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Douglas Jones AO

Douglas Jones AO
Office:
Level 15, 1 Bligh Street
NSW 2000
City:
Sydney
Country:
Australia
Tel:
+61 2 9353 4120
Fax:
+61 2 8220 6700

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders

Doug Jones AO is a leading independent international commercial and investor-state arbitrator with over 40 years’ experience. The arbitrations in which he has been involved include infrastructure, energy, commodities, intellectual property, commercial and joint venture, and investor-state disputes spanning over 30 jurisdictions around the world, with dispute amounts up to US$100 billion. In 2016, Doug was made one of four Companions of the CIArb. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

My career has taken me from over 40 years as an infrastructure and dispute resolution lawyer to my current practice as an independent international arbitrator.

I began my career as a clerk at Morris Fletcher & Cross in 1969. In 1976, I was made partner there, and was also head of the national construction and engineering group until I moved to Sydney in 1989 to establish the Morris Fletcher & Cross Sydney Office.

In 1993, I became a partner at Clayton Utz, leading the international arbitration and construction major projects groups. I held this position for 21 years, before transitioning to my current role as an independent international arbitrator. 

During this time, I have been privileged to hold appointments to a number of professional bodies. Between 2008 and 2014 I served as the president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration and in 2011 was the president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A FULL-TIME ARBITRATOR?

Being exposed to many different legal systems and cultures as an international arbitrator is something I particularly enjoy, and one of the reasons I pursued a career in the field. By the same token, I was drawn towards the arbitration community which consists of professionals from all around the world and is therefore a legal and business community unlike any other.

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A SUCCESSFUL ARBITRATOR?

A successful arbitrator is well prepared, responsive and possesses a mind for the commercial interests of the parties and the procedural ways by which these interests can be best served.

MANY SOURCES HAVE NOTED A PARTICULAR INCREASE IN THE USE OF ARBITRATION IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. WHY DO YOU THINK ARBITRATION HAS BECOME SUCH A POPULAR FORM OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THIS SECTOR?

International arbitration has become prevalent in the construction industry. This is reflected in the growing number of leading standard form contracts including arbitration agreements and is the result of a number of international arbitration’s key advantages. Although the benefits are many, there are two that I will mention. The first is the international enforceability of arbitral awards as a result of the New York Convention, which is unparalleled by current laws for the enforcement of foreign judgments. This is a key benefit in the construction industry where participants are often drawn from a range of different jurisdictions and want a suitably international method of dispute resolution in the event of a dispute. The second is the ability for the parties to select a decision-maker of their own choosing, such as an arbitrator who specialises in their industry and can therefore handle industry issues of legal and technical complexity.

YOU PREVIOUSLY LED THE CONSTRUCTION TEAM AT CLAYTON UTZ, DEALING REGULARLY WITH RELATED CONTENTIOUS MATTERS. TO WHAT EXTENT IS SECTOR AND INDUSTRY-RELATED SPECIALISATION, ON THE PART OF THE ARBITRATOR, IMPORTANT?

Industry-related specialisation is often a criteria of parties in seeking an arbitrator to resolve a dispute. Such expertise ensures that the arbitrator will be able to capably handle the nuances of disputes within that sector, providing a sophisticated resolution for international commercial matters. Such expertise is of particular significance in sectors like infrastructure and energy, where disputes between parties are often multifaceted and complex.

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION HAS RECENTLY COME UNDER FIRE FOR THE LACK OF DIVERSITY AMONG ITS PRACTITIONERS. WHAT STEPS DO YOU BELIEVE THE COMMUNITY NEEDS TO TAKE TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES?

There is considerable work that needs to be done in promoting gender and ethnic diversity in arbitration. The responsibility for change lies with parties, counsel, arbitral institutions and arbitrators themselves. 

I am, however, pleased with the positive steps that are being taken which have in my recent professional experience seen an uptick in the presence of women both as counsel and arbitrators.

Further progress might be made through the publications of statistics on arbitral appointments (as the ICC has begun to do). Steps also need to be taken to improve opportunities for new ethnically and gender diverse arbitrators to enter the sector. I think mentorship can play a valuable role in this regard.

