Matthew Gearing QC joins Essex Court Chambers

13 January, 2021

Members of Chambers are pleased to announce that Matthew Gearing QC will join Essex Court Chambers on Monday 3 May 2021.

Matthew is an exceptional advocate recognised internationally for his outstanding global investment treaty and commercial arbitration practice.

Matthew qualified in England in 1997 and took Silk in 2014. He has been principally based in Hong Kong since 2008 where he was a partner at Allen & Overy (since 2005) and co-head of their Global Arbitration group as well as Chairperson of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) from 2017-2020.  He is also a Hong Kong solicitor-advocate.  He is an editor of the leading publication, Russell on Arbitration (23rd, 24th Editions and currently working on the 25th Edition).

Matthew has been consistently ranked as a standout practitioner for international arbitration in the directories, most recently, ranked in Band 1 for International Arbitration on a Global-wide basis by Chambers & Partners 2020, and singled out as the sole “Star Individual” for Arbitration – China in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021.  Chambers notes, “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.’ (Chambers 2021, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms) – China).

Matthew has acted in numerous complex, high-profile arbitrations around the world. He represents both major corporate clients and sovereign states, including in arbitrations under the ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, HKIAC, KLRCA, SCC, LCIA and ICSID rules.

Recent instructions include 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; and BG (now part of the Shell group) and Reliance in UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings against the Union of India, in disputes exceeding USD5bn arising out of two production sharing contracts, and in related court proceedings (Reliance Industries Ltd & Anor v The Union of India [2018] EWHC 822 (Comm); Reliance Industries Ltd & Anor v The Union of India [2020] EWHC 263 (Comm)).

Senior Clerk, Joe Ferrigno, said, “The recruitment of Matthew Gearing QC is a brilliant opportunity for Chambers, and adds considerable value to our International Arbitration practice. Matthew is an exceptional, internationally recognised Silk who brings with him a wealth of knowledge, expertise and a well-established practice. We are proud to welcome Matthew to Essex Court Chambers.”

Joe Smouha QC and Huw Davies QC, Joint Heads of Essex Court Chambers, said, “We are delighted that Matthew Gearing QC will be joining Essex Court Chambers when he moves to the Bar in the Spring. As one of the stellar advocates in international arbitration, and with his particular strengths in Asia as well as London, Chambers is a natural home for Matt to take forward an already glittering career. We are looking forward to welcoming him.”

Matthew Gearing QC said “My association with Essex Court Chambers goes back to the late 1990s and I am delighted now to be joining this leading set of chambers, working both on London and Asian based matters, retaining close links with many friends and colleagues on the arbitration circuit and of course also at Allen & Overy, where I have spent almost half of my life.”

Allen & Overy Hong Kong partner Matthew Hodgson commented:  “Matt is amongst the leading international arbitration advocates of his generation, as well as being a great mentor and friend.  We will miss his special combination of intellectual rigour, good humour and sheer stamina around the office, but wish him all the best with his new chapter and look forward to our professional and personal paths continuing to cross.”

Allen & Overy Singapore partner Sheila Ahuja also commented:  “Matt is an exceptional arbitration lawyer and truly market leading in the Asia Pacific region in particular.  He will be sorely missed as a colleague, but I look forward to continuing our close working relationship and friendship.