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  Matthew Gearing QC


Hong Kong

Matthew Gearing QC is Global Co-Head of the International Arbitration Group and a partner of the Hong Kong office. He is widely regarded as a leading arbitration practitioner; in particular he was appointed Queen's Counsel (England & Wales) in February 2014 and appointed Chairperson of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre in 2016.

Matthew has been based in both the London and Hong Kong offices and has acted in a large number of complex and high profile arbitrations around the world, both commercial arbitrations and investment treaty arbitrations. His experience includes arbitrations under the ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, HKIAC, KLRCA, SCC, LCIA and ICSID Rules. The subject matter of the disputes has related to joint venture agreements, manufacturing and high technology sectors, disputes relating to complex financial products, and a wide range of disputes in the energy and resources sector.

As well as being a Queen’s Counsel (England & Wales), Matthew is a Solicitor-Advocate qualified in Hong Kong. He routinely appears as advocate in his cases. He has also sat as arbitrator in a variety of matters, as sole and party appointed arbitrator and as Chair.

In addition to the Chair of the HKIAC, Matthew is a past Co-Chair of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group. He is on the HKIAC, SIAC and KLRCA panel of arbitrators.

Matthew is a joint editor of "Russell on Arbitration" (23rd and 24th Editions) a leading text book on arbitration in England & Wales, and has written and spoken widely on arbitration.

Matthew has achieved broad and consistent recognition in the major directories for many years. He is ranked Band 1 for International Arbitration on a Global-wide basis by Chambers & Partners 2019, as well as being singled out as the sole "Star Individual" for Arbitration - China and ranked Band 1 for Dispute Resolution – India and Band 1 for Dispute Resolution – Philippines. He is also ranked as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 and was named Arbitration Practitioner of the Year at the Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2017. In recognition of his contribution to the Asian legal community, in 2019, Chambers & Partners awarded Matthew the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Market recognition:

"Matthew Gearing QC is acknowledged as a top player in the market and stands out for his excellent arbitration experience across Asia. He is applauded for his strong track record in investment treaty and commercial disputes, notably in the oil and gas and other energy sectors." - Chambers 2019, Global-wide, Arbitration (International).

"Matthew Gearing QC maintains a stellar reputation in the market and is adept at handling high-profile commercial and investment treaty cases." - Chambers 2019, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms) — China.

"Matthew Gearing QC has a tremendous reputation in the field and is considered a leading figure in the Asian market. He has a wealth of experience handling commercial and investor-state disputes" – Chambers 2018, Global-wide, Arbitration (International) – Band 1

"Matthew Gearing QC is regarded by peers as a ‘towering figure’ and ‘leading authority on international arbitration in Asia.’ Clients describe him as ‘super bright, detail-oriented, strategic, responsive and user-friendly.’" - Chambers 2018, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms) — China.


Matthew's experience includes representing:

BG and Reliance in arbitration proceedings exceeding USD5bn commenced under the UNCITRAL Rules against the Union of India, in disputes arising out of two production sharing contracts, and also advising them in related court proceedings.

The Hong Kong branch of an Indian bank in disputes arising from sums of approximately USD0.5 billion owed to it under letters of undertaking issued by an Indian bank.

A global insurance and investment management company in an ICC arbitration in Hong Kong arising out of a Sale and Purchase Agreement for the shares in an Asian life insurance company.

Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon NV, in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines, arising out of the cancellation of a EUR280 million infrastructure project. This was the first successful ICSID award obtained against the Republic of the Philippines.

A global investment bank in a dispute regarding exit from its investment in an Indian real estate company.

One of the world’s largest private equity groups in an HKIAC arbitration arising out of an interest in a real estate fund.

Deutsche Bank in its claim against Sri Lanka, under the Germany-Sri Lanka bilateral investment treaty, for interfering with obligations arising under an oil hedging agreement between the bank and a state-owned oil company. Deutsche Bank was awarded its claim in full, plus interest and its full legal costs, totalling around USD78m.

A global investment bank concerning a private equity investment in the PRC.

A software company in the first set of breach proceedings brought by the Hong Kong Competition Commission.

A Japanese automotive manufacturer concerning a distribution agreement in the Middle East.

A global investment bank concerning a private equity investment in the PRC.

Professional qualifications

Solicitor, England & Wales, 1997

Solicitor, Hong Kong, 2001

Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Rights Civil Courts), England & Wales 2005, Hong Kong 2013

Queen’s Counsel, 2014

Academic qualifications

BA (Hons), Jurisprudence, Oxford University, 1993

LPC, The College Of Law, Chester, 1995

Published work

(2015), "Russell on Arbitration" 24th Edition, Thomson, Joint Editor, with David Sutton and Judith Gill QC

(2007), "Russell on Arbitration" 23rd Edition, Thomson, Joint Editor, with David Sutton and Judith Gill

(2005), "Reforming ICSID", 20 International Arbitration Report, 1, p.29 - 38

(2004), "International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)", Arbitration World, The European Lawyer Limited, p.57 - 78, contributed chapter

(2004), "Contractual Claims and Bilateral Investment Treaties - A Comparative Review of the SGS Cases", Journal of International Arbitration, 21 (5), p.397-412

(2003), "Arbitration in Hong Kong: A Practical Guide", Sweet & Maxwell, Contributing Editor

(2002), "Going Full Circle in Singapore - Dermajaya Properties", 17 International Arbitration Report, 10, p.29 - 35

(2000), "A Judge in His Own Cause?": Actual or Unconscious Bias of Arbitrators, IntlALR, 2, p.46 - 51

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