Tai-Heng Cheng


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


Practice Areas
Construction Litigation
Domestic U.S. Arbitration
Energy Sector Disputes
Government Contracts Litigation
International Arbitration
Litigation Representing Plaintiffs
Real Estate 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
Churchill Mining Plc
EDP Brazil
Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
Mubadala Investment Authority
Pontiac Land
Republic of Poland
Republic of South Sudan
Temasek Holdings


Notable Representations

Lead counsel to a sovereign wealth fund in a $5bn. dispute involving commercial mortgage backed securities, achieving a swift and favorable business solution.

Lead counsel to a power company in the worldwide enforcement of a $600mn. judgment concerning a hydroelectric project in Albania, involving legal actions in multiple countries.

Lead counsel for Singaporean and Australian publicly-listed companies against an Asian country in $100mn. 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. arbitration  dispute in the United States, achieving a favorable settlement.

Lead counsel for a sovereign wealth fund in a gas arbitration 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  concerning the 2008 financial crisis, achieving no action by the DOJ and no publicity.

Lead counsel for a Brazilian power company in a $100mn. arbitration 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, resulting in the repatriation of the rifle to Poland.

Counsel for Churchill Mining and Planet Mining in an ongoing  $1bn. ICSID bilateral investment treaty arbitrations against Indonesia concerning a mining concession, defeating jurisdictional objections by Indonesia.

Counsel for a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund against a U.S. major financial institution in a $7.5bn. 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 a Korean insurance company in a $60mn. 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 $400mn. bilateral investment treaty UNCITRAL arbitration between a mining company and an Eastern European state.

Counsel in a $150mn. 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 $1.7bn. accounting fraud in Japan.



Chair of a CPR arbitration tribunal in an $8bn. 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 $50mn. HKIAC international arbitration in a investment dispute between 24 Chinese and Hong Kong entities, in proceedings in English and Mandarin.

Chair of a $50mn. ICDR arbitration between a Turkish company and a Canadian company, governed by Bahamas law.

Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration between a U.S. company and an Indian company in a dispute arising from an oil well failure in Canada.

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

Co-arbitrators in a $50mn. ICC arbitration between a Chinese company and a Canadian company in an aviation dispute.

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.



Testifying expert in international law in an investor-state ICSID arbitration.

Testifying expert and consultant in international law in a $500 mn. SCC investor-state arbitration.

Testifying expert in arbitration in a $4 bn. bankruptcy proceeding in Canada.

Testifying expert and consultant on international law and U.S. law in Singapore court proceedings to successfully oppose extradition of individuals for conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Amicus curiae in a U.S. Federal Court of Appeals case involving a $400 mn. dispute between a hedge fund and sovereign state.

Consultant to a Balkan state on matters of state succession.

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