Arbitration 2018: Analysis

In this edition, we feature 767 of the world’s leading arbitration practitioners from over 400 firms across 88 jurisdictions, providing a comprehensive overview of the international arbitration market. Our analysis spans the whole gamut of legal offerings around the world, from large international outfits to arbitration boutiques and independent practitioners, identifying the most prominent and esteemed individuals currently practising in the space. 


Thought Leaders
1. Emmanuel Gaillard Shearman & Sterling LLP, Paris
2. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler Lévy Kaufmann Kohler, Geneva
3. Bernard Hanotiau Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels
4. Toby Landau QC Essex Court Chambers, London
5. Albert Jan van den Berg Hanotiau & van den Berg, Brussels
6. Laurent Lévy Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
7. V V Veeder QC Essex Court Chambers, London
8. Audley Sheppard QC Clifford Chance LLP, London
9. Michael Schneider Lalive, Geneva
10. Alexis Mourre Independent Arbitrator, Paris
11. Gary Born Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, London
12. Philippe Pinsolle Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Paris
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.

Leading Firms

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.

ESSEX COURT CHAMBERS boasts the leading arbitration offering in Europe, achieving an impressive 13 nominations in this edition.
Toby Landau QC is one of the leading arbitration practitioners in the region, and is described by market commentators as “excellent, both as arbitrator and counsel”.
V V Veeder QC wins widespread praise from international sources, who consider him one of the best in the field of international commercial arbitration.
Vaughan Lowe QC stands out among peers for his “effective approach to disputes” as well as his “very thoughtful and strong decision-making” when serving as arbitrator.
Martin  Hunter enjoys a great reputation in the market as “a truly splendid arbitrator”, and is renowned for his top-tier international arbitration practice.  
Salim Moollan QC is “very well regarded” among peers, one of whom describes him as “excellence personified”.
Joe Smouha QC continues to impress respondents, one of whom effuses, “He is razor-sharp and simply the best to work with!”
Graham Dunning QC is “excellent lead counsel”, commended by sources who note, “He is meticulously prepared, persuasive and engaging.” According to one peer: “He is a barrister who could make the weakest case prevail.”

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER also showcases its strong European presence this year, with nine leading practitioners recognised.
In France, Noah Rubins boasts “an excellent reputation in treaty arbitrations”, where he is considered “one of the most experienced practitioners in the field”. He garners recognition as “a very bright and impressive individual”.
Peter Turner QC is “extremely impressive” according to peers who particularly note that he is “very quick on his feet”.
London-based Reza Mohtashami is “a top practitioner”, considered “pragmatic and technically strong” by commentators. One client comments: “Mr Mohtashami was calmness personified; he is extremely clear in his thinking and a person we admire a lot.”
Sylvia Noury is “a true expert in the field” who is highlighted for her “proactive and responsive legal advice”. Sources note, “The depth of her knowledge is immense.”
Boris Kasolowsky in Germany is recognised as “a star” in the arbitration space and heads the firm’s litigation and arbitration practice. He is commended for his impressive work both as counsel and arbitrator.
Günther Horvath is renowned as “one of the most prominent Austrian arbitration lawyers” and is highly sought after for his “excellent oral advocacy”.

Independent Swiss law firm LALIVE enjoys a strong position in the regional market, and sees nine lawyers recognised for their expertise in the space.
“Legendary arbitrator” Michael Schneider is internationally respected as “a top name” in the arbitration arena, is highlighted for his “outstanding” expertise.
Domitille Baizeau is always “super-prepared” and “absolutely fantastic” according to market sources, who commend her work both as arbitrator and counsel.
Noradèle Radjai receives widespread plaudits for her exceptional work in the field of international arbitration. She focuses her world-class practice on both commercial and investment arbitration, most notably across the construction, energy and TMT sectors.
Joachim Knoll is “conscientious, responsive and insightful” and boasts “great personal skills”, opine sources. One commentator says: “He is an excellent mentor to many younger practitioners in the arbitration community.”
Matthias Scherer is “one of the most impressive arbitration lawyers in Switzerland”, and is particularly well regarded for his fantastic disputes work.

