Phillip Capper

Partner, London


“The impressive Phillip Capper is respected by clients and colleagues alike as ‘the doyen of construction law.’” (Chambers UK 2013)

“Clients admire his ‘stunning grasp of expert evidence and masterful cross-examination of opponents.’” (Chambers UK 2012)


Phillip is partner and Head of International Arbitration at White & Case LLP in London and his practice is focused in international arbitration, and engineering and construction. He has for years been recognised by legal directories as a "leading individual" in these fields. He is at ease in addressing highly technical engineering and technology issues, of which he has also had considerable experience. He is one of the very few lawyers worldwide who has been listed in the Most Highly Regarded Individuals – Global in the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers in Construction.

Phillip is a highly regarded advocate in arbitration. As counsel, under many applicable laws, common law and civil law, he has acted under the rules of the ICC, LCIA, and the Stockholm, Madrid and Prague Chambers of Commerce, as well as in contractual mediations and ad-hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL Rules and otherwise. His cases have included cross-border investor disputes, engineering issues concerning process plant, rail infrastructure, highways, oil and gas facilities, and power and water plants, and applications of international technical standards (ISO, ASTM, etc).

He has led counsel teams in some of the largest projects in the world, from the Channel Tunnel to the expansion of the Panama Canal, and the new generation of nuclear power plants.

As arbitrator, Phillip has chaired ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL arbitral tribunals, and has served as sole arbitrator and party appointed arbitrator in ICC and LCIA arbitrations. As arbitrator, all his cases have been international cross-border disputes concerning manufacturing facilities design and procurement, mineral supplies and processing, oil and gas plant processing, investor disputes, agency contracts, claims under guarantees, metal ore trading, construction contract disputes, sale and supply issues, and manufacturing plant commissioning; and were governed by the laws of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, India, Kuwait, Egypt, France, Jamaica, and England.

Former Chairman of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford and Nash Professor of Engineering Law at King's College London, Phillip is Emeritus Professor of Law at King’s College London. He is an Honorary Member of the Society of Construction Law, an Honorary Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and Honorary President of the Adjudication Society. For 15 years he was the Director of the Diploma in International Arbitration, held in Oxford each year, the flagship programme of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

For the ICC in Paris he led small working groups drafting model clauses for ICC arbitration and ADR, and for use with the ICC Rules for Expertise. He drafted the disputes clauses in the New Engineering Contract 2nd edition and ICE 7th edition and was engaged as expert by French Association of International Contractors (SEFI) to evaluate FIDIC's EPC Silver Book. For CIRIA's Client's Guide to Risk in Construction he wrote on legal risk management.

Internationally, he has by invitation lectured in most West European countries, in the USA, Canada and South America, the Middle East, and in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China. These have included the Beijing Arbitration Commission; the keynote speaker to the major Kuala Lumpur conference on the new Malaysian Arbitration Act; the biennial conference of the German (DIS) and the Swiss Arbitration Association; the Vienna VIAC/UNCITRAL annual conference; CPR's annual European conference; IBA Arbitration Day in Geneva; the major international conference "Whose Risk?", informing the Tang Review, in Hong Kong; the XVIIth Annual Meeting of the ICC Institute of International Business Law and Practice in Brussels on dispute resolution within the performance of contracts; the AAA DART (Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Taskforce) Multi-Disciplinary Conference in Kentucky, USA, as special invited speaker on key provisions in the Channel Tunnel Contract; the inaugural Lloyds Register Lecture for the Royal Academy of Engineering on "Practical Management of Legal Risks"; and a colloquium at the French Senate on "L'Europe et les Marchés Publics" (1992) at the invitation of L'Association Promouvoir la France.

Bars and Courts
England and Wales
Solicitor Advocate
University of Durham
with First Class Honours
BA and MA
University of Oxford
by Special Resolution
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Speaking Engagements

2014: Speaking at: the LAWIN Arbitration Academy in Vilnius, Lithuania; the International Conference of the Society of Construction Law Conference in Kuala Lumpur; the Arbitration Academy in Paris; the SCC Graduation Dinner in Stockholm; the Leading Arbitrators Symposium on the Conduct of International Arbitration in Vienna; the 29th Annual Joint Colloquium of Arbitrators in London; and the ASA Arbitration Practice Seminar in Italy.

2013: Speaking at: the ICC Institute annual conference in Paris (which paper will be published in a book by the ICC in 2014); the ASA (Swiss arbitration association) annual conference in Zurich (which has been published in an ASA book); the Stockholm Legal Business Summit; the IBA in Boston; the St Petersburg International Legal Forum; the Society of Construction Law in Ireland; on Adjudication the PMG conference in Lausanne, where he spoke on Adjudication; the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' European Branch conference, where he delivered the keynote address. Phillip also directed the Institute's flagship programme, the annual Diploma in International Arbitration in Oxford, and chaired a conference for King's College London.

