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Duncan Bagshaw is an excellent negotiator. Clients feel excellently represented by him. He looks after their interests in the best possible way.

Legal 500 UK 2024

Duncan Bagshaw specialises in international arbitration and  litigation, with particular focus on the energy sector and Africa-related disputes. He often advises on issues arising from joint ventures and commercial contracts.

Duncan is a highly experienced lawyer who advises on large international disputes in arbitration and litigation proceedings. He acts for clients on matters relating to the upstream oil and gas industry, electricity generation and supply, and renewable energy projects.

He also has particular experience dealing with disputes arising from joint ventures in the property development, hospitality and tourism industries.

Duncan handles cases from all over the world, and has particular experience in Africa, having lived and worked in the region and handled many disputes arising from African projects. He has worked on many cases involving African law and African seats of arbitration, and where there are simultaneous proceedings in multiple jurisdictions.

He acts for clients in arbitration tribunals under the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), DIFC-LCIA and other rules, and before all courts of England and Wales, including the Supreme Court.

Duncan believes in a creative and aggressive strategy, whilst maintaining a strong cost-benefit awareness. He is a barrister and often acts as advocate in hearings, as well as, providing wider strategic advice to ensure the commercially favourable resolution of disputes.

Recent work
  • Representing a senior government official in a Commercial Court case involving allegations of fraud, corruption and conspiracy over more than $1bn(US) (Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse and others).
  • Acting for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the UK Supreme Court in one of the most important arbitration decisions of recent times (Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd). 
  • Acting in an arbitration for a large property owner in a dispute with a major global hotel company regarding the operation of a flagship UK hotel site. 
  • Pursuing enforcement (in courts in England, Canada and others) of an arbitration award for over $70m(US) against an East African state.
  • Acting in the Commercial Court for a Nigerian oil and gas consortium against a Chinese state financial organisation in a claim for over $50m(US).
  • Appearing in three connected arbitrations in Dubai, UAE, arising from a joint venture to develop hotels in Africa.
  • Acting on behalf of an electricity supply company in an ad-hoc arbitration (London seat) in relation to a contract for electricity generation equipment in East Africa.
  • Bringing arbitration claims on behalf of a Nigerian bank for over $50m(US) arising out of funding of an oil and gas project.



  • "Duncan Bagshaw has a wonderful way with clients, and gives sound and practical advice." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Duncan Bagshaw is great and fights extremely hard for his clients." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "I would highly recommend Jonathan Cohen and Duncan Bagshaw at Howard Kennedy for any related legal needs in the energy industry." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • "Duncan Bagshaw is well placed for court litigation given his experience." Legal 500 UK 2024
  • Ranked as Band 6, International Arbitration: Commercial Arbitration, Chambers UK 2024
  • "Duncan is well versed in international arbitration. He has a sophisticated ability to distil and engage with complex legal and factual issues. These skills are invaluable." Chambers UK 2024
  • "He is an excellent lawyer who is very service-oriented and has a deep understanding of the underlying commercial interests." Chambers UK 2024
  • "Duncan is top notch." Chambers UK 2024
  • Recognised as a Global Leader, Arbitration, Who's Who Legal 2023
  • Ranked as Band 6, International Arbitration, Chambers UK 2023
  • "Duncan is a real team player and is always there for the client, day and night." Chambers UK 2023
  • "He's very responsive and manages timelines and expectations well." Chambers UK 2023
  • "He is very knowledgeable and experienced." Chambers UK 2022
  • Listed as a Key Lawyer, Dispute Resolution: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market, Legal 500 UK 2023
  • "Duncan Bagshaw – speed, efficiency, availability, and analytical skills." Legal 500 UK 2023
  • "Duncan Bagshaw is a determined advocate who won’t leave a hearing without a victory." Legal 500 UK 2023
  • "Duncan Bagshaw – extremely likeable and with infectious enthusiasm. Impressively broad range of clients, particularly from Africa." Legal 500 UK 2023
  • "Duncan Bagshaw is a very skilled person, and most of all, very smart. He gets to the point quickly and is very precise and competent. He acts in a very clear manner and his availability is very much appreciated." Legal 500 2022
  • Listed as a Key Lawyer, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, Legal 500 2022
  • "Duncan Bagshaw is very experienced, to the point, efficient, realistic, and very successful in representing our interests." Legal 500 2022
  • "Duncan Bagshaw is a worthy foe and an admirable colleague. He fights hard but fair – a tough negotiator who never lets up." Legal 500 2022
  • Listed as a Key Lawyer, Industry Focus: Hospitality and Leisure, Legal 500 2022
  • Recognised as a Global Leader, Arbitration, Who's Who Legal 2022
  • Legal Business Awards 2019: Duncan was part of a team which won the Litigation Team of the Year for successfully working on a major commercial court matter relating to a Nigerian oil and gas arbitration.

Did you know

Duncan lived in Mauritius for over three years.

London Bridge and The Shard at dusk.

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