly international practices, receiving instructions from the Middle East, Europe and Africa and acting in some of the most significant and high-value disputes. Members offer unrivalled expertise across an impressive breadth of sectors, and have particular prowess in energy and insurance and reinsurance disputes. Barristers at Essex Court Chambers are regularly called upon to handle complex proceedings and cases involving foreign law under all major institutional rules.

Client service:

"Senior clerk Joe Ferrigno is really excellent and very commercially minded." "The chambers is very well clerked, very professional, easy to deal with and very commercial."

Strengths:

Angeline Welsh
Possesses a wide international arbitration practice, covering a range of commercial claims, including those concerning investment treaties and the banking, technology and construction sectors. She is especially sought after for her expertise in handling disputes arising in emerging markets and in court proceedings related to arbitrations, such as enforcement of arbitral awards and anti-suit injunctions.
"One of the leading arbitration-focused juniors at the Bar." "She has incredible knowledge and is an incredibly easy to person to get along with."

Strengths:

Anton Dudnikov
Regularly instructed as sole counsel on various disputes by enviable clients such as state governments and high-profile individuals. Born in Russia, he draws on his ability to speak Russian and his experience of Russian culture to deal with arbitral disputes arising from the CIS. He also often works on prominent and high-value cases arising in the Middle East and Central Asia.
"He is incredibly sharp, works really well and ensures trust with the client. He's very commercially minded and determines strategy quickly." "Excellent on the technical details and a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Instructed in an urgent application which related to an LCIA arbitration, seeking to halt proceedings taking place in the far east of Russia.

Strengths:

Damien Walker
Has an arbitration practice that covers truly international commercial disputes, many of which give rise to issues of conflicts of law. He is experienced at handling proceedings governed by the majority of leading institutional rules. He also takes part in investment treaty applications, and offers expertise handling disputes under Sections 67, 68 and 69 of the International Arbitration Act 1996.
"He has a prodigious work ethic and gets on top of the details very quickly."
Recent work: Acted for Ensco regarding an application filed by Samsung under Section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 concerning a USD180 million arbitration award.

Strengths:

David Joseph QC
Comes highly recommended for his broad commercial international arbitration practice which covers a wide array of industries including the energy, telecommunications, construction, insurance, shipping and aerospace sectors. He regularly acts as counsel in high-stakes arbitration enforcement cases. He has extensive experience in BIT arbitrations.
"He's a very strong technical lawyer, a very charming advocate and a smooth operator. He engages the tribunal in a very effective way."
Recent work: Acted for Dryships as claimant in two conjoined arbitrations and in a subsequent appeal in the Commercial Court.

Strengths:

Emily Wood
Concentrates her practice on high-value, complex international commercial arbitration and has particular expertise in handling challenges to arbitral awards. She has substantial experience of arbitrations conducted under ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ICSID rules. In addition to her work as counsel she also takes sole arbitrator appointments.
"Super impressive. Strategically incredible, navigates novel jurisdictional issues, gives clear and concise guidance and is incredibly easy to work with." "A superstar."
Recent work: Represented MatlinPatterson, a New York private equity company, in the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands to resist an appeal against the decision to refuse to recognise an USD80 million arbitral award made under the New York Convention on the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards.

Strengths:

Graham Dunning QC
Has longstanding experience of appearing before courts and arbitration panels domestically and abroad. He often represents states and state entities in investment treaty claims, and exhibits strong expertise acting in large oil and gas disputes. He has been involved in arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, the LCIA and UNCITRAL, and those brought under the Energy Charter Treaty.
"Has a really wonderful strategic sense and is spot on the trends." "Really gets to grips with the key issues and determines a strategy very well."

Strengths:

Iain Quirk QC
Respected for providing robust representation in international arbitrations under the remit of the ICC, and has acted in a number of Section 68 applications. His international arbitration experience covers a wide array of industries, and he regularly handles matters concerning the oil and gas and construction sectors. He has particular interest in arbitration-related court applications such as injunctions and award challenges.
"Really astute and clever. He makes himself available, takes a commercial approach and understands the client's needs." "A go-to barrister for international arbitration. He is deeply knowledgeable and experienced."

Strengths:

James Collins QC
Noted for an international arbitration practice focusing on representing clients, including high-profile and foreign corporations, before domestic and international tribunals. He is particularly strong on insurance, financial transaction and international trade disputes. He has appeared in court in London as well as the British Virgin Islands.
"A very professional operator who conducts himself wonderfully."

