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International Arbitration

Lawyers handling complex international arbitration, litigation and ADR matters

Our principal strength is our experience and expertise in international litigation, arbitration and alternative forms of dispute resolution. We have specialist dispute resolution teams in all of our offices, regularly handling high-value, complex, multi-party, multi-jurisdictional disputes. Our expertise spans a wide range of sectors and industries, from banking and finance, through to insurance and commodities.

HFW was proud to sign the Arbitration Pledge in mid-2016. We are committed to the aims of the Pledge and encourage those with whom we work to support the aims of the Pledge. For more details please click here.

What we do in International Arbitration

Arbitration is now the primary means of resolving disputes for the international business community.

With long-standing expertise in this form of dispute resolution, we handle arbitrations of all sizes, from disputes settled on the basis purely of written submissions to those needing the involvement of a full legal team, counsel and experts. We tailor our involvement to suit each individual case.

We conduct arbitrations in all the significant jurisdictions and under the most used arbitration forums, including many under the UNICTRAL, LCIA, ICC, ICSID, ARIAS, CIETAC, HKAIC, SIAC and SCC Rules. We also conduct many hundreds of arbitrations under the specific governing rules of trade bodies such as GAFTA, FOSFA, LMAA, LME, RSA and LOF.

Our partners serve as arbitrators and have been instructed as expert witnesses in arbitrations. We have advised both arbitral bodies and governments on their arbitral rules and legislation.

We cover every aspect of arbitration, including:

  • Enforcement of the agreement to arbitrate, including anti-suit procedures to stop opponents avoiding their obligations to participate
  • Establishment of the tribunal
  • Managing the process, submissions, witness and expert evidence
  • Hearings and awards
  • Appeals and challenges to awards
  • Enforcement

Our experience in International Arbitration

We are regularly involved in the largest disputes and work with our clients to achieve the best outcome for their business.

  • Acting for a Korean EPC Contractor in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a combined cycle power plant in Sohar, Oman.
  • Acting for an international Joint Venture Contractor in a series of arbitrations against Hong Kong Government for a stay cable bridge project, issues included liability for delay, missing items, re-rating claims, variations and impossibility claims.
  • Representing a Hong Kong utility company in a London arbitration seeking damages of US$85 million from a producer and supplier of gas under a 20-year take or pay contract.
  • Acting in disputes referred to LCIA arbitration concerning the sale of assets relating to a grain terminal in the Ukraine. The amounts in dispute exceeded US$200 million.
  • Acting for a major hotel group in arbitration proceedings against their insurer in respect of property damage and business interruption losses of around US$30 million arising from the Asian tsunami of 2004.
  • We acted for an international mining & trading group in respect of a series of arbitrations arising out of the volatility in the coal and iron ore commodity markets. The arbitrations are in London (LCIA), Switzerland (ICC), and Singapore. Each arbitration claim running in excess of US$5 million.
  • We acted for a Swiss steel group in relation to claims against the Chinese purchasers of steel coils. The governing law of the contract was subject to the Vienna Convention on contracts for international sale of goods. The arbitration was ICC in Beijing.
  • We acted for an operator of an oil field concession off-shore in Qatar. Dispute arose out of a field development plan involving the investment of over US$3 billion. The arbitration was subject to the UNCITRAL Rules.
  • We acted for a client in a dispute over the hire of an FSO and seabed loading equipment. Claims were in excess of US$50 million. The arbitration was in London and involved the application of New York law.
  • We acted for a mining company defending a claim brought by a division of the Indonesian Government, under a contract between the two parties. The applicable rules were ICSID. Claim in the region of US$600 million.
  • We acted for a major European oil and gas company with respect to substantial claims concerning the upgrade of a fixed installation in a Middle East oil field. Claims in excess of US$200 million. The arbitration was subject to the UNCITRAL Rules.
  • We acted for a European trading company in an international arbitration arising out a joint venture agreement for the import and distribution of product in West Africa against its oil major trading partner. Claim in the region of US$70-80 million. 
  • We acted for one of the largest energy groups in Europe with respect to a take or pay gas dispute arising out of the breakdown of a Interconnector pipeline. The claim involved many millions of dollars. The dispute was subject to ICC arbitration where the arbitration seat was in Switzerland.

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