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.

Investment Treaty Arbitration

How to Draft an Arbitration Agreement

Arbitrating Disputes in France

Signature Paris’ International Arbitration Blog

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 (including defending enforcement proceedings); 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” and highlights our “excellent understanding of state arbitration processes and different systems; and excellent understanding of the law and practice of arbitration.” 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 2024 Guide as a ‘Leading Individual’ for international arbitration. He is highlighted in the Guide as “an excellent and poised strategist and leader,” and the Guide also notes that he “is an expert in matters involving Greece, the Balkans, 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 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”.

Also based in Paris, Philip Dunham acts for clients (including regularly acting for or against states) across a broad range of sectors and jurisdictions. His practice covers both commercial and investment treaty arbitrations spanning several international jurisdictions. Philip has been recognised in the Who’s Who Legal guide in France every year since 2016 for his arbitration expertise. He is also ranked in Chambers Europe 2023 and in The Legal 500 EMEA 2023 Guide for international arbitration. The Legal 500 notes that Philip will “go to great lengths to learn about his clients – their industries, strengths, assets and liabilities, as well as their concerns, so as to be sure that the solutions he provides would be the most suitable and innovative solutions to suit his clients’ needs.” It further highlights Philip’s “great analytical skills, such that he can parse through complex legal situations to reveal the critical issues at the core, and to then arrive at logical conclusions to resolve them.” The Guide also states that Philip has “excellent people skills” and is “personable, persuasive and able to read others well.”

Natalia Chumak has over 20 years’ experience in complex and high value international disputes. Her experience spans many industry sectors including oil and gas, water, aluminium, metallurgical, banking, electricity/infrastructure, argotrading, construction, aviation, automobile, railway, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, plastic manufacturing and others. She has been ranked in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 for her work in the field of international arbitration and has been described as having “extraordinary, high-quality analytical skills” and she is also praised for her “fantastic experience and responsiveness”, as well as for having an “extremely good tactical mind”.

Neil Newing has extensive experience in both international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration. Neil is ranked as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ in The Legal 500 UK 2024 Guide.  He is also co-author of the leading international arbitration textbook, “International Arbitration: A Practical Guide”.

Tsegaye Laurendeau has over 10 years’ experience of international arbitrations under the LCIA, ICC, ICSID, CRCICA, HKIAC and UNCITRAL arbitration rules, and he regularly represents international corporates, States and State-owned entities in disputes arising in various parts of the globe, including North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Tsegaye is recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ in The Legal 500 UK 2024 Guide and is described as “a go-to lawyer at the firm.” The Guide further describes him as “a first-class litigation and arbitration lawyer and has great support from the firm. This means that Tsegaye and his firm are a litigation powerhouse.”

Philipp Kurek specialises in international arbitration, representing clients and providing strategic legal advice in both institutional and ad hoc arbitration proceedings across a wide range of sectors and regions. He is also commended by The Legal 500 in the UK 2024 Guide as a ‘Recommended Lawyer” and highlighted as “very easy to deal with, incredibly responsive, insightful and distills complex matters to the key considerations and needed.” Additionally, the Guide commends him as “one of the very few people in the field who has the level of experience, knowledge and intellect require to win cases in this field. He is of superstar quality and a fantastic lawyer overall in the fields of commercial and investor-state arbitration.”

Bernhard Maier is recognised in The Legal 500 UK 2024 Guide for his international arbitration expertise. He 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.

Senior Associate Pietro Grassi is ranked as a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 UK 2024 Guide for international arbitration. He is described as “excellent” and as having “fantastic drafting skills” and “an eye to the bigger strategic picture“. “extremely user friendly, fantastic drafting skills, and always have an eye to the bigger strategic picture.” Pietro is admitted to practice in Brazil and Portugal, and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in England and Wales. He is fluent in Italian and Portuguese, and speaks Spanish.

Kimberley Bazelais is an associate specialising in international commercial and investment arbitration. Before joining Signature, Kimberley trained at various international law firms and at the ICC International Court of Arbitration. She has also acted as secretary to the arbitral tribunal in multiple proceedings.

