Max Bonnell | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

Max Bonnell

Partner, Sydney

T +61 2 8249 2614

E [email protected]

“Max Bonnell is identified by sources both as a true “lawyer’s lawyer” and as a “first-rate” arbitration specialist commanding widespread recognition.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018


Max Bonnell is a partner in White & Case's global International Arbitration practice.

Max is focused on international arbitration and commercial litigation, advising clients across a number of jurisdictions and in a variety of sectors including telecommunications, mining, energy, financial services, engineering and computer software.

Max has advised an Australian investor on a successful claim against the Republic of India under the Australia-India bilateral investment treaty; a Chinese investor in the energy sector on a dispute with the Commonwealth of Australia arising out of legislation to reduce carbon emissions; a UK-based tobacco company on a dispute with the Commonwealth of Australia arising out of the introduction of plain packaging legislation; and parties to international financing transactions on the potential application of bilateral investment treaties and ICSID arbitrations.

A Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, Max joined White & Case from a leading international law firm.

Bars and Courts

  • Western Australia
  • New South Wales
  • High Court of Australia


  • LLB, University of Sydney
  • MA, University of Warwick, UK
  • BA (Hons), University of Sydney
  • Dip. International Commercial Arbitration, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (London)


  • English
  • French


Representation of Australian companies in ICC arbitrations against a French company (with a London seat); a Bulgarian company (with a Geneva seat); a Vietnamese joint venture (with a Geneva seat); and in LCIA arbitrations against Indian companies (with a seat in London) and an Argentinian company (with a London seat). Max also acted for an Australian exporter in a dispute with a Philippine government agency.*

Representation as counsel and advocate for the successful claimant in White Industries v. India - the first claim brought under the Australia - India bilateral investment treaty.*

Representation of a US engineering company in a dispute with an Australian company concerning the construction of an undersea oil pipeline.*

Representation of a Chinese contractor in a US$900 million ICC dispute in relation to the construction of a power plant in Guatemala.*

*Experience prior to joining White & Case

Speaking Engagements

ABA Section of International Law, 2016: Tokyo

International Bar Association Annual Conference, 2016: Washington DC

Investment arbitration, 2012: Commonwealth Law Conference

Trends in investment treaty arbitration, 2010: HKIAC 25th anniversary conference

Emissions trading schemes and investment treaties, 2010: Sydney University conference on Investment Law and Arbitration

Diploma of International Arbitration course,
Kuala Lumpur, 2008; Sydney, 2009
, (Lecturer)

ACICA conference, 2008

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre "ADR in Asia" conference , Diploma of International Commercial Arbitration course,
University of NSW
, (Guest lecturer)


  • Enter Global Stage, Enter Global Issues, ACICA Review, November 2017 (co-author with Alexander Rowe)
  • Australian editor of the Encyclopaedia of International Commercial Litigation (Kluwer Law International)
  • I Like A Clamour: John Walpole Willis, Colonial Judge, Reconsidered, Federation Press, 2017
  • Arbitration Agreements and Urgent Interlocutory Applications: AED Oil v Puffin, (2010) 76 Arbitration 357-360
  • When is an Arbitration Agreement 'Inoperative'?, [2008] Int A.L.R. 111
  • The Bakun dispute: Mandatory national laws in international arbitration, (2007) 81 ALJ 259
  • Third Party Funding, Global Arbitration Review, Volume 3, Issue 1, 35
  • The Trade Practices Act: Australia's international Arbitration Headache, [2007] Int A.L.R. 170
  • HIH Casualty & General insurance ltd (In liquidation) v R J Wallace, [2007] Int A.L.R. N-10
  • How not to Arbitrate: Pan Australia Shipping Pty Ltd v The Ship 'Comandate', (2006) 72 Arbitration 391-395

Awards & Recognition

Band 1 in Australia, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018, Chambers Global 2017

Leading individual in Who's Who Legal: Arbitration 2018

International ADR Practitioner of the Year, Australian ADR Awards 2016

Leading individual in international arbitration - Chambers Global 2015

Leading individual in Who's Who of International Commercial Arbitration 2015

Leading individual in Dispute Resolution - Legal 500 2015, 2018

Lawyer to know in Sydney, leading practitioner - Global Arbitration Review 100 since 2009

Reputation for disputes concerning technology, Global Arbitration Review 100