Ricky Diwan KC
Ricky is referred to as “extremely bright” by leading directories and it is with that wealth of knowledge that he began accepting arbitrator appointments in 2017. He is a member of ICCA, LCIA, HKIAC and SIAC Panel of Arbitrators, as well as the UK ICC Committee. He is presently appointed as arbitrator in arbitrations under the ICC Rules, LCIA Rules and SIAC Rules (acting in the capacity of sole arbitrator, presiding arbitrator and co-arbitrator). He has considerable experience of arguing and conducting international arbitrations under both common law (English law, Hong Kong law Indian law, New York law, Singapore law) and civil law (Angolan law, French law, Iranian law, Kuwait law, Libyan law, Polish law, Russian law, Sudanese law and Turkish law). The subject matter of the cases in which he has acted and sat as arbitrator is necessarily diverse. He co-authored the ICCA International Handbook on Commercial Arbitration for England & Wales (2015) with the late V V Veeder KC. He also co-drafted the Mauritian International Arbitration Act 2008, advised on the LCIA-MIAC arbitration rules and sits on the advisory board of the Mauritian International Arbitration Centre. He also lectures in international arbitration at King’s College, London, and regularly speaks at international arbitration events.
Ricky’s extensive Counsel practice covers a multitude of experience of international commercial arbitration and international investment arbitration. Having regularly appeared as counsel in international arbitrations seated throughout the world. He has been instructed in arbitrations under a wide variety of international arbitration rules including HKIAC, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SCC, SIAC, UNCITRAL and VIAC. Prior to being called to the UK bar in 1998, he was admitted to the New York Bar and practiced as a qualified attorney-at-law at a leading New York law firm between 1995 and 1997.
His international arbitration practice is complimented by his vast experience of international arbitration related applications before the English Court raising issues of (inter alia) jurisdiction (including under investment treaties), due process and excess of power. He has appeared at all levels of the English Court on arbitration related cases as well as before leading institutions (including an ICSID Annulment Committee constituted by ICSID). His cases have given rise to important reported judgments and decisions. This includes: Griffin v Poland  1 Lloyd’s Rep 410, where he acted for the investor in successfully setting aside an investment award on jurisdictional grounds, being the first investor state award to be set aside by the English High Court (for which he was nominated for an award by GAR in 2019); Raymond Eyre and Montrose Development v Sri Lanka (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/25, 2020), where he acted for the State in a hotel development dispute and successfully had the claim dismissed on jurisdictional grounds and then successfully resisted an application for annulment before an ICSID Annulment Committee; Kabab-Ji v Kout Food Group  UKSC 48 (Judgment of 27 October 2021), where he recently appeared before the United Kingdom Supreme Court in successfully resisting recognition and enforcement of ICC arbitral award in a landmark decision on jurisdiction under Article V(1)(a) of the New York Convention.
Ricky is highly recommended in leading legal directories for international arbitration in which he has been described as “a very strong advocate”, an advocate who “glues the attention of the court”, “exceptionally sharp and extremely pleasant to work with”, “widely recognized and recommended figure in the market” and that “his understated but powerful performance at hearings is advocacy at its best”. He is regularly nominated for directory awards and most recently one of three nominees for international arbitration silk of the year at the Chambers Bar Awards; and shortlisted for the GAR Awards for his successful setting aside of an investment arbitral award.
Recent Arbitrator Experience
- Presiding arbitrator in a dispute related to the exit from a shareholders’ agreement (LCIA, Dubai International Financial Centre).
- Sole arbitrator in a dispute relating to consultancy agreements in the oil and gas sector (ICC, London seat).
- Presiding arbitrator in a dispute relating to services in respect of the supply of submarines to a State (LCIA, London seat).
- Co-arbitrator in dispute concerning sale and purchase agreements relating to the sale of interest in the oil and gas sector (ICC, London seat).
- Co-arbitrator in consolidated arbitrations related to share purchase agreements (ICC, Hong Kong seat).
- Co-arbitrator in dispute over a gas transportation pipeline project (LCIA, London seat).
- Co-arbitrator in a dispute over the development and operation of a hotel chain (SIAC, Singapore seat).
- Co-Arbitrator in dispute relating to a Master Lease Agreement in the mobile telecommunications sector (LCIA, London seat).
