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Jonathan H. Sutcliffe

Jonathan Sutcliffe is a partner in the firm's Dubai office where he is a member of the international arbitration practice group. Jonathan has significant experience in international arbitration and dispute resolution and has acted for numerous clients on a diverse range of international commercial arbitration, ADR, and litigation matters in the energy, construction, hospitality, real estate, defence, insurance, international joint venture, and film sectors, and on investor-state disputes. Jonathan is a member of the firm’s hydrogen group.

Jonathan also sits regularly as an arbitrator, including under the rules of arbitration of the ICC, DIFC-LCIA, DIAC, and ADCCAC, and in ad hoc arbitrations. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Jonathan is qualified in England and Wales, and New York and is registered as an advocate in the DIFC Courts. He is recommended for international arbitration and projects and energy disputes by various leading legal guides, including Chambers, The Legal 500, and The International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration.

Prior to joining the firm, Jonathan served as a partner at an international law firm in Dubai. Previously, he served as a partner and associate at international law firms in London, New York, and Houston.

  • Chambers Global, in the category of Dispute Resolution: United Arab Emirates (Band 1), recognized as a “key disputes name” (2011 edition), a “good technical operator and a bright man” (2012), a “tenacious litigator” and “particularly distinguished” (2013), “user-friendly, accessible and commercially astute” (2014), "garnering praise for his advocacy" and demonstrating "an impressive track record" (2015), “a highly respected disputes lawyer” (2016), “a brilliant lawyer who is very knowledgeable and approachable and very articulate and practical” (2017), "respected throughout the U.A.E. for his disputes work" and "a pleasure to work with" (2018), “has always been very impressive” (2019), “highly regarded” and “very good at calming everybody and bringing them to a settlement discussion” (2020), “an articulate and persuasive lawyer and a good strategic thinker” and “gives advice that is easy to understand, even when it's a complex issue” (2021), “a very good practitioner … a very practical and pragmatic lawyer” with “a lot of knowledge on domestic and international laws" (2022), and handling matters “in a fair manner,” offering “detailed reasoning” (2023)
  • Chambers Global, in the category of Middle East-wide: Dispute Resolution (Band 1), recognized as having “considerable experience in international arbitration” (2013 edition), as an “excellent arbitration practitioner” (2014), working "extensively across the Middle East" (2015), “highly regarded in the U.A.E.” and as doing “a very good job” (2016), “an excellent practitioner” (2017), "a pleasure to work with" (2018), “recognised in the market as “top notch”” (2019), “a very bright lawyer with great attention to detail and persuasive advocacy skills” and “user-friendly and approachable” (2020), able to “give practical and usable advice with a good strategic vision” (2021), “one of the most impressive arbitration partners in the region” (2022), and “recommended for his construction disputes expertise” (2023)
  • The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa, in the category of Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation (2009-2023), noted as having “built an impressive track record in arbitration” (2011) and as “one of the best international arbitration energy lawyers in the market” (2012), recognized as being "extremely thorough" (2017), as a ”key name” (2018), and as “name to note” (2020), noted as “excellent” (2021), noted as “first class”, “provides just the right mix of legal acumen and commercial nous” and “very practical, readily available and straight forward with his advice”(2022), and noted as “an excellent lawyer: accurate, measured, calm, responsive, and easy to work with” and “technically very strong” (2023).
  • Recognized by The Legal 500, Arbitration Powerlist: Middle East for Private Practice Arbitration (2022 and 2023)
  • Recognized as Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer for 2023
  • The International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration/Who's Who Legal: Arbitration 2010 - 2023; listed as one of the world's leading practitioners in the field of commercial arbitration; rated as "among the leading experts in the U.A.E." (2017); "draws effusive praise from commentators for his "excellent work in the field of construction arbitration"" (2018); ““Excellent practitioner” Jonathan Sutcliffe is recognised for his work in international arbitration across a wide range of sectors including energy and construction” (2019); “Jonathan Sutcliffe is “a great lawyer” that peers “would definitely put on the list” thanks to his leading work as counsel in construction-related disputes” (2020); “an excellent strategic thinker with strong analytical skills”, with “unparalleled legal knowledge and diligence” (2021); a “star”, with “a keen mind and good strategic sense”, “I was very impressed with his handling of a case as an international arbitrator” (2022); “very intelligent”, “he has very good strategic judgment and is able to focus on the issues that really matter,” “a truly excellent arbitrator” (2023)
  • Who's Who Legal: Construction: recommended (2020, 2022); recommended as “an outstanding arbitrator” (2021)
  • Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders Construction (2021, 2022)
  • Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Future Leaders (2017), "In Dubai, Jonathan Sutcliffe … is "among the leading experts in the U.A.E.""
  • Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration (2017, 2022)
  • Recognized by Chambers UK (2010) for international arbitration and projects and energy disputes and described as “extremely articulate, well prepared and capable of handling complex issues”
  • Recognized by Chambers UK (2009), ranked as a leading individual for international arbitration and described as “a well-rounded strategic and technical practitioner” and “definitely one to watch”
  • Recognized by Chambers UK (2008) for international arbitration and described as drawing “plaudits from interviewees as “an extremely able practitioner who is highly rated by everyone he works with” … he has significant experience in investor-state arbitration.”
  • Recognized by Chambers Europe (2008) for international arbitration
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 UK (2007-2010) for international arbitration and described in the 2010 edition as “a go-to and get-it-done arbitration lawyer”
  • Guide to the World's Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2020), listed for commercial arbitration
  • Global Arbitration Review (2009, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020), listed as a name to know
  • Global Arbitration Review (2008), noted for international arbitration
  • Good Lawyer Guide (2010) highly recommended for “outstanding” legal practice
  • Guide to the World's Leading Emerging Market Practitioners (2010), listed for commercial arbitration
  • Legal Experts (2009, 2010), listed for arbitration
  • Best Lawyers Annual Guide to Litigation & ADR (2009), listed as one of the leading disputes lawyers in the UK (Arbitration and Mediation)
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Fellow
  • AIPN (Association of International Petroleum Negotiators) MENA Organisation Committee, member
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Independent Professional Member

