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Matthew Gearing QC


Gearing QC Matthew
Matthew Gearing QC


Matthew Gearing QC is a partner in Allen & Overy’s Global Arbitration group. He is widely regarded as a leading arbitration practitioner; in particular he was appointed Queen's Counsel (England & Wales) in February 2014.

Matthew has acted in a large number of complex and high profile arbitrations around the world, both commercial arbitrations and investment treaty arbitrations. His experience includes arbitrations under the ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, HKIAC, KLRCA, SCC, LCIA and ICSID Rules. The subject matter of the disputes has related to joint venture agreements, manufacturing and high technology sectors, disputes relating to complex financial products, and a wide range of disputes in the energy and resources sector. 
As well as being a Queen’s Counsel (England & Wales), Matthew is a Solicitor-Advocate qualified in Hong Kong. He routinely appears as advocate in his cases. He has also sat as arbitrator in a wide range of matters, as sole and party appointed arbitrator and as Chair.

Matthew was Chairperson of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre from 2017 to 2020. In addition, he is a past Co-Chair of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group. He is on the HKIAC, SIAC and KLRCA panel of arbitrators. He is also on Prime Finance’s panel of Dispute Resolution experts.

Matthew is a joint editor of "Russell on Arbitration" (23rd and 24th Editions) a leading text book on arbitration in England & Wales, and has written and spoken widely on arbitration.

Market recognition:

Matthew has achieved broad and consistent recognition in the major directories for many years. He is ranked Band 1 for International Arbitration on a Global-wide basis by Chambers & Partners 2020, and is singled out as the sole "Star Individual" for Arbitration - China in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021. He is also ranked Band 1 for Dispute Resolution (International Firms) – India and Band 1 for Dispute Resolution – Philippines. He is ranked as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 and was named Arbitration Practitioner of the Year at the Asialaw and Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2017, 2019 and 2020. In recognition of his contribution to the Asian legal community, in 2019, Chambers & Partners awarded Matthew the Outstanding Achievement Award.

"He is without a doubt the best lawyer in Asia, he's genuinely great. He's a great mentor, team leader and good advocate." - Chambers 2020, Global-wide, Arbitration (International).

“Widely considered a standout practitioner in the market, with one client describing him as a ‘very famous QC whose professional qualifications need no further explanation.’ The same client adds: ‘He has very sharp thinking on key legal issues and can always take control of the situation during hearings.’ He remains a leading figure for investment treaty and commercial arbitration across the region.” – Chambers 2021, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms) – China.

“A lauded arbitration counsel in the Indian alternative dispute resolution market, acting for major corporates and financial services clients.” - Chambers 2021, Dispute Resolution (International Firms) – India.

“Sought after for his expertise in international arbitration involving the Philippines. He is particularly experienced in disputes arising in the energy and infrastructure sectors.” - Chambers 2021, Dispute Resolution – Philippines 

Other noteworthy experience includes advising:

  • 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 investment incentive sums owed to Nissan by the State Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • BG (now part of the Shell group) and Reliance in arbitration proceedings exceeding USD5bn commenced under the UNCITRAL Rules against the Union of India, in disputes arising out of two production sharing contracts, and also advising them in related court proceedings.
  • An international oil and gas company concerning the construction of an LNG facility in Australia.
  • A Chinese SOE in an ICC arbitration in relation a project to redevelop an oil refinery in Central America.
  • A private equity fund in an HKIAC arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules arising from an investment in a crypto-currency exchange.
  • An oil major in a SIAC arbitration against its joint venture partner relating to exploration activities in an offshore oil and gas block in the Philippines.
  • Two oil majors in contractual and treaty proceedings concerning offshore oil and gas blocks in a South East Asian country.
  • One of the world’s largest private equity groups in an HKIAC arbitration arising out of an interest in a real estate fund.
  • Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon NV, in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines, arising out of the cancellation of a EUR280 million infrastructure project. This was the first successful ICSID award obtained against the Republic of the Philippines.
  • A software company in the first set of breach proceedings brought by the Hong Kong Competition Commission.

News & insights

Japan eases restrictions on foreign lawyers

Publications: 21 SEPTEMBER 2020

Japan eases restrictions on foreign lawyers

In May 2020, Japan's parliament passed a bill to amend the Act on Special Measures concerning the Handling of Legal Services by Foreign Lawyers (the Foreign Lawyers Act), which governs the provision…

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Publications: 29 MAY 2020

Ashwani Minda v U-Shin: The Delhi High Court's recent observations on emergency arbitrator relief and the availability of court-ordered interim measures

The Delhi High Court has held that the choice of certain institutional arbitration rules could potentially disentitle parties to foreign-seated arbitrations from approaching the Indian courts for…

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Publications: 04 OCTOBER 2019

Mainland Hong Kong interim measures arrangement now in effect

The Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the HKSAR (the Arrangement), which was signed on 2…

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Publications: 04 APRIL 2019

Groundbreaking Arrangement Allowing Interim measures in Mainland China for Hong Kong Arbitrations

On 2 April 2019, the HKSAR Government and the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China signed the “Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of…

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Solicitor, England & Wales, 1997

Solicitor, Hong Kong, 2001

Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Rights Civil Courts), England & Wales 2005, Hong Kong 2013

Queen’s Counsel, 2014


BA (Hons), Jurisprudence, Oxford University, 1993

LPC, The College Of Law, Chester, 1995


Published work

  • (2015), "Russell on Arbitration" 24th Edition, Thomson, Joint Editor, with David Sutton and Judith Gill QC
  • (2007), "Russell on Arbitration" 23rd Edition, Thomson, Joint Editor, with David Sutton and Judith Gill
  • (2005), "Reforming ICSID", 20 International Arbitration Report, 1, p.29 - 38
  • (2004), "International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)", Arbitration World, The European Lawyer Limited, p.57 - 78, contributed chapter
  • (2004), "Contractual Claims and Bilateral Investment Treaties - A Comparative Review of the SGS Cases", Journal of International Arbitration, 21 (5), p.397-412
  • (2003), "Arbitration in Hong Kong: A Practical Guide", Sweet & Maxwell, Contributing Editor
  • (2002), "Going Full Circle in Singapore - Dermajaya Properties", 17 International Arbitration Report, 10, p.29 - 35
  • (2000), "A Judge in His Own Cause?": Actual or Unconscious Bias of Arbitrators, IntlALR, 2, p.46 - 51