Dispute resolution: arbitration in Australia

Ashurst

As evidenced in its notable client list, Ashurst’s team in Australia utilises the firm’s global strength and is very active in the mining, energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, and construction sectors. Georgia Quick (Sydney) heads up the Australian international arbitration practice, while Brisbane-based Jeremy Chenoweth acts as head of the Asia Pacific dispute resolution group. Clients also single out Peter Voss in Sydney, who ‘provides an incredibly safe pair of hands’.

Practice head(s):

Georgia Quick; Jeremy Chenoweth

Other key lawyers:

Peter Voss

Testimonials

The partners and associates go above and beyond what is required or expected to achieve consistently fantastic results for clients. They are a dream to work with.

Peter Voss provides an incredibly safe pair of hands for complex, sensitive, and strategically important disputes. He deftly manages complex multi-party arbitrations and provides exceptional, insightful, commercial, and timely advice. He would be the go-to for any dispute of material importance, especially if you are looking for a partner who is hands-on and knows the detail.

Key clients

AGL Energy

Airservices Australia

Alcoa Corporation

Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty

CBRE Pty

Gold Coast City Council

Hochtief AG

Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty

LafargeHolcim

Leighton Offshore Pte

MMA Offshore

MMI Indonesia Investments Pty

Nexus Infrastructure Pty

Northern Oil & Gas Australia Pty

Northern Star Resources

NorthWest Healthcare Australian Property Proprietary

NSW Government

Orica

Paladin Solutions PNG

Roads and Maritime Services

Shell International

SRG Global Limited

Sydney Metro

Whitehaven Finance Company Pty

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty

Woodside Energy

WorkPac Pty

WSA Co

Yanzhou Coal Mining Company

Work highlights

  • Acted for Yancoal in an LMAA arbitration seated in London, relating to a claim against Noble Resources International Pte Ltd (Singapore) for damages for breach of a long-term coal supply agreement.
  • Acted for the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration as intervening friend of the court in the High Court proceedings in Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is noted for the cross-border nature of its work and has a particularly strong presence across the Asia-Pacific; the Australian team benefits from being fully integrated within the firm's global arbitration group. The team is at the forefront of investor-state dispute settlement and has significant capabilities on the international commercial arbitration front. Notably, it relies upon its own advocacy capabilities before arbitral tribunals. Cameron Hassall splits his time between Hong Kong and Sydney and leads the firm's international arbitration for Greater China group. Based in Perth, Sam Luttrell is a key contact for disputes in the natural resources sector, although the group maintains a wider focus on energy, infrastructure, aviation, corporate, and banking disputes, among others. Counsel Robert Tang is also noted in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Sam Luttrell; Cameron Hassall

Other key lawyers:

Pat Saraceni; Ben Luscombe; Robert Tang

Key clients

Carlyle

Accolade

Kingsgate Consolidated

Rio Tinto

David Lemon

New Century Resources

EmergeVest

Chairman of Forge

Tantalum International

Cortec Mining Kenya

Churchill Mining Plc

Xstate Resources

Saipem SA / Saipem Portugal Comercio Maritimo LDA

Glencore

Aercap

China Development Bank

Partner Group

Nord Anglia

Macquarie Bank

CVC

Global Switch

ECommerced

Work highlights

  • Representing Cortec Mining Kenya and its UK shareholders in an ongoing investment dispute with the Republic of Kenya administered by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
  • Acting for an Australian e-commerce company as claimant in a Hong Kong-seated ICC arbitration initiated against a large global financial institution.
  • Representing Kingsgate Consolidated and Kingsgate Capital Pty in an ongoing UNCITRAL arbitration initiated against the Kingdom of Thailand under the Australia-Thailand Free Trade Agreement.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Combining arbitration and projects expertise, Corrs Chambers Westgarth prides itself on its specialism in investor-state dispute settlement. Clients recommend the group for its credentials in the energy, construction, and natural resources sectors. Michael Earwaker is noted for his dispute resolution expertise in the construction field. Further, Brisbane-based Joshua Paffey sits at the helm of the department. Litigator Bronwyn Lincoln is highly recommended for enforcement work, particularly in relation to ICSID awards. Projects group leader Andrew Stephenson is well-placed to act on arbitrations relating to inbound and outbound investment. Unless otherwise specified, all named practitioners are based in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Paffey

Testimonials

The team has a depth of experience in litigation and arbitration. We selected Bronwyn Lincoln for a dispute last year specifically for her expertise in arbitration, as opposed to litigation.