International outfit WHITE & CASE sees eight practitioners in Europe recommended in this edition.
In France, the “charismatic and persuasive” Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall has a burgeoning reputation in the market as “a truly excellent counsel”. He is particularly commended for his work in the construction sector, where he is regarded as a top-class expert.
Charles Nairac “belongs up there with the best of them”, according to respondents. He boasts a truly global disputes practice, with experience across Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Michael Polkinghorne is “doing great work” in the field and is highlighted as “an extremely able counsel and arbitrator”. He stands out for his strong expertise in the energy and contracts field.
Geneva-based Anne Véronique Schlaepfer enjoys a stellar reputation across the Swiss market as one of the foremost arbitration practitioners in the country. Her practice encompasses a range of industries from energy to construction and pharmaceuticals.
In London, Phillip Capper leads the international arbitration practice and is “a big name for construction matters”, an area in which he has extensive experience.

20 ESSEX STREET CHAMBERS is another pre-eminent commercial set at the UK Bar that stands out for its exceptional arbitration offering. Eight individuals are nominated this year.
Julian Lew QC is “a deeply informed practitioner, especially on issues of conflicts of laws”, according to peers. He is “first choice for arbitrator and chair” for many sources, who highlight his “authoritative presence” as well as his “robust and astute sense of justice”.
William Rowley QC stands out as “a splendid arbitrator” who is considered one of the top names in the field. He is recognised for his “first-class work” in over 200 arbitration proceedings, both nationally and internationally.
Charles Brower is a pre-eminent and long-standing fixture in the European market, commended for his vast experience in complex arbitrations.
David St John Sutton is a top-notch barrister, noted for his invaluable experience handling proceedings across a wide range of significant arbitral centres including London, Hong Kong and Zurich.
Michael Lee is internationally recognised as a prominent figure in the regional market and possesses over 30 years’ experience in international arbitration.

ONE ESSEX COURT sees six individuals nominated for their impressive work in arbitration proceedings.
Alan  Redfern is “one of the leading barristers in the UK” and enjoys a great reputation among peers and clients as “an excellent arbitrator”.
Ian Glick QC “features regularly in arbitration proceedings” and is considered “a standout name in the area”. He wins high praise for his “diligent and focused style”.
Peter Leaver QC is “never afraid to express a view” according to respondents, who describe him as “boundlessly energetic” and “meticulously prepared”.
Christopher Style QC is a firm favourite for many market sources who consider him “energetic, effective and a pleasure to deal with”.

We feature five practitioners from BAKER MCKENZIE in this chapter.
London-based Andy Moody is a well-respected disputes specialist who draws high praise from numerous sources for his “great ability to grasp the key issues of a case”.
Vladimir Khvalei stands out as “one of the key figures in CIS arbitration cases” and is valued by clients who regard him as “a highly knowledgeable lawyer”.
Joerg Risse in Germany is a well-known name across the region and is known for his work representing clients across before all significant arbitral institutions.

At HANOTIAU & VAN DEN BERG, five leading lawyers are recognised for their excellent work in the arbitration field.
Bernard Hanotiau is “world-famous” according to sources, who describe him as “one of the very best in the space”. One respondent notes, “He’s incredibly active in the field and there is a reason for that – the quality of his work is exceptionally impressive.”
Albert Jan van den Berg stands out as “a top arbitration specialist” and is highly respected for his brilliant work across a range of sectors including IT, pharmaceuticals and mining.
Niuscha Bassiri is a star in the international commercial and investment arbitration space, whom one impressed source describes as "the best in Belgium". She is “strongly recommended” for her impressive work on commercial and investment arbitrations as both counsel and arbitrator.
Pascal  Hollander is well known for his work as both counsel and arbitrator and is highly recommended for his work in the field.
Paul Lefebvre is regarded as “among the very best” arbitrators in the region. He is highly sought after by clients for his long-standing expertise in both institutional and ad hoc proceedings.  