THERE CONTINUES TO BE AN ONGOING DEBATE SURROUNDING THE LEGITIMACY OF INVESTOR-STATE ARBITRATION. IN WHAT WAY HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SCRUTINY AFFECT THE FIELD?

There has been some difficulty in separating ongoing debate around investor-state arbitration from international commercial arbitration. This has led to some misguided application of the critique of the former, to the latter, which needs to be remedied. 

In any event, the last decade has seen the development of interesting proposals for dealing with some of the criticisms of investor-state arbitration in modern investment treaties (notably, the ISDS mechanisms in TTIP and the TPP which propose solutions to the issue of transparency, although in radically different ways). While these treaties have hit road blocks in recent years, I think it would be premature to say that these proposals have run their course

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT PRACTISING IN THE FIELD OF ARBITRATION TODAY?

There are numerous challenges to practising in the field of arbitration that must be overcome to ensure its continued attractiveness for dispute settlement. One challenge is achieving a balance between the need for a swift and cost-effective outcome and the need to ensure that all parties have the opportunity to adequately present their cases. A step too far in either direction can undermine the benefits of arbitration and damage the parties’ confidence in the procedure.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGER PRACTITIONERS LOOKING TO SPECIALISE IN ARBITRATION?

Obtain as thorough a knowledge of the area as possible and then take every opportunity to practise. Seek mentors who will share their experience and provide the opportunity to grow intellectually and professionally.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Doug Jones AO is a leading independent international commercial and investor-state arbitrator. Doug is an arbitrator member at Arbitration Place in Toronto, a door tenant at Atkin Chambers London, UK and has an office in Sydney, Australia.

Prior to his full-time practice as an arbitrator Doug had 40 years' experience as an international transactional and disputes projects lawyer.

The arbitrations in which he has been involved include infrastructure, energy, commodities, intellectual property, commercial and joint venture, and investor-state disputes spanning over 30 jurisdictions around the world. He has extensive experience as arbitrator under the ICC, LCIA, AAA, ICDR, KLRCA, SIAC, DIAC, ACICA, IAMA, AMINZ, European Development Fund Arbitration and Conciliation rules, as well as the ICSID and UNCITRAL rules, in disputes of values up to US$125 billion.

Doug is acknowledged as a leading arbitrator and is highly ranked in a number of leading publications. Chambers Asia-Pacific has recognised Doug as "without question the leading Asia-Pacific-based arbitrator for construction disputes" and testified that “he is regarded by many as “the leading construction arbitrator in the world””. In 2017, he maintained his Band 1 ranking in the Chambers Asia-Pacific international arbitration category for a seventh consecutive year. Also in 2017, Who's Who Legal praised Doug as “one of the best construction lawyers and arbitrators in the world" as he is “unbelievably efficient” and for his ability to “handle the most acrimonious of disputes”. His earlier achievements include being ranked in the list of 15 "most highly regarded individuals" in the global construction law category by Who's Who Legal in 2015, and being named Lawyer of the Year for international arbitration in Sydney by Best Lawyers in the same year. Doug was also named at the Global Arbitration Review Awards 2013 as joint runner-up for the Best Prepared and Most Responsive Arbitrator of the Year Award. His substantial contributions and leadership in the Australian legal profession was recognised when he was honoured with the Michael Kirby Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Lawyers Weekly Law Awards.

Doug has published and presented extensively and holds professorial appointments at Queen Mary College, University of London and Melbourne University law school.

Doug has held appointments to multiple international professional associations, including serving as the chair of the board of trustees, president (2011) and chair of the centenary celebrations of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). He is also the immediate past president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) (2014).

In 2016, Doug was made one of four living companions of the CIArb. He was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his distinguished service to the law and leadership in arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, policy reform, and national and international professional organisations.

WWL says: Douglas Jones is “among the best out there” according to respondents, who consider him a standout name globally for his superlative work.

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

Who's Who Legal Australia - Arbitration

Doug Jones AO is a leading independent international commercial and investor-state arbitrator. Doug is an arbitrator member at Arbitration Place in Toronto, a door tenant at Atkin Chambers London, UK and has an office in Sydney, Australia.

Prior to his full-time practice as an arbitrator Doug had 40 years' experience as an international transactional and disputes projects lawyer.

