Duncan Matthews KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex
20 ESSEX STREET
LONDON
WC2R 3AL
England

Work Department

  • Banking and financial services
  • Civil fraud and asset recovery
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration and related court applications
  • Mediation
  • Private international law
  • Shipping and commodities

Position

Duncan is joint Head of Chambers. He is a leading trial advocate with a broad practice in international and domestic commercial dispute resolution.

He helps clients in English higher court proceedings and overseas. He also has a large international arbitration practice, with experience of a wide range of arbitral institutions including the HKIAC, ICC, JCAA, LCIA, LMAA, UNCITRAL and SIAC (ad hoc).

Duncan accepts arbitral appointments and has been appointed sole arbitrator and as chairman of three-member tribunals.

He is a registered foreign lawyer with the Singapore International Commercial Court. He is also admitted to the Bars of the Turks and Caicos Islands (ad hoc), British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Nevis (ad hoc), and East Caribbean Supreme Court.

Duncan is ranked in the leading legal directories for civil fraud, commercial dispute resolution, energy and natural resources, international arbitration, shipping and commodities, and as an arbitrator.

Career

Called 1986, Gray’s Inn (Bencher 2004); QC 2002.

Languages

French (proficient); Italian (proficient); German (conversational)

Memberships

  • Anglo-Russian Law Association
  • British German Jurists Association
  • British Italian Law Association
  • Civil Mediation Council
  • Council of the Inns of Court Trustee
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Franco British Lawyers Society
  • Gray’s Inn: Bencher and member of Management Committee
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • LCIA: Director on Board
  • LMAA: Chairman, Supporting Members Liaison Committee
  • LMAA: Supporting Member
  • Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration

Education

  • University of Oxford, Magdalen College: MA (1996)
  • University of Oxford, Magdalen College: BA Hons (1984)

Lawyer Rankings

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Duncan Matthews QCTwenty Essex

A superb tactician and excellent in advocacy.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Construction, energy and infrastructure

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Duncan Matthews QC – Twenty EssexGreat strategist, very practical and excellent advocacy skills.’

Twenty Essex is carving a reputation for its work in the energy space, with its members engaged in the full range of oil and gas, nuclear, renewables and mining disputes. While members are experienced in handling construction and engineering matters, the set also demonstrates expertise in the renewables market. Duncan Matthews QC is the joint head of chambers and his practice spans upstream, midstream and downstream disputes in the energy and natural resources sector. Nakul Dewan SA practises from Singapore and Delhi, as well as London.

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘Duncan is extremely bright and his advocacy is very persuasive.’

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘He is extremely bright and his advocacy is very persuasive.’

20 Essex Street is ‘a go-to set for substantial commercial disputes, particularly with an international angle’ and it provides ‘excellent silks and juniors who are very accessible and approachable’. One client remarks that ‘it has become the best set as a whole for shipping and commodities disputes’, which brings its members firmly into the energy arena. Duncan Matthews KC is a leading trial advocate with a broad practice in international and domestic commercial dispute resolution, and Michael Ashcroft KC frequently handles cases concerning contracts for the exploitation of resources, construction, transportation, sales and insurance. Ashcroft acted for BP Oil International in a case concerning the return of advance payments for shipments of crude oil. Andrew Fulton KC handled a US$16m Commercial Court dispute arising out of insolvent collapse of Singapore oil trader. Junior Malcolm Jarvis has significant expertise in complex high stakes arbitration and litigation on the broad span of upstream, midstream and downstream disputes. The clerks, led by Anthony Carroll, provide ‘an excellent support service at all levels and are very helpful and fair in negotiations on fees and briefs’.

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

(Leading counsel as arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 1

Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘An exceptionally good arbitrator who really gets on top of the detail.’

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.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘Extremely bright and his advocacy is very persuasive.’

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘A very effective silk with a strong presence in court and excellent cross-examination skills.’

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘Extremely bright and his advocacy is very persuasive.’

Twenty Essex is a ‘ go-to set for substantial commercial disputes, particularly with an international angle‘. Clients appreciate its ‘good strength in depth and a dazzling array of legal talent,‘ who bring experience of handling the largest cases. Notable instructions include Abdulhameed Dhia Jafar v The GHF Group Limited and GHF General Partner Limited, a case arising from the collapse of the Abraaj emerging markets private equity house, in which Stephen Atherton KC  is leading Sarah Tresman for GHF, which sits within the Abraaj fund structure. Another major case involving several members is PJSC National Bank Trust; PJSC Otkritie Bank Financial Corporation v Boris Mints; Dmitry Mints; Alexander Mints; Igor Mints, a fraudulent conspiracy claim in relation to the restructuring of loans, with Philip Edey KC and Tresman representing Boris Mints and Duncan Matthews KC representing his son, Igor Mints.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘Extremely bright and his advocacy is very persuasive.’

Twenty Essex is going from ‘strength to strength with many quality advocates at all levels particularly in fraud and insolvency‘. The set’s offering also overlaps into key areas such as banking and commodities. Multiple members were represented defendants in PJSC National Bank Trust; PJSC Otkritie Bank Financial Corporation v Mints, a fraudulent conspiracy claim in relation to the restructuring of loans, with Philip Edey KC and Sarah Tresman representing Boris Mints and Duncan Matthews KC representing Igor, one of his three co-defendant sons. In The Libyan Investment Authority v Credit Suisse International; Man Asset Management (Ireland) Limited; Frontier Investment Management Partners Ltd & others, Paul Lowenstein KC and Sam Goodman  successfully defended Frontier Investment Management Partners in the last of several high-profile investment disputes brought by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund.