Dr. Matthew Secomb

Partner, Singapore

Biography

A noted lawyer in his field, Matthew Secomb represents clients in international arbitrations. He has particular experience of handling disputes in the energy and construction industries. Matthew is noted by Who’s Who Legal as “the real deal, a very good arbitrator”, “outstanding”, “the complete package; an excellent lawyer”, “tough to beat, both literally and metaphorically”, “thinks incredibly well on his feet”, as well as for his “commercial acumen”, “resolute focus” and “first rate” work.

Overview

Matthew Secomb is the Head of the International Arbitration practice in Asia-Pacific. He focuses on international arbitration, with a particular emphasis on energy-related and construction disputes.

Faced with complex proceedings where billions can be at stake, clients look to Matthew for his cutting-edge advocacy skills and essential insider know-how.

Matthew spent nearly ten years in White & Case's Paris office before moving to Singapore in 2015. Prior to joining White & Case in 2006, Matthew worked as counsel to the ICC International Court of Arbitration, where he oversaw hundreds of arbitrations in a wide array of industries and territories. This background has given Matthew a deep insight into ICC arbitration practice.

He has been listed as one of the top 10 in Asia-Pacific based lawyers named in Who's Who Legal: Global Elite Thought Leaders 2021 – Arbitration. Matthew is also the only Singapore-based lawyer listed in both WWL Arbitration and WWL Energy.

Matthew's familiarity with arbitration procedures under most institutional rules and ad hoc proceedings makes him a valued legal resource. His broad sector knowledge is matched by his significant international track record, helping clients to navigate the intricacies of complex, cross-border disputes.

He also acts regularly as arbitrator, having chaired or sat as sole or co-arbitrator in arbitrations under various rules (principally ICC and SIAC).

In addition to his counsel and arbitrator work, Matthew is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, where he teaches a course on energy arbitration.

The global dimension to Matthew's practice is based both on his professional experience and legal background. Qualified in Australia, England, Wales and Paris, he regularly represents domestic and multinational clients in arbitrations around the world.

Matthew also devotes time to supporting clients with contentious and non-contentious matters in the construction, oil and gas industries.

Equally at ease with the theoretical and practical aspects of international arbitration, Matthew is a respected writer and speaker on these issues. He lectures in International Commercial Arbitration at Queen's University.

Since 2012, Matthew's contribution to his field has been recognized by his citation in the International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration.

Bars and Courts
Paris Bar
Solicitor Advocate, England and Wales
Education
Dr iur
University of Fribourg
LLM
University of Melbourne
LLB
Deakin University
BCom
University of Melbourne
Languages
English
French

Experience

UNCITRAL LNG pricing
Representing an Asian energy company in an UNCITRAL LNG pricing arbitration.

LNG price determination
Representing an Asian energy company in a major London-based LNG price determination.

ICC price review
Representing an Asian gas company in an ICC price review arbitration under a long-term LNG SPA.

ICSID arbitration
Representing The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Samsung Engineering Co. Ltd. v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an ICSID arbitration under the Saudi Arabia-South Korea BIT relating to the claimant's interests in a project for the construction of a power and desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.

Dispute over option rights
Representing a major petroleum company in a dispute over option rights over an oilfield against a subsidiary of a Russian state-owned oil company.

Ad hoc arbitration
Representing a major Japanese contractor in an ad hoc arbitration in London concerning a South-East Asian power project.

Tunnelling dispute
Representing a Japanese engineering company on a potential Singapore-seated ICC arbitration arising out of tunnelling for a major South-East Asian project.

Post-M&A SIAC arbitration
Representing a Korean private equity & venture capital firm in a post-M&A SIAC arbitration. The claims arose out of breaches of misrepresentations, warranties and covenants by the seller in a PE M&A transaction.

SIAC arbitration
Representing a PE fund in an SIAC arbitration concerning the valuation of shares in a South-Asian company.

European gas buyers
Representing various European gas buyers in several price reopener disputes.

