People

John Savage QC is a partner in our London and Singapore offices, specializing in international arbitration. John has represented clients in approximately 200 arbitrations around the world in 25 years of practice. He has particular expertise in complex, high-stakes energy and construction disputes. John has been lauded in the directories as "a tremendously effective advocate" with "real global stature in arbitration." John also sits as arbitrator and is a Vice-President of the SIAC Court of Arbitration.

John has more than 25 years experience as an international arbitration lawyer, and has represented clients in approximately 200 arbitrations around the world under all major arbitration rules. His experience covers a variety of corporate, construction, energy and investment disputes, with an emphasis on the oil and gas, mining and power sectors. He has worked for high-profile clients including ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, GE, Samsung C&T and Shell, and his recent successes for clients include some of the largest awards handed down in international arbitration. He also has substantial experience in mediation.

John sits as arbitrator too, with appointments in more than 30 commercial and investment treaty arbitrations worldwide. He is one of two Vice Presidents of the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and was a Director of the SIAC from 2009 until 2017.

John is a Queen's Counsel in England, was admitted as a member of the Paris bar in 1997 and was one of the first foreign lawyers to gain rights of audience at the Singapore International Commercial Court. John studied law in England and France and is equally comfortable in common and civil law environments.

John has been recognized for many years by Chambers Global as one of the world's top arbitration lawyers. Among recent accolades, legal directories describe John as "a tremendously effective advocate and fine arbitrator" with "real global stature in arbitration," "a gifted strategist," "hugely respected and extremely well-regarded" and "a talented advocate whose clear and effective arguments are often case-winning interventions."

Full Bio

Credentials

Final Examination of the Law Society, Guildhall University, London, First Class Honours

LL.B., King's College, University of London, UK

Maîtrise en droit privé, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

England and Wales

France

English

French

Leading individual in International Arbitration worldwide)


Chambers Global, 2007–2016

“At the pinnacle of the arbitration market in Singapore … Peers laud him as ‘the real deal’, arguing that he has ‘real global stature in arbitration’ and is the ‘biggest fish swimming in these waters’.”


Chambers Singapore, 2016

“A talented advocate whose clear and effective arguments are often case-winning interventions.”


Who’s Who Construction, 2016

"Very thorough, strategic in his thinking and extremely well connected in Asia” and “a standard setter.”


Chambers Asia Pacific, 2012

“Commands universal respect and acclaim from all his peers.”


Chambers Singapore, 2012

“Clients appreciate his strategic thinking, cultural awareness and ability to read the other side.”


Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2011

Recognized in Commercial Arbitration. “A tremendously effective advocate and a fine arbitrator.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2013

Recognized in Commercial Arbitration. “Not only an excellent advocate but also a good strategic thinker with commercial sense and an eye on the big picture”


Who’s Who Legal, 2010

The Best in Asia, Dispute Resolution


Who’s Who Legal, 2008

“Incisive, imaginative and tough if need arises … excellent in strategic advice and indispensable when it comes to conducting the arbitration hearings.”


Chambers Asia, 2008

“A terrific strategic thinker.”


Chambers Global, 2005–2006

“Excellent and original litigator with a remarkable courtroom presence.”


Chambers Global, 2002–2003

Matters

Represented an Indian business house in an ICC arbitration in Singapore against its European joint venture partner. Indian law governed. Our client secured declaratory relief valued at over US$200 million and an award of US$5 million in costs.

Represented Dow Chemical as claimant in an ICC arbitration in London against Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), which is wholly-owned by the State of Kuwait, arising out of a wide-ranging joint venture agreement. English law governed. The tribunal awarded our client damages, interest and costs of over US$2.4 billion—one of the largest arbitration awards in history. Dow received US$2.2 billion in a direct cash payment from PIC.

Represented one of the world’s largest multinationals as claimant in an HKIAC arbitration in Hong Kong against a publicly-traded Chinese joint venture party in the renewable energy sector. New York law governed. The Tribunal awarded our client over US$360 million (100% of relief claimed).

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Matters

Represented an Indian business house in an ICC arbitration in Singapore against its European joint venture partner. Indian law governed. Our client secured declaratory relief valued at over US$200 million and an award of US$5 million in costs.

