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

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  Matthew Hodgson


Hong Kong

Matthew specialises in international arbitration. He has acted as counsel and advocate in commercial arbitrations under all major arbitral rules, including the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, SCC and UNCITRAL rules. He has also represented clients in a large number of investment treaty disputes worldwide under the ICSID and UNCITRAL rules. This has included successfully representing investors in ICSID claims against Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and representing the Governments of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Poland, including in several claims valued at over US$1 billion.

Matthew has particular experience of disputes relating to energy and infrastructure / construction projects, joint ventures, distribution agreements, financial instruments (including derivatives) and post M&A matters. His clients are in a diverse range of industries, including financial institutions, energy and infrastructure, telecommunications, and life sciences and technology.

Market recognition:

Matthew has been recognised as a leading practitioner by independent legal directories since being identified as a "rising star" in 2012 (Chambers Global). Most recently, Who’s Who Legal has listed him in their Future Leaders - Arbitration 2017 rankings, describing him as "a talented advocate with a big future ahead of him." He has also been singled out for his investment treaty arbitration work, with Chambers (2014) noting that "[Matthew] continues to be highly regarded for his international arbitration work. Clients say: ‘He is an impressive arbitration lawyer with exceptionally solid insight into arbitrations involving investment treaties.’" Legal 500 has commented that "Matthew Hodgson is outstanding" (2013), "sets the bar for others" (2015), is "perfect for complex arbitrations" (2016) and is "well regarded" (2017).

Representative experience 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 a power plant construction in Bangladesh. 
  • 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".
  • An international telecommunications company in an on-going SIAC arbitration arising out of a dispute with an infrastructure provider in Myanmar.
  • 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.
  • 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 major international life sciences company in relation to the successful conclusion of a series of disputes, with distributors in Eastern Europe and Asia.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Matthew regularly lectures on international arbitration matters at practitioner conferences and universities worldwide.

Professional qualifications

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

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 2007

Academic qualifications

MA, Law, University of Cambridge, 2003

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

Published work

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

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

"Counting the costs of Investment Treaty Arbitration", Journal of Global Arbitration Review, Journal of Global Arbitration Review Volume 9 – Issue 2 – March 2014.

"ICSID Arbitrators: is there a club and who gets invited?' co-authored with Noah Rubins and Anthony Sinclair, Global Arbitration Review, 2006 


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