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 2024 Guide for international arbitration. The Guide describes him as “highly experienced and an excellent strategist” with “sharp analytical skills“. Previous guides have noted 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 2024 as a ‘Leading Individual’ for civil fraud and international arbitration, and he is praised for being “an excellent and poised strategist and leader.” The Guide notes that he is an “expert in matters involving Greece, the Balkans, the Middle East, Brazil, and sub-Saharan Africa.” Past guides also commend Ioannis as a “highly rated litigator” and noted “is well known for joint venture and shareholder disputes, business break-ups and fraud and banking disputes“. He has been further is commended for being “a great litigator who offers his advice on the basis of the commercial goals that clients set“.

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Kimberley Bazelais

Kimberley specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration. Before joining the firm, Kimberley trained at the ICC International Court of Arbitration. She has also acted as secretary to the arbitral tribunal in multiple proceedings.

Kimberley Bazelais
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Natalia Chumak

Natalia has been ranked in the Chambers UK and The Legal 500 UK Guides for her International Arbitration expertise. She has previously been praised by The Legal 500 and Chambers UK for her “fantastic experience and responsiveness“, for being an “extremely good tactical mind“, a “steely litigator with excellent litigation instincts” and she has been praised for her ability to “remain incredibly calm under pressure“.

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Philip Dunham

Philip has been recognised in the Who’s Who Legal guide in France every year since 2016 for his arbitration expertise. He is also ranked in Chambers Europe 2023 and in The Legal 500 EMEA 2023 Guide for international arbitration. The Legal 500 notes that Philip will “go to great lengths to learn about his clients – their industries, strengths, assets and liabilities, as well as their concerns, so as to be sure that the solutions he provides would be the most suitable and innovative solutions to suit his clients’ needs.” It further highlights Philip’s “great analytical skills, such that he can parse through complex legal situations to reveal the critical issues at the core, and to then arrive at logical conclusions to resolve them.” The Guide also states that Philip has “excellent people skills” and is “personable, persuasive and able to read others well.”

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Pietro Grassi

Pietro has experience in public international law, investor-State arbitration, and international commercial arbitration. He has advised and represented corporations, individuals, and States on matters of public international law before national and international courts and tribunals, as well as arbitral tribunals constituted under major arbitration rules (eg ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SCC, and UNCITRAL).

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Philipp Kurek

Philipp is ranked in Chambers & Partners UK 2024 for International Arbitration, where he is recognised as a “top notch” investment arbitration specialist, with clients commending Philipp for being an “exceptional lawyer” and being “incredibly bright, hard-working and pay[ing] great attention to detail”, as well as having “great client management skills” and being “highly dedicated to delivering outcomes”.

Philipp has also been recognised by The Legal 500 UK 2024, and is included in The Legal 500’s Arbitration Powerlist, with clients describing Philipp as being “of superstar quality and a fantastic lawyer overall in the fields of commercial and investor-state arbitration”, and commending his “level of experience, knowledge and intellect required to win cases in this field”.

Philipp is furthermore recognised by Who’s Who Legal 2024 as a Future Leader in arbitration, as well as being included in LawDragon’s list of 500 Leading Global Litigators.

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Tsegaye Laurendeau

Tsegaye is recognised in The Legal 500 UK 2024 as a Recommended Lawyer in the International Arbitration category, and is described as “a litigation powerhouse”, who is “commercial in his approach to problem solving” and “open and honest regarding the prospects of success in any case”. Tsegaye also features in The Legal 500 International Arbitration Powerlist UK, which showcases the UK’s leading arbitration practitioners. Tsegaye is recognised as a ‘future leader’ in the Who’s Who Legal Arbitration Guide. Peers and clients say he is “one of the best arbitration lawyers of his generation”.

Tsegaye Laurendeau
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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 2023 for international arbitration and banking litigation. He is for his “excellent arbitration experience, and excellent appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of cases.” Previous Guides have described Neil 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 Guide as a ‘future leader’.

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Flore Poloni

Ranked in the Who’s Who Legal Arbitration Guide, 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”.

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International Arbitration Experience

Acting for an 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 Central Asia and Eastern Europe 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 businessman relating to the financing of various investments in international 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 Central Asia and Eastern Europe automobile companies.

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

Acting for an international 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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