Speaking Engagements

Speaker at various conferences and guest lecturer at various universities; recent engagements include:

Arbitration and Meeting the Demands of the Future Energy Sector, Dzungsrt & Associates LLC webinar series with Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (2021)

Adapting Arbitration to a Changing World: Key Themes and Issues relating to the Construction Industry in the UK and the Asia-Pacific, 2021 International Arbitration Survey, White & Case / Queen Mary University of London (2021)

Workshop on LNG Price Reviews in Asia, White & Case and Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore (2021)

Investor-State contracts and Investment arbitration in specialised sectors – mining and oil and gas, Singapore International Arbitration Academy 2021, organized by NUS Centre for International Law

Navigating Arbitral Proceedings - Strategy and Skills, Vietnam Academy for Arbitration (2021)

Arbitrating Gas Price Review Disputes in Asia, SIAC North East Asia Webinar (2021)

Arbitrators' Studio - In conversation with the notorious GKK, International Chamber of Commerce (2021)

Energy Disputes: An Update from the Arbitrators, ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration (2021)

SIAC South Asia Academy 2020 - The Making of an Advocate and an Arbitrator

Twelve months of managing disputes on construction projects in the shadow of COVID-19: what's worked and what hasn't?" (2021)

Mediation and Arbitration: The Process of Enforcement, 60th Global Legal ConfEx, APAC (2020)

Eight months of managing disputes on construction projects in the shadow of COVID-19 (2020)

Energy disputes in Asia, 5th Annual GAR Live Singapore (2019)

Parallel proceedings in arbitration, SIAC, Singapore (2018)
 
Dissecting Bifurcation, 4th Annual GAR Live Singapore (2018)

Be Ready for a Price Dispute When It Arrives, Long Term Gas Supply Contracts: Asia Conference, Singapore (2018)

Black gold and gas: An ICC perspective on energy-related disputes, Perth (2017)

Multiple Proceedings in Multiple Fora – Strategies and Synergies, Seoul (2017)

Seoul Academy for International Arbitration, Seoul (2017)

What's Next for Arbitration?, White & Case / Jindal Global Law School, New Delhi (2017)

Due process paranoia, 3rd Annual GAR Live, Singapore (2017)

The Practitioners, "Reimagining Lex Mercatoria" workshop, NUS Middle East Institute, Singapore (2017)

What are the Pre-Arbitration Mechanisms that have to be complied with?, Long Term Gas Supply Contracts: Asia conference, Singapore (2017)

Arbitration in India: Does the new law advance the case, 5th Asia Pacific Regional Forum Conference, Mumbai (2017)

Publications

Matthew has written one book (Interest in International Arbitration, Oxford University Press, 2019), seven book chapters and over 30 other articles, notes and book reviews. His recent publications include:

"May the Force Majeure with you", Fuels and Power, Petromin Online, April – June 2021, pp 35-36 (with Catherine Yoon)

Chapter 13 – Project Finance, "Managing 'Belt and Road' Business Disputes: A Case Study of Legal Problems and Solutions", Wolters Kluwer, April 2021 (with Philip Tan)

"Mind the Gap: Decommissioning Challenges in Asia", Platform, 28 Apr 2021 (with Saul Daniel, Aditya Singh)

Chapter 15: Singapore, The Third Party Litigation Funding Law Review (4th ed), 2020 (with Adam Wallin, Gabriella Richmond)

LNG in Transition: Navigating an Evolving Market, Pratt's Energy Law Report, Vol 20 No 5 May 2020, p 167 (with Paul Harrison, Micah Sadoyama, and Alexander Woody)

Chapter 17: Singapore, The Third Party Litigation Funding Law Review (3rd ed), 2019 (with Adam Wallin, Gabriella Richmond)

"Singapore Court confirms limited scope for adjudication set aside", BuildLaw® , Building Disputes Tribunal, 2017 (with Adam Wallin)

Chapter on "Multi-party, Multi-contract Rules and the Arbitrators' Role in Finding Consent", The Powers and Duties of an Arbitrator, Wolters Kluwer, 2017

"Hubs on the horizon: How and when will an Asian LNG hub price signal hit long-term LNG contracts?", Gastech News, January 2017

Awards and Recognition

One of Top 10 in Asia-Pacific in Who's Who Legal: Global Elite Thought Leaders 2020, 2021 – Arbitration 

Named in Who's Who Legal: Southeast Asia 2021 - Arbitration

Named in Who's Who Legal: Energy 2021 – Power/Electricity

Recommended in Who's Who Legal: Global Leader Arbitration 2021

Leading individual in Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, Singapore – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021

Recognised Practitioner in Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, Singapore –Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020

Named in the Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders Arbitration 2017-present
 
Named in the Who's Who Legal: Arbitration – Future Leaders 2017 (most highly regarded individual under 45)

Named in the Who's Who Legal: Arbitration 2012-present

Named in the Who's Who Legal – France: Arbitration 2014-2015