Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: arbitration

Nick Longley in Melbourne heads the arbitration practice at HFW, which was recently strengthened by the arrival of Jo Delaney and Paul Evans, who work across the construction, energy, commodities, insurance and shipping sectors. Bronwyn Lincoln departed the team in May 2022.

Dispute resolution: arbitration in Australia


Jeremy Chenoweth and Georgia Quick co-lead the arbitration practice at Ashurst; Quick, based in Sydney, is dual qualified in Australia and England and Wales, and Chenowith practices across Brisbane and Sydney, and heads the firm’s Asia Pacific dispute resolution practice. The team has particular strength in the construction, infrastructure, energy and natural resources sectors and is well versed in international arbitration proceedings in the oil and gas, mining and power sectors. The team has notable international coverage thanks to its broad office network and the knowledge of its lawyers, including Bill Smith, who has experience in the Middle East and North Africa. Nationally, the firm’s reach extends to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra.

Practice head(s):

Georgia Quick; Jeremy Chenoweth

Other key lawyers:

Bill Smith


‘Ashurst practitioners tend to provide a balance between commercial and thorough, which is important for the Australian market. Bill Smith is creative, collaborative and a pair of safe-hands – the full package. Georgia Quick is thorough and will pick up on issues before they become issues.’

‘Jeremy Chenoweth is a standout. His work was a cut above.’

‘The team is extremely experienced, very hard-working and extremely bright, with great lawyers who understand and devise strategies to achieve their clients’ legal and commercial objectives.’

Key clients

AGL Energy Limited

Airservices Australia

Alcoa Corporation

Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd

CBRE Pty Limited

Gold Coast City Council

Hochtief AG

Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Limited

LafargeHolcim Ltd

Leighton Offshore Pte Limited

MMA Offshore Limited

MMI Indonesia Investments Pty Ltd

Nexus Infrastructure Pty Ltd

Northern Oil & Gas Australia Pty Limited

Northern Star Resources Ltd

NorthWest Healthcare

NSW Government

Orica Limited

Paladin Solutions PNG Ltd

Roads and Maritime Services

Shell International Limited

SRG Global Limited

Sydney Metro

Whitehaven Finance Company Pty Ltd

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Limited

Woodside Energy Ltd.

WorkPac Pty Ltd

WSA Co Limited

Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited

Clifford Chance

The arbitration team at Clifford Chance operates domestically, regionally and internationally, with practitioners working out of Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, conducting advocacy in English, French, Spanish and Chinese. Sam Luttrell and Cameron Hassall co-lead the team from Perth and Sydney, respectively. Luttrell has notable experience in French-speaking markets, Hassall in Hong Kong and China. Spencer Flay has particular strength regarding construction matters; operating out of Perth, he advises developers, project sponsors and contractors on disputes arising from natural resources, oil and gas, and infrastructure development projects. Sydney-based counsel Robert Tang and Julia Dreosti specialise in energy and resources, and aerospace and defence, respectively. In Perth, senior associate Rodolphe Ruffié-Farugia is noted for his cross-border work.

Practice head(s):

Sam Luttrell; Cameron Hassall

Other key lawyers:

Spencer Flay; Robert Tang; Julia Dreosti; Rodolphe Ruffié-Farugia


‘Cameron Hassall is a superb lawyer, a careful analyst and a sensible, reasonable person who embodies all the skills necessary for proper and efficient dispute resolution.’

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Corrs Chambers Westgarth‘s arbitration team draws on the wider firm’s multi-sector expertise to offer integrated support, with a focus on cases involving natural resources, energy and infrastructure projects. The large team spans Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and collaborates with advocates internationally. Nastasja Suhadolnik, a specialist in construction, renewable energy and natural resources who is dual qualified in New York and Australia, leads the team from Melbourne. Joshua Paffey in Brisbane has experience practicing in London and particular strength handling disputes in the oil, gas and natural resources sectors. The team has notable in-house advocacy and forensic capability, with Melbourne-based silk Charles Scerri KC is a notable member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Nastasja Suhadolnik

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Paffey; Michael Earwaker; Andrew Stephenson; Carla Mills; Charles Scerri KC


‘A very strong, experienced team with great depth. Team members display strong initiative, excellent project management and clear communication. Able to deliver high quality work on a short timeframe. ’

‘Joshua Paffey is one of the leaders in international arbitration in Australia and, on top of maintaining an active practice, also contributes his time to the profession and enhancing Australia’s reputation for international arbitration.’

‘Mark Wilks and David Anthony are very responsive to client needs, while able to project manage very large and complex cases in a manner that allows them to be run through an arbitration without a hitch. ’

‘Corrs are becoming the leading arbitration practice in Australia. They work across multiple sectors and achieve excellent outcomes for clients. Their strong international connections and lack of conflicts are particularly useful for cross-border disputes.’

‘The Corrs arbitration team are highly collegiate and passionate about what they do. This makes them stand out from other firms.’

