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Alastair Livesey

Counsel

Alastair focuses on the largest and most complicated business-critical international disputes, across a variety of jurisdictions and industries. Al represents clients both in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, as well as complex multi-jurisdictional litigations, governed by a wide variety of national laws and institutional rules. Al has significant experience both in Europe and in emerging markets, working with clients across Africa, South America, the Middle East, CIS region and Southeast Asia. His experience spans disputes relating to mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, shareholder agreements, mining & natural resources, aviation & defence, major infrastructure projects, construction, telecommunications & technology, and financial services amongst others.

Al has particular experience acting as counsel in disputes involving allegations of fraud, regulatory breaches and other compliance issues. Al draws on his extensive experience in advising clients on multi-jurisdictional risk management and conducting investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption, anti-trust issues, sanctions breaches, money laundering, fraud, human rights violations, corporate governance issues and other forms of wrongdoing.

Al offers strategic guidance to clients in responding to crisis situations and board-room legal and compliance risks. Al is trained in both common and civil law disciplines, with legal qualifications from Oxford University, the University of London and the University of Paris.

Having lived and worked as a lawyer in London, Paris, Zurich, The Hague, Moscow and São Paulo, Al understands distinct legal approaches and cultural sensitivities. Al is well versed in different client perspectives having undertaken secondments to the litigation and investigations team of an international bank; the legal and compliance team of a major commodity trading and mining company; and the litigation team of an NGO. Al has also briefed several UK government departments on international arbitration and investment protections.

Alongside his client work, Al is Co-Chair of the Implementation Task Force for the Campaign for Greener Arbitration, an industry initiative to reduce the environmental impact of international arbitrations. Al is also a Co-Convenor for the EMEA chapter of Delos's advanced oral advocacy training programme in international arbitration.

Al maintains a busy international and domestic pro bono practice, with a particular interest in law reform, the rule of law and strategic litigation in the international courts. Al has recently been heavily involved in the preparation of a playbook for an African State on international law issues arising in post-conflict peace negotiations, as well as spearheading interventions in the European Court of Human Rights. Al currently sits on the Boards of two of the best known and respected legal charities in the UK. Before entering private practice, Al worked for a number of law reform organisations and for the Associated Defence Counsel at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Experience

Representative matters

EFG Bank AG in one of the largest fraud claims ever heard in the English Commercial Court. The US$874 million claims are brought by the Kuwait Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) against a large number of defendants, including EFG, and arise from the alleged corruption between 1994 and 2014 of PIFSS’ former Director General, the late Mr Fahad Al Rajaan. The claims are brought under English, Swiss and Kuwaiti law.

A heavy equipment supplier and contractor in relation to multiple highly complex construction arbitrations under the Association of Arbitrators (Southern Africa) Rules and related litigation. The disputes arose out of two fossil fuel construction megaprojects in Africa with claims and counterclaims of over US$ 2 billion relating to delays, disruption and defects. South African law applied.

A Middle Eastern company, Claimant in an UNCITRAL arbitration in London against an Asian company. The dispute arose out of a contract for the fabrication of onshore oil drilling rigs. English law applied.

A large energy multinational in a complex construction dispute with a contractor worth over US$ 1 billion, in connection with a megaproject for an oil and gas facility in Central Asia. The dispute included issues of delay and defects. English law applied.

An African company and its shareholder as Claimants in an ICC arbitration seated in London against North American companies. The dispute was worth over USD 100 million and arose from the termination of a consultancy agreement relating to oil drilling services. English law applied.

A petrochemicals company in connection with potential investment treaty claims against a Central Asian State in relation to oil and gas assets.

A global aerospace corporation in two linked ICC arbitrations concerning the performance of contracts in respect of which there are red flags of corruption. The arbitrations were seated in Geneva and involved issues of English, French and Swiss law. (previous firm experience).

A commodity producer in a billion-dollar ICC claim arising under two long term supply contracts with a group of mining companies. The seat was London, and the governing law was English law. (previous firm experience).

A global company in the defence and space sector in defending an ICC arbitration brought by a former agent under commissions contracts and the European commercial agency regulations. The arbitral seat was London and the claims involved issues of English, Irish, Spanish and EU laws. (previous firm experience).

A major construction company in a multi-billion-dollar ICC arbitration arising out of a dissolved joint venture. The arbitral seat was Singapore, and the governing law was Korean law. (previous firm experience).

A defence sector company in an ICC arbitration with a former consultant regarding the performance of consultancy contracts potentially tainted by corruption. The arbitration was seated in Madrid and involved issues of English, Spanish and Singapore laws. (previous firm experience).

