This Profile in Arbitration features Neil Calver QC of Brick Court Chambers. Based on our market soundings, Neil can be described as a brutal cross-examiner who gives no quarter in the court room. The CEO of Newton Arbitration agrees with this description as a result of his personal experience with Neil, having worked with him in the context of a significant commercial arbitration. His profile is set forth below.
Neil took a double first-class honours degree in Law from Christ’s College, Cambridge University in 1986, and was then called to the Bar in 1987. He began practice at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square in 1988, specialising in commercial law and public and EU law. He moved to Brick Court Chambers in 1994, where he now specialises in all types of commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on international arbitration.
Neil was awarded Legal 500’s International Arbitration QC of the Year for 2015.
Neil is a member of the LCIA. He regularly either acts as Leading Counsel, or sits as an arbitrator in international arbitrations, and he has extensive experience of acting as arbitrator under a wide range of arbitral rules, including LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, PCA Hague as well as ad hoc arbitrations. He prides himself on producing a fully reasoned, written award within weeks of the arbitration concluding, as he believes that one of the major reasons why businessmen choose arbitration is for the speed of the result.
Much of Neil’s time nowadays is occupied in acting for well-known oligarchs in international disputes, particularly in international arbitrations, frequently in respect of very high value disputes (including one recent dispute worth as much as USD 47 billion). The growth of complex and high value oligarch disputes, arbitrated in London, frequently raising both English law and foreign law issues, has been the most noticeable change in his practice – and, he believes, in the London arbitration market – in the last 10 years. These high net worth individuals value the probity and skill of English lawyers and arbitrators, as well as the clear and settled legal principles which English law brings to their disputes. These are genuinely international arbitration disputes being heard in London: Neil is currently acting for respectively Russian, Chinese, Ukranian and Georgian business oligarchs.
Neil also acts as a part-time Judge, having been appointed in September 2009 as one of 70 Crown Court part-time Judges (Recorder, Crime, SE Circuit) out of 1,000 applicants for the post. He spends around 3 weeks each year in this role.
Neil is also called as a Barrister to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands) and also to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. Neil has handled oligarch disputes at both first instance and appellate level in both of these jurisdictions.