Professional practice

Ricky Diwan QC has a wide-ranging practice in the fields of international commercial litigation, international commercial arbitration and international investment arbitration (as well as arbitration applications before the courts). He appears both before the English Courts, foreign Courts and in international arbitrations in London and abroad and has substantial experience in dealing with multi-jurisdictional disputes. He also frequently sits as arbitrator in international arbitrations (both as co-arbitrator and chair).

He is a member of the UK ICC Committee and co-authored the ICCA International Handbook on Commercial Arbitration for England & Wales (2015). 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 is highly recommended in leading legal guides in which he has been described as “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 was short listed for the GAR Awards (2019) for his successful setting aside of an investment arbitral award (the first time an investment award has been set aside in this jurisdiction). He has lectured in international arbitration at King’s College, London, and regularly speaks at international arbitration events.

Prior to being called to the bar and joining Essex Court Chambers in 1998, he was admitted to the New York Bar and practiced as a qualified attorney-at-law at Debevoise & Plimpton (New York) between 1995 and 1997.

Current and recent cases include:

  • Counsel in the Court of Appeal in New York Convention proceedings resisting recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award (ICC, Paris seat);
  • Counsel on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka in ICSID proceedings;
  • Counsel on behalf of the Republic of Korea in a jurisdictional rehearing before the English Commercial Court with respect to an investment award;
  • Counsel in international commercial arbitration proceedings relating to a major infrastructure project in Africa;
  • Counsel in international commercial arbitration proceedings in respect of a long-term gas supply contract entered into with a State entity.


What others say

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 QC 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.” In 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 notable cases


  • 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 [2016] EWHC 602; Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale [2015] EWHC 1720 and [2015] EWHC 1925.


  • 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 aluminium 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).


  • 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 [2019] 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 [2018] 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).


New York Convention (enacted in section 100 et seq. of the Arbitration Act 1996)

  • J v K [2019] EWHC 899 (Comm)
  • Travis Coal Restructured Holdings LLC v Essar Global Fund Ltd [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 494
  • Dowans Holding SA & Dowans Tanzania Ltd v Tanzania Electric Supply Co Ltd [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 475 and 2012 [EWHC] 350 (Comm)
  • IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd v Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [2005] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 326

Section 67 (Jurisdiction rehearing)

  • Republic of Korea v Dayyanis [2019] EWHC 3580 (investment arbitration)
  • GPF GP SARL v Republic of Poland [2018] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 410 (investment arbitration)
  • Petroleum Company of Trinidad & Tobago v Samsung Engineering [2017] EWHC 3055 (international commercial arbitration)
  • A v B [2015] 2 ALL ER (Comm) 85 (international commercial arbitration)

Section 68 (Procedural irregularity)

  • Polski Koncern v Yukos International [2013] Folio 736 (Comm)
  • Petrochemical Industries Co (KSC) v Dow Chemical Company [2012] EWHC 2739 (Comm)

Section 66 (enforcement of an English award)

  • Y v S [2015] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 703

Section 44 (court powers in support of arbitral proceedings) and section 37 of SCA 1981

  • Gerald v Timis Trust [2016] EWHC 2327
  • Assaubayevs v Wilson [2012] EWHC 350 (Comm)
  • Elektrim v Vivendi [2007] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 8

Section 18 (appointment of an arbitrator)

  • Enercon GMBH v Enercon (India) Ltd [2012] EWHC 3711 (Comm)

Section 9 (stay of court proceedings)

  • Wilson v Assaubayevs [2015] CP Rep 10 (Court of Appeal)

Section 72

  • Tamil Nadu Electricity Board v ST-CMS Electric Company [2008] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 93

Called to the Bar of England & Wales: 1998

Admitted as an Attorney and Counsellor at Law by the State of New York: 1996


Cambridge University, Trinity College (1991-1994) BA (Law), First Class Honours (Parts 1A, 1B & 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) 

LL.M. (1994)

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