Chris Bailey is a partner in King & Spalding’s International Arbitration and Litigation practice and is resident in the firm’s Tokyo office. He is highly experienced in litigation, arbitration and all forms of alternative dispute resolution. As a Tokyo-based, outbound dispute specialist, Chris has been involved in international/cross-border disputes and regulatory matters across a wide range of sectors, but the core of his practice concerns disputes in the energy and natural resources sectors. Chris has particular expertise in oil and gas, construction and investment treaty cases. Chris has practiced for most of the last 10 years in Tokyo, including a two-year secondment with one of Japan's leading trading houses.
Chris spent his early career as a commercial litigator in London acting in international energy disputes often before the Commercial Court at the Royal Courts of Justice. He has gone on to manage a wide variety of substantial commercial disputes before courts in Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the United States and to appear in arbitration under the auspices of, amongst others, institutions such as the ICC and JCAA. On the regulatory front, he has been involved in full-scale corruption investigations involving the US DOJ, the UK SFO and the Nigerian EFCC and arising out of transactions in Africa and the Middle East.
Chris is a Solicitor Advocate, with rights of audience in the English High Courts. He also appears as an advocate in international arbitration.
International Commercial Arbitration
- Represented a global automobile group in a JCAA arbitration and litigation the Thai courts for US$ 326 million arising out of the termination of long-term distribution agreements with local SEA counterparties governed by Japanese law. Parallel satellite litigation in the Singapore courts which proceed to trial.
- Represented a Japanese trading house in ICC arbitration, and a jurisdictional challenge that passed through to the Thai Supreme Court, in respect of claims brought by a Thai state owned entity for USD 100 million in respect of allegedly defective equipment for a Combined Cycle Power Plant.
- Advised a Japanese energy company on Energy Charter Treaty arbitration claims for fair and equitable treatment provisions and expropriation, and also Spanish judicial review, arising from changes to Spain’s wind power incentives and energy tariff regime. Estimated losses in the region of EUR 100 million.
- Represented a Japanese auto parts manufacturer in a USD 84 million dispute with its US business partner arising out of Michigan law contracts that provided for AAA arbitration. The facts concerned treatment under the relevant contracts of a 2013 multi-million dollar corporate acquisition in Europe.
- Advised a global protection & indemnity insurer on a USD 47.6 million subrogated arbitration claim for breach of contract in relation to an oil spill from a vessel in a Californian port. Litigation was also pursued in California, with a separate negligence action brought against the US lawyers involved.
- Represented a Japanese construction company in ICC arbitration in London in relation to employer and sub-contractor disputes arising out of the construction of a plant in Algeria. Quantum was in the region of USD 25 million, with forty heads of claim and a tribunal including the Hon. Mr Justice Ramsey QC.
- Advised a Japanese trading house on a USD 28 million extension of time and wrongful termination dispute in respect of a construction sub-contract for a plant in the Middle East that provided for ICC arbitration in London. Key issue as to whether the contract was of fixed price and scope.
- Advised a Japanese trading house on a dispute involving non-compliance with specifications in a USD 19 million letter of credit that provided for ICC arbitration in Geneva in respect of a purchase of metal from a Brazilian vendor for onward sale to a Hong Kong based purchaser with delivery in China.
- Represented a global provider of offshore drilling services in a USD 17 million dispute arising out of damage caused to a jack-up oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Ivan, and involving a jurisdictional dispute and claims in both London arbitration and Texan civil court proceedings.
- Represented a global financial institution in parallel ICC arbitral and Thai court proceedings involving allegations of negligent banking services and employee fraud. Claims that USD 15 million in funds were diverted by various practices. The employee was found dead shortly after the discovery of the fraud.
- Advised Japanese interests in relation to their involvement in the Gorgon offshore field development in Western Australia. The relevant contracts concerned supply to the project and provided for reference to institutional arbitration in Perth. The issues that arose impacted the critical path to completion.
- Advised the Korean project operator of the Shwe gas field in Myanmar. Issues have included a dispute over the volume and specification of natural gas delivered to the Chinese buyer, the disputed termination of a rig management contract; and the consequences of an explosion in the onshore gas terminal.
- Represented a Japanese manufacturer of high precise instruments in relation to contracts concerning neurosurgical microscope systems that provided for ICC arbitration in Singapore. Claims included contractual interpretation, intellectual property and competition issues and multiple jurisdictions.
- Advised a Japanese trading house on the availability of ICSID proceedings against the Government of Venezuela. Included issues of whether, in the absence of an express ICSID arbitration clause or an applicable BIT, Venezuela had given consent to ICSID through its national investment laws.
- Represented a gas trading company against a Sri Lankan company in respect of an LNG term contract containing exclusive English law and London arbitration clauses. Involved appearing before Mr. Justice Tomlinson in the English Commercial Court to seek assistance in the appointment of a sole arbitrator.
- Advised a Japanese EPCI FPSO contractor on a issues including the availability of ICSID claims arising out of the introduction of local regulations in Ghana, sovereign immunity issues arising out of a counter-guarantee, contractual interpretation of a pollution indemnity and the impact of a Ghanaian tax ruling.
- Advised various state and private Asian purchasers of LNG on their contractual rights in relation to price review provisions under long-term LNG SPA contracts concerning offtake from amongst others Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, the US and Yemen.
Commercial Litigation in National Courts
- Represented a leading telecommunications company in an English Commercial Court claim in excess of GBP 709 million involving claims for deceit, misrepresentation and breach of contract and arising out of a GBP 48 million contract for the provision of a state-of-the-art customer management system.
- Advised Japanese interests on contractual and tortious liability over which the English courts had jurisdiction arising out of the supply to the Kashagan oil project in Kazakhstan following the suspension of production at the project. The suspension was expected to last for 2 years and cost billions of dollars.