‘Joshua Paffey is well-known in arbitration circles and is a name frequently considered by clients when it comes to high-profile arbitrations. He is highly articulate and personable.’

‘Well led, cohesive team structure, good relations with counsel and client.’

‘Very experienced partners heading the arbitration team, many with international experience.’

Key clients

Santos Ltd

Hancock Prospecting

Roy Hill


John Holland

Acciona Agua Australia Pty Ltd


Work highlights

  • Advising Santos regarding the GLNG project, which is an Australian multibillion-dollar investment involving the extraction and processing of coal seam gas in inland Queensland.
  • Acting for Hainan Airlines in relation to proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW commenced by Shenglong Zheng against the Australian International Aviation College.
  • Acting for Hancock Prospecting and related parties across a series of proceedings relating to ownership of valuable mining tenements.

DLA Piper

Gitanjali Bajaj in Melbourne and Cameron Maclean in Perth co-lead the arbitration team at DLA Piper. Bajaj is experienced in the renewable energy, oil and gas, defence, construction and infrastructure sectors, and leads the Australia team’s India group. Other practitioners are based in Sydney and Brisbane, in addition to Melbourne and Perth, and collaborate with the firm’s wider global arbitration practice. Richard Edwards co-leads the firm’s global construction disputes practice from Perth, maintaining a focus on construction and transport disputes within the energy sector. Gowri Kangeson is qualified in Malaysia, England and Wales, and Australia, and has notable experience in the technology sector.

Practice head(s):

Cameron Maclean; Gitanjali Bajaj

Other key lawyers:

Richard Edwards; Gowri Kangeson; Liam Prescott


‘DLA have a strong International Arbitration Team.’

‘Gitanjali Bajai is very experienced in the field.’

‘Richard Edwards is a supreme operator. The market and the bar considers him a very safe pair of hands.’

Work highlights

King & Wood Mallesons

The international arbitration offering at King & Wood Mallesons is a popular choice for clients across a range of industries, including construction, energy, technology and financial services. Team head Edwina Kwan, based in Sydney, has particular strength in China-related disputes, as well as climate-based arbitrations. ‘Market leader’ Peter Pether, also in Sydney, is experienced across litigation, alternative dispute resolution and arbitration, with specialist experience in construction disputes. Senior associates Erin Eckhoff and Domenico Cucinotta have substantial international experience, both working from Sydney. Enforcement strategy and investment treaty arbitration are both areas of standout expertise for the team, which is ‘well versed in the challenges of running cross-border litigation’.

Practice head(s):

Edwina Kwan

Other key lawyers:

Juliana Jorissen; Erin Eckhoff; Domenico Cucinotta; Matthew Carr; Peter Pether


‘The team has a strong combination of experience and talent. As a group they are very well versed in the challenges of running cross-border litigation and they have experience that other firms cannot replicate (in particular, in relation to foreign arbitration experience and experience in the PRC). As a result they bring an added dimension to the management of the arbitration/litigation.’ 

The group is very easy to work with, engaged and responsive. They have high levels of technical excellence but also a pragmatic appreciation for management of the litigation. Domenico Cucinotta stands out for his technical skills, his easy manner and his tactical acumen. Edwina Kwan, as the lead partner in the group, is strategic and brings to bear a significant track record in Asia-based arbitration.’

This is the best arbitration team in the country. Many firms hold themselves out as having experience in arbitration, but KWM is one of the few, which actually has real and deep experience and the ability to properly resource and run a major international arbitration.’

Key clients

Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited

Hong Kong Henson Industrial Ltd

Work highlights

  • Engaged to enforce a c.US$6bn ICSID award against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Advised Hong Kong Henson Industrial in relation to the enforcement of an approx. AU$4m SIAC award.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy‘s integrated APAC arbitration practice works from Perth in collaboration with colleagues in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Japan and Singapore. Department head Mark Van Brakel specialises in international arbitration, with experience in major contract, joint venture, engineering and project disputes. Energy, mining and natural resources are key sector strengths for the team, including experience across the hydrocarbon value chain and growing expertise regarding LNG price reviews. Notably, arbitration practitioners in the team largely conduct their own advocacy. David Jenaway‘s practice has an emphasis on oil and gas work. Senior associate Karina Travaglione is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Mark van Brakel

Other key lawyers:

David Jenaway; Karina Travaglione


‘The A&O disputes team is a very high-quality offering, with a good blend of experienced and intelligent partners and strong bench of associates. Capable of managing complex high-end disputes. ’

‘David Jenaway is a very smart and talented litigator with a very good client demeanour. Mark van Brakel is a very experienced and steady operator in this space.’

‘The dispute resolution team at Allen & Overy in Perth are some of the very best litigation and arbitration lawyers in all of Australia.’

Key clients

Watkins Holdings S.a.r.l.

Watkins (Ned) B.V.