Arbitration Institutions

  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), Panel of International Arbitrators 
  • Dubai International Arbitration Centre, listed as an arbitrator 
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, List of Arbitrators 
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Panel of Arbitrators 
  • CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals 
  • Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association, listed in Roster of Arbitrators 
  • LCIA (London Court of International Arbitration) 
  • ADGM Arbitration Centre, Panel of Arbitrators
  • Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration, Roster of Arbitrators 
  • Qatar International Center for Conciliation & Arbitration (QICCA), List of Arbitrators

Representative recent speaking engagements include:

  • Young ITA “Ask the Arbitrator”, Dubai Arbitration Week, Speaker, Dubai, November 2022
  • Current trends in litigation funding, panel moderator, The Legal 500 Disputes Summit Middle East 2022, Dubai, September 2022
  • Featured Speaker, “Ask the Arbitrator” Q&A Session, National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) International Arbitration Affinity Group, June 2022
  • "Virtual Hearings - Lessons Learnt," Society of Construction Law (Gulf), 10 March 2021
  • Trends in Upstream Oil & Gas Disputes, panelist, September 2020
  • Litigation Funding - An introduction, Qatar Business Law Forum, Doha, November 2019
  • Drafting Enforceable Awards, ICC Institute Advanced Training, Presenter, Abu Dhabi, October 2019
  • Not Paying the Piper: Third-Party Funding - the Solution to Liquidity Constraints?, Moderator, The Legal 500 Middle East Disputes Summit 2019, Dubai, May 2019
  • Different Approaches to Cross-Examination and Advocacy, Panelist and advocate, 6th Annual GAR Live Istanbul, June 2018
  • Dispute Resolution in Saudi Arabia, Panelist, Association of Corporate Counsel Middle East, Dubai, January 2018.
  • Efficient Case Management Procedure with Experts, Speaker, ICC Conference on Construction Arbitration, Dubai, November 2017.
  • Bilateral Investment Treaties and Claims in Construction, Speaker, Hill International and CIOB Construction Masterclass, October 2016.
Additional Thought Leadership Pages

Recent publications include:

  • Chapter on International Arbitration - Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Outside Counsel Perspective, Co-author, International Commercial Arbitration Practice: 21st Century Perspectives (updated, 2020)
Additional News & Event Pages

Recognized as “one of the most impressive arbitration partners in the region” in the category of Middle East-Wide: Dispute Resolution

Chambers Global Guide 2022

Recognized as “an articulate and persuasive lawyer and a good strategic thinker” and for his ability to “give practical and usable advice with a good strategic vision” in the categories of Middle East-wide and United Arab Emirates: Dispute Resolution

Chambers Global 2021

Recognized as “a very bright lawyer with great attention to detail and persuasive advocacy skills” and “user-friendly and approachable” in the category of Middle East-wide: Dispute Resolution

Chambers Global 2020

Jonathan Sutcliffe garners deep respect for his significant experience in international arbitration and litigation in the DIFC. He is highly regarded for his ability to handle an array of construction, IP, joint venture and general commercial disputes.

Strengths: He handled things in a fair manner, obviously reading the documents very carefully. He offers detailed reasoning and I was really impressed by that.

Chambers Global 2023
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