International Arbitration

Our teams in London and Paris are comprised of specialist arbitration lawyers who have substantial experience representing clients in high value and complex international arbitrations, whether pursuant to institutional rules or in ad hoc proceedings.

We also have extensive experience in bringing and defending ancillary or enforcement proceedings before national courts.

Investment Treaty Arbitration Arbitrating Disputes in France

Described as an “excellent international commercial arbitration practice”, Signature’s arbitration team is “high-powered and nimble… There is a high degree of partner engagement on any matter.” The Legal 500 UK Guide
Our depth of experience and conflict free platform means we are well-placed to provide expert representation and advocacy in complex international matters.

Our practitioners have in depth knowledge of the various different arbitration rules and a wealth of experience.

We are able to advise on all stages of the arbitral process including: drafting of arbitration agreements; choice of law and jurisdiction; conducting arbitral proceedings including acting as advocates before arbitral tribunals; enforcement of arbitral awards; and connected court matters such as anti-suit injunctions, freezing orders and other emergency measures. Our team is also experienced in investment treaty arbitration under the ICSID, ICC and UNCITRAL Rules.

We regularly act in arbitration matters for corporate clients and high net-worth individuals in the automotive, chemicals, construction, defence, logistics, energy, financial services, insurance, manufacturing, telecoms and technology sectors. Our recent experience includes acting for claimants and respondents in claims under the following rules:

  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • Swiss Chamber of Commerce Rules of International Arbitration (SCIA)
  • Arbitral Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC)
  • Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
  • Dubai International Finance Centre-London Court of International Arbitration (DIFC-LCIA)
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
  • China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)

Our Firm-wide international arbitration expertise is consistently praised in the leading legal directories. The Legal 500 notes we focus on “complex, high-value and frequently cross-border cases.” We are praised for being an “excellent international commercial arbitration practice” and a “cohesive, agile, close-knit, hardworking team”. Our practice is further described as “high-powered and nimble” and market commentators note “there a high degree of partner engagement on any matter”. The practice in Paris is also recognised in Le Point’s directory of leading law firms.

We have a team of highly experienced experts in international arbitration with in-depth knowledge of all areas of arbitration law and practice as well as its interplay with national courts.

In London, the practice is led by Ioannis Alexopoulos, who has comprehensive experience in international arbitration across a broad range of sectors. Ioannis is recognised in The Legal 500 UK Guide as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ for international arbitration and is praised as a “an excellent arbitration lawyer, who is smart, efficient and very responsive” and a “brilliant advocate”. The Guide also notes that he “is experienced in cases involving Greece, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East, Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa”. The Chambers UK and Global Guides both rank Ioannis for his international arbitration expertise, noting he “is very experienced and brings a wealth of knowledge to the field”. Past guides also commend Ioannis as a “highly rated litigator” and noted he “is well known for joint venture and shareholder disputes, business break-ups and fraud and banking disputes“.

Flore Poloni leads Signature’s Paris practice. She acts as arbitrator and counsel in matters relating in particular to the defence, chemicals, new technologies and automotive industries. She regularly acts in shareholder or post-acquisition and agreement termination disputes. Ranked in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration – Future Leaders, Flore is described as a “very dynamic and multi-skilled lawyer” whom peers highlight as “definitely a future leader”, and she is recognised as “a go-to person for arbitration in France”. The Legal 500 EMEA 2020 Guide ranks Flore as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ for dispute resolution in France and a ‘Rising Star’ lawyer for International Arbitration, recognising her “extensive expertise in international arbitration” and describing her as “extremely capable”.

Natalia Chumak has over 15 years’ experience in complex and high value international disputes. She has been ranked in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 for her work in the field of international arbitration.

Josh Wong is regarded as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK for his international arbitration expertise, which describes him as “an expert in security, asset tracing and enforcement actions involving multiple jurisdictions”. He has also been ranked in Chambers Global as a ‘Foreign Expert Based in UK’ for his Chinese dispute resolution, arbitration expertise, and as a ‘Foreign Expert for China’ for UK dispute resolution.