Work highlights


The international arbitration group at Allens works with alliance partner Linklaters to support clients across 28 countries. Key sectors include energy, mining, construction, infrastructure and insurance, along with M&A transaction disputes. Jeremy Quan-Sing a ‘true construction expert‘, leads the team from Perth, while Andrew Maher, in Melbourne, specialises in the energy and natural resources sectors. The team has additional experience acting in an advisory capacity, including with regards to investment treaty protections.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Quan-Sing

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Maher; Nick Rudge; Nikki O’Leary


‘Very focused on getting the best result for the client. Highly experienced.’

‘Jeremy Quan Sing is a true construction expert. Plus a real sense for how to set the strategy for a big arbitration.’

Work highlights

Herbert Smith Freehills

Melbourne-based partner Chad Catterwell, a specialist in cross-border disputes with particular experience in China, heads the arbitration offering at Herbert Smith Freehills. The team sits within the firm’s wider Asia Arbitration Hub, launched in February 2023, and collaborates with colleagues across the region. In Australia, Leon Chung is based in Sydney, Elizabeth Poulos in Brisbane, and Elizabeth Macknay in Perth. Poulos’ experience spans the energy, banking and infrastructure sectors; Macknay specialises in mining and resources disputes. James Allsop, in Melbourne, has notable experience advising Japanese clients in cross-border disputes.

Practice head(s):

Chad Catterwell

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Macknay; Elizabeth Poulos; Leon Chung; James Allsop


‘The HSF team works exceptionally well together with complementary litigation and arbitration capabilities. They very quickly understand business objectives and provide commercially focused and pragmatic advice. They also work seamlessly with overseas group team businesses and their legal teams. They demonstrate outstanding collaboration and take initiative to suggest alternatives at key decision points.’

‘The way in which key issues and strategic decision making are handled give great confidence to the decision makers in the business, and advice was provided candidly, patiently and clearly.’

‘A very good litigation firm with great people and work.’

Work highlights

Norton Rose Fulbright

The international arbitration team at Norton Rose Fulbright has notable bench strength across the country – with bases in Brisbane and Sydney – allowing it to handle a range of international commercial arbitration, domestic arbitration and investor-state enforcement matters. Team lead Dylan McKimmie, in Brisbane, often works with clients in the oil and gas industry; Tamlyn Mills, in Sydney, has notable expertise regarding the enforcement of commercial and investment treaty awards. In Perth, Jo Feldman was promoted to partner in 2022. Andrew Battisson left the firm in March 2023.

Practice head(s):

Dylan McKimmie

Other key lawyers:

Tamlyn Mills; Daniel Allman; Jo Feldman


‘NRF can provide their excellent service with utmost dedication, professionalism, and expertise under the reasonable fee.’

‘Daniel Allman and his team members are excellent lawyers with strong analytical skills and attention to detail. Daniel has deep understanding of the legal system and demonstrates ability to navigate complex issues with ease.’

‘Jo Feldman, in particular, would be the stand-out – her experience as a barrister and diplomat, as well as an in-house government lawyer working on major policy/legislative reforms, gives her an unmatched degree of familiarity with the workings of government and the kinds of sensitivities and risks that may need to be managed.’

Key clients

9REN Holding S.à.r.l.

BIC Contracting LLC

Chevron Australia Pty Ltd

Eiser Infrastructure Limited

Energia Solar Luxembourg S.à.r.l,

Energia Termosolar B.V

Exxon Mobil

GLNG Operations Pty Ltd

Infrastructure Services Luxembourg S.à.r.l

International Chamber of Commerce


LCM Operations Pty Limited

NextEra Energy

Osaka Gas

POSCO Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd

PT Dowell Anadrill Schlumberger

QGC Pty Ltd

RREEF Infrastructure (G.P.) Limited

RREEF Pan-European Infrastructure Two Lux S.á.r.l


Standard Chartered Bank

Tokyo Gas

TotalEnergies EP Holdings Australia Pty

Work highlights

  • Acting for Chevron in a Perth-seated arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules concerning an A$411m dispute between Chevron and two of its contractors.
  • Acting for the Mauritian shareholders of Devas Multimedia Private in the first contested enforcement of an investor-state arbitral award under Part II of the International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth).
  • Secured a significant win for Infrastructure Services Luxembourg and Energia Termosolar, dismissing the Kingdom of Spain’s appeal and rejecting its assertion of foreign immunity from jurisdiction.

Squire Patton Boggs

Cris Cureton leads the arbitration group at Squire Patton Boggs from Sydney, bringing expertise in both international and domestic arbitration, with an emphasis on the construction, energy and mining sectors. In Perth, Greg Steinepreis has particular expertise in disputes arising in the gas and natural resources industries. Director Vicky Kossaris is a key name in Darwin, and Sydney managing partner Graeme Slattery is noted for his corporate arbitration experience.

Practice head(s):

Cris Cureton

Other key lawyers:

Greg Steinepreis; David Starkoff; Graeme Slattery; Vicky Kossaris

Key clients

AustSino Limited

Kingdom of Spain

MSP Engineering

Work highlights