- Advised a Japanese trading house in relation to proceedings in the New York (28 U.S.C. Section 1782 application) and Tokyo District Courts in respect of a USD 353 million claim defended on the ground that the contract was a forgery and the plaintiff was the victim of a complex fraud.
- Represented a leading worldwide provider of oilfield products and services in relation to a USD 79 million claim in the English Commercial Court arising out of a contract for the design and supply of a Drilling Instrument Control System and an incident involving a well off Equatorial Guinea.
- Advised a Japanese trading house on a Southern District Court of New York employment dispute by two employees for in excess of USD 70 million (including punitive damages) on the grounds of race-based discrimination, retaliation, defamation and breach of contract.
- Represented a leading Middle Eastern construction contractor in a jurisdictional petition to the House of Lords and an English Commercial Court trial for in excess of GBP 50 million in respect of profit from oil production and cost recovery from an interest in the Masila oil field concession in South Yemen.
- Represented a global property investment company in disputes relating to the purchase of a JPY 5 billion Tokyo-based asset financed through the issue of JPY 4.78 billion bonds. The failure to repay the bonds led to parallel proceedings in the Royal Courts of Guernsey and the Tokyo District Court.
- Represented a leading engineering provider and strategic consultant on a English Royal Court of Justice claim for more than GBP 46 million for breach of contract and negligence in relation to finite element analysis conducted in the design of an engine which catastrophically failed in an African mine.
- Represented a global oil & gas company in relation to a Part 8 hearing in the English Commercial Court for a declaration of interpretation in relation to a contract for the provision of seismic data, the performance of which caused damage in excess of USD 9.9 million to sub-sea pipelines and installations.
- Represented a global logistics company in a series of related subrogated claims by a cargo insurer a trial in the English Commercial Court concerning the loss of various high value consignments during international transit. Implications for the company’s terms and conditions and document retention policy.
- Advised a Japanese trading house on jurisdiction, forum non conveniens and demurrer applications in the Californian courts in relation to claims for invasion of privacy, tortious interference and unlawful business practices. Also, advised on related indemnity provisions governed by the laws of Hong Kong.
- Represented an outsourcing company in the English Commercial Court in an indemnity claim concerning from liabilities arising from the exposure of employees in the UK and Australia to asbestos during the manufacture of the company’s products. Insurance coverage advice also provided.
- Represented a Japanese trading house in relation to claims of up to USD 210 million that concerned the trading of metal at sub-market prices and creation of artificial margin through futures trading. Included Middle Eastern criminal proceedings, Texan civil proceedings and DOJ and SFO investigations.
- Advised a Japanese trading house in respect of US SEC/DOJ and Nigerian EFCC investigations anti-corruption investigations into allegations of bribes in excess of USD 180 million paid to the former Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha, and other Nigerian officials to secure USD 6 billion of work.
- Represented a global financial institution deal with investigations in various jurisdictions relating to FX spot trading operations. Included interim and final reports to the Japan Financial Services Agency, interviews with the bank's employees and provision of Japan related strategic guidance and support.
- Advised Japanese ocean shipping company on potential anti-bribery and corruption issues arising from its sponsor participation in a FPSO vessel project with the Brazilian company Petrobras as counterparty. Conducted a commercial and legal risk analysis and submitted a final report to the client’s auditor.
- Numerous other confidential regulatory matters including sanctions and OFAC advice concerning amongst others Iran, Iraq, Myanmar and Syria, advice on reporting obligations in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, securing the release of employees imprisoned in Indonesia, managing the treatment of criminal proceedings before the Attorney General of Thailand, the preparation of pre-investment due diligence and risk assessment reports and the design and implementation of compliance programmes.
Selected Publications & Presentations
Chris speaks at conferences and seminars throughout Asia on investment protection, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution and anti-corruption matters. In addition, his articles have been featured, amongst others, in Bloomberg Law Report and on Lexology's website. A selection of recent examples is listed below.
- Speaking on “Managing Projects Disputes” at an “Infrastructure Insights: Experience of Mega APAC Construction Projects” event in Tokyo (March 2015)
- Presenting a series of lectures on “International Dispute Resolution” to the Tokyo University Law Faculty (Nov / Dec 2014)
- Speaking on “Installation and Commissioning of FPSO/FLNG Vessels” at the “HKIAC and SCL Korea Offshore Construction Seminar” event during the Offshore Korea conference in Busan (Nov 2014)
- Acting as arbitrator at the 13th Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition at Sophia University (Nov 2014)
- Speaking on “LNG Disputes” at the “Japan International Arbitration Summit” event hosted by Wolters Kluwer in Tokyo (Oct 2014);
- Speaking on “The SIAC Emergency Arbitrator Experience: Enforcement” at the “SIAC Training Workshop: Practical Guide to International Arbitration” event in Tokyo (Oct 2014);
- Speaking on “Recommendations for the Japanese Investor: best practice and risk mitigation” at an “Indonesia Opportunity 2014: Eyes Wide Open” event in Tokyo (Oct 2014)
- Speaking on “Investment Pitfalls: Real Life Examples” at a “Disputes in the Energy & Natural Resources Sectors: Managing Risk in Challenging Environments” event hosted by JOI in Tokyo (June 2014)
- Contributing author to the 3rd edition of “International Commercial Arbitration in Asia” by Juris Publishing (published 2013).
Awards & Recognition
- Chris has been highlighted in the Asia Pacific legal directories for Disputes and Projects & Energy since 2013. In 2015, he was individually recommended in both Chambers and Legal 500 directories for Japan Dispute Resolution: International Firms, described in one as the “energetic Chris Bailey.”