Represented Dow Chemical as claimant in an ICC arbitration in London against Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), which is wholly-owned by the State of Kuwait, arising out of a wide-ranging joint venture agreement. English law governed. The tribunal awarded our client damages, interest and costs of over US$2.4 billion—one of the largest arbitration awards in history. Dow received US$2.2 billion in a direct cash payment from PIC.

Represented one of the world’s largest multinationals as claimant in an HKIAC arbitration in Hong Kong against a publicly-traded Chinese joint venture party in the renewable energy sector. New York law governed. The Tribunal awarded our client over US$360 million (100% of relief claimed).

Represented ConocoPhillips China in two SIAC arbitrations in Singapore against an independent gas producer and its parent company. The dispute concerned coalbed methane assets in East Asia. The tribunal awarded our client US$50 million in damages, interest and costs, and dismissed counterclaims of US$150 million against it. English law governed.

Represented a large independent oil company in an UNCITRAL arbitration in London against a Southeast Asian pipeline operator. The tribunal awarded our client over US$70 million plus compound interest and most of its costs. We then represented our client in defeating an action to set aside the award in the English High Court.

Represented a U.S. satellite communications provider in an ICC arbitration in Singapore against an Asian customer concerning the termination by the customer of our client’s project for shipboard communications. The client has secured an award of all of the relief it sought.

Represented Garanti Koza LLP, a UK construction contractor, in an ICSID arbitration against Turkmenistan arising out of violations by Turkmenistan of its obligations under the UK-Turkmenistan BIT. Our client defeated Turkmenistan’s objections to jurisdiction and secured an award of compensation on the merits.

Represented an Asian construction contractor in an ICC arbitration in Asia against a subcontractor arising out of the construction of a port in North Asia. All claims against the client were dismissed and it secured an award of all of its costs.

Represented Malaysian Historical Salvors in its successful action to annul an ICSID award made in favour of Malaysia.

Represented SGS as claimant in its ICSID arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines, resulting in a settlement of CHF 150 million (of CHF 174 million claimed).

Currently representing two oil majors in a US$3 billion ICC arbitration in Asia against an Asian state.

Currently representing Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. in a multibillion dollar ICSID arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines under the Netherlands-Philippines bilateral investment treaty concerning the mistreatment of Shell’s investment in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.

Currently representing Samsung C&T Corporation in multiple arbitrations and adjudications against different parties arising out of the engineering and construction of the Roy Hill Iron Ore project in Western Australia. Over US$1 billion is in dispute.

Currently representing one of the world’s largest multinationals in an ICC arbitration in Taipei against an Asian utility concerning the construction of a nuclear power plant. Hundreds of millions of dollars are in dispute.

Regularly advise LNG sellers in multibillion dollar price review disputes against LNG buyers subject to international arbitration.

Matters

Represented an Indian business house in an ICC arbitration in Singapore against its European joint venture partner. Indian law governed. Our client secured declaratory relief valued at over US$200 million and an award of US$5 million in costs.

Represented Dow Chemical as claimant in an ICC arbitration in London against Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), which is wholly-owned by the State of Kuwait, arising out of a wide-ranging joint venture agreement. English law governed. The tribunal awarded our client damages, interest and costs of over US$2.4 billion—one of the largest arbitration awards in history. Dow received US$2.2 billion in a direct cash payment from PIC.

Represented one of the world’s largest multinationals as claimant in an HKIAC arbitration in Hong Kong against a publicly-traded Chinese joint venture party in the renewable energy sector. New York law governed. The Tribunal awarded our client over US$360 million (100% of relief claimed).

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Represented an Indian business house in an ICC arbitration in Singapore against its European joint venture partner. Indian law governed. Our client secured declaratory relief valued at over US$200 million and an award of US$5 million in costs.

Represented Dow Chemical as claimant in an ICC arbitration in London against Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), which is wholly-owned by the State of Kuwait, arising out of a wide-ranging joint venture agreement. English law governed. The tribunal awarded our client damages, interest and costs of over US$2.4 billion—one of the largest arbitration awards in history. Dow received US$2.2 billion in a direct cash payment from PIC.