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS also performs well this year, achieving five nominations throughout the region.
In Paris, Emmanuelle Cabrol draws high praise from sources who describe her as “an extremely good lawyer” who is recognised for her first-class international arbitration practice.
Craig Tevendale heads the firm’s international arbitration group in London. According to sources, he is “a very smart guy” noted particularly for his work on disputes across the oil and gas, power and construction sectors.
Patricia  Nacimiento is highly commended by sources for her excellent work on investor disputes, an area in which she is considered a real specialist.

LÉVY KAUFMANN KOHLER is home to two of the most highly regarded arbitration lawyers in the region and sees four practitioners highlighted this year.
Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler is “one of the very best arbitrators in the international market”, focusing her distinguished practice on investment, commercial and sports arbitration matters. One peer effuses: “She is a true model for many younger practitioners in the arbitration community.”
Laurent Lévy is a highly esteemed attorney recognised for his world-class arbitration practice. His particular expertise lies in the oil and gas, finance and air and space sectors, where he is regarded as a real specialist.
Sébastien Besson is "an excellent arbitrator" whom one impressed commentator refers to as "one of the very best".
Antonio Rigozzi is "a fabulous lawyer and very smooth advocate", who receives wide-ranging endorsements for his extensive experience acting as counsel in a broad array of arbitration proceedings.

WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE & DORR sees four individuals from its London office highlighted as top-tier arbitration practitioners. 
Gary Born is described by sources as “excellent on all counts” and is renowned as “a legendary attorney in the field of international arbitration”. One source notes, “He literally wrote the book on it.”
“Outstanding arbitrator” Franz Schwarz is “definitely a prominent figure” in the market, say sources, one of whom commends Schwarz as “a very bright individual, an impressive lawyer and talented advocate”.
Maxi Scherer is “an excellent academic and arbitrator”, who stands out as “one of the very best” in both commercial and investment arbitration proceedings.
Steven Finizio is renowned for his world-class international arbitration practice, and wins high praise from sources, one of whom commends his “comprehensive and expert handling of energy disputes”.

At SCHELLENBERG WITTMER, Nathalie Voser is “an obvious inclusion” according to peers, who highlight her exceptional international reputation as a leader in arbitration.
Philippe Bärtsch is a widely recognised figure across the European arbitration market who is greatly admired for his "ability to protect the interests of his clients at all times".
The "excellent" Elliott Geisinger leads the firm’s international arbitration team and is a "very able counsel and arbitrator" who sources describe as "one of the best in the market".

Other Leading Individuals

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.


At ZEILER.PARTNERS, Markus Schifferl is described by respondents as “an absolute pleasure to work with”. He is a favourite among clients who admire the way he is able to "grasp the issues at hand in record time".
The "excellent" Alfred Siwy receives plaudits for his "sharp intellect" and extensive experience acting as counsel in international commercial and investment arbitration, most notably in relation to investment and energy disputes.
Lisa Beisteiner is a "highly skilled" practitioner who impresses market commentators with her "immense dedication and experience".

Andreas Reiner at ARP – ANDREAS REINER & PARTNERS is regarded as “easily the best in Austria” and is highlighted for his “first-class work” in the area.

At KNOETZL, the "excellent" Florian Haugeneder enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market and is described as "one of the leading practitioners in Austria" by one impressed source.

Stefan Riegler of WOLF THEISS is “an outstanding arbitration lawyer”, widely regarded as “one of the leading practitioners of his generation”. One peer effuses: “He is a tough opponent but incredibly likeable.”


INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Vera Van Houtte is lauded as “one of the best construction arbitrators around”, an area in which she is well known for her “technical excellence”. Sources note that she “does everything perfectly”, and “always sees the whole picture”.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Hans van Houtte is “a superstar” according to respondents. He is a long-standing fixture in the domestic market, “highly recommended” for his work as arbitrator. 

At DECHERT, Erica Stein is considered “very good as both counsel and arbitrator”, and is well versed in handling commercial and investment arbitration matters.

Czech Republic

At SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS, Rostislav Pekař “would be a big name in any market”, according to sources, who describe him as “an outstanding lawyer in every regard”. One peer comments: “It is a great pleasure to prepare with him for any proceedings because he identifies significant questions and lines of action with insurmountable expertise.” 


CLIFFORD CHANCE’s Audley Sheppard QC is “a huge authority” known for the “real gravitas” he brings to proceedings. One source says: “Audley combines great charm and an apparently laid-back manner with deep experience as both arbitrator and counsel.”

At THREE CROWNS, Constantine Partasides QC is “a top figure in international arbitration”. One respondent notes, “He commands an ability to impart his knowledge in a manner that is both easily digestible and nuanced.”
Gaetan Verhoosel is highly regarded by members of the arbitration community, who describe him as “a very smart, organised and thorough arbitrator, in addition to having fabulous personal skills”. 

QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN’s Stephen Jagusch QC is a senior figure in the market and is “one of the leading practitioners currently doing this work”.
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”. One peer comments: “He is someone I personally rate as a standout practitioner of his generation.”

Wendy Miles QC at DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON is “one of the most high-profile arbitration practitioners in London”, with over 20 years’ experience representing a wide array of parties on complex international matters.

Sophie Lamb is global co-chair of the firm’s international arbitration practice at LATHAM & WATKINS and is regarded by sources as “a superstar” and “one of the very best”. She is frequently engaged in handling disputes across a range of sectors and stands out as “an excellent cross-examiner”.


Emmanuel Gaillard at SHEARMAN & STERLING stands out in our research this year as the foremost arbitration practitioner in Europe. He is “absolutely outstanding”, according to respondents, who highlight his “excellent reputation as counsel” as well as his status as “a real star in the field”.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Alexis Mourre is “very well regarded as arbitrator and extremely knowledgeable”. He is widely considered a top choice for both national and international arbitration proceedings.

Philippe Pinsolle at QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN is “extremely knowledgeable” and “an amazing strategist”. He is regarded by many to be “one of the very best in the market”.

DERAINS & GHARAVI’s Yves Derains is “a brilliant arbitrator” highlighted for “his clear and indisputable judgement” as well as his “superb ability to focus on the important facts and legal issues of a case”.

At SHEARMAN & STERLING, Yas Banifatemi is “one of the very best in the market” according to impressed sources, who describe her as "an excellent counsel and promising arbitrator".

Eduardo Silva Romero at DECHERT is highlighted by sources as “a top name” in the French arbitration market, and “the go-to person for Latin American arbitration in Paris”.


CMS HASCHE SIGLE’s Klaus Michael Sachs is described by peers as “a highly skilled diplomat” and “a dean of arbitration” with exceptional experience in the area.
Torsten Lörcher is global head of the firm’s dispute resolution practice and stands out as “among the best of his generation”.

At GLEISS LUTZ, Stephan Wilske “knows the German arbitration space incredibly well” and is a firm favourite among clients who consider him “a trusted legal practitioner”.
Lars Markert boasts “a strong knowledge of both arbitration procedures and tactics” and is commended for his “diligence in understanding the relevant facts of a case in depth”. He regularly demonstrates “immaculate legal expertise combined with an impressive grasp of complex technical issues”.

Richard Kreindler at CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON impresses market commentators who commend his “excellent reputation” in the market as “an incredibly bright practitioner”.

At ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE, Siegfried Elsing stands out as “a man with natural authority” who boasts a great reputation as “an excellent president and excellent co-arbitrator”.


Laurence Shore at BONELLIEREDE is “a truly accomplished arbitrator” and “definitely someone to single out”, according to respondents.

At ARBLIT – RADICATI DI BROZOLO SABATINI BENEDETTELLI, Luca Radicati di Brozolo draws effusive praise from international sources, who describe him as "an excellent academic and arbitrator".


Bernardo Cremades at B CREMADES & ASOCIADOS is “a very well-regarded arbitrator”, widely recognised for his superb work handling commercial and investment arbitration disputes.

At ARMESTO & ASOCIADOS, Juan Fernández-Armesto is “by far the best arbitrator in the country” according to sources, who also note, “He is impressive at both handling hearings and asking the key questions.”


INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER Pierre Tercier is a revered name in the international arbitration market, recognised for his “excellent arbitration work” and vast experience in the space. 

At BERNET ARBITRATION / DISPUTE MANAGEMENT, Martin Bernet earns worldwide endorsements as a leading arbitration specialist who regularly serves as counsel and arbitrator in complex international disputes ranging from joint ventures and banking issues to corporate liability matters. 

North America

Thought Leaders
1. Henri Alvarez QC Independent Arbitrator, Vancouver
2. Yves Fortier CC QC Arbitration Place, Toronto
3. David Rivkin Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York
4. Nigel Blackaby Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Washington, DC
5. Donald Francis Donovan Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York
6. Jan Paulsson Three Crowns LLP, Washington, DC
7. Jean Kalicki Kalicki Arbitration, New York
8. Pierre Bienvenu Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Montreal

Leading Firms

KING & SPALDING boasts the foremost arbitration offering in North America, achieving seven nominations across three US offices.
Doak Bishop possesses “a brilliant arbitration mind” and is considered “in the top flight of leadership for commercial and investment disputes”. One source comments: “Bishop is the cardinal of commercial arbitrators in Texas.”
Craig Miles illustrates his excellent reputation among peers in this edition, as they highlight his “calm and well-balanced approach to cases”.
The “fantastic” Caline Mouawad frequently represents clients in relation to both international investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitration proceedings and is well known for her work across a range of industries from energy to telecommunications.
Edward Kehoe is noted for his “extremely effective management of investment and commercial disputes”, particularly when it comes to cases concerning the energy sector.

As well as featuring as one of the leading firms in the European market, FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER also illustrates its strong US presence in our research this year, with six arbitration practitioners listed.
Nigel Blackaby is “a zealous advocate for his clients”, who praise his “immense depth of knowledge” and consider him “a true expert” in arbitration. One peer notes: “All the accolades he receives are well deserved.”
Clients “would not hesitate to recommend” Brian King, whom they regard as “one of the go-to names” in the area. 
Noiana Paula Marigo is highly recommended by sources who “really appreciate working with her” and note that, “She understands damages issues incredibly well.”

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON performs well in this edition with six lawyers across the region nominated for their outstanding work in the field.
David Rivkin co-leads the firm’s international dispute resolution team. He wins praise as “a tenacious advocate” whom market respondents consider “an excellent arbitrator” as well as “the best counsel there is”.
Donald Francis Donovan has a position “at the top of everyone’s list” and is highly recommended for his “very deep and wide knowledge and experience on international law and investment disputes”.
Mark Friedman is widely respected as an expert in arbitration matters. One peer comments: “Mark impresses me every time. He knows the file and the law, and is a great oral advocate.”

WHITE & CASE receives six nominations this year for its top-tier arbitration offering.
Paul Friedland is global head of the firm’s international arbitration practice. He is “very well regarded” among market sources, who describe him as “incredibly knowledgeable and able counsel”.
Abby Cohen Smutny is “simply the best” according to respondents, who commend her “fantastic grasp of damages matters”. One peer notes, “She brings the profession to another level,” while another effuses, “She is the person you would pick first to be at your side in any dispute.”
Carolyn Lamm is “excellent” as both counsel and arbitrator. She enjoys a stellar reputation in the international market for the breadth and depth of her experience in various arbitral scenarios.

