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Matthew Hodgson

Partner

Hong Kong

Hodgson Matthew
Matthew Hodgson

Partner

Hong Kong

Matthew specialises in international arbitration. He has acted as counsel and advocate in more than a dozen investment treaty disputes worldwide under the ICSID and UNCITRAL rules as well as acted as counsel in ICSID annulment proceedings. He has also acted as counsel and advocate in a large number of commercial disputes including commercial arbitrations under the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, SCC and UNCITRAL rules. He is a Solicitor Advocate, with Higher Rights of Audience before the Senior Courts of England & Wales and the Courts of Hong Kong.

Matthew has particular experience of complex disputes relating to joint ventures, distribution agreements, energy and infrastructure projects, technology transfer and patent licence agreements, post M&A matters and shareholder disputes.

Matthew has sat as arbitrator in HKIAC, ICC and SIAC matters. He is also a member of the practitioner group supporting UNCITRAL Working Group III on ISDS (Investor-state dispute settlement) reform. In addition, he serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management, the editorial board of Dispute Resolution International and the editorial board of the academic journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 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 ranked the leading independent legal directories for many years. Chambers Greater China Region 2022 includes client commentary that he is “‘particularly impressive’ for his ‘sound advice and commercial mindset’”, as well as able to “‘explain difficult legal concepts in plain English.’ Another source notes that he is ‘particularly good for investment treaty arbitrations.’”

Chambers Asia Pacific 2021 noted that Matthew is recognised for his experience advising on “cross-border commercial and investment treaty arbitrations for clients in the TMT, energy and natural resources sectors.”

Who’s Who Legal 2022 notes that Matthew “has extensive experience of international arbitration proceedings and is praised as ‘a very knowledgeable practitioner when it comes to investment treaty issues’.”

Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 includes commentary that he is “a top-tier lawyer in the area of dispute resolution. He has wonderful expertise and experience.”

Matthew has won various awards including being named Asian Legal Business’ Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year (Hong Kong) 2021, as well as being named in ALB’s Asia’s Top 15 Rising Lawyers in 2021 and its “40 under 40” in 2020.

Related articles

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Publications: 07 July 2022

New Hong Kong Legislation on Outcome-related Fee Structures for Arbitration

On 30 June 2022, [1] Hong Kong enacted framework legislation which introduces legislative amendments aimed at allowing outcome-related fee structures (ORFS) in arbitration and related proceedings (the…

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Publications: 05 May 2022

Singapore allows “No-Win, No-Fee” and “No-Win, Less-Fee” arrangements for arbitration and SICC proceedings

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Publications: 03 May 2022

Costs, damages and duration in investor-State arbitration in the CEE Region

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Publications: 06 April 2022

The First ICSID Flagship Amendments

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Experience highlights

Office

Hong Kong

Allen & Overy
9th Floor, Three Exchange Square, Central
Hong Kong

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Qualifications

Professional

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

Diploma International Arbitration, Queen Mary College, University of London, 2012

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

MA, Law, University of Cambridge, 2003

Other noteworthy experience

Advising:

  • The Republic of Korea (Korea) as the lead international counsel in a high-profile USD150m investment treaty dispute, against a Chinese businessman, Mr Fengzhen Min, who was imprisoned in Korea after being convicted of embezzlement, misconduct and fraud.

  • Nissan Motor Company in a claim against the Union of India pursuant to the 2011 Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and India in connection with certain outstanding investment incentive sums owed to Nissan by the State Government of Tamil Nadu.

  • Nissan Motor Company in a Singapore-seated arbitration against India under the 2011 Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and India and the 2013 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. It is in the public domain that the claim settled following payment of USD350m to our client after a hearing.

  • A PRC technology company that develops, produces and sells components for consumer electronic products in an HKIAC arbitration commenced by a Fortune 500 U.S. company. The U.S. claimant sought damages of US$120 million+ and an order restraining our client from processing competitive products (the costs of which it estimated would vastly exceed the claimed damages), and an adverse ruling would have had a profound impact on our client’s business. After settlement discussions, the parties successfully settled the dispute, which resulted in the withdrawal of the claims against our client.

  • A U.S. private equity firm on its contractual remedies, as well as on (now suspended) HKIAC and CIETAC arbitrations, to resolve a dispute relating to amounts owed by PRC individuals and offshore entities under multiple transaction documents.

  • A U.S. private equity firm on its contractual remedies and an HKIAC arbitration, relating to amounts owed by a Hong Kong company (as purchaser) and a PRC company (as guarantor) under a share transfer agreement with respect to the shares of a Hong Kong listed company. We obtained a favourable award in which the Tribunal upheld our clients’ claims on all substantive issues and awarded interest plus 90% of its legal costs. We are currently advising the client on enforcement of the award in Hong Kong and the Mainland.

  • A global financial institution in its ICSID claim against Sri Lanka, under the Germany-Sri Lanka bilateral investment treaty, for interfering with obligations in an oil hedging agreement between the financial institution and a state-owned oil company. The financial institution was awarded its claim in full, plus interest and its full legal costs, totalling around USD78m. This was the first claim to find a derivative product is a protected “investment” for investment treaty purposes. It was also, at the time, one of only three investment cases (out of more than 200) where the investor recovered 100% of its claim.

  • A leading Mainland Chinese state-owned company in the energy, oil and gas sector, in an ICC arbitration with a foreign joint venture partner in relation to the delay or failure of a USD1.2bn project in a Central American country.

  • An international technology company in relation to a dispute arising out of a multi-billion dollar joint venture in Mainland China.

  • The Government of Korea in relation to a USD1bn+ investment treaty claim by a Malaysian property developer. It is in the public domain that the matter settled with no payment from our client.

Published work

  • “The “Problem” of Costs in Arbitration: Controlling, Allocating and Funding Costs”, edited by Chin Leng Lim (The Cambridge Companion to International Arbitration) (2021)
  • “Managing "Belt and Road" Business Disputes: A Case Study of Legal Problems and Solutions”, edited by Michael Moser and Chiann Bao (Kluwer Law International, forthcoming) (2021)
  • “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).