People

John Savage QC is a partner in our London office, specializing in international arbitration. John has represented clients in approximately 200 arbitrations around the world in 30 years of practice. He has particular expertise in complex, high-stakes corporate, investment and projects disputes, with an emphasis on the oil and gas, mining and power sectors. 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 member of the SIAC Court of Arbitration.

John has worked for high-profile clients including Chevron, 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 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 spent 12 years in Singapore establishing himself as one of the leading arbitration lawyers in Asia, and has also practiced arbitration in Paris and Washington DC. John studied law and was admitted to practice 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." Legal 500 (2021) observes that John "is the type of lawyer that comes into the case at the appropriate time, learns everything, dispenses sage advice and then advocates on your behalf in a manner that never fails to impress.” and that John "has the ability to absorb a lot of material in a short amount of time. He sees a case from the lens of an arbitrator, which makes him brilliant in anticipating the important issues that the arbitrators will focus on in deciding a case.” Chambers (2020) writes, “He is exceptionally good. He's very astute, strategic and a very formidable litigator of large disputes” and “From a client perspective, you couldn't want anyone better. He gives everything to a case.”

Full Bio

Credentials

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

Maîtrise en droit privé, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

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

England and Wales

France

“John is the type of lawyer that comes into the case at the appropriate time, learns everything, dispenses sage advice and then advocates on your behalf in a manner that never fails to impress. He is only able to do this with the support of a terrific team that works the case up with the client.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

“John Savage has the ability to absorb a lot of material in a short amount of time. He sees a case from the lens of an arbitrator, which makes him brilliant in anticipating the important issues that the arbitrators will focus on in deciding a case.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

"He is exceptionally good. He's very astute, strategic and a very formidable litigator of large disputes."


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

“One of the best advocates in the market… a very good cross-examiner”


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

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


WHO’S WHO CONSTRUCTION, 2016

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


WHO’S WHO LEGAL, 2013

"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

“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

“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

Icon close

Close

Recognition

“John is the type of lawyer that comes into the case at the appropriate time, learns everything, dispenses sage advice and then advocates on your behalf in a manner that never fails to impress. He is only able to do this with the support of a terrific team that works the case up with the client.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

“John Savage has the ability to absorb a lot of material in a short amount of time. He sees a case from the lens of an arbitrator, which makes him brilliant in anticipating the important issues that the arbitrators will focus on in deciding a case.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

"He is exceptionally good. He's very astute, strategic and a very formidable litigator of large disputes."


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

“One of the best advocates in the market… a very good cross-examiner”


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

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


WHO’S WHO CONSTRUCTION, 2016

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


WHO’S WHO LEGAL, 2013

"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

“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

“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

Matters

Represented Shell and Chevron in an ICC arbitration in Manila against the Republic of the Philippines concerning the Malampaya gas project. Our clients secured an award valued at over US$ 4 billion.

Currently representing Shell 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 CA Investment in an ICC arbitration in Sao Paulo against J&F Investimentos concerning the acquisition of Eldorado, a large Brazilian pulp company. Our client has secured a partial award valued at billions of US dollars.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Represented Shell and Chevron in an ICC arbitration in Manila against the Republic of the Philippines concerning the Malampaya gas project. Our clients secured an award valued at over US$ 4 billion.

Currently representing Shell 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 CA Investment in an ICC arbitration in Sao Paulo against J&F Investimentos concerning the acquisition of Eldorado, a large Brazilian pulp company. Our client has secured a partial award valued at billions of US dollars.

Represented a consortium of energy companies in an LNG price review arbitration in Singapore against an Asian buyer. Our clients secured an award of most of the relief sought plus costs.

Represented GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy in an ICC arbitration in Taipei against Taiwan Power Company, concerning the design and construction of the Lungmen nuclear power plant in Taiwan. Our client secured an award of substantially all relief sought, including payment of US$ 158 million, which was received in full, and the dismissal of counterclaims valued at US$ 350 million.

Currently representing SL Mining and Gerald International in ICC and ICSID arbitrations against the Republic of Sierra Leone, concerning the mistreatment by the state of our clients’ investments in the Marampa Iron Ore Project in Sierra Leone. Over US$ 1.5 billion is in dispute, and SL Mining has already secured two favourable partial awards, as well as related judgments from the English High Court.