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT sees four impressive individuals recommended for their excellent work in the arbitration space.
Pierre Bienvenu enjoys a great reputation among peers and clients alike. He is praised as an “exceptionally talented” practitioner who is “excellent on all criteria”.
Martin Valasek is “a rising star” in the international arbitration field who is highlighted by sources for his “great experience” handling both commercial and investor-state proceedings.
In the US, Mark Baker is global co-head of the firm’s international arbitration practice. He is described by sources as “an excellent lawyer” and wins praise for his expert handling of commercial arbitration proceedings.
Kevin O’Gorman also gains recognition for his top-notch arbitration practice, and is commended by sources as “a talented and persuasive lawyer”.

At CHAFFETZ LINDSEY, James Hosking is “absolutely outstanding” when it comes to international arbitration matters, where he boasts vast experience under a wide array of rules including ICSID, LCIA and UNCITRAL.
Aníbal Martín Sabater “produces high quality work and provides excellent client service” according to sources. He is a firm favourite among many clients who praise his “great adaptability” and “attention to detail”.
Founding partner David Lindsey draws widespread praise for his exceptional disputes practice, which encompasses international arbitration across a range of arbitral institutions including LCIA and ICC.
Peter Chaffetz possesses over 30 years of experience in the field of arbitration and is widely recognised among peers and clients alike as a disputes specialist.

HUGHES HUBBARD & REED sees three lawyers highlighted this year.
John Townsend is “very well regarded” among peers and clients alike who “highly recommend” him for his excellent work as arbitrator.
John Fellas stands out as “an excellent advocate and persuasive lawyer”, who is commended by sources for his work both as counsel and arbitrator.
James Boykin is “an incredibly smart lawyer”, recognised for his “great wit and effective advocacy” in arbitration proceedings.

Other Leading Individuals


INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Henri Alvarez QC is a very highly regarded and widely recognised figure in the international arbitration market, and stands out as the leading practitioner in the region. He is revered by peers who note, “He is highly responsive and a true pleasure to work with.”

Yves Fortier CC QC at ARBITRATION PLACE is “a truly splendid arbitrator”, and is commended by sources for his “exceptional international portfolio”.

The “incredibly bright” Stephen Drymer at WOODS is “a terrific arbitrator” who impresses with his “organised and thorough approach”, as well as his “fabulous personal skills”.

At BURNET DUCKWORTH & PALMER, David Haigh QC boasts “great international arbitration experience” and is “well thought of” for his world-class work as arbitrator on disputes across a range of sectors, from pharmaceuticals to energy.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Marc Lalonde PC OC QC is “a splendid arbitrator”, according to sources, who particularly his notable work in relation to investment arbitration proceedings.

Janet Walker at ARBITRATION PLACE is a "top lawyer and arbitrator" who is widely renowned for the breadth of her experience. She wins high praise for her superb work as arbitrator in ICC, DIAC and ad hoc proceedings.


At THREE CROWNS, Jan Paulsson is a well-established name in the region and boasts a “big reputation” as a thought leader in the international arbitration field.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Jean Kalicki is “truly wonderful” according to peers, who note, “As an arbitrator she is absolutely top notch!” She is highlighted for her excellent work on both investment and commercial arbitrations.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Eric Schwartz wins high praise as “one of the very best”, and is described by sources as “very impressive, talented and a true role model in the space”.

Julie Bédard at SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM stands out for her exceptional expertise in the arbitration field. She is admired by peers, one of whom notes, “I greatly respect and think very highly of her. She is someone I would absolutely endorse.”

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Mark Kantor is “extremely knowledgeable and a great arbitrator” according to sources, who also note, “He is one of the best for complex commercial matters.”

At COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, George Bermann is described by respondents as “one of the big names in the US market” when it comes to international arbitration, and is regarded as “an excellent academic and arbitrator”.

