Attorney Detail Banner
Back to Attorneys
McWilliams, Adam
Direct Tel: +44 20 7653 2052
Tel: +44 20 7653 2000 Fax: +44 20 7653 2100

Adam McWilliams is a Partner in Quinn Emanuel’s London office and represents clients in disputes around the world. With extensive experience acting in international arbitration and cross-border cases, Adam has represented energy, infrastructure, construction, and natural resources clients in all manner of complex claims, and he is particularly experienced with major projects in the renewable energy sector. Having previously worked on assignment in the global disputes group at a major international bank in London, Adam also acts in high value finance, commercial, and civil fraud disputes. Adam has been engaged as counsel in cases involving various governing laws before national courts and administered by all the major arbitral institutions, including under the ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SIAC, and UNCITRAL Rules.

Prior to joining the firm, Adam worked in the arbitration practice of a top-tier international firm in London and studied international and commercial law at Cambridge University. Adam is qualified to appear in all civil proceedings in England (Solicitor Advocate) and New York (Attorney). He is also qualified in his native Australia, where he began his legal career, having undertaken a judicial clerkship as the associate to a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

  • Glennmont Partners
  • Lightsource BP
  • Tenaga Nasional
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development



  • Acting for a multinational renewable energy company in several large disputes across multiple sites under different contracts subject to LCIA arbitration in London.
  • Acting for a global renewable energy asset manager in London’s Commercial Court against insurers for economic loss in relation to a USD 220 million renewable energy power plant.
  • Acting for an S&P-listed health technology company in disputes arising during the construction of a high-tech manufacturing facility in Southeast Asia and subject to arbitration in London.
  • Acting in various disputes for a large global healthcare company during the construction of a medical facility in the United States under contracts providing for arbitration in California.
  • Acting for an international bank in a USD 185 million ICSID arbitration against the United Republic of Tanzania and government-owned entities relating to the project financing of a power plant.
  • Acting for a state-owned energy company in respect of a dispute subject to ICC arbitration concerning a USD 6 billion oil-refinery.
  • Acting for a state-owned energy company in relation to an ICC governed arbitration dispute concerning a USD 300 million investment in a large energy company.
  • Acting for a key defendant in a USD 850 million Middle East pension fund bribery claim in London’s Commercial Court.
  • Acting in ICC London-seated arbitrations regarding the design and construction, as well as a parent company guarantee dispute, related to a large health care project in Qatar and governed by Qatari law.
  • Acting in the successful defence of shareholders subject to co-shareholders’ claims in London’s Commercial Court concerning a guarantee for an investment in an entertainment company.
  • Acting for a multinational energy company in a Stockholm-seated UNCITRAL arbitration regarding the operation of a long-term contract for the transport of oil through Kazakhstan and Russia.
  • Acting in a London-seated LCIA arbitration for a multinational consulting firm regarding the construction of a USD 1.1 billion mining project in Mongolia.
  • Acting for a global investment firm in an LCIA London-seated arbitration in relation to disputes concerning the development of a major commercial property project in East Africa.


  • Cambridge University
    (Master of Law, 2011)
  • Queensland University of Technology
    (Bachelor of Laws, First Class Honours, 2007)
  • Solicitor Advocate, Higher Rights of Audience (Civil), England and Wales
  • Solicitor, Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • The State Bar of New York
  • High Court of Australia
  • Herbert Smith Freehills:
    • Senior Associate, 2011-2017
  • Minter Ellison:
    • Associate, 2008-2010
  • Federal Court of Australia:
    • Judge's Associate, 2007-2008
  • Lawdragon 500 Global International Arbitration & Financial Litigation, inc. Plaintiff, 2024
  • Legal 500 Construction: Contentious Tier 4, 2024
  • Legal 500, Recommended Individual – International Arbitration and Public International Law (2024)