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Future Leaders

Future Leaders

Future Leader

WWL Ranking: Future Leader

WWL says

Duncan Watson is “an exceptional adviser and advocate”, compliment peers who highlight him as “one of the best of his generation”.


Duncan is a partner in Quinn Emanuel’s Hong Kong office (having also practiced in our Sydney and London offices). Duncan specialises in international arbitration, and is qualified in both Australia and England & Wales. Duncan has acted as counsel in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations under most arbitral institutions and rules, including the UNCITRAL, ICSID, ICC, HKIAC, LCIA, ICDR, SCC, CAA and SCAI.

Duncan has acted for multinational corporations and high net worth individuals based in Korea, Indonesia, China, India, Russia, Denmark, South Africa, the Middle East, Australia, the US and the UK. He represents clients in a broad array of industries, including private equity and financial services, energy and resources, manufacturing, infrastructure and intellectual property.

In 2018, Chambers and Partners noted 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”. In 2019, it quotes interviewees as describing him as “very bright, hard-working and personable”, “quick, reactive and co-operative” and appreciates that “he always grasps the key issues”. 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’”.

Duncan also sits as arbitrator; and 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 around the region, including advocacy.

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