Areas of Practice
Education
  • University of Auckland, B.Com, 1991
  • University of Auckland, LLB, 1994
Admitted
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Solicitor Advocate, England & Wales

Matthew Coleman

Partner
5 Aldermanbury Square
London, EC2V 7HR
TEL: +44 20 7367 8019
FAX: +44 20 7367 8001

Matthew Coleman specialises in international arbitration, litigation and public international law. He is the Chair of Steptoe's Investment Treaty Arbitration Practice. The Chambers guide has stated that Mr. Coleman has a “wonderful grasp of public international law” and said that he is “applauded for his expertise in investment treaty arbitrations” and recommended him for his “skills as an advocate.” The Legal 500 guide has stated that he is “outstanding” in the field of public international law, and also recommended him for commercial arbitration. At the Global Arbitration Review Awards in 2016, Steptoe won the category "International arbitration practice that impressed in the past year" for the investment treaty arbitration work that Matthew and his colleagues have undertaken. In 2016, The American Lawyer awarded Steptoe's arbitration team with "Global Dispute of the Year: Investment Arbitration (Africa)".

Many of Mr. Coleman's cases involve concurrent proceedings before tribunals and courts, and have been in favour of, or against, international companies, State agencies and States. He has acted as lead counsel on investment treaty and commercial arbitrations in the leading arbitration forums. Mr. Coleman has also appeared as counsel in the Courts of England. In regard to Mr. Coleman's counsel work, Chambers has acclaimed him for "his command of a vast amount of detail and meticulous preparation."

Mr. Coleman's public international law practice has a particular focus on acting as lead counsel in investment disputes between States and foreign investors (ISDS), including at ICSID. His work for States has included advice relating to the investment chapters of free trade agreements and drafting treaties.

Representative Matters

Investment Treaty Arbitration – ICSID and ad hoc

  • Lead counsel to nine investors in respect of an investment dispute with The Republic of Zimbabwe arising from breaches of a bilateral investment treaty. Bernhard von Pezold & Ors v The Republic of Zimbabwe. ICSID arbitration. Clients awarded restitution and US$196 million in damages.
  • Lead counsel to investors in respect of an investment dispute with The Republic of Zimbabwe arising from breaches of a bilateral investment treaty. Border Timbers Ltd & Ors v The Republic of Zimbabwe. ICSID arbitration. Clients awarded restitution and US$125 million in damages.
  • Co-counsel to thirteen investors in respect of an investment dispute with The Republic of Zimbabwe arising from breaches of a bilateral investment treaty. Funnekotter v The Republic of Zimbabwe. ICSID arbitration. Clients awarded damages.
  • Lead co-counsel (from 10 September 2008) to an investor in respect of an investment dispute arising from alleged breaches of a bilateral investment treaty. Trans-Global Petroleum Inc. v The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. ICSID arbitration. Case settled.
  • Lead counsel to an Italian investor in respect of an investment dispute with an East African State arising from alleged breaches of a bilateral investment treaty. UNCITRAL arbitration. Pending.
  • Co-counsel to a UK investor in respect of an investment dispute with a Balkan State arising from alleged breaches of a bilateral investment treaty. UNCITRAL Arbitration. PCA Case No. 2015-39. Ongoing.

Technical Assistance to States on Public International Law Issues

  • Engaged by several Asian states to advise on their investment treaty negotiations, including (most recently) negotiations with the European Union.
  • Appointed by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the panel of law firms that will be instructed to defend it in investor-state disputes.
  • Drafting a treaty between two African States covering the operation of a cross border infrastructure project.

Commercial Arbitration

  • Lead counsel to shareholders in a shareholder dispute in relation to a commodities business. Ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.
  • Lead counsel to an African Bank in a dispute with its former Chief Executive over the alleged breach of an arbitration agreement. Ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.
  • Lead counsel to a bank pursuing claims arising out of an alleged fraud concerning a trade finance transaction. Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution.

Court Litigation

  • Lead counsel to a party seeking an anti-enforcement injunction for alleged breach of an arbitration agreement. High Court and Court of Appeal England.
  • Co-counsel to investors on the enforcement of an ICSID award in England. Siag v Egypt. High Court England.
  • Lead counsel to a bank in proceedings concerning the breach of a loan agreement. High Court England.
  • Lead counsel to a satellite broadcaster in the Middle East and Africa in proceedings to obtain injunctions in England in support of foreign proceedings. High Court England.

Noteworthy

  • Law360 International Arbitration "MVP," 2016
  • Winner of Global Arbitration Review (GAR) award "International arbitration practice that impressed in the past year"
  • Leading Individual: International Arbitration - Chambers UK 2018 
  • Leading Individual: Public International Law - Chambers UK (2011 - 2018)
  • Leading Individual: Public International Law - Legal 500 UK (2015 - 2017)  
  • Recommended Individual: Public International Law - Legal 500 UK (2013 - 2017)
  • Recommended Individual: International Arbitration - Legal 500 UK (2013 - 2017)

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

More Publications »

Professional Affiliations

  • LCIA
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • International Bar Association
  • International Law Association
  • British Institute of International and Comparative Law