David A R Williams QC is a member of the New Zealand, Australian and English bars and an honorary bencher at Lincoln’s Inn London. He is a graduate of the University of Auckland (LLB 1965) and Harvard University (LLM 1966). His career has encompassed practice as a commercial barrister before the New Zealand courts and the Privy Council, judicial service in several jurisdictions, and extensive involvement in international arbitration.
David was a litigation partner in the leading Auckland law firm Russell McVeagh from 1969 to 1985. He practised at the New Zealand Bar as a Queen’s Counsel from 1985 to 1991. From 1992 to 1994, he was a judge of the High Court of New Zealand. He has served as a part-time justice in the Cook Islands for 15 years and is presently the president of the Court of Appeal of the Cook Islands. From 2007–2013 he served part-time as a judge of the Court of the Dubai International Financial Centre.
David is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the former president of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand. He has served as a member of the board of the American Arbitration Association, the ICC International Court of Arbitration and the London Court of International Arbitration, and he currently serves as a member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA).
David has developed a global international arbitration practice through which he has been involved, as either counsel or arbitrator, in over 130 international arbitrations. He has extensive experience as an international arbitrator in ad hoc, ICC, LCIA, AAA, and SIAC arbitrations in disputes involving oil and gas concessions, commodities pricing, joint ventures, licensing disputes, reinsurance, political risk insurance, power and infrastructure projects, construction, commercial contracts, and pharmaceutical industry disputes. Mr Williams has also conducted numerous investment treaty arbitrations under both the ICSID Arbitration Rules and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. In addition, Mr Williams has sat on many sports arbitration panels under the auspices of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In 2010 he was appointed an honorary professor at the University of Auckland Law School where he has been a part-time lecturer at various times since 1967 teaching arbitration and other subjects. In 2016 he received a Distinguished Graduate Award at that law school. Together with Amokura Kawharu, Mr Williams is co-author of Williams and Kawharu on Arbitration (LexisNexis, 2011), New Zealand’s first comprehensive treatise on domestic and international arbitration which was awarded the LexisNexis Prize for 2012 for the best law book published in New Zealand in 2011. He has also contributed chapters to other works, including Muchlinski, Ortino and Schreuer (eds) The Oxford Handbook of International Investment Law (OUP, 2008); Brown and Miles (eds) Evolution in Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration (Cambridge UP, 2011); Pryles and Moser (eds) The Asian Leading Arbitrators’ Guide to International Arbitration (JurisNet, 2007); Rowley (ed) Arbitration World (The European Lawyer, 2006 and 2010); Newman and Ong (eds) Interim Measures in International Arbitration (Juris Publishing, 2014); and Caron et al Charles Brower: Liber Amicorum. For some years, he was the joint arbitration editor of the New Zealand Law Review. He is a life member of the NZ Legal Research Foundation.
David is currently a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand (past president/fellow), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (fellow and chartered arbitrator), Court of Arbitration for Sport (panel of arbitrators), International Council on Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) (council member), International Bar Association (former chair of the sub-committee on investment treaty arbitration), and International Law Association (member of committee on international commercial arbitration and international law of foreign investment).
Also at Bankside Chambers, Singapore:
Room 02-08, Second Floor
32 Maxwell Road
Tel: +65 6222 9279
Fax: +65 6339 3931
And at Essex Court Chambers:
24 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London WC2A 3EG
Tel: +44 20 7813 8000
Fax: +44 20 7813 8080
WWL says: David Williams QC is "always in demand and very frequently appointed, and this is due to his first-class abilities as an arbitrator."
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.