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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. Since joining Allen & Overy in 2005, he has acted as counsel and advocate in commercial arbitrations under all major arbitral rules, including the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, SCC, SIAC 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 an arbitrator and is a member of the International Arbitrators Panels of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB).

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, life sciences and technology.

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 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.

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

Market recognition:

Matthew has been recognised as a leading practitioner by the independent legal directories since being identified as a “rising star” by Chambers Global in 2012. Chambers and Partners 2018 states that Matthew is “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 list him in their Future Leaders - Arbitration 2017 rankings, describing him as “a talented advocate with a big future ahead of him.” 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 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

"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

"Damages and costs in investment treaty arbitration revisited", Global Arbitration Review (written with Alastair Campbell), 2017

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