Represented one of the world’s largest multinationals as claimant in an HKIAC arbitration in Hong Kong against a publicly-traded Chinese joint venture party in the renewable energy sector. New York law governed. The Tribunal awarded our client over US$360 million (100% of relief claimed).

Represented ConocoPhillips China in two SIAC arbitrations in Singapore against an independent gas producer and its parent company. The dispute concerned coalbed methane assets in East Asia. The tribunal awarded our client US$50 million in damages, interest and costs, and dismissed counterclaims of US$150 million against it. English law governed.

Represented a large independent oil company in an UNCITRAL arbitration in London against a Southeast Asian pipeline operator. The tribunal awarded our client over US$70 million plus compound interest and most of its costs. We then represented our client in defeating an action to set aside the award in the English High Court.

Represented a U.S. satellite communications provider in an ICC arbitration in Singapore against an Asian customer concerning the termination by the customer of our client’s project for shipboard communications. The client has secured an award of all of the relief it sought.

Represented Garanti Koza LLP, a UK construction contractor, in an ICSID arbitration against Turkmenistan arising out of violations by Turkmenistan of its obligations under the UK-Turkmenistan BIT. Our client defeated Turkmenistan’s objections to jurisdiction and secured an award of compensation on the merits.

Represented an Asian construction contractor in an ICC arbitration in Asia against a subcontractor arising out of the construction of a port in North Asia. All claims against the client were dismissed and it secured an award of all of its costs.

Represented Malaysian Historical Salvors in its successful action to annul an ICSID award made in favour of Malaysia.

Represented SGS as claimant in its ICSID arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines, resulting in a settlement of CHF 150 million (of CHF 174 million claimed).

Currently representing two oil majors in a US$3 billion ICC arbitration in Asia against an Asian state.

Currently representing Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. in a multibillion dollar ICSID arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines under the Netherlands-Philippines bilateral investment treaty concerning the mistreatment of Shell’s investment in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.

Currently representing Samsung C&T Corporation in multiple arbitrations and adjudications against different parties arising out of the engineering and construction of the Roy Hill Iron Ore project in Western Australia. Over US$1 billion is in dispute.

Currently representing one of the world’s largest multinationals in an ICC arbitration in Taipei against an Asian utility concerning the construction of a nuclear power plant. Hundreds of millions of dollars are in dispute.

Regularly advise LNG sellers in multibillion dollar price review disputes against LNG buyers subject to international arbitration.

Credentials

Final Examination of the Law Society, Guildhall University, London, First Class Honours

LL.B., King's College, University of London, UK

Maîtrise en droit privé, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

England and Wales

France

English

French

Leading individual in International Arbitration worldwide)


Chambers Global, 2007–2016

“At the pinnacle of the arbitration market in Singapore … Peers laud him as ‘the real deal’, arguing that he has ‘real global stature in arbitration’ and is the ‘biggest fish swimming in these waters’.”


Chambers Singapore, 2016

“A talented advocate whose clear and effective arguments are often case-winning interventions.”


Who’s Who Construction, 2016

"Very thorough, strategic in his thinking and extremely well connected in Asia” and “a standard setter.”


Chambers Asia Pacific, 2012

“Commands universal respect and acclaim from all his peers.”


Chambers Singapore, 2012

“Clients appreciate his strategic thinking, cultural awareness and ability to read the other side.”


Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2011

Recognized in Commercial Arbitration. “A tremendously effective advocate and a fine arbitrator.”


Who’s Who Legal, 2013

Recognized in Commercial Arbitration. “Not only an excellent advocate but also a good strategic thinker with commercial sense and an eye on the big picture”


Who’s Who Legal, 2010

The Best in Asia, Dispute Resolution


Who’s Who Legal, 2008

“Incisive, imaginative and tough if need arises … excellent in strategic advice and indispensable when it comes to conducting the arbitration hearings.”


Chambers Asia, 2008

“A terrific strategic thinker.”


Chambers Global, 2005–2006

“Excellent and original litigator with a remarkable courtroom presence.”


Chambers Global, 2002–2003