Daniel Spendlove has extensive experience acting for clients in arbitral proceedings, particularly in disputes relating to the oil and gas, mining and natural resources sectors. He is a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK Guide for international arbitration and has been described as “an exceptionally committed, exceptionally hard-working lawyer, with a careful and thorough approach to issues”.

Neil Newing has extensive experience as counsel in both international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. Neil has been recognised in The Legal 500 UK Guide as a key contact for international arbitration and public international law. The Legal 500 describes him as “outstandingly clever” and “an exceptionally talented lawyer, a strategic thinker and a pleasure to work with.” He is also co-author of the leading international arbitration textbook, “International Arbitration: A Practical Guide”.

Bernhard Maier specialises in commercial and investment treaty arbitration, with a particular focus on the natural resources, technology and life sciences industries. He also represents clients in contentious and non-contentious public international law matters and sits as an arbitrator. Highlights of Bernhard’s practice include successfully acting for a party in a multibillion-dollar ICSID arbitration pertaining to the mining industry and representing a Caribbean state in a high-profile investment treaty claim involving international environmental law. He also recently secured a complete dismissal of a €500m+ LCIA claim brought against a leading publicly listed medical devices manufacturer. Bernhard has acted for claimant and respondent parties in a wide range of investment treaty and commercial arbitration matters (including under the Energy Charter Treaty and ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, VIAC, DIS and AAA Rules), as well as related cross-border litigation and enforcement issues.

International Arbitration Team

“Signature’s arbitration practice is high-powered and nimble.“

The Legal 500 UK 2021

Ioannis Alexopoulos

Ioannis is ranked in the Chambers UK 2022 Guide for international arbitration, which notes that he “consistently produces extraordinary, excellent work and he fills the client with great confidence and comfort”. He is further described as “adept at handling BIT claims” and “is very experienced and brings a wealth of knowledge to the field.” He is also recognised in The Legal 500 UK 2022 as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ for international arbitration, commercial litigation and banking litigation, and has been described as having “a real technical mastery of banking law“, “an excellent arbitration lawyer, who is smart, efficient and very responsive“, and “a very experienced and creative lawyer, who is able to think out of the box.” He has also been praised as a “brilliant advocate“. The Guide also notes that he is “is experienced in cases involving Greece, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East, Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa“. Ioannis is also recognised in Who’s Who Legal 2021 Arbitration Guide. He has been described as “well recognised for his top-notch arbitration practice among peers who say he is “very experienced and engaging with the tribunal”.”

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Bernhard Maier

Bernhard Maier specialises in commercial and investment treaty arbitration, with a particular focus on the natural resources, technology and life sciences industries. He also represents clients in contentious and non-contentious public international law matters and sits as an arbitrator. Bernhard is a member of the UK Attorney General’s C Panel of Public International Law Counsel to the Crown and an adjunct professor in Cyberlaw and disputes in cyberspace at King’s College London.

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Neil Newing

Neil is regarded as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK 2022 for international arbitration and banking litigation, and is described as “a strong lawyer who stands out for the quality and thoroughness of his analysis” and noted for managing “major cross-border disputes“. The Legal 500 UK 2021 recognised him as “an outstandingly clever counsel who will go very far”. Neil is also described as being “an exceptionally talented lawyer, a strategic thinker and a pleasure to work with. The depth and breadth of his experience in international commercial arbitrations is a huge asset to the firm”. He is also ranked in the Who’s Who Legal Arbitration 2021 Guide as a ‘future leader’.

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Flore Poloni

Ranked in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration – Future Leaders, Flore is described as “the most dynamic young arbitration practitioner in Paris“, “a very dynamic and multi-skilled lawyer” and praised for her “excellent communication skills and perfect knowledge of arbitration“. The Legal 500 EMEA 2021 Guide ranks Flore as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ for dispute resolution and has been recognised as a ‘Rising Star’ lawyer for International Arbitration. Flore has been praised for her “extensive expertise in international arbitration” and described as “extremely capable”.

