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 arbitration disputes, including in two recent headline arbitration cases (Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR)’s dispute with oil giant BP; and the major telecoms arbitration between Norway’s Telenor and Altimo, Alfa Group’s telecoms business).

Mr. Edwards’ experience with major international disputes spans (amongst others) the energy, telecom, pharmaceutical, banking and finance, motor manufacturing, and offshore construction industries, in which he has acted as counsel to many of the world’s largest corporations. Mr. Edwards is recognized 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” made partner after 2012. He 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.

Notable experience includes:

  • 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 $1.47 billion sale of a stake in VK.Com Limited to Mail.Ru Group Limited;
  • 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. In 2011, the Global Arbitration Review and the Financial Times “Innovative Lawyers Report” recognised Skadden for our role in this representation;
  • representing leading Russian telecommunications group Altimo in its defence of arbitration proceedings under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules (2010) commenced by Telenor;
  • 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 telecoms arbitrations relating to a shareholders’ dispute worth in excess of €2.5 billion under the rules of the Vienna International Arbitration Centre;
  • representing an offshore construction company in its US$150 million 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 its major London-seated arbitration dispute 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 ship yard 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, and has full rights of audience in the courts of England and Wales.

Bar Admissions

Solicitor, England & Wales


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

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