Massive team with incredible experience in all facets of construction law. Rising as one of the leading firms in construction in Australia.

With particular expertise in the construction, energy and natural resources sector, Corrs Chambers Westgarth the firm provides excellent support.

Highly personable and competent practitioners at all seniority levels; they are a pleasure to work with. Practitioners at senior levels stand out for excellent experience, legal knowledge, common sense and practical approach. More junior practitioners are highly enthusiastic, hardworking and diligent.

Highly organised. Consistently high standard of work. All members of the team know their role and play their part in the overall strategy.

Corrs is the market leader in the construction space in both Sydney and Melbourne. The team has a depth of experience and expertise. They are very commercial in their approach. The work quality is consistently to a high standard and very strategic.

Bronwyn Lincoln is an experienced and personable lawyer who brings a professional calm to competently dealing with disputes.

Michael Earwaker is all over the technical aspects of the disputes he manages.  He is also great with clients.

I find Josh Paffey to be a charming, knowledgeable, and hands-on lawyer with a track record handling commercial international arbitration infrastructure disputes.

Andrew Stephenson is hugely knowledgeable and tactically very astute.

Josh Paffey has excellent client management skills and is well-organised.

Key clients

Hancock Prospecting

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Hancock Prospecting on obtaining orders from the New South Wales Supreme Court referring a separate multi-billion dollar claim by a minority shareholder to arbitration.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons is among ‘the largest and most prominent arbitration practices in the Australian market’. Headed up by Daisy Mallett, ‘a tenacious and skillful arbitration practitioner’, the Sydney-based international arbitration team is consistently involved in high-value commercial arbitration in the engineering, construction, energy, and natural resources industries. Mallett divides her time between Sydney and Singapore, and is deeply experienced in and well-placed to handle high-value matters in arbitration forums throughout the region. The team also has experience in the area of enforcement, where recent highlights include representing a joint venture company in the enforcement of a $6bn ICSID award against the Republic of Pakistan. Peter Pether is also recommended on the more senior end. Edwina Kwan is also among the team’s standout partners, and Domenico Cucinotta and Erin Eckhoff are both notable senior associates.

Practice head(s):

Peter Pether; Daisy Mallett

Testimonials

I have worked closely with the KWM arbitration team in Sydney for the past 2 years on a SIAC commercial arbitration matter led by Daisy Mallet. Theirs is probably the most prominent arbitration practice in the Australian market; they have particularly strong connections into the wider Asian market.

Combination of experience, commitment, and smarts.

Daisy Mallet is a very tenacious and skillful arbitration practitioner, I would say a real up-and-coming star in this space. Calm and authoritative advocacy style. Good client management skills – she really goes the extra distance.

Erin Eckhoff is one to watch.

Peter Pether: experience, judgement, feel for the pressure points.

Key clients

Tethyan Copper Company Pty

Work highlights

  • Acting for Tethyan Copper Company Pty in US$6bn enforcement proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, relating to an ICSID award against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • Acting for a client in ICC-administered proceedings seated in Singapore in relation to a major LNG Project, involving claims in excess of AU$2bn.
  • Successfully represented a Vietnamese mining company in SIAC arbitration proceedings involving claims amounting to US$200m against an Australian company regarding engineering and procurement services for a mine in Vietnam.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘strategic’ dispute resolution group attracts praise for its ‘exceptional analytical capabilities for large and serious legal problems and disputes’. Based in Perth, the team has significant commercial arbitration capabilities, but it also significantly benefits from its access to the firm’s global network. Its recent work stands out in the arbitration enforcement space, as well as in arbitration in the energy, construction, and oil and gas sectors. ‘Experienced practitionerMark van Brakel leads the wider dispute resolution group, where the ‘intelligent and very hardworkingDavid Jenaway is also a name to note; both combine expertise in litigation as well as arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Mark van Brakel

Other key lawyers:

David Jenaway

Testimonials

They have exceptional analytical capabilities for large and serious legal problems and disputes. Their technical legal analysis is the strongest of any solicitors I have worked with. They have excellent commercial antennae and are strategic. The team also has outstanding people at all levels. The partners and solicitors working with them have the strongest commitment to their clients’ causes and a never-say-die work ethic, which is critical for the most important commercial disputes that a company may have. Without question, a safe pair of hands for bet-the-company disputes.

