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Kate Davies McGill QC



Image of Kate Davies McGill
Kate Davies McGill QC



Kate is a Partner in Allen & Overy’s International Arbitration Group, and has extensive expertise in both international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. 

In relation to her commercial arbitration expertise, Kate has experience of both institutional (e.g. LCIA, ICC, PCA, VIAC, SIAC, ICSID) and ad hoc arbitrations sited in common and civil law jurisdictions. She has expertise in commercial disputes across a range of different industries (including the energy, telecommunications, automotive, technology, construction and pharmaceutical sectors) and arising out of a number of bespoke and industry specific agreements, including joint venture, shareholder, licensing, distribution, technology transfer, patent and construction agreements. 

In the investment treaty and public international law sphere, Kate’s instructions include acting in the Abyei Arbitration (which lead to the independence of South Sudan) and representing the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in several investment treaty disputes. 

Market recognition

Kate is described as “phenomenally bright, extremely hard working, and thoroughly personable” by Legal 500 (UK 2018, International Arbitration). Chambers & Partners recognised Kate as a “Star Associate” for two years running, before promoting her to its main rankings in 2015, where clients and peers have described her as “excellent,” “truly brilliant”, “very sensible and highly pragmatic” and a “‘really talented’ advocate”. In Chambers UK 2016, she is “tipped as a ‘leader of the future’ by commentators, who praise her significant advocacy skills”. Kate is ranked as a specialist in Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2018. Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration – Future Leaders 2017 reported that Kate is a “very talented young lawyer”, “one of the foremost experts in this field” and “extremely focused, driven and hardworking with enormous energy”. Kate is ranked in the Legal 500 International Arbitration Powerlist UK, of the UK's leading international arbitration practitioners working in law firms and at the Bar. She has also been recognised in Thomson Reuters SuperLawyers 2013-2015 as a "Rising Star" in commercial dispute resolution. Most recently, Kate is described as "an extraordinary lawyer with impressive advocacy skills" in the Who's Who Legal: Arbitration 2022 - Market Place Analysis with another source commenting they "would hate to be against Kate but love working alongside her".

Related articles

Gavel on table

Publications: 15 February 2022

If it ain't broke, don't fix it? The Law Commission's Review of The Arbitration Act 1996

Allen & Overy’s International Arbitration Group invites you to join a discussion of the reforms of the Arbitration Act 1996 being considered by the Law Commission (and some reforms that are not).

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News: 22 December 2021

Allen & Overy arbitration partner Kate Davies McGill appointed QC

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News: 06 October 2021

International Arbitration and Public International Law practices maintain strong performance in Legal 500 UK

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News: 14 April 2021

Allen & Overy signs the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations: The Green Pledge

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Other noteworthy experience 


  • The subsidiary of a major energy company on contractual disputes arising out of two engineering, procurement and construction contracts relating to facilities in Central Asia (LCIA arbitration)
  • A hospitality and leisure group on claims asserted in ICC arbitration by the owners of three luxury resorts in Africa
  • A global shipping group in a shareholders' dispute arising out of a joint venture agreement (ICC arbitration)
  • A global energy company in a dispute arising out of a potential floating LNG plant
  • A leading global automotive company in a series of disputes arising out of related joint venture and share purchase agreements, with several billion euros in dispute (ICC arbitration)
  • The subsidiary of a leading multinational energy company in a dispute arising out of the emission reduction scheme under the Kyoto Protocol (ICC arbitration)
  • A multi-national oil & gas company in long-running disputes with joint venture parties and the Russian government with several billion US dollars in dispute (LCIA, ICSID)
  • A European telecommunications company in a long-running ICC arbitration with a French corporation arising out of a joint venture located in Eastern Europe, with several billion euros in dispute
  • A global hedge fund in long-running breach of confidence/trade secrets proceedings against a group of senior, ex-employees
  • Representing the SPLM/A (South Sudan) in its boundary dispute with the Government of Sudan (the Abyei arbitration, PCA)
  • The Islamic Republic of Pakistan in an investment treaty arbitration arising from Pakistan’s power rental programme in which a Turkish power-ship company claims in excess of USD2 billion in damages (ICSID)
  • The Islamic Republic of Pakistan in an investment treaty arbitration, arising out of the Reko Diq copper and gold mine in Balochistan, worth several hundred billion US dollars (ICSID)
  • The Islamic Republic of Pakistan in a commercial arbitration (ICC)
  • A European state in an ICC arbitration in the financial sector arising out of the global financial crisis
  • The Iraqi subsidiary of a Chinese national oil company in a dispute arising out of a contract for the supply of goods and services (LCIA arbitration)
  • The subsidiary of a leading engineering company in a dispute arising out of the construction of a power plant in South East Asia (ICC arbitration)
  • A company in the oil & gas sector in a dispute arising out of the construction of FPSO (ICC arbitration