What Others Say
Chambers & Partners (2020) “He’s a very strong advocate, extremely bright and completely straightforward.” “He glues the attention of the court in a very understated and efficient manner.”
Chambers & Partners (2019) “Ricky’s understated but powerful performance at hearings is advocacy at its best. He has a real willingness to exchange ideas and does very careful and detailed analysis.”
Chambers & Partners (2018) “Highly regarded for his international arbitration practice, which concentrates on commercial and investment issues.
Legal 500 (2019) “Exceptionally sharp and extremely pleasant to work with.”
Legal 500 (2018) “An excellent silk who lives and breathes arbitration.”
Who’s Who Legal UK Bar (2019) “Widely recognised and recommended figure in the market.”
Who’s Who Legal UK Bar (2017) “Draw[ing] praise for the rate at which he has developed a very strong practice in both international commercial and investment arbitration with one source claiming, “He is one of the best young silks around”
Who’s Who Legal UK Bar (2016) “Outstanding Ricky Diwan KC emerges as one of the leading lights in our research and specializes in international commercial arbitration both in London and abroad under a range of laws.”
Chambers and Partners (2017) he was ranked in the field of international arbitration and described as “meticulous, extremely hard-working and always on top of all the detail.”
Examples of Recent Cases
Court applications related to arbitration
Gerald v Timis Trust  EWHC 2327. Application under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 raising issues of the interaction of the court’s powers under section 44 and the emergency powers under the LCIA Rules.
A v B  2 ALL ER (Comm) 85 (Teare J). Jurisdictional rehearing under section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996 concerning issues of signing of agreement and construction of agreement.
Y v S  1 Lloyd’s Rep 703 (Eder J). Application for recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award under section 66 of the Arbitration Act 1996 raising issues of the interpretation of CPR 62.18 in the context of the New York Convention and related issues as to the court’s powers to order security.
Wilson v Assaubayevs  CP Rep 10 (Court of Appeal) (Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Aikens, Lord Justice Clarke). Raising issues as to the scope of the doctrine of arbitrability and the case management of arbitrable and non arbitrable claims under section 9 of the Arbitration Act.
Travis Coal Restructured Holdings LLC v Essar Global Fund Ltd  2 Lloyd’s Rep 494 (Mr Justice Blair). Resisting recognition and enforcement of an international arbitration award under the New York Convention, raising issues of New York law and the circumstances in which it was appropriate to grant security.
Polski Koncern v Yukos International  Folio 736 (Comm) (His Honour Judge Mackie QC). Successful application on paper pursuant to O8.8 of the Commercial Court Guide applying on paper to dismiss an application under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
Enercon GMBH v Enercon (India) Ltd  EWHC 3711 (Comm) (Mr Justice Cooke). Application for the appointment of an arbitrator raising issues as to the interpretation of an arbitration clause, and in particular the seat of the arbitration, and parallel English and Indian proceedings.
Assaubayevs v Wilson  EWHC 350 (Comm) (Mr Justice Field). Successful application for anti-arbitration injunctive relief under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.
Petrochemical Industries Co (KSC) v Dow Chemical Company  EWHC 2739 (Comm) (Mr Justice Andrew Smith). Resisting application under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 challenging an arbitral award on the grounds that the tribunal failed to address an ‘issue’ raised; meaning of the term ‘issue’ for the purposes of section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
Dowans Holding SA & Dowans Tanzania Ltd v Tanzania Eletric Supply Co Ltd  2 Lloyd’s Rep 475 and 2012 [EWHC] 350 (Comm) (Mr Justice Burton). Application for recognition and enforcement of an international arbitration award and cross-application for security, raising issues as the meaning of the term ‘binding’ under the New York Convention, Tanzanian law and evidential issues as to assets.
Tamil Nadu Electricity Board v ST-CMS Electric Company  1 Lloyd’s Rep 93 (Mr Justice Cooke). Trial of a s.72 application as to whether or not a London arbitration clause should be displaced on the basis of alleged mandatory provisions of Indian electricity law to the effect that the capital costs of a power plant built by my client had to be assessed mandatorily by a Tamil Nadu State Board (under the Indian Electricity Act 2003) in preference to the London arbitration clause 5.
