Damian James and two of the world’s leading construction lawyers. discuss how international arbitration has changed since the start of 2020. What are the key effects of the pandemic and what do you need to consider when dealing with disputes, claims and strategies for dispute resolution?

Damian James will be speaking to David Brynmor-Thomas QC of 39 Essex Chambers, and to Fernando Ortega of CVML on a range of subjects, including:

  • Force Majeure: Where are we now and what happens in second or third waves of lockdown? What are the wider implications in arbitration?
  • Supplies and Resources: What are the implications for global projects in light of resources and restrictions on movement of goods and people? 
  • Funding: how are funders and third-parties reacting to the continuing change? Is it possible to get backing to resolve a dispute?
  • Pricing: How to approach pricing on projects? How to deal with negotiations.
  • Strategy: What strategies can you employ to secure payment and avoid drawn-out disputes?

Watch the full recording:


Our expert panellists are: 

David Brynmor Thomas QC, 39 Essex Chambers

David is globally recognised as a specialist in the conduct of complex, high-value, international commercial litigation and arbitration. He also appears in arbitration applications for injunctive relief in support of arbitrations, on challenges to awards on jurisdictional and procedural grounds, also on the enforcement of international arbitration awards. David is an Honorary Professor in the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London and co-editor of the Global Arbitration Review Guide to Construction Arbitration. 

He is a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and member of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Commission on Arbitration. David was previously a partner at Herbert Smith. There he specialised in International Arbitration and Construction disputes. His appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2019, came just 8 years after being called to the Bar.

Fernando Ortega, Partner, CVML

Fernando is a partner and regional head of Arbitration at French law firm, CVML. He has represented clients as counsel and advocate in numerous commercial, construction and investment arbitrations under the rules of major arbitral institutions. His practice extends across the Middle East, Africa, CIS, and South Asia. David assists clients with the enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards around the world.

Fernando regularly speaks at domestic and international conferences. His specialisms include arbitration, transnational issues, construction and commercial disputes, investment law and arbitration in the oil and gas sector. He regularly publishes on these topics. Fernando recently joined the Panel of Arbitrators to the Hangzhou International Arbitration Court serving as an arbitrator on high-value construction disputes involving Chinese contractors.

Damian James

Damian James is a leading expert in the area of quantum, delay, disruption and cost evaluation. He has been appointed as adviser in international arbitrations and as expert in adjudications around the world. Project and arbitration locations have included the UAE, South Africa and other African states and the UK. Damian is widely experienced in engineering and construction claims and dispute resolution. He has particular expertise in the preparation of detailed claims to recover client entitlements. Damian is skilled in the complex discipline of delay analysis and disruption valuation. He is able to disentangle global claims to establish the relationship of particular cause and effect.