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Matthew Hodgson

Partner

London

Hong Kong

Hodgson Matthew
Matthew Hodgson

Partner

London

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. His clients in these disputes include both investors and States. 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. He is also a New York attorney.

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 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.

Market recognition:

Matthew has been ranked in 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.

Matthew is primarily based in London and is a partner of Allen & Overy LLP. He was based in Hong Kong from 2014-2022 and his practice continues to include significant work in the APAC region.

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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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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

London

One Bishops Square
London
E1 6AD

View office →

Hong Kong

9th Floor, Three Exchange Square, Central
Hong Kong

View office →

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:

  • A Mainland Chinese technology company in defending a USD100m HKIAC claim commenced by a U.S. company in relation to a technology transfer agreement. The claims were settled on favourable terms and without payment by our client.
  • 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 USD120 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.
  • The chairperson and largest shareholder of a leading cosmetics brand in Mainland China with operations across the globe, in a Hong Kong seated HKIAC arbitration against the other shareholders and management members of the same group of companies, including two major Mainland Chinese private equity investment firms.
  • A leading Mainland Chinese media and entertainment company in a Hong Kong-seated HKIAC arbitration with a U.S. private equity firm (with over USD70bn of assets under management).
  • A Korean contractor on a USD125m, Singapore-seated arbitration concerning the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Bangladesh. In addition to the substantive dispute, the arbitration involves complex legal issues relating to time bars, limitations of liability, cross-claims and jurisdiction.
  • An international telecommunications company in a SIAC arbitration arising out of a dispute with an infrastructure provider in Myanmar.
  • A Taiwanese technology company in a HKIAC claim against a Korean supplier following a breach of supply agreement. 

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).