David M. Edwards



International Litigation and Arbitration


T: +44.20.7519.7287

F: 44.20.7072.7287


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David Edwards is a partner in the firm’s International Litigation and Arbitration Group, based in London.

Mr. Edwards has acted in some of the world’s largest and most complex shareholder disputes, including the headline arbitration cases arising from Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR)’s dispute with oil giant BP, the major telecom arbitration between Norway’s Telenor and Altimo (Alfa Group’s telecoms business), and acting for Vivendi Universal S.A. in its high-profile dispute with T-Mobile, in three connected Vienna-seated arbitrations, together comprising Europe’s largest telecom arbitrations relating to a shareholders’ dispute worth in excess of €2.5 billion under the rules of the Vienna International Arbitration Centre.

Mr. Edwards’ experience with major international disputes spans (amongst others) the energy, telecom, pharmaceutical, banking and finance, commodities and offshore construction industries, in which he has acted as counsel to many of the world’s largest corporations and high-net-worth ultimate beneficial owners. Mr. Edwards is recognised as a rising star in the field of international arbitration (Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration) and was listed in Legal Week’s “Rising Stars: The New Generation of Litigators Making their Mark,” which lists the United Kingdom’s “top 50 disputes specialists” who made partner after 2012. He is recommended in the U.K. edition of The Legal 500 and is a member of the Skadden team that was named both the 2013 Law Firm of the Year: Dispute Resolution by Chambers Global and 2013 Dispute Resolution Team of the Year by Legal Business. Mr. Edwards is one of the partners responsible for our tax controversy practice in London.

Notable experience includes:

  • representing L1 Energy in judicial review proceedings before the English high court concerning its high-value investment in oil and gas exploration and production assets in the British North Sea;
  • representing United Capital Partners Group on parallel arbitration and multijurisdictional litigation proceedings relating to interests in VKontakte, Russia’s largest social online networking service. The matter was settled in September 2014 following the US$1.47 billion sale of a stake in VK.Com Limited to Mail.Ru Group Limited;
  • acting for Mr. Gennadiy Bogolyubov in the defence of London high court proceedings in respect of property investments made by his private trust, and in the sucessful defence of a US$400 million claim alleging civil fraud, including a worldwide freezing order;
  • successfully acting for AAR in its dispute with BP over the oil major’s attempt to form a US$16 billion strategic alliance with Rosneft, the state-owned Russian oil company, to explore for oil in the Arctic Circle. The dispute involved obtaining an emergency injunction blocking the deal from the High Court in London and subsequently progressing a fast-track arbitration, in order to seek and obtain from the arbitration tribunal (seated in Stockholm) rulings that the deal was prohibited under the parties’ shareholders agreement, that the injunction should remain in place, and ultimately that BP and Rosneft were unable to proceed without including the AAR-BP joint venture vehicle, TNK-BP. Both Global Arbitration Review and the Financial Times’ “Innovative Lawyers Report” recognised Skadden for our innovative role in this representation;
  • representing leading Russian telecommunications group Altimo in its defence of arbitration proceedings under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules commenced by Telenor;
  • representing an offshore construction company in its ICC arbitration (Geneva) against a European oil major relating to a gas production platform in the Iranian gulf;
  • acting for a leading U.S. cruise line operator in relation to its US$300 million ICC arbitration dispute (Geneva) with a marine engineering consortium, arising from the construction of podded propulsion systems for use on cruise vessels;
  • representing a leading U.S. pharmaceutical company in relation to a series of major London-seated arbitration disputes with excess loss insurers, arising from indemnification of class action claims made in the U.S. by users of its pharmaceutical products; and
  • acting in London High Court proceedings for a leading U.S. private equity firm and one of the world’s major cruise line operators in connection with a construction dispute with a major European shipyard concerning two revolutionary cruise liners. The total value in dispute was €1.3 billion.

Mr. Edwards also advises his clients on the full range of commercial and legal issues that arise from their businesses, including international corporate crisis and strategy work. He has full rights of audience in the courts of England and Wales.

Bar Admissions

Solicitor Advocate, England & Wales


LPC, Bristol Institute of Legal Practice, 2001 (Distinction)

LL.B., University of Exeter, 2000 (Honours)