The arbitrations in which he has been involved include infrastructure, energy, commodities, intellectual property, commercial and joint venture, and investor-state disputes spanning over 30 jurisdictions around the world. He has extensive experience as arbitrator under the ICC, LCIA, AAA, ACCL, CCCL, ICDR, KLRCA, SIAC, DIAC, ACICA, IAMA, AMINZ, European Development Fund Arbitration and Conciliation Rules, as well as the ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules.

Doug is acknowledged as a leading arbitrator and construction practitioner with high rankings in a number of publications. In 2017, Who's Who Legal: Construction commented that Doug is described as "'one of the best construction lawyers and arbitrators in the world'. Sources praise him for being 'unbelievably efficient' and for his ability to 'handle the most acrimonious of disputes'". Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017 recognised Doug as "without question the leading Asia-Pacific-based arbitrator for construction disputes", and he maintained his Band One ranking in international arbitration for a seventh consecutive year. Doug was also the Best Lawyers® 2017 Sydney international arbitration “Lawyer of the Year" for a third consecutive year. In 2016, Chambers & Partners said that “he is regarded by many as ‘the leading construction arbitrator in the world’", and Who's Who Legal again recognised Doug as one of the “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” and as a "Leading Junior" in the arbitration category, where he earned praise for his “calm manner” and “pragmatic, sensible and very thorough” approach to cases. His substantial contribution to, and leadership in, the Australian legal profession was recognised at the 2014 Lawyers Weekly law awards, where he was honoured with the Michael Kirby Lifetime Achievement Award.

Doug has published and presented extensively and holds professorial appointments at Queen Mary College, University of London and Melbourne University Law School.

Doug has held appointments to multiple international professional associations, including serving as the chair of the board of trustees, president (2011) and chair of the centenary celebrations of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). He is also the immediate past president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) (2014).

In 2016, Doug was made one of four living Companions of the CIArb. He was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his distinguished service to the law and leadership in arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, policy reform, and national and international professional organisations. In 1999, he was awarded as a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to construction law and dispute resolution.

WWL says: Douglas Jones AO is recognised internationally as “a leading arbitrator” and one of the pre-eminent practitioners in the field. He has overseen disputes in over 30 jurisdictions involving sums up to US$1 billion.

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

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Professor Doug Jones AO is a leading independent international commercial and investor/state arbitrator. Doug is an arbitrator member at Arbitration Place in Toronto, a door tenant at Atkin Chambers London, and has an office in Sydney.

Prior to his full-time practice as an arbitrator, Doug had 40 years' experience as an international transactional and disputes projects lawyer.

The arbitrations in which he has been involved include infrastructure, energy, commodities, intellectual property, commercial and joint venture, and investor-state disputes spanning over 30 jurisdictions around the world. He has extensive experience as arbitrator under the SIAC, ICC, LCIA, AAA, ACCL, CCCL, ICDR, KLRCA, DIAC, ACICA, IAMA, AMINZ, European Development Fund Arbitration and Conciliation Rules, as well as the ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules. He is strongly involved in arbitration across the Asia-Pacific region, having sat as an arbitrator in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Singapore to name a few.

Doug is acknowledged as a leading arbitrator and is highly ranked in a number of leading publications. In 2016, Chambers Asia-Pacific said that “he is regarded by many as ‘the leading construction arbitrator in the world’” and he maintained a Band One ranking in the international arbitration category. He was again recognised by Who's Who Legal as one of the “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” and as a "Leading Junior" in the arbitration category, where he earned praise for his “calm manner” combined with a “pragmatic, sensible and very thorough” approach to cases. His earlier achievements include being named lawyer of the year for international arbitration in Sydney by Best Lawyers in 2015 and being named at the Global Arbitration Review Awards 2013 as joint runner-up for the Best Prepared and Most Responsive Arbitrator of the Year Award. His substantial contribution to, and leadership in, the Australian legal profession was recognised at the 2014 Lawyers Weekly Law Awards, where he was honoured with the Michael Kirby Lifetime Achievement Award.

Doug has published and presented extensively, and holds professorial appointments at Queen Mary College, University of London and Melbourne University Law School. A powerful contributor to the knowledge base of international arbitration, he has recently spoken on topics as diverse as costs, the doctrine of penalties, and the powers and duties of arbitrators.

