David M. Edwards

David M. Edwards

Partner, International Litigation and Arbitration

David Edwards has acted in some of the world’s largest and most complex corporate, commercial and shareholder disputes, conducted both in the English courts and in arbitration.


Mr. Edwards has advised on numerous international shareholder disputes, including the headline-making 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 Vivendi Universal S.A.’s 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. He also has advised a large number of high-net-worth individuals and ultimate beneficial owners of international business conglomerates in relation to their strategic commercial positions.

Mr. Edwards’ experience with major and ultra-high-value disputes spans industries including, among others, energy and natural resources, telecom, pharmaceutical, banking and finance, automotive, motor sport, property, commodities and offshore construction industries. He 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. Mr. Edwards also was named to Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2021 as a Future Leader, included in Lawdragon’s inaugural Global Litigation 500 list in 2021 and is recommended in the U.K. edition of The Legal 500. He also is a member of the Skadden team that was named as a 2017 Practice Group of the Year by Law360 and won the Legal Business Arbitration Team of the Year 2017 award. Mr. Edwards is one of the partners in charge of Skadden’s tax controversy practice in London.

Notable experience includes:

  • acting for an ultra high-net-worth individual in one of the largest cases in the English Commercial Court in 2016-18, involving the successful strike-out of a US$380 million civil fraud claim (with associated worldwide freezing orders) brought by oil giant Tatneft;
  • representing an ultra high-net-worth individual in English High Court proceedings involving the successful strikeout (on jurisdictional grounds) of a US$300 million partnership dispute;
  • 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 in 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 a major international tobacco company in substantial commercial disputes with distributors in various jurisdictions;
  • representing a national motor sport body in relation to claims arising in the context of Formula 1 racing;
  • acting for AAR in its dispute with BP over BP’s attempt to form a US$16 billion strategic alliance with Rosneft, the state-owned Russian oil company, for the exploration of oil in the Arctic Circle. The dispute involved obtaining an emergency injunction blocking the deal in the High Court and subsequently obtaining an award from an arbitration tribunal seated in Stockholm that the deal was prohibited under the parties’ shareholders agreement. Both Global Arbitration Review and the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers Report recognised Skadden for our innovative role in this representation;
  • advising a major international mining company in relation to offensive actions taken against its commercial interests by a host state;
  • 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 major U.S. cruise line in relation to its US$300 million arbitration dispute 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 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.



  • LPC, Bristol Institute of Legal Practice, 2001 (Distinction)
  • LL.B., University of Exeter, 2000 (Honours)


  • Solicitor Advocate, England & Wales

David M. Edwards

Partner, International Litigation and Arbitration