Essex Court is the pre-eminent international arbitration set, particularly sought after for its deep bench and historical expertise in representing high-profile clients in disputes arising under the remit of numerous arbitral bodies including the ICC, SIAC, the LMAA and the LCIA. Barristers of the set frequently gain instruction in international cases of great complexity and value, as evidenced by their recent involvement in Pinchuk v Bogolyubov & Kolomoisky. Commentators say: "They are at the top of the league when it comes to international arbitration and they don't disappoint. They deliver high-quality advice quickly and in a way which is accessible to clients."
Client service: "They have some of the best clerks in the city." "They have very good clerks who are very helpful whenever you contact any of them." The senior clerks are Joe Ferrigno and David Grief.
Toby Landau QC
Widely acclaimed as "a superstar" for his expertise in acting as counsel and arbitrator in national and international courts and tribunals. He is frequently called on for high-value and complex cases involving commercial entities and sovereign states.
Strengths: "Absolutely brilliant in arbitration; he knows it inside out and is one of the best readers of the tribunal." "Phenomenally smart and incredibly thoughtful and reflective. You know he's always ten steps ahead of everybody else."
Recent work: Acted in Astro Nusantara v PT First Media, which concerned the enforcement of a foreign award under the New York Convention 1958 in the Court of First Instance in Hong Kong.
Vernon Flynn QC
Known for his significant expertise in handling domestic and international commercial disputes, including multi-jurisdictional arbitration. He has appeared before courts and tribunals in various jurisdictions including Dubai, Singapore, Stockholm and the Cayman Islands, acting on behalf of prominent individuals and major corporations.
Strengths: "He has a persuasive charm that makes every member of the team feel valued."
Graham Dunning QC
A heavyweight of international commercial arbitration with long-standing experience of appearing before courts and arbitration panels domestically and abroad. He often represents high net worth individuals, financial institutions and large companies, among others.
Strengths: "Dunning is a fantastic trial advocate. He is incredibly well prepared, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and is very good at jurisdictional matters."
David Foxton QC
Widely acclaimed as a "standout performer" who handles a host of arbitration issues including jurisdictional challenges under Section 68 and applications to appeal under Section 69 of the International Arbitration Act 1996. He appears before tribunals under the LCIA, LMAA, ICC, SIAC and ARIAS rules.
Strengths: "Absolutely amazing, he's an absolute supersilk. He has a phenomenal intellect and I've never seen anyone deal so well with difficult, stressed-out clients. He has a wonderful bedside manner." "Extremely clever, creative, and fantastic to work with."
Recent work: Acted in a high-profile multimillion-dollar dispute between Ukrainian oligarchs Viktor Mikhaylovich Pinchuk, Gennadiy Borisovich Bogolyubov and Igor Valeryevich Kolomoisky.
David Joseph QC
Comes highly recommended for his broad commercial international arbitration practice that covers a wide array of industries including the energy, telecoms, construction, insurance, shipping and aerospace sectors.
Strengths: "A smooth, confident advocate." "A sound strategist and good at developing case theory."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of Astro All Asia Networks in its claim against PT First Media and FM and others. This was an arbitration and subsequent enforcement court proceedings arising from the split of an Indonesian satellite TV joint venture.
Joe Smouha QC
Widely considered as one of the strongest practitioners at the International Arbitration Bar due to his extensive experience in handling notable commercial disputes under a number of prominent arbitral institutions including the ICC and LCIA.
Strengths: "An incredibly clever lawyer, he's an absolutely first-rate advocate and brilliant at cross-examination."
Recent work: Represented Raytheon in its dispute with the Home Office concerning the remission of a GBP224 million arbitral award previously granted to it.
Richard Millett QC
Highly regarded for his handling of high-value international arbitrations for financial clients, significant individuals and international corporations. He handles institutional and ad hoc arbitrations and frequently appears in offshore jurisdictions.
Strengths: "He is a bright fellow; he is creative, accessible and easy to work with as part of the team." "He brings a huge amount of experience to his analysis of the situation and he has a good way of seeing the issue the way the Bench is likely to see it. You don't only get a strict legal analysis but also a judicial view of how it is likely to go."
Ricky Diwan QC
Highly regarded for his international arbitration practice, which concentrates on commercial and investment issues. He has significant experience of arguing cases under a variety of laws and regulations and representing clients before national and international arbitral tribunals.
Strengths: "Ricky is meticulous, extremely hard-working and always on top of all the details."
Salim Moollan QC
Acts on behalf of a range of clients including pharmaceutical corporations, communication companies and state-owned organisations in commercial arbitrations and related court applications under domestic and international law.
Strengths: "A smooth and assured advocate." "Fantastic and excellent on his feet."
Provides robust representation when handling international arbitrations governed by ICC and LCIA rules. He is also well versed in oil rig disputes under the SCMA and LMAA rules.
Strengths: "Clearly frighteningly bright, he's very on the ball and understands very complex issues." "A real rising star."
Recent work: Defended Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation against the efforts of IPCO to enforce an arbitration award for over USD400 million under the New York Convention.
Highly distinguished junior who is frequently instructed as lead counsel in cases very rarely seen being undertaken by a barrister of his call. He has established himself as a go-to name for energy sector and investment treaty arbitrations.
Strengths: "Absolutely amazing junior; he is very hands-on and informed. He is accessible, friendly, and very quickly gets the confidence of the client."
Recent work: Acted as the sole lead advocate for the Republic of Albania in Albaniabeg & Others v Republic of Albania. This was a EUR450 million Energy Charter Treaty claim.
Respected for providing robust representation in international arbitrations under the remit of the ICC, LMAA, AAA and LCIA among other arbitral institutions. His international arbitration experience covers a wide array of industries, and he regularly handles matters concerning the oil and gas, construction and telecommunications sectors.
Strengths: "Efficient, responsive, good with clients, and someone with a huge in-depth knowledge of all arbitration matters - he really is a specialist."
Well regarded for having an arbitration practice that covers truly international commercial disputes, many of which give rise to issues of conflicts of law. He is experienced at handling proceedings governed by the majority of leading institutional rules.
Strengths: "He was a huge help in pulling together the factual and legal information and assisting with the pleadings."
Recent work: Represented three Cypriot companies, large shareholders of Ukrnafta, in an LCIA arbitration against Naftogaz in connection with a shareholder agreement.
Concentrates her practice on high-value, complex international commercial arbitration and has particular expertise in handling challenges to arbitral awards. She has substantial experience of arbitrations conducted under the ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL rules.
Strengths: "Very clever, sharp and knowledgeable about the law." "Her written advocacy is beautiful and her oral advocacy is pretty spectacular. She's really going from strength to strength."
Recent work: Represented Raytheon Systems in a case initiated against it by the Home Office challenging the arbitration award granted to the company for GBP224 million.