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Young KC, Michael

Michael Young KC


*Admitted in England and Wales; not admitted in New York

Direct Tel: +1 212 849 7070, Direct Fax: +1 212 849 7100
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100
Tel: +33 1 73 44 60 00 Fax: +33 1 73 44 61 00

Michael is a partner specialising in international arbitration. He is one of the leading practitioners in the market worldwide, joining Quinn Emanuel in 2017 from Allen & Overy LLP (where he was Global Co-Head of their arbitration practice). Leading directories have described Michael as someone who has “the wit of a master, knows ICC rules inside out, and never loses”, a “perfect mastery of the rules of arbitration and procedure, as well as a spectacular ability to resolve cases” and “one of the country’s premier advocates… A connoisseur of international arbitration”. He is a law graduate of both Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and served as a Vice-President of the ICC Court of Arbitration.

He has advised and represented international clients in countless arbitrations throughout the world, both ad hoc and under each of the major institutional rules. Although experienced across all industry and market sectors, he has a specific focus on energy, construction and infrastructure disputes. Those disputes have arisen worldwide, but with a particular focus on Africa (both North and Sub-Saharan), North America, Asia and the Middle East.

He is a leading advocate – regularly arguing cases before arbitral tribunals and experts – and has been on the Executive Committee of the Federation for International Arbitration Advocacy since its inception (where he has taught advocacy classes around the world).

Michael sits frequently as an arbitrator himself. He has also written and spoken widely on arbitration issues, as well as teaching at the Faculty of Law at Sciences Po in Paris and at the University of London LLM arbitration programme.

  • Represented a leading Chinese energy company in various ongoing disputes with Nigeria relating to lifting obligations and tax liabilities in the country (including ad hoc proceedings seated in Nigeria).
  • Represented a leading European energy company in various disputes concerning PSC and JOA obligations arising from projects in Yemen (including multiple ICC arbitration proceedings).
  • Represented a global aviation company in various disputes worldwide, including those concerning the termination of an aircraft supply agreement and outstanding pre-delivery payments (resolved by ICC arbitration in New York) and regarding the termination of another manufacturing agreement following the insolvency of the counterparty.
  • Represented numerous leading European energy companies in a suite of price-reopener disputes (under a range of procedural rules) concerning gas supply contracts.
  • Represented a leading oil services company in an ICC dispute concerning the installation of, and defects to, risers and ancillary equipment in a major development offshore West Africa.
  • Represented a leading Middle Eastern media company in various arbitrations concerning rights to use certain trademarks, and various post-M&A related issues, regarding broadcasting of content in Lebanon.
  • Represented a leading African conglomerate in various disputes in Africa, including in relation to an industrial project in Benin (both by way of arbitration and before the local courts).
  • Represented a leading European bank in a post-M&A dispute concerning operations in Central Europe.
  • Represented a global technology company in an ICC dispute regarding the status and supply of hi-tech batteries for use in motor vehicles.
  • Represented a major Japanese drinks company in a dispute regarding the termination of a supply agreement in Europe.
  • Represented a leading private equity company in a dispute regarding a major investment in the electricity sector of an East African state.
  • Represented a leading independent US energy company in a post-M&A dispute regarding a major development in Eastern Europe.
  • Represented a global investment fund in local litigation before the Lagos courts concerning the termination of a supply agreement in the energy sector.
  • Represented a global energy super-major in a range of issues under the ICC Rules affecting the operatorship of, and construction and maintenance of, a major oil pipeline in the Middle East.
  • Represented a global energy super-major in a range of disputes (under the ICC, LCIA and ICSID Rules) affecting the construction and maintenance of, defects within, and delays to, a major oil and gas pipeline – and related ancillary machinery – in the Near East.
  • Represented a global resources and energy company in various ICC disputes and expert determinations concerning major gas developments in Algeria and JOA obligations thereunder.
  • Represented a leading European energy company in a dispute concerning option rights under a JOA and Farm-In Agreement concerning a hydrocarbon development in Tanzania.
  • Represented the same energy company in an ICC dispute concerning the development of assets in Equatorial Guinea.
  • Represented a leading European industrialist in an ICC arbitration concerning the development and construction of off-shore and on-shore facilities in the largest gas project in a Caspian state.
  • Represented a global energy super-major in its dispute concerning the significant cost overruns and delays incurred in the construction of (as well as related defects within) a Spar Hull for an offshore platform in the United States.
  • Represented the same super-major in a separate range of disputes concerning weld, field coating and other alleged construction defects concerning a major oil pipeline network in the Middle East.
  • Represented a leading Middle Eastern company in a dispute concerning an investment in a refinery project in Algeria and related payment obligations to the Government thereunder.
  • Represented a global energy super-major in an arbitration brought by a US oil company concerning the application of a joint operating agreement in South America for the development of a field in Lake Maracaibo, together with related mediation concerning the parties’ obligations to meet payment demands under the terms of the relevant JOA.
  • Represented a principal S.E. Asian pipeline company in a major dispute (under the SIAC rules) concerning a significant international sub-sea pipeline.
  • Represented a global construction company in relation to defects to a major water pipeline project in the Middle East.
  • Represented a global energy super-major in an ICC dispute over transfer and pre-emption provisions concerning a refinery and gas storage acquisition in Holland.
  • Cambridge University
    (M.A., Law, First Class Honors, 1993)
  • Inns of Court School of Law
    (Bar Vocational Course, graded Outstanding, 1994)
  • Oxford University
    (BCL, First Class Honors, 1996)
  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales and Solicitor Advocate
  • Admitted in England & Wales only; not admitted to the State Bar of New York


  • French
  • English
  • Allen & Overy LLP:
    • Partner (Paris), 2012-2017
  • Herbert Smith LLP:
    • Partner (London and Paris), 2003-2012
  • The Best Lawyers in France, 2020 & 2021, Listed in Arbitration and Mediation & in International Arbitration; named Practice Head in Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (Tier 1)
  • Who's Who Legal, 2020 & 2021, named Global Leader in Arbitration
  • Who's Who Legal, 2020, named Thought Leaders in Arbitration
  • Who's Who Legal, 2020, named National Leader in Arbitration (France)
  • Who's Who Legal, 2020, named National Leader in Energy (France)
  • Who's Who Legal, 2020, Legal Marketplace Analysis for France, Listed in Arbitration
  • Leaders League, 2019, Listed as Incontournable en Arbitrage International (guide Décideurs Contentieux & Arbitrage)
  • Legal 500 (recommended for international arbitration)
  • Chambers & Partners (recommended for international arbitration, energy disputes and Africa disputes)
  • Who’s Who Legal (recommended for international arbitration and energy disputes)
  • Confidentiality in International Arbitration - Does the exception prove the rule?, 27(1) ASA Bull 25.
  • Multi-jurisdictional Battle Against Swiss Arbitral Award, 2004(3) J. Int’l Dispute Res. 144.
  • Arbitrating International Energy Disputes, in Reflections on the International Practice of Law, Liber.
  • Amicorum for the 35th Anniversary of Bar & Karrer, 107.
  • Producing evidence in International Arbitration, 2005(1) C. L. Rev. Int’l 13.
  • ICC Court Member for the United Kingdom (2012-2016)
  • Vice-President, ICC Court of Arbitration (2016 to date)
  • Member (ex officio), ICC UK National Committee
  • Executive Committee Member (founding), Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy
  • Member of most leading international arbitration institutions