Conway Blake

Outstanding judgment and extraordinary dedication … on high profile commercial work.”

 

The Legal 500, 2021

 

Overview

Conway Blake is an international counsel in the arbitration group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in London. He works principally as counsel, but he also welcomes arbitral appointments.
Conway has acted for corporate and sovereign clients in a range of disputes, including in investor-state arbitration and commercial arbitrations governed by various substantive laws and conducted under the major arbitral rules (e.g., LCIA, SIAC, ICC, ICSID and ad hoc rules).

He is actively engaged in the international arbitration and international law communities and has been recognised as a “Future Leader” in international arbitration by Who’s Who Legal (2021). He is recommended by The Legal 500 UK (2021), where clients praise his “outstanding judgment and extraordinary dedication … on high profile commercial work.”

Conway is a Solicitor Advocate of England and Wales, and is called to the bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. He retains a keen interest in legal academia, and writes and lectures frequently on international commercial arbitration.

Style and Approach

Conway has been described in the legal directories as having “outstanding judgment and extraordinary dedication.” These qualities and his significant knowledge and experience of large and complex commercial arbitrations provide him with an excellent foundation for acting as arbitrator.

He combines excellent technical knowledge with a pragmatic and hands-on approach; and has a keen ability to cut through to the core of a dispute.

Expertise

  • Commercial disputes
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Offshore law
  • Environmental law/liability
  • State contracts/international law

Experience

Conway’s experience includes representations in the following matters:

  • A confidential multi-billion-dollar arbitration dispute between a State and a State-owned oil company in relation to a long-term oil pipeline project, raising several contractual and international law claims.
  • An international pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration regarding termination of a joint agreement.
  • Advising a sovereign on the impact of sanctions regimes on the enforcement of an international arbitration award.
  • Royal Dutch Shell and The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in claims in the English High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, concerning alleged oil spills in Nigeria affecting thousands of claimants.
  • Mobile Tele Systems in its investor-state arbitration against Uzbekistan brought under the Additional Facility of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), including successfully defending an application for summary dismissal of the claim.
  • The Government of Grenada in an arbitration under a SPA concerning a shareholder disputes arising out of reforms to the electricity sector.
  • The Government of Grenada before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court seeking stay of domestic judicial review proceedings pending the completion of a related international arbitration.
  • British Caribbean Bank Ltd, in successfully defending anti-arbitration injunction proceedings brought by the Government of Belize to avoid arbitration brought by a foreign investor.
  • A Canadian mining group in a dispute with the government of an African country, concerning claims of breach of the tax stabilisation and other provisions of an agreement for the operation of a copper treatment facility, and an expropriation of certain of the mining company’s rights.
  • A shareholder of Belize Telemedia Limited in proceedings concerning the nationalisation of the company and various legislative and other governmental measures aimed at preventing the claimants from obtaining compensation.
  • The London-based shipping arm of an oil multinational in claims in the High Court brought
  • by 28,000 thousand claimants concerning alleged tortious harm in respect of an oil spill caused during loading operations between a ship and floating oil platform in an African state.
  • The Russian Federation in an arbitration brought by Yukos Capital (a former Yukos Oil subsidiary) under the Energy Charter Treaty and the UNCITRAL Rules relating to an alleged expropriation and other breaches. The claims relate to certain alleged inter-company loans.
  • The Russian Federation in an arbitration brought by Financial Performance Holdings (a former Yukos Oil subsidiary) (“FPH”) under the Energy Charter Treaty and the UNCITRAL Rules relating to an alleged expropriation and other breaches.

Professional Qualifications

  • PhD in Law, University of Cambridge
  • LLM (first), University of Cambridge
  • LLB (first), University of the West Indies
  • LPC, BPP law School

Career History

  • 2012-2020, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • 2010-2012, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • 2009-2010, Lecturer, Kings College London, School of Law
  • 2008-2009, Consultant, International Commission of Jurists
  • 2007-2008, Research Scholar, NYU Law School.