Flore Poloni
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Tom Snelling

Highly ranked in the Chambers UK Guide for his commercial litigation expertise, Tom Snelling is described in the 2020 Guide as “extraordinarily good” and an “utter pleasure to work with and enormously talented, with a sixth sense for where a case is going and very sound judgement”. The Guides have also noted that Tom is “amazingly dedicated with strong credentials in international litigation” and that he is both “practical and commercial”. Tom is recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK 2022 for Banking Litigation: Investment and Retail and Commercial Litigation.

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Daniel Spendlove

The Legal 500 UK Guide describes Daniel as “hugely talented“, “with a really creative eye for litigation strategy“, “an exceptionally committed, exceptionally hard working lawyer, with a careful and thorough approach to issues” and “a really effective litigator“. He has also been described as “very smart, client focused and details-oriented” and “excellent, with great attention to detail, wide experience and excellent client care’“. He has also been praised as “highly professional”, and “a strategic thinker” who “brings real energy to cases”. He is highly ranked across the Commercial Litigation, Banking Litigation and International Arbitration categories. He was recently described, by Commercial Dispute Resolution magazine, as “one of a new breed of independent and forceful commercial litigation partners”.

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Josh Wong

Described as a “a highly experienced commercial international arbitration expert“, Josh is recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK 2022 for international arbitration. Past guides have also noted that he is “an expert in security, asset tracing and enforcement actions involving multiple jurisdictions”. He has also been ranked in Chambers Global as a ‘Foreign Expert Based in UK’ for his Chinese dispute resolution, arbitration expertise, and as a ‘Foreign Expert for China’ for UK dispute resolution.

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International Arbitration Experience

Acting for a Russian investment bank in SCC arbitration proceedings relating to an alleged breach of an Agency Agreement.

Advising on investment treaty claims under the ICSID Rules and applicable BITs in relation to the exploration of a metallurgical plant in the CIS region and breaches of investment protection rights.

Representing the infrastructure arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds in relation to a US$1 billion shareholder dispute concerning the exercise of pre-emption rights.

Representing a BVI company in an arbitration relating to the recovery of a defaulting loan.

Acting for a Serbian investor in LCIA proceedings brought by a high net-worth Russian businessman relating to the financing of various investments in Serbian companies.

Advising on claims arising out of the expropriation of high profile media assets by an Eastern European State.

Acting for a major NOC in a Swiss Rules arbitration arising out of a cooperation agreement concerning upstream and downstream projects in Algeria.

Acting for a Hong Kong based supplier of consumer goods in DIFC-LCIA arbitration proceedings and parallel English High Court proceedings against a Saudi Arabian purchaser for non-payment of goods received.

Acting for a multinational mobile telecommunications company in an ICC arbitration arising out of a tender for a mobile license in a Middle Eastern State.

Acted for a Middle East drilling contractor in a SIAC arbitration in Singapore concerning a dispute over the hiring of rigs in Iranian waters.

Acting for an international oil major in an LCIA arbitration in London concerning the sale of assets in Cameroon and the enforcement of warranties and indemnities, involving issues of both English and Cameroonian law.

Acting for the respondent State in defending ad hoc arbitration proceedings brought by an Asian investor under the auspices of a Bilateral Investment Treaty relating to alleged losses suffered on the termination of its investment in construction and infrastructure projects in the host State.

Acting for a Kazakh high net-worth individual in LCIA arbitration claims against a Chinese company concerning investments relating to oil and gas exploration activities.

Acting for a group of high-net worth individuals in LCIA arbitration claims relating to share options in a series of Russian automobile companies.

Representing a major natural resources conglomerate in complex, multi-party LCIA proceedings.

Acting for a Russian investor in ICC arbitration claims concerning disputes arising from an investment management agreement with a Cayman Islands registered company.

Acting for a French company in ICC proceedings relating to the termination of a contract in Africa on grounds of Force Majeure.

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