David St John Sutton > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Agency
  • Construction
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Finance and banking
  • Intellectual property
  • Joint venture


David is a full-time arbitrator practicing in London and Paris in international commercial and investment disputes. He is also an accredited mediator.

He has been involved with international arbitration for many years, first as counsel and then as arbitrator and author. David also practiced commercial litigation in the courts of England and Hong Kong.

Until 2001, David was a partner in the law firm of Allen & Overy where, with the benefit of a higher advocacy certificate, he led that firm’s dispute resolution department in London for many years. He also practiced as counsel and arbitrator in Hong Kong, and later in Paris, before leaving Allen & Overy. As counsel, David acted for government entities, utilities, banks and commercial undertakings in a variety of disputes.

His professional experience as an arbitrator extends to a wide range of transactions, relating to banking and finance, joint ventures, oil and gas (onshore, offshore and pricing), intellectual property, licencing of patents, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. David has also decided substantial claims involving civil fraud and related torts, as well as cross-border bankruptcy.

As an arbitrator, David has sat in many countries, east and west, and he has applied a variety of civil laws as well as common laws. He has been appointed as sole arbitrator and president of tribunals by many of the leading arbitration institutions, including the ICC, LCIA, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), Zurich Chamber of Commerce (ZCC), ICDR, HKIAC and SIAC. He has also conducted ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL rules.


Called 2001; formerly partner of Allen &Overy, practicing in London, Paris and Hong Kong; publications: joint editor of ‘Russell on Arbitration’.


French (proficient)


  • Avocat à la Cour de Paris
  • Bar Council of England and Wales
  • CIArb (Fellow)
  • HKIAC (former member of the management committee)
  • ICC Commission on International Arbitration (former member of the Court)
  • International Bar Association
  • LCIA (former member of the Board)

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

(Leading arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 1

David SuttonTwenty Essex

Twenty Essex is praised for its ‘very strong bench of well-known arbitrators‘ who range from former judges through to practicing barristers. The set, which has a strong background in shipping, international trade and broader commercial and investment treaty disputes, has several counsel who have excellent arbitrator credentials, with Duncan Matthews KC being a prime example. This is in addition to a strong cohort of full time arbitrators, including ex judges such as Sir Bernard Rix, and distinguished former solicitors including Judith Gill KC, Julian Lew KC and David Sutton. Clients appreciate the service, commending the set for being ‘very experienced in clerking arbitrators’.