Doug has held appointments at several international professional associations. At the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) he has served as the chair of the board of trustees and president (2011), as well as chair of CIArb's Centenary Celebrations, and in 2016 was made one of the four living Companions of the Institute. He is also the immediate past president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) (2014).

Doug is an Officer of the Order of Australia, having received the award in 2012 in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, for distinguished service to the law as a leader in the areas of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, to policy reform, and to national and international professional organisations. In 1999 he received the award of Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to construction law and dispute resolution.

WWL says: Sources praise Douglas Jones AO for being “unbelievably efficient” and for his ability to “handle the most acrimonious of disputes”.

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

Who's Who Legal Australia - Construction

Doug Jones AO is a leading independent international commercial and investor/state arbitrator. Doug is an arbitrator member at Arbitration Place in Toronto, and a door tenant at Atkin Chambers in London, UK. He also has an office in Sydney, Australia.

Prior to his full-time practice as an arbitrator Doug had 40 years’ experience as an international transactional and disputes projects lawyer.

The arbitrations in which he has been involved include infrastructure, energy, commodities, intellectual property, commercial and joint venture, and investor-state disputes spanning over 30 jurisdictions around the world. He has extensive experience as an arbitrator under the ICC, LCIA, AAA, ACCL, CCCL, ICDR, KLRCA, SIAC, DIAC, ACICA, IAMA, AMINZ amd European Development Fund Arbitration and Conciliation Rules, as well as the ICSID and UNCITRAL Rules.

Doug's expertise and experience in construction law are regularly recognised in leading publications. In 2016, Chambers Asia-Pacific said of Doug that "he is regarded by many as 'the leading construction arbitrator in the world'", and recognised his increasing activity in the Asia region across the infrastructure and energy industries. Chambers & Partners also recognised Doug in 2015 for his 40-plus years of experience in projects, and named him "one of the highest-profile practitioners in the construction and infrastructure sector". Doug was additionally recognised by Best Lawyers (2016 and 2015) in the areas of construction and infrastructure law, and transportation law. Further in 2016, Who's Who Legal: Construction said that Doug "is lauded by peers as 'one of the best construction arbitrators in the world' and he is continuing to impress with his 'boundless talent' in construction and infrastructure disputes". In 2015, Doug was ranked in the list of the world's 15 most highly regarded individuals by Who's Who Legal: Construction, which also named him "Lawyer of the Year" in 2012 and 2013.

Doug has held appointments to a number of international professional associations, including having served as the chair of the board of trustees, president (2011) and chair of the centenary celebrations of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). He is also the immediate past president of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) (2014).

Doug is an Officer of the Order of Australia, having received the award in 2012 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for distinguished service to the law as a leader in the areas of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, to policy reform, and to national and international professional organisations. In 1999 he had received the award of Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to construction law and dispute resolution.

WWL says: Douglas Jones AO is an eminent construction lawyer and arbitrator who is highly regarded on the international stage. As one interviewee maintains, “For parties in mega disputes, this is the arbitrator you want."

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

Who's Who Legal Government Contracts

Professor Doug Jones AO is a leading international arbitrator and globally recognised infrastructure and dispute resolution lawyer. Prior to his full-time practice as an arbitrator, Doug had 40 years' experience advising extensively on major infrastructure and construction projects in both the government and private sectors. He currently also acts as a consultant in the major projects and construction department at Clayton Utz, where he was the previous national practice group leader.

Doug has extensive experience in government procurement involving major projects relating to railways, roads, dams and tunnels, ports, airports, potable water and waste water, power (gas, hydro, wind and co-generation electricity generation) construction, mining infrastructure and processing, defence facilities and equipment acquisitions. He has advised on project structuring and financing, contract drafting, project implementation and dispute resolution, and he has considerable experience in PPP and PFI projects across the globe.

Doug's projects have included many of the largest rail and road projects in Australia and many significant defence procurement projects in Australia including most recently the new generation submarine project.

