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International Arbitration

A truly integrated global service for international arbitration


Our specialist arbitration practitioners are based across Europe, Asia Pacific, the United States, Africa and the Middle East and have extensive experience of advising clients on commercial, investor-state and state-to-state arbitration.

We advise clients on arbitrations under a broad spectrum of civil and common laws as well as public international law. We are experienced in arbitrating under the rules of all major arbitration institutions, as well as having conducted numerous ad hoc arbitrations. Our genuine sector knowledge, commercial awareness and regional sensitivity are unrivalled. We advise clients and conduct arbitrations in a number of languages. Once you have an arbitral award, we can help you to enforce it around the world.

Our long standing experience of acting in investor-state and state-to-state arbitrations and in-depth knowledge of the nuances of these specialist areas means we can help you to best meet your objectives. We provide advice on the best possible investment and treaty protection.

Conducting our own advocacy means our skilled advocates play a critical role in the strategy of the case from the outset. It also minimises the cost and time involved for our clients in instructing external counsel.

Choosing arbitrators and expert witnesses can be highly significant in achieving a successful outcome and we offer our clients in-depth knowledge of both. Members of the arbitration group regularly sit as arbitrators and this valuable insight into the arbitral process from a different perspective helps us to identify winning strategies.

Whether you are a financial institution, a multinational corporation, a government or a state-owned entity, we combine in-depth legal and sector knowledge with a proven track record of successfully acting in complex disputes, working alongside local counsel where appropriate.

Recent Experience


Advising The Republic of Costa Rica in a successful CAFTA-DR claim commenced under the UNCITRAL rules

The United States of America

Advising on several LCIA arbitrations against Canada on imports of softwood lumber to the United States

The Government of Spain

Advising the Government of Spain in successful proceedings commenced by 16 investment funds based on alleged violations of the protections in the Energy Charter Treaty according to foreign investors 

International energy companies

Advising on joint venture of international energy companies in an ICC arbitration regarding the gas supply to an LNG plant in a West African country

Vedanta Resources

Vedanta Resources on a claim under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty arising from the imposition of retrospective tax by the Indian tax authorities


Our solutions


Commercial Arbitration

Our dedicated arbitration specialists across the globe work together to advise clients in every aspect of arbitration, including drafting...
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Global Advocacy

We see advocacy as a key deliverable of the twenty-first century law firm.
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Investment Arbitration and Treaty Protection

Even investments into relatively stable ‎jurisdictions may be affected by changes in the political and financial landscape. No investor can...
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Public International Law

We operate in the real world: as one of the only firms with experts in a broad range of international law issues across a global network,...
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Ranked Top 3 in the world, Ranked amongst top 5 in the world 2016 - 2019


"Renowned international arbitration group with impressive global reach"

TIER 1 – LEGAL 500 UK 2020

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'rightly respected in the market as a top operator in the field of international arbitration and it has superb, pragmatic and hardworking lawyers at every level'.


"Standout arbitration capability coupled with an unrivalled breadth of regional coverage"


"The firm garners praise for its international expertise, with one source noting that it is ‘well known among the local legal communities for its active presence and excellent expertise in cross-border transactions,’”

Insights and updates

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Our People

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Dispute Resolution

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Energy, Natural Resources & Infrastructure Finance

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Financial Services Disputes

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Insurance coverage

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Professional Negligence

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