2012: Chairing an international conference on Construction Law, and two conferences for King's College London; directing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' flagship programme, the annual Diploma in International Arbitration in Oxford; acting as Keynote Speaker at the Vienna Arbitration Days, at the World Congress of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and at the Graduation Ceremony of the British University in Dubai; hosting and speaking at the ICC joint annual colloquium of arbitrators with Queen Mary University of London; speaking at the Annual Review of the Arbitration Act for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and at the Swedish Arbitration Days in Stockholm; chairing the arbitration session of the joint conference of City University Hong Kong and Queen Mary University of London; and addressing the Society of Construction Law.

2011: Chairing a Lexis-Nexis conference on International Arbitration, and two conferences for King's College London; directing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' flagship programme, the annual Diploma in International Arbitration in Oxford; speaking as Guest of Honour at the dinner of the Swedish Arbitration Association in Stockholm; teaching Construction Law at a university in Dubai, UAE; addressing Goldman Sachs' lawyers in London; and supporting the W&C Warsaw team by speaking on International Arbitration at its FIDIC conference in Warsaw.

2010: Chairing a three-day ICC Masterclass in International Arbitration in Paris; directing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' flagship programme, the annual Diploma in International Arbitration in Oxford; the annual joint lecture of TecBar and the Society of Construction Law in London; and the ASA (Swiss) and Swedish Institute biennial arbitration event in Stockholm.



Series Editor (with Philip Britton) Construction Law books, Informa Law from Routledge, including: 'FIDIC Contracts: Law and Practice’ by Baker, Mellors, Chalmers & Lavers, and 'Contract Law' by Bailey

Arbitration World (6th Edition, and previous editions) (Thomson Reuters, 2019): chapter on the London Court of International Arbitration (co-author with Adrian Winstanley). 

Arbitration World (5th Edition) (Thomson Reuters, 2015): chapter on the London Court of International Arbitration (co-author with Adrian Winstanley).

Inside the Black Box: How Arbitral tribunals Operate and reach their Decisions (Swiss Arbitration Association, JurisNet, 2014): chapter on dealing with bias and obstruction.

The Application of Substantive Law by International Arbitrators (International Chamber of Commerce, 2014): chapter on proving the contents of the applicable substantive law (2013).

Arbitration in England, with chapters on Scotland and Ireland (Kluwer Law International, 2013): chapter on Relevant Aspects of the English Legal System (co-author, with Julia Zagonek).

International Arbitration: A Handbook (3rd Edition) (LLP, 2004)

Emden's Construction Law (Butterworths, ongoing looseleaf): former General Editor, and contributions on aspects of construction contracts and variations

Dispute Resolution in the Construction Industry (with N Gould, G Dixon and M Cohen) (Thomas Telford, 1999)

New Horizons in Construction Law (Construction Law Press, 1998): chapter on Construction disputes

Handbook of Arbitration Practice 3rd ed (Sweet & Maxwell, 1998): chapter on Construction Industry Arbitrations (with A Bunch)

Risk, Management and Procurement in Construction (Construction Law Press, 1995): chapter on Risk in Construction

Construction Disputes: Liability and the Expert Witness (Butterworths, 1989): chapter on Construction Liability

Construction Contract Policy - Improved Procedures and Practice (Construction Law Press, 1989): Editor, with John Uff

Latent Damage Law - The Expert System (Butterworths), (with R Susskind)

Latent Damage Act 1986 (Legal Studies & Services) Annual Survey of Commonwealth Law: chapters on Contract Law in the final series


Construction Industry Law Letter: founding Editor and principal author from its inception in 1983 until 1990

"The Adjudicator under NEC 2nd edition: a new approach to disputes," article in Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Dec 1995

"Arbitration and Adjudication after 1996: Practice, Procedure and Opportunities," article in Construction Law Journal, 1997

"Basic Choices in the Allocation and Management of Risk," article in the International Construction Law Review, 2001

Mediation post-Woolf (ABA/Chartered Institute of Arbitrators): summary of contribution: Arbitration, 2001

Other publications include:

A Client's Guide to Risk in Construction, CIRIA (Construction Industry Research and Information Association) 1996: contribution on legal risk management aspects – report of research project jointly with Halcrow (Patrick Godfrey)

SEFI Report on the FIDIC Silver Book Turnkey EPC Contract: independent expert report and critical evaluation (with P Genton), commissioned by SEFI, the Association of French International Contractors

Regular specialist contributions and supporting papers on Construction Law to TEN (Television Education Network) video programmes for lawyers, civil engineers and other professionals (1991-1996)

Awards and Recognition

"Lawyer of the of the Year" in Construction – Global Who’s Who Legal, 2020

"Lawyer of the Year" for work in Construction Law – Best Lawyers, 2020

"Hall of Fame" for both International Arbitration and Construction – Legal 500, 2022

