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Future Leaders

Future Leaders

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Future Leader

WWL Ranking: Future Leader

WWL says

Duncan Watson is “a fantastic and clever lawyer” who “has a huge amount of top-class experience” in the international arbitration space.


Duncan is a partner in Quinn Emanuel’s Hong Kong and Sydney offices, specialising in international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. He is qualified in both Australia and England and Wales. He acts for multinational corporations and high-net-worth individuals based in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the US and Australia.

Duncan has acted as counsel in international commercial arbitrations under most arbitral institutions and rules, including the ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, SCC, CAA, UNCITRAL, AAA/ICDR and SCAI, as well as in ad hoc arbitrations, seated around the world. He has also acted in multiple investor–state arbitrations administered by ICSID. He has particular expertise in financial services, energy and resources, and post-M&A disputes.

Duncan also sits as an arbitrator. He is a fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), and a member of the HKIAC’s list of arbitrators. He also regularly publishes and lectures on topical issues in commercial and investment treaty arbitration, including advocacy.

Chambers and Partners notes Duncan’s “meticulous, detail-oriented approach”, and quotes a client as saying that, as an advocate, Duncan “commanded the stage and was a real star” (2018). Who’s Who Legal named Duncan a “future leader” in international arbitration. In 2016, it noted that he “stands out in Australia, and is feted for his ‘immediate and complete grasp of technical issues’”, and in 2017, it said that he “boasts a strong practice in Asia and is highlighted as ‘a very impressive young partner’”. Clients have praised his “appropriate and practical” advice (GAR 100).

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