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Godwin Tan



Godwin Tan
Godwin Tan



Godwin advises on investment treaty arbitration, international commercial arbitration, public international law, and business and human rights. As a dual-qualified lawyer (English solicitor and New York attorney), he has advised or represented governments, companies and international organisations in multi-jurisdictional arbitration proceedings under ICSID, LCIA, ICC and UNCITRAL Rules.

Godwin has lectured on arbitration at several universities, including Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, and the Singapore University of Social Sciences. He regularly speaks at conferences and panel events on dispute resolution and international law.

He has published articles in leading journals, including the ICSID Review and the Cambridge International Law Journal, and a book chapter on developments in international arbitration. He was the Lead Editor of the ninth edition of the Allen & Overy Business and Human Rights Review.

Alongside his work as counsel, Godwin was appointed to the Committee of the Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre in Singapore and founded the Allen & Overy Society of East Asian Lawyers.

Prior to joining Allen & Overy, Godwin read law at the University of Cambridge (First Class in all subjects) and University College London (First Class Honours). He was a military policeman in Singapore and received the Full-Time National Serviceman of the Year Award.

Godwin is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Related articles

Waves crashing against rocks on the shore

Publications: 29 November 2022

Human Rights Committee rules in favour of Torres Strait Islanders in case on impacts of climate change

The U.N. Human Rights Committee ruled in a watershed case that Australia has failed adequately to protect indigenous Torres Strait Islanders from the adverse effects of climate change.

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Publications: 12 September 2022

Allen & Overy publishes ninth edition of The Business and Human Rights Review

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Blog Post: 04 July 2022

Interpreting “subject to” with business common sense

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Publications: 27 April 2020

Which law governs an arbitration agreement where the governing law of the main contract and the seat of arbitration do not match?

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Admitted as a Solicitor (England and Wales), 2021

Admitted to the Bar (State of New York, USA), 2022


LL.B., University College London, 2017 (First Class Honours, Dean's List, Simon Wallace Prize)

LL.M., University of Cambridge, 2018 (First Class Honours, Foundation Scholar)

L.P.C. LL.M., BPP Law School, 2019 (Distinction)

Pro-bono experience

  • Successfully represented three appellants before disability benefits tribunals in London
  • Advised an international not-for-profit organisation on multi-tiered dispute resolution provisions
  • Assisted a human rights charity with gathering information on the impact of Covid-19 on access to justice

Published work

  • Co-Author, "The Rise of Construction Disputes in Investor-State Arbitration", A&O International Arbitration Review (2022)
  • Co-Author, "Prohibition, Regulation or Laissez Faire? Policy Trade-Offs of Double Hatting in Investment Treaty Arbitration", Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law - Volume 14 (2021)
  • Co-Author, “ICSID Arbitration after Achmea: The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?”, ICSID Review—Foreign Investment Law Journal (2021)
  • Co-Author, “The Future of Environmental Counterclaims in ICSID Arbitration: Challenges, Treaties and Interpretations”, Cambridge International Law Journal (2020)
  • Co-Author, “Governing Law of the Arbitration Agreement”, A&O Litigation and Dispute Resolution Review (2020)
  • Author, “The Principles for a Disclosed Principal”, A&O Compact Contract (2020)
  • Author, “Express or Implied? High Court Rejects ‘Market Practice’ Term”, A&O Compact Contract (2019)