Anne Marie Whitesell at GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER is “outstanding” according to peers, and boasts great experience as both counsel and arbitrator in numerous international cases.

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
1. Judith Gill QC Allen & Overy LLP, Singapore
2. Michael Hwang SC Michael Hwang Chambers, Singapore
3. John Beechey Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong, Hong Kong
4. Michael Pryles Michael Pryles, Melbourne
5. Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS, Hong Kong
6. Douglas Jones Independent Arbitrator, Sydney
7. Michael Moser 20 Essex Street Arbitrators, Hong Kong
8. Matthew Gearing QC Allen & Overy LLP, Hong Kong
9. Christopher Lau SC Christopher Lau, Singapore
10. Justin D’Agostino Herbert Smith Freehills, Hong Kong

Leading Firms

International law firm HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS showcases its extensive global reach in our research this year, and particularly stands out for its strong arbitration offering across the Asia-Pacific region.
In Hong Kong, Justin D’Agostino is “a seasoned practitioner”, recognised for his expert handling of complex arbitration matters. He boasts a fantastic international reputation for his work in the space.
Singapore-based Alastair Henderson stands out as “a skilled advocate and one of the biggest names in Asia”. He continues to impress respondents who describe him as “is a pleasure to work with and against”, and who also say that “the listings would not make sense without him”.
Brenda Horrigan heads the firm’s international arbitration practice in Australia, and is widely regarded as “a class act”. One peer comments, “Brenda is a global leader in international arbitration who we are very lucky to have in Australia.”

In Singapore, ALLEN & OVERY’s Judith Gill QC features prominently in our research this year as one of the foremost lawyers in the international arbitration field. She is “one of the very best”, and impresses greatly as both counsel and arbitrator.
Hong Kong-based Matthew Gearing QC is “outstanding counsel” and “a seasoned arbitrator”, recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the region. One source notes: “I would absolutely appoint him on high-value disputes; he is a true superstar in the market!” 

KING & WOOD MALLESONS sees four leading names highlighted across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
Alex Baykitch wins widespread praise for his top-tier work in the arbitration field. He boasts over 25 years’ experience in the space and has particular expertise when it comes to construction and infrastructure disputes.
Tim Taylor QC in the UAE is recognised for his leading disputes practice, and is commended for his excellent work as both arbitrator and counsel.

BAE KIM & LEE’s Kap-You Kim boasts “the leading practice in Korea”, and is considered “one of the standout counsel in the market”. Sources regard him as “a big name”, and highlight his “impressive strategic approach”.
John Bang is a widely respected practitioner who has represented clients in more than 150 international arbitration proceedings across the globe. He wins high praise for his first-class work handling both domestic and international arbitration proceedings across Europe, North America and Asia.
The "exceptional" Matthew Christensen is a leading figure in the field who is described as "intelligent, hardworking and highly ethical". He is frequently engaged in representing both public and private clients in proceedings under the rules of various arbitral institutions. 

At BANKSIDE CHAMBERS in New Zealand, David Williams QC is a well-established name in the international arbitration space when it comes to commercial and investment treaty proceedings, both areas in which he is considered a top-tier arbitrator.
Campbell McLachlan QC is internationally recognised as a first-class arbitration lawyer known for his top-tier work on proceedings under various rules including ICC and UNCITRAL.
Sir Ian Barker QC is a disputes specialist, highlighted by peers for his vast experience as arbitrator in a range of commercial disputes.

KIM & CHANG’s Eun Young Park is “a big name” in the Korean market who is highly recommended by international peers for his “deeply professional” approach to complex disputes.
BC Yoon boasts “strong legal expertise” in the field of international arbitration, and is well versed in handling related disputes under a range of rules including ICC, LCIA, SIAC and KCAB.
Liz  Kyo-Hwa Chung is “one of the best” in the market, according to sources, recognised for her excellent work representing both foreign and domestic corporations in international arbitration matters.