Elektrim v Vivendi  2 Lloyd’s Rep 8 (Mr Justice Aikens). Resisting application for anti arbitration injunctive relief pursuant to s.37 of the Supreme Court Act. Raised issues as to the scope of the Courtos powers under s.37 in light of s.44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd v Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation  2 Lloyd’s Rep 326 (Mr Justice Gross). Applications for enforcement of an international arbitral award alternatively security, under the New York Convention, raising issues as to the proper approach as to the interpretation of the New York Convention and the grounds for resisting enforcement.
International Commercial Arbitration
Acted as counsel in large scale arbitrations under a wide variety of institutional and ad hoc arbitration rules including HKIAC, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SCC, SIAC, UNCITRAL and VIAC. Substantial experience in making interim and emergency applications and regularly makes submissions under a variety of laws) including Angolan law, French law, Indian law, Iranian law, Kuwait law, Libyan law, New York law, Polish law, Sudanese law and Turkish law).
Joint ventures, shareholder agreements, share purchase agreements, partnerships, franchises, consortia and other arrangements: acted as counsel in disputes covering a wide variety of subject matters (including those set out below).
Mobile telecommunications: acted in three interconnected large-scale arbitrations involving a dispute between a French and German mobile operator (claims in excess of Euro 2 billion); acted for a Malaysian company in a dispute involving the acquisition of an Indian mobile operator (claims in excess of USD 250 million).
Natural resources and infrastructure: acted in major natural resource and infrastructure disputes (including mining and power projects) in Africa (including Angola, Egypt and Tanzania) and the Caribbean. Examples include dispute respect of exclusion from a power project (claims in excess of USD 300 million) and mining venture (claims in excess of USD 1 billion).
Oil & Gas arbitrations: acted in oil & gas disputes (and associated technical disputes relating to pipelines and other infrastructure) involving major oil and gas companies and involving countries such as Iran, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey and Sudan. Examples include a pipeline dispute (claims in excess of USD 1 billion); a dispute with respect to a long-term gas supply contract (claims in the billions); a dispute with respect to a hedging arrangement. Technical/engineering arbitrations: acted in complex engineering and technical disputes including high tech manufacturing equipment and military equipment. Examples include a joint venture relating to the engineering, design and construction of an aluminum smelter and downstream facilities (claims in excess of USD 100 million); contract for the supply of military vessels raising issues as to accuracy of the military hardware (claims in excess of USD 70 million); contract for the supply of high tech manufacturing equipment raising complex engineering issues (claims in excess of USD 40 million).
Investment Investment Arbitration
Montrose v Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (ICSID) raising jurisdictional issues including trust/beneficiary issues and substantive issues of alleged expropriation.
Republic of Korea v Dayyanis  EWHC 3580 raising jurisdictional issues as to the meaning of an investment, asset, and questions of standing and attribution.
GPF GP SARL v Republic of Poland  1 Lloyd’s Rep 410 raising issues as to the interpretation of a treaty arbitration clause and consideration of the forms of expropriation. UNCITRAL proceedings raising issues as to the interpretation of a stabilization clause, tax treatment and related issues of fair and equitable treatment.
Dual international commercial and investment arbitration proceedings arising out of the same venture with an African State (UNCITRAL).
Advised on investment treaty claims (jurisdiction and substance) arising out of the Russian annexation of Crimea (UNCITRAL).
Advised on the jurisdictional implications of the ECJ judgment in Slovak Republic v Achmea (C-248/16).
Counsel in the litigation concerning the question as to who is the government of Libya (following the fall of the Gaddafi regime) and related issues of foreign relations law and justiciability: Bouhadi v Breish  EWHC 602; Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale  EWHC 1720 and  EWHC 1925.
1998: Called to the Bar of England & Wales
1996: Admitted as an Attorney and Counsellor at Law by the State of New York
Cambridge University, Trinity College (1991-1994)
BA (Law), First Class Honours (Parts 1A, B & Part II)
Trinity College Senior and Junior Scholarships
Van Heyden Prize for Academics
ECS Wade Prize for Administrative Law
Harvard Law School, Cambridge Massachusetts, USA (1994-1995)
Holland Fund Scholarship awarded by Trinity College, Cambridge University for study at Harvard Law School
Inns of Court School of Law, Lincoln’s Inn, London (1997-1998)
Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
Lord Mansfield Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
Bar Association Prize for Commerce, Finance & Industry CCH Editions Prize for Company Law
Finalist of the Robert Wright Mooting Competition