Dr Julian Lew KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Public international law


Julian is a full-time arbitrator in international commercial and investment disputes. He accepts appointments as arbitrator in international commercial and investment disputes.

He has been involved with international arbitration for more than 40 years as an academic, counsel and arbitrator. Before 2005, Julian was a partner and, for some years, the head of the international arbitration practice group of Herbert Smith.

Professional expertise includes international transactions affecting investments, purchase and sale of corporate entities and assets, joint ventures, oil and gas exploration, development and production agreements, research and development and promotions of pharmaceutical and chemical products, mining and concession arrangements, distribution, agency, licensing contracts, infrastructure and construction projects, international trade finance, trading arrangements with developing countries, EC law and arbitration arising out of all such transactions.

Julian has been appointed as a sole, presiding and co-arbitrator in arbitrations under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions and under UNCITRAL and Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution rules.

He is Professor of International Arbitration and Head of the School of International Arbitration, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London. He has held these positions since the School’s creation in 1985.

Julian received the GAR Award for Best Prepared and Most Responsive Arbitrator in 2015.


Called 1970; QC 2003. Barrister 1970-1981, and 2005 to date; solicitor 1981-2005; Admitted in New York 1985. Professor and Head of the School of International Arbitration Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London. Publications: has written and published extensively on all aspects of international arbitration including: ‘Applicable Law in International Commercial Arbitration’ (Oceana, 1978); ‘Contemporary Problems in International Arbitration’ (1986, editor); ‘Comparative International Commercial Arbitration’ (Kluwer, 2003, co-author); ‘Pervasive Problems in International Arbitration’ (Kluwer, 2006, co-editor); ‘Parallel State and Arbitration Procedures in International Arbitration’ (ICC Publication, 2005, co-editor); ‘Arbitration in England (with chapters on Scotland and Ireland)’ (Kluwer, 2013, co-editor).


French (proficient)


  • CIA Committee on Arbitration Practice Guidelines: Chairman (1997–2001)
  • CIA Law Reform Committee: Chairman (1991–1996)
  • HKIAC: Advisory Council (2014–)
  • ICC Commission on International Commercial Arbitration (1990–)
  • Chairman, ICC Commission Task Force on Intellectual Property Disputes and International Arbitration (1992–1998)
  • Co-Chair, ICC Commission Task Force on Decisions as to Costs (2012–2016)
  • ICC International Court of Arbitration: UK Member (2006–2018)
  • ICC Institute of World Business Law: Council Member
  • LCIA Court Member (2000–2006); Board of Directors (1988–2008)
  • SIAC Court of Arbitration (2014–2016)


  • Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium: Doctorat special en droit international, Magna cum Laude (1977)
  • University of London: LLB (Hons) (1969)

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

(Leading arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 1

Julian Lew KCTwenty Essex ‘A very impressive arbitrator.’

20 Essex Street has ‘great strength in depth in the number of arbitrators specialising in commercial disputes, but also public international law and investment treaty arbitration‘. This extends to core areas such as commodities and shipping arbitrations where many of the firm’s leading barristers have particularly strong backgrounds. The bench is packed with an impressive array of full time and part time arbitrators, including esteemed former judges such as Sir Bernard Rix, and former solicitors and arbitration specialists, including Judith Gill KC, David Sutton and Julian Lew KC. The set also has several well regarded practicing counsel, with Duncan Matthews KC a name of note.