David Owen KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex


David is a full-time arbitrator and mediator, with a practice covering a wide range of international commercial disputes. The Chambers UK Guide has described him as “a figure right at the heart of the commercial dispute resolution world”.


David is regularly appointed as a chairman, panel member and sole arbitrator in arbitrations conducted under the rules of international arbitral institutions, and on an “ad hoc” basis. His appointments include appointments under the rules of: the LCIA, ICC, LMAA, SIAC, SCC, NAI, and UNCITRAL.

His recent appointments have included disputes in areas such as: shipping and shipbuilding, commodities and international sale of goods, energy, oil rigs, finance, securitisation, derivatives, share sales and warranties, corporate fraud, joint ventures, limited liability partnerships, insurance/reinsurance, and international infrastructure projects.

He is a Full Member of the LMAA, and chaired the drafting committee responsible for the 2017 revision of the LMAA Terms. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and has been appointed to the panels of numerous arbitration institutions.


David has been mediating disputes since being accredited as a mediator in 2002.

The cases which he mediates are often international, and frequently factually or legally complex. His experience as an arbitrator and barrister means that he can provide robust reality testing where appropriate. He is committed to working with parties to find pragmatic solutions to apparently intractable disputes.

Recent mediation appointments have included disputes in the areas of: shipping and maritime claims; superyachts; commodity sales; finance and derivatives; fiduciary asset management; corporate fraud; joint ventures; company acquisition; international legal services; pharmaceuticals; public procurement; product liability; and infrastructure projects.

He has regularly been involved in training mediators internationally, and has been appointed to numerous mediation panels.

Professional background

David was a barrister for over 30 years before becoming an arbitrator and mediator, and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2006. His practice involved advocacy and advisory work in arbitration and litigation relating to a wide spectrum of international cases, including complex technical issues, and cases involving states and state bodies.


HM Treasury 1979-81; Astbury Scholar, Middle Temple; VerHeyden Prize for Advocacy; called to Bar (Middle Temple) 1983; accredited as mediator 2002; appointed as QC 2006.




  • ARIAS – Insurance & Reinsurance Arbitration Society
  • EMAC – Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre
  • HKIAC – Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • KLRCA – Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration
  • MOOGAS – Marine Offshore Oil and Gas Association
  • PIAC – Pacific International Arbitration Centre
  • SCMA -Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration
  • Shenzen Court of International Arbitration
  • SIAC – Singapore International Arbitration Centre


Marlborough College (scholar); Merton College, Oxford (scholar, MA).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

(Leading arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 1

David Owen KCTwenty Essex ‘A distinguished arbitrator with very sound judgment and ability as a chair.’