Tai-Heng Cheng


New York Office
Tel: +1 212-849-7000
Fax: +1 212-849-7100

Practice Areas
Construction Litigation
Domestic Arbitration
Energy Sector Disputes
International Arbitration
Plaintiffs' Litigation
Transnational Litigation
White Collar and Corporate Investigations


Yale Law School
(J.S.D., 2004)
     Howard M. Holtzman Fellow for International Law, 2000-2001

Oxford University
(M.A., 2004)

Yale Law School
(LL.M., 2000)

Oxford University
(B.A., Law, First Class Honors, 1999)
     Oxford University Scholar, 1997-1999

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Tai-Heng Cheng, a specialist in international disputes, has wide experience representing corporations and sovereign states in international commercial arbitration, investor-state arbitration, state to state disputes, and U.S. court litigation.

He has served as lead counsel, tribunal chair, co-arbitrator, and testifying expert in disputes in almost every continent and under the rules of virtually every major arbitral institution. He is a member of the panels of neutrals of the AAA, ICDR, CPR, SIAC, HKIAC, KLRCA and SCIA. Additionally, Dr. Cheng has counseled sovereign states on public international law matters, including state succession, treaty interpretation, sovereign immunity, and expropriation. He has also represented clients in international parallel proceedings, as well as in U.S. federal and state court trials and appeals.

The chair of a tribunal before which Dr. Cheng appeared as lead counsel, winning full damages and 90% of fees and costs, described Dr. Cheng "as one of the most outstanding advocates" that he had met in over three decades as a U.S. judge and arbitrator.  A Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitration tribunal described Dr. Cheng's presentation at the hearing as "a remarkably eloquent and intelligent address . . . with which the arbitrators of course full-heartedly agree in all respects." Dr. Cheng has been recognized in Chambers Global for international arbitration and in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration.  He is a fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Cheng was a tenured professor of international law in the United States. He is the author of two books and dozens of articles on international law and international arbitration, which the U.S. Federal Circuit and District Courts have cited and relied on as authoritative.

Dr. Cheng is bilingual in English and Mandarin.


Representative Clients

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Bin Laden Group
Churchill Mining Plc
EDP Brazil
Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
Heungkuk Life Insurance
Mubadala Investment Authority
Republic of Poland
Republic of South Sudan
Temasek Holdings


Notable Representations

Lead counsel for Singaporean and Australian publicly-listed companies against an Asian country in $100 mn. ICSID bilateral investment treaty arbitrations concerning a mining project.

Lead counsel for an Asian real estate company against Whitehall and Hines in a $1.4bn. dispute in the United States, achieving a favorable settlement.

Lead counsel for a sovereign wealth fund in a gas dispute of national importance to an Asian country.

Lead counsel for an insurer in a dispute involving thousands of kidnap insurance policies worldwide, including policies covering two kidnapped aid workers in Pakistan, achieving a favorable settlement before litigation.

Lead counsel in a JAMS international arbitration on behalf of a foreign asset management company against a financial institution, winning full damages and 90% of fees and costs.

Lead counsel for multiple sovereign wealth funds against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the 2008 financial crisis, achieving no action by the DOJ and no publicity.

Lead counsel for an Italian energy company to enforce a $500 mn. foreign judgment in the United States.

Lead counsel for a Brazilian power company in a $100 mn. Dispute against Siemens concerning defective power plant turbines.

Lead counsel to the Republic of Poland in a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Virginia concerning a rare World War I rifle.

Counsel for Churchill Mining and Planet Mining in $1bn. ICSID bilateral investment treaty arbitrations against Indonesia concerning a mining concession.

Counsel for a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund against a U.S. major financial institution in a $7.5 billion dispute concerning the fund's "bailout" of the financial institution in an ICDR arbitration, and in related court proceedings.

Counsel for Spentex against Uzbekistan in an ICSID bilateral investment treaty arbitration concerning the expropriation of cotton mills.

Counsel for the Bin Ladin Group in arbitration related proceedings in Texas.

Counsel for a Korean insurance company in a $60 mn. LCIA arbitration against a U.S. major financial institution in a dispute concerning subprime investment, achieving a favorable settlement before the hearing.

Counsel in a $400 mn. bilateral investment treaty UNCITRAL arbitration between a mining company and an Eastern European state.

Counsel in a $150 mn. ICC arbitration concerning a project agreement between a U.S. corporation and an African state.

Consultant to a Balkan state on matters of state succession.

Consultant to an Africa state on succession, oil concessions and expropriation.

Counsel in an eight-week federal white collar trial and a subsequent appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Counsel for a Taiwanese banker facing white collar crime charges in U.S. federal court relating to a $1.7 bn accounting fraud in Japan.



Chair of a CPR arbitration tribunal in an $8 billion dispute between defense contractors concerning military aircraft intellectual property (wrote and issued the award within 9 months from appointment and 1 month from the submission of post hearing briefs).

Chair of an ICDR international arbitration in a franchise dispute between European and Latin American corporations (wrote and issued the award within 1 year from appointment).

Chair of a $50 mn. HKIAC international arbitration in a investment dispute between Chinese and Hong Kong entities, in proceedings in English and Mandarin.

Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration between a U.S. company and an Indian company.

Sole arbitrator in a dispute between a U.S. bankruptcy estate and a Taiwanese entity.

Co-arbitrator in an UNCITRAL international arbitration between U.S. and Hong Kong corporations.

Co-arbitrator in an ICC international arbitration in an intellectual property licensing dispute between Canadian and Japanese corporations.

Co-arbitrator in an ICC arbitration in an aviation dispute before Chinese and U.S. companies.