"Phillip Capper is superb"

"Band 1 in Construction: International Arbitration" and "International Arbitration" – Chambers UK 2022

"The 'fantastic' Phillip Capper … is frequently sought out to represent clients in international arbitrations, acting on some of the most complex and high-profile disputes relating to major energy, infrastructure and industrial construction projects." – Chambers UK 2020

"Leading individual" – Euromoney's Expert Guides in all three of Best of the Best, Commercial Arbitration and Construction, e.g.2019

"Phillip Capper has earned a reputation as 'the doyen of construction arbitration' among peers, who add that he is 'extremely knowledgeable, effective and commands respect in this." – Chambers Europe 2019

"Thought Leader: Global Elite” in International Arbitration, and in Construction (Who’s Who Legal “Thought Leaders” feature only the most highly regarded lawyers who through independent research truly stand out in their field as leaders and held in the highest esteem by their clients and fellow practitioners) – Who's Who Legal, e.g. 2019

Phillip has also been recognised in Transport – Rail; and in Power (including Electricity, Nuclear & Renewables) – Legal 500

Phillip is named in the "Inaugural Arbitration Powerlist” – Legal 500, 2018

"Phillip Capper is acclaimed for his acumen and leadership in the international arbitration market. Sources note: 'He's a real doyen. He's got grandmaster stature.'" – Chambers UK, 2017

"He is highlighted by market observers as a leading authority on construction-related arbitrations." – Chambers Global 2017

"Phillip Capper is widely hailed for his abilities and market presence in international arbitration." - Chambers UK 2016: Construction 

"Phillip Capper 'is particularly noteworthy for his experience and mastery of construction-related disputes'" – Chambers Global 2015: International Arbitration

In 2014, Euromoney's Global Commercial Arbitration Awards named Phillip "Construction Lawyer of the Year,"

In 2013 the Technology and Construction Solicitors' Association (TeCSA) awarded Phillip the Clare Edwards Award, which recognises "professional excellence and contribution to the legal profession serving the construction industry", and which is given "when an exceptional candidate is identified."

"Well-known Phillip Capper is described as the "doyen of construction" and praised for being "technically very good."" – Chambers UK 2014: Construction 

"Phillip Capper is recognised by peers as a "first-rate arbitration specialist."" - Chambers UK 2014: International Arbitration 

"The impressive Phillip Capper is respected by clients and colleagues alike as 'the doyen of construction law'." – Chambers UK 2013: Construction: International Arbitration 

"very eloquent, inventive and highly experienced" – Chambers UK 2013: Construction: International Arbitration 

"construction and engineering experience are second to none." – Chambers UK 2013: Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration 

"think through strategy and tactics very carefully." – Chambers UK 2013: Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration 

"Phillip Capper is 'a great strategist and a strong leader who understands the client's needs'." – Chambers Global 2012: Arbitration (International): Europe-wide 

"highly regarded for his expertise in construction as well as on engineering sector arbitrations" – Chambers Global 2012: Arbitration (International): Global-wide 

"Clients admire his 'stunning grasp of expert evidence and masterful cross-examination of opponents.'" – Chambers UK 2012: Construction: International Arbitration 

"Phillip Capper is 'top of the class'" – Legal 500 UK 2011: International Arbitration 

Phillip Capper receives praise for his "excellent knowledge of construction cases." – Chambers Global 2011: Arbitration (International) 

"probably the top man in construction law today." – Chambers UK 2011: Construction: International Arbitration 

"a great guy and an outstanding lawyer – he's one of the best and most persuasive speakers I've ever heard." – Chambers UK 2011: Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration 

Phillip Capper is well known in the marketplace and has built up a sizeable reputation. He is described as "a real expert on construction disputes" by market sources, who highly praise his work as both arbitrator and counsel. – Chambers Global 2010: Arbitration (International) 

"outstanding practitioner in every respect." – Chambers UK 2010: Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration 

Phillip Capper is a 'first-rate arbitration lawyer'.– UK Legal 500, 2010 

Having 'a fine analytical mind', Capper is praised for his ability to combine keen academic insight with 'agility and flexibility' when dealing with clients' particular situations." – Chambers UK 2009 

"Any characterisation of international arbitration 'would be incomplete' without mention of Phillip Capper... the tenor of his work is set by his 'guru status' in the construction community." – Chambers Europe 2007 

"The 'excellent, incredibly well-respected' Phillip Capper... his construction background shapes his practice and he also sits as arbitrator." - Chambers Global 2007: Arbitration 

"Much ...success ... is attributed to the kudos associated with the name of Phillip Capper. Increasingly sitting as arbitrator, he is credited with a 'fantastic knowledge base' and specialist construction expertise." – Chambers UK 2006: Arbitration (International) 

" 'genius' Phillip Capper." – Chambers UK 2005: Introduction