Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: Arbitration: foreign firms

Baker McKenzie FenXun maintains an active arbitration practice, with a focus on Sino-foreign joint ventures, Belt and Road-related disputes, and major projects in South and Southeast Asia.

Dispute resolution: Arbitration: foreign firms in China

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s international arbitration practice operates in conjunction with affiliated specialists in Hong Kong, Singapore and Perth, and the firm's joint operation with Lang Yue Law Firm, which recently welcomed new head Melody Wang, previously at Fangda Partners, is another major draw. The team primarily acts for international companies and financial institutions, although its expertise also extends to cover other entities, evidenced by its recent representation of the Republic of Korea in an investment treaty dispute. Dual-qualified partner Jane Jiang leads the practice from Shanghai, spearheading the team’s offering with regard to high-profile domestic financial institutions and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Specialising in commercial and investment treaty arbitration, Hong Kong-based partner Matthew Hodgson is another key figure in the firm, acting on disputes relating to major natural resources and infrastructure projects, joint ventures and distribution agreements. Changes to the team include the departure of former department lead Matthew Gearing QC in the spring of 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jane Jiang

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Hodgson


‘High quality of work with excellent collaboration across the offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and London.’

‘Matthew Hodgson is very responsive. He provides strategic suggestions in consideration of client’s concerns and budgets etc.’

Key clients

The Republic of Korea

The Kingdom of Cambodia

Work highlights

  • Defending the Republic of Korea in a high-profile investment treaty dispute brought by a Chinese businessman.
  • Advising the chairperson of a leading cosmetics brand in mainland China in Hong Kong-seated HKIAC arbitration against the other shareholders and management members of the group.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

With a focus on high-stakes commercial arbitration, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP impresses with a dedicated team based across mainland China and Hong Kong, supplemented by expertise in other international arbitration hubs such as London and Singapore. The firm’s capabilities are further enhanced by its collaboration with Kewei Law Firm in Shanghai. The firm regularly acts for Chinese SOEs, with a further emphasis on prestigious multinational clients, serving as a one-stop-shop facilitated by the team’s language abilities. Among its recent highlights, the team represented SIPC and Addax in a major claim in the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, valued at approximately $5.5bn. Based in Hong Kong, Simon Chapman QC leads the team and acts as regional head of the firm’s dispute resolution practice in Asia. The firm also fields a capable team in Shanghai, with standouts including Helen Tang, well regarded for her expertise in China-related disputes, and Hew Kian Heong, equipped with over 30 years of experience in construction-related disputes. In May 2021, Hong Kong-based and cross-border disputes expert Antony Crockett was promoted to partner. Stella Hu left the firm in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Simon Chapman QC

Key clients

Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production

Addax Petroleum

Axiata Group Berhad

A consortium of international oil and gas companies from Asia and Africa

Work highlights

  • Representing SIPC and Addax in the largest claim ever filed with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, valued in excess of $5.5bn.
  • Representing Axiata in ICSID arbitration proceedings in relation to a $900m bilateral investment treaty claim against Nepal.
  • Advising a consortium of international oil and gas companies from Asia and Africa in relation to disputes against an African government arising from exploration and production sharing agreements.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP‘s litigation and dispute resolution practice combines the talents of practitioners across the firm’s international network, allowing it to achieve successful outcomes for a range of domestic and international corporations, investment funds and private equity firms. The firm showcases particular strength in cases before the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC). Hong Kong-based partners Thomas Walsh and Cameron Hassall lead the practice alongside Lei Shi, who divides his time between Shanghai and Beijing. Considered ‘absolutely first class‘, Shei leverages his experience as a triple-qualified practitioner to represent major banks, financial investors and technology companies in PRC and multi-jurisdictional disputes. In Shanghai, senior associate Nathan Zhou supports the team’s efforts in a variety of disputes featuring a Chinese element.

Other key lawyers:

Nathan ZhouHaoyang Zhang; Feifei Yu


‘This team is experienced and knowledgeable. They are always on top of everything for each case. Their attention to detail is highly impressive.’

‘While they do their utmost to address client’s needs and concerns, they will manage client’s expectations and also make realistic and constructive suggestions as the case progresses. They have smooth co-ordination and provide unfailing support for counsel team. Overall, this is an exceptional team.’

‘Lei Shi and Feifei Yu are absolutely first class. They provide meticulous analysis on both facts and law. In particular, in an arbitration, they conduct effective cross-examination of the other side’s expert witness in respect of various technical details on accounting.’

‘Their skills starkly demonstrate their complete understanding of every aspect of the expert evidence and craftsmanship in formulating questions.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a company in a Chinese telecoms group in HKIAC arbitration brought by affiliated companies of a US software developer regarding a software licensing dispute.
  • Acting for a large Chinese state-owned asset management group in Hong Kong-seated UNCITRAL arbitration in a bond and guarantee dispute.
  • Acting for a Hong Kong company in two Hong Kong seated arbitrations amounting to a total of $100m in respect of put option disputes.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

With a strong footing in the energy, construction, private equity, telecoms and technology sectors, Shearman & Sterling LLP stands out for its experience in complex commercial disputes and investment treaty arbitration. The practice is also characterised by its involvement in matters with high-profile clients, including its recent representation of the PRC in ICSID arbitration. Splitting his time between Beijing and Singapore, Emmanuel Jacomy leads the practice, often acting for clients in high-stakes international disputes. In Hong Kong, dual-qualified counsel Edward Taylor is another key figure, regarded for his work in commercial and investment treaty disputes. In April 2022 Nils Eliasson departed the firm.

Practice head(s):

Emmanuel Jacomy

Other key lawyers:

Edward Taylor

Key clients

Huawei Technologies

People’s Republic of China


EFG International

EDF International

Kot Addu Power Company Limited (KAPCO)

Groupement Toutagaz

Neptune Energy


Work highlights

  • Representing Huawei Technologies as claimant in an arbitration before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
  • Representing the People’s Republic of China in an ICSID arbitration brought by German company Hela Schwarz.
  • Representing an international logistics company in three HKIAC-administered arbitrations against its joint venture partner and related bodies.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP stands out for its in-depth commercial arbitration expertise in the insurance, infrastructure, marine, aviation and commodity industries. The firm is well versed in addressing Chinese law issues thanks to its joint venture with Westlink Partnership. Ik Wei Chong heads the practice from Shanghai, using his experience in the shipping, insurance, international trade and energy sectors to handle a variety of commercial and investment disputes in relation to China and the ASEAN region. Also in Shanghai, Nicholas Lum specialises in cross-border disputes, while Canming Wang, who divides his time between Shanghai and Chongqing, primarily represents clients in marine and trade-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ik Wei Chong

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Lum; Canming Wang


‘The team is very professional and responsive.’

‘The team has a very outstanding advantage in international arbitration and can always provide practical suggestions.’

‘Nicolas Lum is very professional and responsive.’

Pinsent Masons

Led by Hong Kong-based partner Dean Lewis, who regularly acts in infrastructure projects in the Asia Pacific region and co-heads the firm’s international arbitration practice, Pinsent Masons specialises in the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors, primarily advising clients on relevant commercial disputes. Other notable figures include Sam Boyling, who divides his time between Beijing and Singapore and is noted for his representation of Chinese SOEs in various dispute resolution matters, and Shanghai-based senior associate Rachel Turner, who is active in disputes arising from outbound energy projects. Key changes to the team include the departure of Helena Chen.

Practice head(s):

Dean Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Sam Boyling; Rachel Turner

Key clients

Maeda-China State JV