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Allen & Overy (Hong Kong)
9th Floor
Three Exchange Square
Central
Hong Kong
China and Hong Kong

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  Matthew Hodgson

Partner

Hong Kong

Matthew specialises in international arbitration. He has acted as counsel in many commercial and investment treaty arbitrations under all major arbitral rules, including the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, SCC, SIAC, ICSID and UNCITRAL rules. He is qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales and Hong Kong, and as an attorney in New York.  Matthew also sits as arbitrator and is a member of the List of Arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), the Reserve Panel of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the Panel of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB).  

Matthew has experience of disputes relating to energy, infrastructure & construction projects, joint ventures, distribution agreements, financial instruments and post M&A matters.

He has also represented clients in a large number of investment treaty disputes worldwide.  

Matthew is a member of the practitioner group supporting UNCITRAL Working Group III on ISDS (Investor-state dispute settlement) reform. He also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management and is a fellow of the International Dispute Resolution Academy.  
Representative experience includes:

Energy, Infrastructure and Construction

-    Two Global Oil Majors in a USD1bn+ commercial arbitration and ISDS claim against a South East Asian State in relation to an offshore project. 

-    A Chinese SOE in an ICC arbitration concerning a dispute with its joint venture partner in relation to the termination of a USD1.2bn oil refinery construction project in Latin America.

-    An international telecommunications company in a SIAC arbitration arising out of a dispute with an infrastructure provider in Myanmar. 

-    A Korean contractor in defending a USD125m UNCITRAL claim arising out of the construction of a power plant in Bangladesh.

-    The owner of a petro-chemical plant in three ICC arbitration claims commenced by the contractor in relation to substantial delays in construction.

Shareholder Disputes and Post M&A Matters

  •  An international bank in an ICC arbitration concerning breaches of representations and warranties in a share purchase agreement following an acquisition in Taiwan.
  •  A private equity firm in an HKIAC arbitration relating to the sale of a real estate asset in the PRC.
  •  The private equity team of a global investment bank in disputes arising out of an attempted take private of a listed company.
  •  A European media company in a joint venture dispute with its PRC partner.
  •  A PRC mining company in relation to an HKIAC claim against a Russian joint venture partner.

Investment Treaty Arbitration and Public International law

  •  Deutsche Bank in an ICSID claim against Sri Lanka in relation to an oil hedging agreement between the bank and a state-owned oil company.
  •  A Japanese investor in a USD800m claim against India in relation to an investment in the automotive industry.
  •  A Belgian investor in an ICSID claim against the Philippines arising out of the cancellation of a EUR200m dredging contract.
  •  The Governments of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Poland in defending six separate investment treaty claims ranging in value from USD300m to over USD10bn.
  •  A global oil major in relation to a territorial dispute in connection with its proposed investment in an offshore project in contested seas;
  •  A global oil major in relation to a human rights investigation in connection with climate change.

Market recognition:

Matthew has been recognised as a leading practitioner by the independent legal directories since being identified as a “rising star” by Chambers and Partners Global in 2012. Chambers and Partners 2019 states that Matthew “continues to provide clients with expert advice on disputes connected with natural resources and infrastructure projects. ‘Matthew is very helpful and gives insightful suggestions. He is a very dynamic lawyer,’ clients report.” Chambers and Partners 2018 noted that Matthew “is known among peers for his excellent command of investment treaty arbitration. Clients consider him to be "very responsive, proactive, and obviously knowledgeable of the subject matter," also commenting on his "practical and commercial approach."”

Who’s Who Legal 2019 say of him that he is an “expert in the energy and construction sectors and stands out as “a deeply impressive lawyer and advocate”. He draws praise for “his commercial knowledge and comprehensive legal advice”.”

Legal 500 has commented that “Matthew Hodgson is outstanding” (2013), "sets the bar for others" (2015), and is "perfect for complex arbitrations" (2016).

 

Experience

Representative experiences include advising:

A Chinese company in an on-going ICC arbitration in relation to the termination of a US$1.2 billion construction project in Latin America.

A Korean contractor in a US$125 million UNCITRAL claim arising out of the construction of a power plant in Bangladesh.An international telecommunications company in an on-going SIAC arbitration arising out of a dispute with an infrastructure provider in Myanmar.

An international bank in an ICC arbitration concerning breaches of representations and warranties in a share purchase agreement. Our client was awarded its full claimed damages and its full legal costs.

A Taiwanese technology company in an on-going HKIAC claim against a Korean supplier following a breach of supply agreement.

The owner of a petro-chemical plant in three ICC arbitration claims commenced by the contractor in relation to substantial delays in construction.

A Chinese company on HKIAC claims commenced under a guarantee agreement. The claims were discontinued by the claimant after our client successfully applied for security for costs.

A Chinese company in a HKIAC arbitration in relation to claims of misrepresentation in respect of a subscription agreement. The claims were settled on favourable terms after our client filed its defence.

A major international life sciences company in relation to the successful conclusion of a series of disputes with distributors in Eastern Europe and Asia, including the successful defence of an ICC claim, where our client also received its full legal costs.

A subsidiary of one of the world’s largest dredging companies, in the first successful ICSID arbitration claim against the Philippines in relation to the unilateral cancellation of a contract to carry out dredging and construction work.

The Government of Poland in the successful defence of a EUR300 million investment treaty arbitration commenced by a French pharmaceutical investor in relation to intellectual property rights.

Deutsche Bank in its claim against Sri Lanka, under the Germany-Sri Lanka bilateral investment treaty, for interfering with obligations in 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. This was the first investment treaty claim to find that a complex financial product is a protected "investment".

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan in an investment treaty arbitration arising from the arrest by Pakistan of certain ships belonging to Turkish power-ship company Karkey Karadeniz, which valued its claim in excess of US$2 billion.

The Government of Azerbaijan in the successful defence of two US$300 million ICSID claims in relation to oil and gas and aluminium investments respectively. It is in the public domain that following a hearing both disputes were settled without payment by our client.

A Dutch venture capital company in an UNCITRAL arbitration against the Czech Republic under the Netherlands-Czech Republic bilateral investment treaty. The case concerned non-payment by the state in breach of contract after the misappropriation of EU funds. Following a hearing on the merits, the case was settled on terms favourable to our client.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan in an on-going investment treaty claim, brought at ICSID by Australia’s Tethyan Copper Company. The claim relates to investments in gold and copper mining operations in the Pakistani province of Balochistan.

The Kyrgyz Republic in an UNCITRAL arbitration commenced by a Canadian investor in the mining sector.

Professional qualifications

Admitted as a solicitor, Hong Kong, 2017

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 2007

Admitted to the bar, State of New York, USA, 2005

Academic qualifications

LLM, Law, New York University School Of Law, 2004

MA, Law, University of Cambridge, 2003

Published work

“Emergency Arbitrator Relief: A Practical Guide”, Korean Arbitration Review (2018). 

“Bumps in The Road: Identifying Gaps in China’s Belt and Road Treaty Network”, TDM Vol.14, issue 3 (2017).

“Damages and costs in investment treaty arbitration revisited”, Global Arbitration Review (2017).

“Cost awards – who pays?”, co-authored with Judith Gill QC, Global Arbitration Review (2016).

“Costs in Investment Treaty Arbitration: The Case for Reform”, TDM 1 (2014).

“Investment Protection and Public Regulation: The Critical Balancing Act of Investment Treaty Arbitration” in Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law, Juris Vol. 6 (2013).

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