Other Leading Individuals


INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER Michael Pryles wins praise as “a splendid arbitrator” recognised for his market-leading expertise and tremendous knowledge of the field.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Douglas Jones is “among the best out there” according to respondents, who consider him a standout name not only in the Australian market, but on an international level.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Gavan Griffith QC is “an eminent practitioner and arbitrator”, according to sources who strongly recommend him for his work on both commercial and investment treaty arbitration proceedings.


Dr Colin Ong QC of DR COLIN ONG LEGAL SERVICES is a world-renowned arbitration counsel who "always manages to make complicated issues appear unbelievably straightforward" resulting in "arbitrators always wanting to hear what he has to say". Another source adds: "Colin is always able to think out of the box and can always find an innovative solution to the bleakest of problems."


Eduardo Damião Gonçalves at MATTOS FILHO VEIGA FILHO MARREY JR E QUIROGA, is “an excellent advocate and arbitrator” recognised for his outstanding work in high-stakes arbitrations.

At PINHEIRO NETO ADVOGADOS, Renato Stephan Grion is renowned for his extensive experience in the field, and wins high praise from sources for his “true international arbitration practice”.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR José Emilio Nunes Pinto is praised by sources who note, “He is an outstanding figure in the market, acting as arbitrator in very large matters.” One respondent highlights him as “a real expert in oil and gas arbitrations”.


At FRANCISCO ORREGO VICUÑA Y CIA, Francisco Orrego Vicuña stands out as “a world-class arbitrator” who “should be at the top of any list”, according to peers. One source notes, “He is the best-known arbitrator in Chile.”

Cristian  Conejero Roos at PHILIPPI PRIETOCARRIZOSA FERRERO DU & URÍA is “highly sought after as arbitrator” and is recognised by sources as “an excellent advocate with a deep knowledge of arbitration procedure”.


Jingzhou Tao at DECHERT is “a very smart lawyer” who boasts “an excellent reputation” in the market for his work on international arbitration proceedings both in China and around the world.


Eduardo Zuleta at ZULETA ABOGADOS ASOCIADOS enjoys “an excellent reputation” among international peers as a disputes specialist, and is well versed in handling complex commercial and investment treaty proceedings.


At ZULFICAR & PARTNERS LAW FIRM, Mohamed Abdel Wahab is described as "one of the best practitioners in the world today" thanks to his "sharp mind and excellent legal knowledge". He is considered “brilliant as both arbitrator and counsel”.

Hong Kong

John Beechey at ARBITRATION CHAMBERS HONG KONG is a world-class practitioner who performs exceptionally as both arbitrator and counsel. He is “strongly recommended” by international sources for his great expertise in the field. 

INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS has a long-standing reputation in the international market for his arbitration prowess, with over 40 years’ experience in the disputes space.

The “excellent” Michael Moser at 20 ESSEX STREET ARBITRATORS is a firm favourite among market commentators, one of whom notes: “I would trust him implicitly on the highest-value disputes.”


At YULCHON, Sae Youn Kim is regarded by peers as “an absolutely fantastic lawyer” and is a standout name in the regional market. One source notes: “She is taking the arbitration world in Korea by storm!”

New Zealand

The "excellent" Daniel Kalderimis at CHAPMAN TRIPP is a well-known name across the region and is recognised for his work acting for major clients in high-profile commercial disputes.


Michael Hwang SC at MICHAEL HWANG CHAMBERS enjoys a stellar reputation in the market as “the best in Singapore”. He is a fantastic arbitrator, and is highly respected for his vast experience in the field.

INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER Christopher Lau SC is “very impressive” according to sources who consider him a top choice for large and complex cases. He is widely respected as “a very prominent figure in Asia.”

WHITE & CASE’s Matthew Secomb is “one of the most talented lawyers in the world” according to respondents, one of whom comments, “He is very spontaneous and thinks incredibly well on his feet.” 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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