International arbitration

Whether you are a multinational corporation, international investor, private equity business or Government, our arbitration practice can help you to resolve your international disputes.

Our dedicated arbitration team works with clients around the world to resolve major commercial and investor-state disputes across a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, natural resources, infrastructure, manufacturing, technology, construction and finance. We are also one of the leading firms handling arbitration in the sports, luxury brands and arts sectors and act for some of the most high-profile and dynamic clients in these markets. The geographic range of our cases crosses Europe, Anglophone and Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, the CIS, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Our multilingual team works in numerous languages on our arbitrations.

We act as strategic advisors, counsel and advocates. Our work covers the entirety of arbitration cases, from initial case analysis through to successful enforcement of arbitral awards. We also serve as arbitrators and are prominent as thought leaders in the field. Our team contains more than 20 arbitration lawyers around the world, including London, Milan, Singapore, New York and the British Virgin Islands, working on both arbitrations under all the major arbitration rules (including ICC, LCIA, ICSID, UNCITRAL, SIAC, HKIAC, CAM and SCC) and pure ad hoc arbitrations.

Singapore partner Deborah Barker SC explains that ‘Arbitration is consensual and can be appropriately tailored to be relatively quick compared with court proceedings. And for enforcement, arbitration frequently enjoys a significant advantage owing to the New York Convention’.

Legal 500 described us as ‘extremely tactically aware’ and The Legal Business Disputes Yearbook has hailed partner Hussein Haeri as ‘a name that is destined to join the pantheon of stars in the international arbitration arena’. Our clients praise as ‘exceptionally valuable’ our ‘know-how on how to navigate international arbitrations’ and our ‘excellent customer focus’. They acknowledge our ‘deep technical knowledge’ and ‘sound judgment’, describing our communication skills as ‘simply amazing’.

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Investment treaty arbitration increasingly utilized

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Leading firm for international arbitration


Hussein Haeri combines deep technical knowledge of investment treaty arbitration with clarity of strategic direction and impressive project management skills. He demonstrates excellent customer focus and sound judgement

Thomas Le Feuvre, Head of International Agreements, Government of Jersey

Hussein Haeri’s strategic advice and know-how on how to navigate international arbitrations has proved to be exceptionally valuable over the two years we have been working together.

Senior Oil and Gas Executive

Hussein Haeri’s ability to connect to our people here and to simply explain different scenarios is amazing.

Marsha Lazareva - Vice Chairman and Managing Director, KGL Investment Company

A reliable and erudite expert’ and ‘always considers the real benefit for our company.


When we found ourselves drawn into in an international dispute, we wanted a law firm which would pay close attention throughout the case and be able to effectively manage the proceedings taking place in parallel in a number of jurisdictions. Withers’ arbitration team were constantly in touch to keep us in the picture, and expertly managed a complex situation to deliver a welcome result for us.

Vebeca Holdings Limited

Withers LLP’s ‘client-care is amongst the best around’. The practice regularly acts in sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, and mining; it also has a robust investment treaty practice. The co-international arbitration heads are Hussein Haeri, who is ‘a standout operator’, and special counsel Eleni Polycarpou, who ‘never leaves any stone unturned’. Tatiana Menshenina ‘has a near-unrivaled understanding of Russian and CIS-related commercial disputes’; global head of litigation Peter Wood is ‘very impressive’; and special counsel Georgina Bayley ‘gives clear-headed advice’.

Legal 500, 2017

Withers has delivered positive results for us in three significant disputes resolved through arbitration. In each instance, the Withers team has delivered a great service along with a well-defined strategy for pursuing each matter.


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How the team can help

Track record

UK-Czech Republic UNCITRAL arbitration

Our client is a leading assistive technology company in an expropriation dispute with the Czech Republic under the UK-Czech Republic bilateral investment treaty. We are representing the Claimant as counsel and advocates in an UNCITRAL arbitration, which is administered by the ICSID Secretariat.

Italian energy company ICSID arbitration

A dispute over an investment in the energy sector and ICSID investment treaty arbitration claim against a European state. Our client is seeking damages for breach of fair and equitable treatment, expropriation and other treaty standards.

Construction dispute and ad hoc arbitration in North Africa

A major construction project in Libya has resulted in an ad hoc commercial arbitration for our client, an Italian company.

Energy company UNCITRAL arbitration against Pakistan

Represented a Mauritian energy company as counsel and advocates in an investment treaty arbitration against Pakistan under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules.

ICC motorway arbitrations

Representing one of the largest companies in Macedonia in two ICC arbitrations relating to the collapse of a public procurement project to build a motorway in Poland, including claims for unpaid joint venture costs and breach of contract. <br />

Cypriot company in a USD$72 million arbitration

Acting for a Cypriot company with Russian connections in an arbitration claim challenging a USD$72 million London Court of International Arbitration Award

Caspian Sea $20 million arbitration

Acting for a British Virgin Islands company in relation to a claim for the return of US$20 million due to it from a Turkish company following the non supply of shares in a Swiss company which owned an oil terminal on the Caspian Sea.

Russian real estate project in LCIA arbitration

In an LCIA arbitration concerning a high profile real estate project in Moscow, worth $160m, and involving complex issues of fraud, illegality and a combination of Russian, Kazakh and BVI law, we have taken an innovative approach to calculating the damages at stake.

Multi-million dollar digital entertainment arbitration

Our cross border dispute resolution team acted for a Korean digital entertainment business in a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration on a construction and commercial disagreement involving two Korean businesses and a Chinese company

Italy-CIS dispute over contract and arbitration venue

A complex international case has seen us acting in a dispute between parties in Italy and a former CIS region state. The case involves a possible arbitration in Paris over a contract under English law, as well as questions of the English court's ability to grant relief in the case.

Multi-billion dollar energy arbitration

Acting on a multi-billion dollar energy arbitration arising out of an M&A transaction.

LCIA arbitration in art sector

Advised a company specialising in buying and selling art in an LCIA arbitration dispute over the ownership of a Monet painting under Swiss law.

A luxury yacht builder

An Italian luxury yacht builder consulted Withers when it found itself in dispute with a Maltese client over a shipbuilding agreement. This was essentially a contractual dispute involving delay, construction in accordance with strict shipbuilding specifications and a claim for liquidated damages.

A regional education provider in Singapore in a cross border arbitration

We advised our client (the Claimant) in a cross border arbitration under the SIAC Rules involving claims of USD $70 million. Our client entered into a funding arrangement with a private equity firm, allowing the funder to acquire shares and/or control in a company which acquires, runs and manages schools, and the arbitration concerned the corporate structure and approach to governance and controls.

Greek TV merger leads to arbitration

A proposed merger in the Pay TV market in Greece led to a dispute in which we represented Greek clients in a substantial LCIA arbitration.

Croatian gaming concession arbitration

Acting as Counsel for the respondent in Adria Beteiligungs v The Republic of Croatia, we worked on an UNCITRAL arbitration under the aegis of the Permanent Court of Arbitration related to a gaming concession agreement in Croatia.

India Ukraine arbitration

The awarding of an infrastructure contract in Ukraine to an Indian infrastructure company led us to work on an arbitration to deal with a dispute regarding the contract.

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