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Ella Wisniewski

Senior Associate (Australia)
Senior Associate

Ella is a disputes lawyer specialising in international commercial arbitration.

Ella has acted for clients in international commercial arbitrations, both institutional and ad-hoc, and in an investor-state arbitration administered by ICSID. Her post-graduate specialisation and international experience has leant her valuable insight into the practice of international arbitration within common law and civil law jurisdictions alike, as well as from an institutional perspective.

At Herbert Smith Freehills, Ella advises clients on the resolution of complex disputes in the mining and resources, energy, and construction sectors. She is well equipped to deliver pragmatic, commercial advice on the resolution of complex cross-border disputes involving a variety of applicable laws, and the difficult procedural and substantive issues which inevitably arise throughout. In addition to her experience in the arbitration sphere, Ella has acted for clients on the resolution of disputes through litigation and adjudication proceedings.


Ella was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015, and commenced her practice at a boutique firm in Western Australia, before moving to Berlin to undertake a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Dispute Resolution at Humboldt University.

Whilst based in Berlin, Ella worked at the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) and at a specialist arbitration firm as a visiting foreign lawyer. Upon returning to Perth, Ella worked in the construction disputes team of an international law firm, before joining Herbert Smith Freehills, in 2018.

Market Recognition

In 2020, Ella was named an Australasian Lawyer Rising Star.

Ella was awarded third place in the 2018 Nappert Prize in International Arbitration, for her paper entitled “A Changing Climate: The Future of ‘Legitimate Expectations’ in Energy Investment Disputes”.

Ella received the ‘best oralist’ prize for her defense of paper before a panel of preeminent arbitration practitioners and academics, at the Nappert Prize Symposium in Montreal.

Ella has published several articles on the subject of renewable energy investment disputes, and recently co-authored a contribution to a book entitled ‘The Investor-State Dispute Settlement System Reform, Replace or Status Quo?’, published by Wolters Kluwer International.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • an Indonesian coal mining licence holder on a Singapore-seated arbitration relating to agreements for the production and sale of metallurgical and thermal coal
  • an Australian iron ore producer on international arbitration proceedings relating to an offtake agreement
  • a global oil and gas producer on a significant dispute relating to offshore LNG facilities
  • a joint venture of leading construction groups on a complex dispute, including international arbitration proceedings seated in Singapore, in relation to a major onshore LNG plant
  • a leading Spanish energy and construction group on litigation proceedings relating to the enforcement of an arbitral award.