Anthony Sinclair
Office:
90 High Holborn
WC1V 6LJ
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 20 7653 2000

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Anthony’s work centres upon the oil and gas, energy and mining, telecommunications, infrastructure and utilities sectors in particular, and especially in emerging markets. He has been counsel and arbitrator in cases touching upon dozens of jurisdictions, with a substantial body of experience focusing on Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia and the former CIS. Many of Anthony’s cases involve disputes arising out of long-term contracts between sovereigns and foreign investors. He represents both investors and states. Anthony is co-author of the second edition of The ICSID Convention: A Commentary (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and is presently working, with others, on the third edition. He has published more than 50 law review articles and chapters in the field of international investment law and international arbitration. 

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE

I obtained law and political science degrees from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and an LLM and a PhD in public international law from the University of Cambridge, England, where I was supervised by Judge James Crawford, as he is now. I was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand in 1999, where I worked at the top-tier New Zealand law firm, Chapman Tripp; in 2004, I joined Allen & Overy LLP, and was admitted as a solicitor in England in 2006. I spent eight years in the arbitration group of Allen & Overy LLP, where I became a partner in 2011. I joined Quinn Emanuel in 2012.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION?

I was born in Switzerland, raised in New Zealand, am married to a Russian, and have two British kids, two Siamese cats, two Irish horses and a German Shepherd. I guess, similarly, I love the diversity and global experiences a career in international arbitration offers. Intellectually, I enjoy exploring the intersections of public and private rights, politics and law, that complex cross-border disputes present.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT QUINN EMANUEL THAT MAKES IT STAND OUT FROM ITS COMPETITORS IN THE MARKET?

Quinn Emanuel is a brand, a platform and above all, a business that attracts and motivates individuals who love to litigate disputes. It has few of the constraints and politics of more embellished organisations. Quinn Emanuel lawyers project a genuine passion for the law, for arguing cases, and for winning, and clients instantly pick up on this. There is a sense of joy and pride in the successes of colleagues, whose skills and insight never fail to inspire me.

WHAT DO CLIENTS LOOK FOR IN AN EFFECTIVE COUNSEL?

An effective counsel has the ability to instil in the decision-maker both an intuitive understanding of the rights and wrongs of the dispute, but also the clarity of thought and word to convey a roadmap to a decision. The best I have known have been collaborative and inclusive, receptive to all ideas, big or small. In the hearing room, effective counsel avoids empty gestures, but helps the arbitrators to understand and see the dispute in a certain way.

WHAT IMPACT, IF ANY, WILL THE UK’S EXIT FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION HAVE ON LONDON’S REPUTATION AS A LEADING SEAT FOR INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION?

Brexit will present both challenges and opportunities for international arbitration in London. The challenges most likely will be ones of perception, namely that English judgments on arbitration-related matters will be less readily recognised and enforced in EU member states. It is difficult to imagine that a solution for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments will not be found in the course of the exit negotiations. Opportunities may arise, however, in investment treaty disputes in particular, in the event arbitral proceedings and awards under UK investment treaties become unconstrained by EU political and legal agendas.

WHY HAS THE ICSID CONVENTION BEEN ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AND ENDURING TREATIES IN THE FIELD OF ARBITRATION?

The ICSID Convention created a facility for the depoliticised, and judicial, resolution of disputes between states and foreign investors. The need for such a facility is as great today – perhaps greater – than at the time of its inception. Its success flows in large part from its place within the World Bank group, and the status and acceptability it thereby enjoys.

WHAT IN YOUR OPINION IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION WILL FACE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

The greatest attraction of international arbitration is the greater enforceability of arbitral awards globally. The biggest challenge is to maintain this advantage in the eyes of business – namely, that international arbitration delivers a more secure, more reliable form of justice for parties, less susceptible to corruption, bias and delay than the courts of many countries.

YOU ARE ENJOYING A GREAT CAREER AS BOTH COUNSEL AND ARBITRATOR. WHAT WOULD YOU STILL LIKE TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR WORK IN THE FIELD?

I hope in some small way my work contributes to preserving the respect for and acceptability of international arbitration as a means of resolving cross-border disputes. 

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Dr Anthony Sinclair qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand in 1999 and as an English solicitor in 2006. He specialises in international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and public international law. His work spans a range of industry sectors, with particular focus on the oil and gas, energy and mining, telecommunications, infrastructure and utilities sectors, especially in emerging markets, as counsel and arbitrator. His experience includes handling disputes under ICC, LCIA, ICSID and UNCITRAL arbitration rules arising out of concession agreements, licences, production sharing and operating agreements, joint ventures, EPC and other construction agreements, host government and inter-governmental agreements, management and service agreements, distributorships, finance agreements and post-M&A matters. Anthony also has extensive experience as counsel for both investors and states handling disputes under bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), and in several ICSID annulment proceedings. He has advised states on the negotiation and drafting of treaties, headquarters agreements and intergovernmental agreements.

Anthony is co-author of the second edition of The ICSID Convention: A Commentary (CUP, 2009), and is widely published in the fields of international investment law and arbitration.  He has a PhD in law from the University of Cambridge. Anthony is the winner of OGEMID’s Article of the Year, 2010, and the Smit-Lowenfeld Prize awarded by the International Arbitration Club of New York for the best article (co-authored with Aloysius Llamzon) published in the field of international arbitration in 2015.

WWL says: Anthony Sinclair “combines a razor-sharp academic mind with a practitioner’s eye for detail”, and is highly commended for his “hardworking approach and great effort when preparing cases”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.

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