Allen & Overy are our preferred international arbitration lawyers due to their detailed expertise in this field. From the client perspective, it is extremely beneficial that the firm has in-house access to pre-eminent individuals from within the international arbitration community. This ensures that we are afforded the best representation (in terms of advocacy/counsel), but that we have the added advantages and efficiencies afforded by the partners of the firm and counsel working harmoniously. Allen & Overy also have key individuals located in offices throughout the world that enable them to properly resource and manage larger disputes. Irrespective of the location of the seat of the arbitration (Europe, USA, or Asia), the Allen & Overy team has competent on-the-ground practitioners in those jurisdictions, who can assist in the overall management of the case. This has provided an important advantage to my company in the high-value and complex disputes that we are currently litigating before the ICC.

Mark van Brakel and David Jenaway are some of the leading commercial litigators and arbitration solicitors in Australia. Impeccable legal analysis, strategy, and commercial acumen.

David Jenaway is an intelligent and very hardworking partner. He can get across the detail on complex matters in a short period of time to provide targeted and precise advice. He is a rare breed of partner, who has an appetite for hard work and is willing to do that work himself. His thoroughness is very welcome on large and complex disputes.

Mark van Brakel is an experienced practitioner and this comes across in his measured and consistent approach. He can set a clear strategy for large-scale litigation and then implement and deliver on that strategy.

Key clients

Watkins Holdings S.a.r.l. / Watkins (Ned) B.V.

Work highlights

  • Acting for Watkins Holdings S.a.r.l. and Watkins (Ned) B.V. in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, aiming at the enforcement of the successfully obtained arbitral award by the client against the Kingdom of Spain.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields ‘a solid and reliable team of trusted advisers’ that is ‘strongly connected to the mining and natural resources industry’. The team is recognised in this section for its work in international commercial arbitration. Gitanjali Bajaj in Sydney co-heads the firm’s international arbitration group for the Asia-Pacific region. Other key figures in the team include Richard Edwards (Perth), Gowri Kangeson (Melbourne), and Liam Prescott (Brisbane); as part of a significant concerted effort, the named trio are representing a contractor in multiple consolidated claims relating to a large LNG project.

Practice head(s):

Cameron MacLean; Gitanjali Bajaj

Testimonials

DLA Piper’s arbitration team is first-rate. Particularly in my industry (construction, energy, oil and gas), they have an unrivalled track record and a depth of experience. Well-versed in all types of arbitration, a solid and reliable team and trusted advisers.

Richard Edwards is calm, focused, logical, intelligent.

Work highlights

  • Acting for the owner of a coal project in Mozambique on an ICC-administered international arbitration governed by Mozambican law and seated in Geneva.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Praised for its ‘great depth and strong reputation’, Herbert Smith Freehills’ arbitration practice in Australia is fully integrated and draws on the expertise of one of the global top-5 busiest groups worldwide. It utilises the firm’s own advocacy capabilities to represent clients in both investment and commercial arbitration proceedings not only domestically, but across the Asia-Pacific including China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, among others. The department’s work gains additional credibility due to the expertise of practice head Brenda Horrigan, who was appointed as the first female President of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration in 2019. Recently promoted Melbourne-based partner Chad Catterwell is a go-to adviser for China-related mandates and contentious issues arising out of M&A activity. Elizabeth Macknay leads the arbitration group in Perth, which is at the forefront of mining and resources sector arbitration. Likewise, the Brisbane-based team stands out in the mining sector; Elizabeth Poulos is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Brenda Horrigan

Testimonials

Great depth and strong reputation.