A sub-contractor in ICC claims against a main contractor for mismanagement of a major construction project. The seat was Riyadh, and the governing law was Saudi law. (previous firm experience).

Two aerospace and defence companies in an ICC arbitration with a former business partner. The arbitration was seated in Riyadh and involved issues of English and Saudi laws. The arbitration was conducted pursuant to the ICC’s Expedited Procedures. (previous firm experience).

A private equity fund in a series of LCIA arbitrations with the majority owners of a portfolio company in relation to breaches of the shareholders’ agreement and other related documents. The arbitral seat of each arbitration was Paris, and the governing law was English law. (previous firm experience).

A UK bank in two linked LCIA arbitrations against a foreign bank, which concerned the effect of mandatory public law provisions of the respondent’s State of incorporation on obligations in a loan contract. The arbitrations were seated in London and involved issues of English and Russian law. (previous firm experience).

A group of Russian transport companies in an LCIA arbitration against a former group executive, in which the group sought to recover sums paid to the executive under a suite of loan agreements following his dismissal. (previous firm experience).

A global commodities company in relation to potential treaty claims against an African country in relation to changes to their mining code. (previous firm experience).

BNP Paribas in respect of contractual and tortious claims brought by secondary market investors in a market-leading Islamic financing Sukuk. This was recognised as one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2017. (previous firm experience).

A mining company in relation to potential claims against an African country arising out of changes to their tax code. (previous firm experience).

A commodities company in an investigation into allegations of manipulation of procurement processes and misreporting of accounting figures. (previous firm experience).

A major corporate entity operating across Africa in relation to whistleblowing allegations of bribery, corruption and undue influence on foreign public officials by members of the management team. (previous firm experience).

A global metals and natural resources company in an internal investigation following whistleblowing allegations of poor governance and circumvention of internal controls by the local management team of an asset in central Africa. (previous firm experience).

A mining company in an investigation into allegations of misuse of company funds, bribery and corruption, circumvention of cash control measures, and employee misconduct. (previous firm experience).

A private equity fund in claims against the former owners of an investment company in respect of contractual misrepresentations and breaches of the sale contracts. (previous firm experience).

A defence sector company in a telecommunications and technology dispute against a public authority. (previous firm experience).

A major financial institution in respect of online gambling regulatory advice across dozens of jurisdictions around the world. (previous firm experience).

A retail company in a dispute with a business partner over a business-critical trademark licensing agreement. (previous firm experience).

Pro bono

Co-Chair, Campaign for Greener Arbitration's Implementation Task Force.

EMEA Co-Convenor, Delos Remote Oral Advocacy Programme.

Board Director and Trustee, JUSTICE.

Board Director and Trustee, Civil Liberties Trust.

Member and Former Director, Bail for Immigration Detainees.

Chair, Sterling Pride.

Former Member of Legal Advisory Board, Mermaids UK.

Published Work

  • Livesey, Alastair, (2020) “Court confirms power to order taking of evidence from non-parties to a foreign-seated arbitration”, London: International Law Office
  • Livesey, Alastair, (2018) “Urbaser S.A. and Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia, Bilbao Biskaia Ur Partzuergoa v. The Argentine Republic”, Cambridge: World Trade Review
  • Livesey, Alastair, (2015) Case commentaries on Identoba and others v Georgia and Maguire v The United Kingdom (amongst others), London: European Human Rights Law Review
  • Various industry briefings, including the English law of confidentiality sections of Kluwer Arbitration's 'SmartCharts'

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Rising Arbitrators Initiative
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, International Chamber of Commerce, Young Arbitration and ADR Forum

Awards

  • Final shortlist for Law Society of England & Wales Excellence Award, 2021
  • Final shortlist for the most promising Trainee Solicitor in London, City of London Solicitors’ Company Prize, 2014

Qualifications

Admissions

Solicitor, England & Wales, 2016

Paris (registered foreign lawyer)

Academic

Certificat supérieur, Droit français et européen, Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II, 2011

M.A., Law with Legal Studies in Europe, University of Oxford, 2012

Legal Practice Course (England & Wales), University of Law, 2014

Higher Rights of Advocacy, Civil Proceedings (England & Wales), University of Law, 2017

LL.M., International Dispute Resolution, Queen Mary University of London, 2021

Languages

English (Native) French (Professional Proficiency) German (Basic Proficiency) Portuguese (Basic Proficiency)
Disclaimer
A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.