DAVID RONEY, co-leader of Sidley’s Global Arbitration, Trade and Advocacy practice, has more than 25 years of experience as an advocate in a broad range of complex international disputes around the world. According to Who’s Who Legal Arbitration 2016, clients report that David “provides that edge you are looking for at the top of the arbitration market; he is brilliant regarding commercially sensitive proceedings.”
David has acted as counsel before international arbitral tribunals in commercial and investment disputes involving many different sectors and activities, including construction, infrastructure and energy projects, technology co-development agreements, intellectual property licensing, sports and entertainment broadcasting arrangements, manufacturing agreements, distribution and sales contracts, share purchase and asset purchase transactions, international joint ventures, sponsorship arrangements and sports. He has represented a diverse group of clients before many of the major international arbitral institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and the Swiss Chambers of Commerce (Swiss Rules). These disputes have involved a host of different applicable laws and places of arbitration ranging from London to Stockholm to Hong Kong.
Recent representative cases include:
- Acting for global sports and entertainment broadcaster, beIN Corporation, in an investment arbitration claiming more than US$1 billion against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for unlawfully forcing the Qatar-headquartered broadcaster out of the local market and supporting a notorious broadcast pirate known as beoutQ, including the coordination of a multi-faceted international strategy involving legal proceedings in numerous fora and government advocacy in the U.S. and EU.
- Representing South African Olympic gold medalist runner Caster Semenya in appellate proceedings before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court against the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s award upholding controversial IAAF regulations requiring certain female athletes to undergo compulsory hormonal drug interventions.
- Successfully representing Atomstroyexport JSC, one of the world’s largest nuclear energy companies, in obtaining and securing payment of a €600 million arbitral award in an ICC arbitration relating to the cancellation of a nuclear power plant project. For this victory, Sidley received the 2017 American Lawyer Global Award for “Global Dispute of the Year: Commercial Arbitration (Europe).”
- Securing complete victory for a European equipment manufacturer in an ICC arbitration by defeating an Iranian company’s claim for a mandatory injunction compelling our client to continue supplying goods and services in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
- Successfully representing a major European semiconductor company in an ICC arbitration relating to a US$143 million purchase price dispute arising out of the wind-up of a semiconductor joint venture.
- Securing a favorable settlement for an Asian corporate group of US$30 million ICC arbitration relating to the termination of an EPC contract for the construction of a cement facility.
- Acting for a CIS aluminum company in securing a US$275 million award and successfully defending against over US$800 million in counterclaims in a complex Swiss Rules arbitration against an important State-owned entity in Central Asia.
- Prior to Sidley, acting for the estate-in-bankruptcy of a multinational group in securing an arbitral award of more than US$100 million under a debt restructuring contract relating to the construction of an industrial plant in the Middle East.
In addition, David has served as presiding arbitrator, sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator in numerous international arbitrations under the ICC Rules, the LCIA Rules, the SCC Rules, the Swiss Rules and in ad hoc arbitration, including under the UNCITRAL Rules.
David features prominently in the international arbitration rankings of the leading bar publications, such as Chambers, Global Arbitration Review, Who’s Who Legal and Best Lawyers. Most recently, David has been recognized in Chambers Global 2021, with clients describing him as “very amenable, but below the surface there'’s an edge of steel, which is what you need.” David has been named a notable practitioner by Chambers Europe 2021, with sources praising his client-oriented approach: “He consistently shows himself to be focused and incisive in his analysis of issues. He is well organised and thoughtful when working on a team project.” Another client enthuses: “He is very sharp and leaves nothing to chance. Every last detail is covered and he ends up knowing the facts of the case better than the client he represents” (Chambers Europe 2020). In the previous 2019 edition, clients describe David as “highly experienced and an excellent strategist.” Sources from the 2018 edition note that he is “straightforward and brilliant.” According to Chambers Global 2017, “David Roney is experienced in commercial and investment arbitrations. Sources remark that ‘he is calm and has total control of all details of the case,’ with others adding that he delivers ‘excellent advocacy.’” David has been named a 2020 International Arbitration “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in Switzerland as well as a “Global Leader” for Arbitration by Who’s Who Legal since 2018. Most recently, David has been listed in the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in Switzerland for Arbitration and Mediation and International Arbitration. Who’s Who Legal Switzerland 2016 reports that, “David Roney is lauded by clients for his ‘detailed preparation’ of cases and ‘hands-on’ approach.”
David is Co-Founder and President of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA). In that capacity, he has provided training in the examination and cross-examination of fact and expert witnesses to hundreds of international arbitration practitioners around the world.
Recently, David led Sidley’s pro-bono engagement with the USAID/Mongolia Business Plus Initiative to support the Mongolian Ministry of Justice in the development of a new state-of-the-art arbitration law adopted by the Parliament of Mongolia in early 2017. He was awarded the Mongolian Minister of Justice’s Medal of Office for his contribution to this important law reform project.
David is also a Formula One Co-Opted Judge of the FIA – Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile International Court of Appeal, a Member of the Arbitration Court of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution, Co-Chair of the ICC Commission Arbitration Task Force on “National Rules of Procedure for Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards pursuant to the New York Convention of 1958,” a Member of the Users Council of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, a Member of the ICC National Committee for Canada and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada International Arbitration Legislation Project. He is also Adjunct Faculty Member at the prestigious Geneva MIDS – LL.M. in International Dispute Settlement offered by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, where he leads workshops on written and oral advocacy for international arbitration. He speaks and publishes regularly on international arbitration topics.
David is fluent in English and French.