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Donald Robertson



Donald has expertise in cross-border economic regulation and dispute resolution.



Donald helps clients with all aspects of international law, including international contract and commercial law. He has an emphasis on the regulation and protection of cross-border investments and contracts by means of international investment treaties and international contract law. Donald has an extensive practice in regulatory law, advising on best practice regulatory principles and the impact of market regulation on commercial transactions and industry structures. He has special interest and expertise in the law of money and payment systems.

Donald has deep, specialist knowledge of the law of money and payment systems and their private and public regulatory structure.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Contract Law. In 2010 he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, one of Australia’s ‘learned Academies’ in recognition of the distinction of his career in the law.

Donald’s experience include advising:

  • Visa on the application of the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act, including the judicial review proceedings against the Reserve Bank of Australia
  • Visa in relation to the challenge by the Australian competitions regulator regarding the international rules set by Visa concerning dynamic currency conversion in cross-border transactions, and the prior regulatory investigation
  • Peabody in an international arbitration regarding the effect of force majeure and the leading court proceedings on the application of international arbitration law in Australia
  • Peabody in relation to the application of general principles of commercial contracts to international sales and shipping issues, under the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods
  • ENRC on obtaining an ex parte freezing order over shares and the court proceedings in relation to the application of the UNCITRAL Model Law, in aid of a wholly-foreign arbitration


Donald holds First Class Honours degrees in Economics and Law from Sydney University and a Master of Laws from Columbia University New York, where he held several fellowships. He is an adjunct professor of law at The University of Sydney Law School, teaching international contract law, private international law and international economic law.