The Asia Pacific team is collaborative and works together. They have a number of arbitration specialists acting in arbitrations across the region. This is essential to growing an arbitration practice.

Liz Macknay is a standout practitioner.

Chad Catterwell is up and coming.

Brenda Horrigan truly has extensive global experience, having worked in so many different jurisdictions including the US, Russia, China, and Australia. She works on many of the Asia-based arbitrations, not just Australia-based arbitrations.

Key clients

Addax/Sinopec

Work highlights

  • Acting on a matter led by the Hong Kong office and representing Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation and Addax Petroleum UK in the largest-ever US$5.5bn claim filed with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘a very capable and well-regarded arbitration team’, with ‘all the ability and resources to undertake the most complex of arbitrations’. Leveraging a ‘seamless cross-jurisdictional practice’, the team is routinely involved in international commercial arbitration in the construction and engineering, energy, telecoms, and mining sectors. It also often works alongside its colleagues in the Middle East and throughout Asia-Pacific. The team is also active in the enforcement of ICSID awards. Andrew Battisson in Sydney heads up the Australia international arbitration group. Dylan McKimmie and Penelope Ford in Perth are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Battisson

Other key lawyers:

Dylan McKimmie; Penelope Ford

Testimonials

Dylan McKimmie is an extremely good lawyer, and also a delightful and engaging person to work with. He has a wide-ranging practice and excellent contacts, and is in the mode of the true international practitioner, particularly for large petrochemical and project work.

Seamless cross-jurisdictional practice. Norton Rose Fulbright has a very capable and (deservedly) well-regarded arbitration team which is supported by the firm’s highly skilled litigation team.  The team is experienced in both domestic and international litigation. The experience of team members has the consequence that the firm has all of the ability and resources to undertake the most complex of arbitrations.

Penelope Ford is delightful, very generous, and calm; thorough; incredibly busy but manages to juggle many different things.

Key clients

Acciona Infrastructure Australia

ANZ

Asahi Premium Beverages

Citibank N.A.

Cockram Construction

Costa Group Holding

Downer EDI

edotco Group Sdn Bhd

EISER Infrastructure

Exxon Mobil

Hanwha Mining Services Australia

Infrastructure Services Luxembourg S.a.r.l

JERA

McConnell Dowell Corporation

MMA Offshore

Oilex (JPDA 06-103)

Osaka Gas

POSCO Engineering & Construction

PT Dowell Anadrill Schlumberger

PT Macmahon Mining Services

RREEF

Schlumberger

Shell

SPI (208)

Tamarind Management Sdn Bhd

Theta Gold Mines

Tokyo Gas

Woodside

9REN Holdings Sarl

Work highlights

  • Secured a judgement in favour of Eiser Infrastructure and Energia Solar Luxembourg S.à.r.l, as well as Infrastructure Services Luxembourg S.à.r.l and Energia Termosolar B.V., in two sets of ICSID award enforcement proceedings.
  • Acting for all members of a joint venture (Oilex, Japan Energy E&P JPDA, Videocon, GSPC (JPDA), Bharat Petroresources JPDA and Pan Pacific Petroleum) in an ICC arbitration commenced by the Autoridade Nacional do Petróleo e Minerais, the government petroleum authority of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs’ arbitration practice relies upon the firm’s global arbitration strength and capabilities spread across 45 offices worldwide. The team has extensive experience handling commercial disputes for clients; it traditionally acts on projects and construction-related matters, but is increasingly being instructed in the energy sector. In the energy space, as well as in relation to investment treaty arbitration, the group’s offering was bolstered when dual-qualified Alexis Martinez relocated to Perth from the firm’s London-based office. Greg Steinepreis (Perth) and Cris Cureton (Sydney) are also names to note.

Key clients

Adelaide Brighton

Bentley Capital

Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry International Company

Far East Consortium

Kingdom of Spain

Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty

MSP Engineering Pty

Salini Impregilo

Woolworths Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry International Company in litigation and in Singapore-seated arbitration relating to the manufacturing and supply of all significant components on the A$11bn Roy Hill project.
  • Representing Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty in an international arbitration seated in Singapore hearing a A$1bn+ dispute in relation to the Ichthys LNG project.