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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


An international consortium of contractors on ICC arbitration proceedings arising out of the termination of a £250 million EPC contract for a substantial infrastructure project in Europe


Advising a consortium of leading multinational energy companies in UNCITRAL arbitration and expert determination proceedings against a Central Asian Republic. The case concerned budget and schedule disputes worth US$ 9 billion in a high-profile and politically significant dispute concerning one of the world's largest oil and gas projects


Advising the Government of Malaysia on a US$1.2 billion arbitration against the Republic of Singapore concerning the interpretation of a bilateral treaty


Advising BP on contentious issues in contract and in tort, and in multiple jurisdictions and fora including the UK inquest proceedings, arising from the terrorist incident at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria between 16-19 January 2013


Representing Sinopec in its successful USD$5.5 billion fraud claim against Repsol arising from the acquisition of a series of offshore oil and gas assets in the UK North Sea. The arbitration was administered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).


Advising Mylan Laboratories in its significant victory in a SIAC arbitration commenced by Phosphagenics in Singapore arising from licensing and research agreements, in which Phosphagenics claimed damages of over US$ 300 million

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

In International Arbitration
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Our People

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Dispute Resolution

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Professional Negligence

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