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  Matthew Gearing QC


Hong Kong

Matthew Gearing 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 late 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. 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.  He is also on the P.R.I.M.E. Finance Dispute Resolution Panel for financial disputes.

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. 

Recent and current major investor state matters include representing:

Deutsche Bank in its successful ICSID arbitration against Sri Lanka.

British Gas (now part of Shell) and Reliance Industries in ongoing UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings against the Union of India in a dispute arising out of two production sharing contacts.

Baggerwerken Decloedt En Zoon in ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Republic of the Philippines.

A global manufacturer in UNCITRALarbitration proceedings against the Union of India under an investment treaty concerning an investment in India.

Recent and current major contractual matters include representing:

An oil and gas major relating to an LNG project in Australia. 

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

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

A European financial institution in a warranty claim concerning the sale of a business in Korea.

A global investment bank concerning its exit from its investment in an Indian real estate company.

Market recognition:

Matthew is widely recognised as a leading international arbitration lawyer, both globally and within Asia.

Matthew is ranked by Chambers 2018 as the sole Star Individual for International Arbitration (Hong Kong and China) and in Band 1 for International Arbitration (Global-wide). He was also named Arbitration Practitioner of the Year at the Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2017.

"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)

"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.

“Interviewees note that Hong Kong-based Matthew Gearing QC enjoys a "terrific reputation in Asia." He has a strong track record in commercial and investor-state disputes under the complete spectrum of institutional rules.” Chambers 2017, International Arbitration (Global) – Band 1.

“Clients characterise global arbitration practice co-head Matthew Gearing QC as "a first-class international arbitration lawyer," characterising him further as "fabulous: super sharp and very switched-on." Chambers 2017, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms) (Foreign Expertise) — China.

“Matthew Gearing QC is seen as a ‘world-class practitioner’ and as someone who ‘gives clear and pragmatic advice, listens carefully and is thoughtful in the way in which he delivers his opinions.’” Chambers Global 2016, International Arbitration (Global).

Matthew is also ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ by Legal 500.

“‘Outstanding advocate’ Matthew Gearing QC leads the team and ‘is able to drive home the essence of the client’s position.’” Legal 500, 2017.

“Matthew Gearing QC is ‘an intelligent, tenacious cross-examiner.’” Legal 500, 2015.

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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