Currently representing InterGlobe Enterprises in an LCIA arbitration against Rakesh Gangwal and related parties in relation to the ownership and management of IndiGo, India’s largest airline. The arbitration is seated in New Delhi and administered by the LCIA. The claimants seek damages of US$600 million as well as declarative and injunctive relief.

Currently representing a buyer of LNG in a price review arbitration under the ICC rules in London against a Middle Eastern seller.

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).

Represented 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 was in dispute.

Matters

Represented Shell and Chevron in an ICC arbitration in Manila against the Republic of the Philippines concerning the Malampaya gas project. Our clients secured an award valued at over US$ 4 billion.

Currently representing Shell 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 CA Investment in an ICC arbitration in Sao Paulo against J&F Investimentos concerning the acquisition of Eldorado, a large Brazilian pulp company. Our client has secured a partial award valued at billions of US dollars.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Represented Shell and Chevron in an ICC arbitration in Manila against the Republic of the Philippines concerning the Malampaya gas project. Our clients secured an award valued at over US$ 4 billion.

Currently representing Shell 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 CA Investment in an ICC arbitration in Sao Paulo against J&F Investimentos concerning the acquisition of Eldorado, a large Brazilian pulp company. Our client has secured a partial award valued at billions of US dollars.

Represented a consortium of energy companies in an LNG price review arbitration in Singapore against an Asian buyer. Our clients secured an award of most of the relief sought plus costs.

Represented GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy in an ICC arbitration in Taipei against Taiwan Power Company, concerning the design and construction of the Lungmen nuclear power plant in Taiwan. Our client secured an award of substantially all relief sought, including payment of US$ 158 million, which was received in full, and the dismissal of counterclaims valued at US$ 350 million.

Currently representing SL Mining and Gerald International in ICC and ICSID arbitrations against the Republic of Sierra Leone, concerning the mistreatment by the state of our clients’ investments in the Marampa Iron Ore Project in Sierra Leone. Over US$ 1.5 billion is in dispute, and SL Mining has already secured two favourable partial awards, as well as related judgments from the English High Court.

Currently representing InterGlobe Enterprises in an LCIA arbitration against Rakesh Gangwal and related parties in relation to the ownership and management of IndiGo, India’s largest airline. The arbitration is seated in New Delhi and administered by the LCIA. The claimants seek damages of US$600 million as well as declarative and injunctive relief.

Currently representing a buyer of LNG in a price review arbitration under the ICC rules in London against a Middle Eastern seller.

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).

Represented 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 was in dispute.

Credentials

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

Maîtrise en droit privé, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

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

England and Wales

France

“John is the type of lawyer that comes into the case at the appropriate time, learns everything, dispenses sage advice and then advocates on your behalf in a manner that never fails to impress. He is only able to do this with the support of a terrific team that works the case up with the client.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

“John Savage has the ability to absorb a lot of material in a short amount of time. He sees a case from the lens of an arbitrator, which makes him brilliant in anticipating the important issues that the arbitrators will focus on in deciding a case.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

"He is exceptionally good. He's very astute, strategic and a very formidable litigator of large disputes."


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

“One of the best advocates in the market… a very good cross-examiner”


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

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


WHO’S WHO CONSTRUCTION, 2016

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


WHO’S WHO LEGAL, 2013

"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

“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

“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

Icon close

Close

Recognition

“John is the type of lawyer that comes into the case at the appropriate time, learns everything, dispenses sage advice and then advocates on your behalf in a manner that never fails to impress. He is only able to do this with the support of a terrific team that works the case up with the client.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

“John Savage has the ability to absorb a lot of material in a short amount of time. He sees a case from the lens of an arbitrator, which makes him brilliant in anticipating the important issues that the arbitrators will focus on in deciding a case.”


LEGAL 500, 2021

"He is exceptionally good. He's very astute, strategic and a very formidable litigator of large disputes."


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

“One of the best advocates in the market… a very good cross-examiner”


CHAMBERS GLOBAL, 2020

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


WHO’S WHO CONSTRUCTION, 2016

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


WHO’S WHO LEGAL, 2013

"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

“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

“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