Melanie Willems > Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP
1 New Fetter Lane

Work Department

Energy Litigation, International Arbitration, Renewables, Offshore Oil and Gas, Dispute Resolution


Partner, Chair of International Arbitration Practice Group


Melanie Willems, Chair of the International Arbitration Practice Group in the London office, is experienced in all forms of alternative dispute resolution including expert determination, mediation, and adjudication. Melanie has extensive experience in both ad hoc proceedings and those administered by the major international arbitral institutions, such as ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, ICSID, as well as standard form contract rules. She also represents clients in the English courts and sits as an arbitrator.

Melanie acts for clients in a range of industries, including engineering, energy, construction, rail, infrastructure/transport, hospitality and hotels, retail, property development, banking and finance, technology, and insurance. She has particular experience in contractual disputes arising from energy, major projects, engineering matters, and hospitality. Clients seek Melanie’s counsel on international projects disputes in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and India in relation to foreign investments, power plants, renewable energy, desalination plants, petrochemical plants, oil rigs, pipelines, hotels, roads/highways, hospitals, transport, and government projects.

Melanie is ranked for international arbitration in all major legal directories and was inducted to The Legal 500 UK’s Hall of Fame for International Arbitration in 2021. She is also included in The Legal 500 “International Arbitration Powerlist”, which showcases 200 of the UK’s leading practitioners working in law firms and the Bar.

Melanie is a prolific writer and speaker, and lectures frequently on topics related to international arbitration and various forms of dispute resolution, in the UK and abroad.


Fluent French, Good Spanish, German, Italian, some Portuguese.


International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), International Bar Association (IBA), Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Committee Member of the London Branch, 2007-2015, Former President of and Committee Member of the Society of Construction Arbitrators.


LL.B., Kings College London, 1989. Maitrise, Law, Université  de Paris I, 1989. MSc in Construction Law and Arbitration, Kings College London, 1993

Lawyer Rankings

London > Dispute resolution > International arbitration

(Hall of Fame)

Melanie WillemsHaynes and Boone CDG, LLP

The London-based international arbitration team of US-headquartered Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP combines longstanding international arbitration experience with energy and construction sector expertise; and the team regularly acts in arbitrations pursuant to the ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL rules, as well as in ad hoc proceedings. International arbitration head Melanie Willems is ‘a superb team leader‘, while Markus Esly is an energy, projects, construction and infrastructure disputes expert. Counsel Robert Blackett focuses on international arbitration, and William Cecil is litigation head.

London > Real estate > Construction: contentious

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP has a strong reputation acting for contractor and employer clients in international arbitration matters, specifically in relation to engineering and infrastructure disputes. Melanie Willems, who has extensive experience in contractual disputes arising from energy, projects and engineering matters, leads the team alongside William Cecil. Markus Esly acts on complex commercial disputes, advising clients in the hotels and hospitality industry, whilst Robert Blackett focuses on international arbitration in the oil and gas, energy, engineering sectors.