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Jonathan Leach, Partner

Jonathan Leach


Global Co-Chair of International Arbitration Practice

Practice areas

  • Commercial litigation
  • Energy and infrastructure
  • Financial services
  • Industrials
  • International arbitration
  • Investment treaty arbitration
  • Litigation and dispute management
  • Public
  • Public International Law
  • Technology, Media and Telecoms
  • Transport

Practice notes

Jonathan is Global Co-Chair of our International Arbitration Practice, and also leads the UK Practice. He advises and represents clients on their resolution of complex cross-border disputes with a particular focus on international commercial arbitration, investment arbitration and public international law. His practice covers various industries, including energy and infrastructure, manufacturing, trade and commodities, financial services, telecoms and hospitality.

Over the last two decades he has acted as Counsel for parties from Denmark, Dubai, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.  His experience includes arbitrations under the Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). ). Jonathan has particular experience of disputes relating to investments or trade in emerging markets.

Highly ranked as a leading arbitration practitioner, Jonathan was recently described as “Indefatigable in the pursuit of clients’ interests and his technical excellence is complemented by the diligence with which he applies himself to casesa high-class practitioner, who really understands the needs of clients and is very easy to work with” (Legal 500, United Kingdom, 2017). He is also in the Legal 500 International Arbitration Power List of leading practitioners.

He also advises clients during earlier the stages of their investments and projects on, for example, how best to structure their transactions to maximise investment treaty protection, drafting dispute resolution clauses, and on planning and implementing enforcement strategies. Aside from his work as Counsel, Jonathan is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and sits as arbitrator.  He is also a qualified Solicitor Advocate.

Jonathan’s experience as Counsel includes leading teams acting for:

  • The State of Libya in its defence of four separate arbitrations brought by foreign investors under investment treaties relating to infrastructure projects entered into prior to the Arab Spring. 
  • The Republic of Vietnam in its defence of three separate UNCITRAL arbitrations brought by foreign investors under investment treaties in the tourism, hospitality, and trade sectors.
  • Global energy company in LCIA arbitration arising from a dispute with co-participants in a joint venture concerning the operation of an oil pipeline in the UK.
  • Chinese State Owned energy companies in SCAI arbitration in Geneva relating to a dispute concerning fees allegedly owing under a consultancy agreement relating to oil and gas projects in Algeria.
  • Indonesian-owned energy company in dispute against a major oil company concerning their joint exploration of oil fields in Thailand and allegations one party had misused the resources of the joint venture company.
  • Swiss medical clinic in SIAC arbitration in Singapore arising from a dispute concerning fees allegedly owing under a management agreement.
  • Finnish manufacturer in ICC arbitration against Malaysian company arising from the breakdown of a joint venture for the manufacture of microprocessor applications.
  • Singapore-based engineering company in ICC arbitration against energy company relating to the supply and installation of pipes for a major oil and gas project.
  • A global bank in three parallel arbitrations under the ICC and LICA Rules against a Swiss collateral manager in a dispute arising out of the fraudulent misappropriation of coffee held in warehouses in Africa as loan collateral.
  • Japanese trading house in LCIA arbitration in Singapore against an Indian IT company in respect of debts under a contract to supply telecommunications equipment from China to India.

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