Doug is acknowledged as a leading arbitrator and construction practitioner with high rankings in a number of publications. In 2017, Who's Who Legal: Construction commented that Doug is described as “'one of the best construction lawyers and arbitrators in the world'. Sources praise him for being 'unbelievably efficient' and for his ability to 'handle the most acrimonious of disputes'." Chambers Asia-Pacific (2017) recognised Doug as "without question the leading Asia-Pacific-based arbitrator for construction disputes", and he maintained his band-one ranking in international arbitration for a seventh consecutive year. Doug was also named in Best Lawyers (2017) as the Sydney international arbitration “Lawyer of the Year" for a third consecutive year. In 2016, Chambers said that “he is regarded by many as ‘the leading construction arbitrator in the world’," and Who's Who Legal again recognised Doug as one of the “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” and a "Leading Junior" in the arbitration category, where he earned praise for his “calm manner” and “pragmatic, sensible and very thorough” approach to cases. Also in 2016, Doug was made one of the four living Companions of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). Further, his substantial contribution to, and leadership in, the Australian legal profession was recognised at the 2014 Lawyers Weekly Law Awards, where he was honoured with the Michael Kirby Lifetime Achievement Award.

Doug also has a prominent academic profile. He is the author of Building and Construction Claims and Disputes (Construction Publications, 1996) and Commercial Arbitration in Australia (Thomson Reuters, second edition 2012). He holds various editorial positions, including co-editor-in-chief of The International Construction Law Review and is a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne and a visiting professor at Queen Mary University of London.

Doug is an Officer of the Order of Australia, having received the award in 2012 in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, for distinguished service to the law as a leader in the areas of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, to policy reform, and to national and international professional organisations. In 1999 he received the award of Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to construction law and dispute resolution.

WWL says: Douglas Jones is an esteeemed figure within the market. He has decades of expertise in government procurement matters and is "perhaps the leading Australian practitioner in this field".

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

Who's Who Legal Australia - Government Contracts

Professor Doug Jones AO is a leading international arbitrator and globally recognised infrastructure and dispute resolution lawyer. Prior to his full-time practice as an arbitrator, Doug had 40 years' experience advising extensively on major infrastructure and construction projects in both the government and private sectors. He currently also acts as a consultant in the major projects and construction department at Clayton Utz, where he was the previous national practice group leader.

Doug has extensive experience in government procurement involving major projects relating to railways, roads, dams and tunnels, ports, airports, potable water and waste water, power (gas, hydro, wind and co-generation electricity generation) construction, mining infrastructure and processing, defence facilities and equipment acquisitions. He has advised on project structuring and financing, contract drafting, project implementation and dispute resolution, and he has considerable experience in PPP and PFI projects across the globe.

Doug's projects have included many of the largest rail and road projects in Australia and many significant defence procurement projects in Australia including most recently the new generation submarine project.

Doug is acknowledged as a leading arbitrator and construction practitioner with high rankings in a number of publications. In 2017, Who's Who Legal: Construction commented that Doug is described as "'one of the best construction lawyers and arbitrators in the world'. Sources praise him for being 'unbelievably efficient' and for his ability to 'handle the most acrimonious of disputes'". Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017 recognised Doug as "without question the leading Asia-Pacific-based arbitrator for construction disputes", and he maintained his Band One ranking in international arbitration for a seventh consecutive year. Doug was also the Best Lawyers 2017 Sydney international arbitration “Lawyer of the Year" for a third consecutive year. In 2016, Chambers & Partners said that “he is regarded by many as ‘the leading construction arbitrator in the world’", and Who's Who Legal again recognised Doug as one of the “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” and as a "Leading Junior" in the arbitration category, where he earned praise for his “calm manner” and “pragmatic, sensible and very thorough” approach to cases. Also in 2016, Doug was made one of the four living companions of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). Further, his substantial contribution to, and leadership in, the Australian legal profession was recognised at the 2014 Lawyers Weekly law awards, where he was honoured with the Michael Kirby Lifetime Achievement Award.

Doug also has a prominent academic profile. He is the author of Building and Construction Claims and Disputes (Construction Publications, 1996) and Commercial Arbitration in Australia (Thomson Reuters, second edition 2012). He holds various editorial positions, including co-editor-in-chief of The International Construction Law Review, and is a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne and a visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London.

Doug is an Officer of the Order of Australia, having received the award in 2012 in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, for distinguished service to the law as a leader in the areas of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, to policy reform, and to national and international professional organisations. In 1999 he received the award of Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to construction law and dispute resolution.

WWL says: Douglas Jones AO is well known for his invaluable experience and strong expertise handling government-related construction and infrastructure projects.

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

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