We help you solve your cross-border disputes, no matter how complex
Clients from all sectors rely on the commercial understanding and international presence of our experienced international lawyers to resolve their most significant cross-border disputes. Our team is active in both commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, managing complex and novel matters.
Our specialist arbitration practitioners are based in key arbitral centres across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, and regularly represent clients before the world’s leading arbitral institutions as well as many other international and regional arbitration bodies.
Key distinguishing features of our international arbitration practice
- We are China’s first international law firm able to practice Chinese, Hong Kong, English, Australian, US and a significant range of European laws
- Our clients can tap into China arbitration resources of over 60 specialist lawyers based in 12 offices across the country (compared to the one or two offices of a few general practitioners, typical to our competitors). Where international arbitration involves Chinese elements, we supply clients with cross-office arbitration teams from our global network, so as to cover not just legal but also language and cultural aspects
- Our arbitration specialists are recognised by clients and industry participants as being at the top of the field, with legal directories such as Chambers, Legal 500 and the Global Arbitration Review ranking us amongst the top international arbitration practices
- We have extensive experience in international treaty arbitration, particularly in relation to bilateral and multilateral investment treaties. We have substantial experience before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as well as lesser known treaties like the Moscow Convention 1997
- We act both as counsel and arbitrators under the auspices of a wide range of arbitral rules and institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), the Australian Centre of International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA), the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SHIAC), the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the London Maritime Arbitration Association (LMAA), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the BANI Arbitration Centre, and the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre.
We have extensive experience in representing both sovereign states and investors in investment treaty disputes. Our specialist expertise in this area covers:
- Nationalisation and direct/indirect expropriation claims
- Claims relating to breaches of fair and equitable treatment of investments
- Denial of justice claims
- Sovereign and sub-sovereign defaults
- Public international law matters
- Environmental claims
- Claims under bilateral investment treaties (BITs), multilateral investment treaties (MITs), investment protection laws and customary international law.
Work highlights include acting for:
- A trio of UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings arising out of the nationalisation of the Kyrgyz Republic’s largest bank, AsiaUniversalBank, with investor claims ranging between US$17 million and US$500 million
- The United Arab Emirates in a US$3 billion ICSID investment dispute brought by a purported Italian investor under the UAE-Italy BIT
- Ukraine against a US$140 million ICSID claim brought by UK real estate developer Krederi Ltd under the UK-Ukraine BIT
- Australian mining company White Industries in a successful claim arising out of the protections offered by the Australia-India BIT
- The Kyrgyz Republic in US$200 million UNCITRAL proceedings in Stockholm in relation to a claim by Canadian miner Centerra Gold Corp, concerning environmental damage caused by Centerra’s mining operations in the country
- Ukraine in a trio of US$270 million UNCITRAL, ICSID and SCC proceedings brought by UK-based JKX Oil & Gas Plc in connection with Ukraine increasing petroleum production taxes and imposing dividend repatriation restrictions.
Leading construction companies, real estate developers, project sponsors and engineering firms rely on us to help manage risk and successfully resolve disputes in, and challenges to, their most complex projects around the world. Being China’s first international law firm, we can offer unparalleled resources and expertise in resolving construction disputes arising out of China’s Belt & Road initiative.
Work highlights include acting for:
- A contractor in an ICC arbitration relating to the termination of an EPC contract for an LNG project (claim valued at US$2 billion)
- A contractor in a US$1.2 billion ICC arbitration seated in Singapore in a dispute over the construction of a coal-fired power plant in a Central American country
- A leading design consultancy firm in China in a US$1 billion arbitration concerning the design/construction of a major financial district project in India
- One of the largest Vietnamese natural resources companies in a US$170 million SIAC arbitration against an American engineering group in relation to a dispute over a mineral processing plant
- A multinational construction company in an AU$150 million SIAC arbitration regarding a subcontract for construction works on an iron ore mine in Western Australia
- A Japanese contractor in arbitration against the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai in relation to the construction of a major road interchange in Dubai with claims in excess of US$150 million
- A major developer in Dubai in a portfolio of arbitrations and dispute resolution proceedings valued in excess of US$750 million concerning MEP, design and construction works.
Our global arbitration team has particular experience in licensing, joint venture, shareholder and post-M&A disputes, and represents clients from a wide range of industry sectors including banking and finance, oil and gas, commodities, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications.
Work highlights include acting for:
- An international oil & gas company in relation to a US$1.5 billion joint venture dispute and international arbitration in connection with a PNG petroleum retention licence
- A Chinese-listed company in a US$100+ million HKIAC arbitration concerning the failed acquisition of a commodities mine in South Africa
- A Russian telecommunications company in defending multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration proceedings in connection with the enforcement of a US$220 million LCIA arbitration award as part of a US$1 billion dispute
- A major Australian-listed company in a SIAC arbitration regarding breaches of contractual warranties in the sale of Indonesian oil assets to a Malaysian conglomerate
- A major Chinese-listed provider of lithium cells in China in two concurrent HKIAC administered arbitrations against a US-listed company in relation to a complex US$150 million contract dispute
- Naftogaz in an LCIA arbitration claim by minority shareholders of JSC "Ukrnafta” regarding control of Ukraine’s national oil resource.
"Substantial, specialist bench with a particularly strong presence in China and an increasingly noted arbitration capability in Australia. Has extensive experience in the procedures of leading domestic, regional and global arbitral tribunals and the representation of leading multinationals and Chinese state-owned enterprises. Especially respected for its construction expertise and also notably active in the arbitrations of disputes in the energy and technology sectors."
Chambers Asia Pacific – Arbitration (International) – 2018
"A comprehensive, deeply-resourced offering … international arbitration specialists. Also noted for its impressive regional presence and especially high capability for the handling of China-related mandates."
Chambers Australia – Dispute Resolution – 2018
"The ‘exceptional’ team at King & Wood Mallesons includes ‘partners who have been names in the market for two decades and exhibit both local and international knowledge’. The firm has a particularly strong portfolio of China-related work, including representation of Chinese state-owned enterprises, covering CIETAC arbitrations as well as those based in Singapore and Hong Kong."
Legal 500 – Hong Kong – 2018