Strengths:

James Willan QC
Provides robust representation when handling international arbitrations governed by LCIA rules. He is also well versed in oil rig disputes under SCMA and LMAA rules. He is also experienced in arbitration-related commercial court proceedings for interim relief including freezing orders.
"James's ability to encompass detail, his technical ability and case law knowledge is nothing short of astonishing." "Absolutely exceptional and super bright."
Recent work: Acted for Vale to oppose multiple challenges to an LCIA award in the client's favour for over USD1.5 billion arising out of a mining joint venture in Guinea.

Strengths:

Joe Smouha QC
Widely considered one of the strongest practitioners at the International Arbitration Bar due to his extensive experience in handling notable commercial disputes under a number of prominent arbitral institutions including the ICC and LCIA. He also takes appointments as a commercial arbitrator. His advocacy experience includes court appearances in the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
"Excellent on his feet, extremely good on strategy, very collaborative and works well with clients." "Very good at disputes and finding ways forward. He is decisive, strong and clear."
Recent work: Acted for infrastructure group OHL International in a challenge to an ICC award worth over USD1.6 billion before the Commercial Court, in relation to the construction of a hospital in Qatar.

Strengths:

Paul Key QC
Specialises in international arbitrations arising in a variety of sectors including oil and gas, shipping, foreign investments and telecommunications. He has an impressive track record of representing large corporate clients in high-profile cases, as well as high net worth individuals and government organisations. He has recently acted in challenges to arbitration awards.
"A tenacious advocate."
Recent work: Successfully represented Lansha and Shanda Games in a series of parallel arbitrations involving the rights to a popular online computer game in Asia.

Strengths:

Philippa Hopkins QC
Well versed in acting in a broad range of domestic and international arbitrations, demonstrating expertise across a number of industry sectors, including construction, shipping and pharmaceuticals. She regularly accepts appointments as arbitrator, and offers advocacy under the auspices of the LCIA, ICC and LMAA.
"An absolutely brilliant performer. She's clear, tough, effective, and her cross-examination is first class."

Strengths:

Richard Millett QC
Highly regarded for his handling of high-value international arbitrations for financial clients, significant individuals and international corporations. He handles institutional and ad hoc arbitrations and frequently appears in offshore jurisdictions. He is experienced in energy disputes and investment arbitrations.
"He is very intellectual, incisive and a formidable advocate." "A great team player, very dynamic and able to deal with a difficult tribunal."

Strengths:

Ricky Diwan QC
Highly regarded for his international arbitration practice, which concentrates on commercial and investment issues. He has significant experience of arguing cases under a variety of laws and regulations and representing clients before national and international arbitral tribunals. He is noted for having helped to draft the Mauritian International Arbitration Act 2008.
"He's a very strong advocate, extremely bright and completely straightforward." "He glues the attention of the court in a very understated and efficient manner."
Recent work: Resisted the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award under the New York Convention. The case raised jurisdictional questions under Article V of the New York Convention.

Strengths:

Salim Moollan QC
Operates a busy practice taking in investor-state disputes at a high level as well as straight commercial arbitrations. He also draws on his experience as former chair and current vice-chair of UNCITRAL and is a member of numerous other panels. He has particular expertise in energy and telecoms cases.
"He is able to build a real strategy for the whole case and adjust it in view of emerging circumstances without losing focus and ultimate targets."
Recent work: Lead counsel for Betamax, the owner of a tanker, in an appeal before the Privy Council concerning the decision to annul a USD120 million arbitral award.

Strengths:

Siddharth Dhar
Highly distinguished junior who is frequently instructed as lead counsel in cases very rarely seen being undertaken by a barrister of his call. He has established himself as a go-to name for energy sector and investment treaty arbitrations. He has acted in billion-dollar arbitral disputes under the auspices of various institutions including ICC, ICSID and the LCIA. He counts several sovereign states among his clients.
"Very impressive, measured and a very fair opponent." "Very bright, extremely diligent and very user-friendly."
Recent work: Acted for Process & Industrial Developments in its efforts to enforce a USD9.5 billion arbitration award against Nigeria.

Strengths:

Steven Berry QC
Provides solid representation in international arbitration disputes concerning matters of commodities, shipping and insurance and reinsurance. He is experienced in appearing before tribunals governed by the rules of the LMAA, SIAC, the LCIA and the ICC.
"Superb. A fantastic barrister and he holds his own on his feet."

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Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

Global Market Leaders

International Arbitration - The English Bar


David Joseph QC
Band 2
Graham Dunning QC
Band 2
Iain Quirk QC
New Silks
James Collins QC
Band 4
James Willan QC
New Silks
Joe Smouha QC
Band 1