International arbitration

Our market-leading international arbitration team is known for its expertise in managing complex and substantial arbitrations worldwide. We are well versed in related court proceedings, such as jurisdiction challenges, freezing orders and the enforcement of arbitral awards. Visit our international arbitration hub.
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We have represented clients in arbitration proceedings under the rules of all the major institutions and trade associations, such as LCIA, ICC, CIETAC, SCIA, SIAC, HKIAC, DIFC-LCIA, LMAA, SCMA, FOFSA, GAFTA, UNCITRAL and ICSID.

Our expertise is global, led from our offices in London, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, with support from our other offices.

We have particular experience of international arbitrations relating to emerging markets, especially Africa, India and the CIS.   We are frequently instructed in arbitration matters by clients and law firms in those regions and in other jurisdictions.

We can help you with disputes across a wide range of sectors, including aviation, energy, international trade, commodities, shipping, and financial services.

Our expertise is reflected in the wide variety of clients for whom we act including global airlines, ship owners, energy companies, insurers, traders and entrepreneurs and sovereign governments.

We have in-depth knowledge of arbitral law and procedure – but more importantly we never lose sight of the commercial realities, pressures and priorities that our clients have to face every day.

Our expertise is reflected in the regular arbitral appointments received by our dedicated international arbitration partners.  Three partners have authored books on arbitration topics and our team members regularly speak at international conferences. 

In the past decade, we have handled some of the most high-profile proceedings to enforce, or resist the enforcement of, arbitral awards before the English, Hong Kong and Singapore courts.

Our team is a natural first choice to instruct on such matters. 

Stephenson Harwood "performs excellently and its experienced practitioners are able to handle the most difficult and complex disputes efficiently." 

The Legal 500 UK 2021


Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria's state-owned oil company

Advising in allegations of fraud and forgery in the high-value case involving the defence in England of several attempts to enforce a Nigerian arbitration award. Now valued at over US$350 million.

Global airlines

Acting for several major airlines (including the world's largest budget carrier) in numerous arbitrations in the last five years. 

Oil and gas company

Acting in a major LCIA arbitration (with claims and counterclaims valued at over US$750 million) concerning the management of two deep offshore oil blocks in West Africa.

Sovereign state

Acting for a sovereign state in a US$4 billion ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

Global mining conglomerate

Acting for a subsidiary in several arbitrations and related court proceedings concerning the largest copper mine in Zambia. 


Representing an investor in an ICSID arbitration against Kazakhstan with a claim valued at US$1.5 billion.

Sovereign state

Advising a sovereign state, resisting the enforcement of a US$700 million plus ICSID award against it. 

East Asian conglomerate

Acting in an arbitration and related enforcement proceedings in Singapore and Hong Kong, leading to judgments which are amongst the leading authorities on enforcement in those jurisdictions.

India's largest real estate developer

Acting in enforcement proceedings in England in respect of a US$300 million plus arbitral award. 

Major fruit juice producer

Acting for a major fruit juice producer in arbitration proceedings in London. 

Latest news & insights

22 Jan 2024

From Insights

Arbitration – Illegality as a Defence – Public Policy – Article 34 of the UNCITRAL Model G v N [2023] HKCFI 3366

The Hong Kong Court of First Instance ("HKCFI") stayed an application to set aside the enforcement of an arbitration award and remitted the matter to the arbitrator un..


27 Dec 2023

From Insights

Arbitration - conflict of laws – applicability of arbitration clause – Anti-suit injunction [Shell Petroleum v Sunlink Energies]

The English Commercial Court granted a final anti-suit injunction in favour of Shell Petroleum ("Shell") against Sunlink Energies and Resources Limited ("Sunlink"), in..


20 Dec 2023

From Insights

Arbitration insights from Singapore - 2023 arbitration case law from the Singapore courts

Key developments in international arbitration and global disputes


08 Dec 2023

From Insights

Arbitration – Contingency Fee – Champerty and Maintenance – Enforceability – Public Policy BB v KO [2023] HKCFI 2661

While Hong Kong has recently enacted legislation to allow outcome related fee structures in relation to arbitration, and despite the fact that contingency fee arrangem..


23 Oct 2023

From Insights


The Hong Kong Court of First Instance (HKCFI) upheld a temporary anti-suit injunction, restraining the Defendant from continuing proceedings in Russia brought under Ru..


31 Aug 2023

From Insights

Disclosure of mediation communications in litigation

Lam Cheung Fong林張豐v 黃亞新 [2022] HKCFI 3802


25 Aug 2023

From Insights

Arbitration – arbitral autonomy and immunity – arbitrator compelled to give evidence

Song Lihua v Lee Chee Hon (former name: Que Wenbin) [2023] HKCFI 1954


15 Aug 2023

From Insights

Arbitrability – stay of proceedings in favour of arbitration Falcon Insurance v Bing Lee [2023] HKCFI 1129

A dispute arose in respect of proceedings initiated by an insurer (the plaintiff) seeking a declaration of non-liability.


10 Aug 2023

From Insights

The Hong Kong Court discharges service out of the jurisdiction of a tort claim

This case concerned service out of the jurisdiction of a writ based on a tort claim. The leave to serve out of the jurisdiction was overturned and the court was theref..


14 Jul 2023

From News

Kamal Shah and Gregory Xu named in India Business Law Journal’s ‘International A-List’

Stephenson Harwood partners Kamal Shah and Gregory Xu have been named in India Business Law Journal’s (IBLJ) ‘International A-List’ 2023.


13 Jul 2023

From Insights

Arbitration—set aside—illegality—common mistake—Hong Kong public policy (AI v LG II LG III)

The plaintiffs (the claimants in the arbitration) in the case made an application before the Court of First Instance requesting the setting side of arbitral awards on ..


28 Jun 2023

From Insights

Arbitration insights from Singapore - Japan as a viable neutral seat for arbitration in the Asia-Pacific region

In this second edition of Arbitration insights from Singapore in 2023, Singapore-based international arbitration partner Chris Bailey examine Japan's credentials as a ..


31 May 2023

From News

Kamal Shah reappointed to London Court of International Arbitration's (LCIA) Court

Stephenson Harwood partner Kamal Shah has been reappointed to the London Court of International Arbitration's (LCIA) Court. Kamal's term has been extended for another ..


31 Mar 2023

From News

Stephenson Harwood lawyers named in Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers list

12 Stephenson Harwood lawyers have been named Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers in 2023.


23 Feb 2023

From Insights

Arbitration insights from Singapore - COVID-19 as a force majeure event in the construction industry - 1st 2023 edition

In this first edition of Arbitration insights from Singapore in 2023, Singapore-based international arbitration partner Chris Bailey and the global international arbit..


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