Robert Wheal

Partner, London

Biography

Overview

Robert Wheal is a partner in the Dispute Resolution Group in London, whose practice focusses on international arbitration and commercial litigation. Robert has handled a large number of substantial international commercial disputes for clients, in particular, those from the banking and finance, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors. He has a broad range of experience in the English Courts and substantial experience of ICC, LCIA and ad hoc arbitrations. A Solicitor Advocate, Robert frequently acts as lead advocate on matters on which he is instructed and has also represented clients in mediations and expert determinations. Robert is also an active contributor to the Firm's pro bono activities.
Bars and Courts
England and Wales
Education
LSF
Chancery Lane
MA
(in law)
St. John's College, Cambridge University
MSc
in construction law and arbitration
King's College London
Languages
English

Experience

Arbitration:

ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a nuclear power plant
Representing a national energy company in Eastern Europe in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of a nuclear power plant.

Ad hoc arbitration under Sharia law
Advising a major oil and gas company in an ad hoc arbitration under Sharia law in the Middle East concerning a major gas plant debottlenecking project.

ICC arbitration, rail project
Representing the lead member of a contractor consortium in an ICC arbitration against a government entity, in relation to claims and counter-claims concerning the termination of a construction contract relating to a major rail project in Southern Europe.

Arbitrations in the technology sector
Representing a Finnish technology company in two SIAC arbitrations relating to the acquisition of an Indian technology company.

ICC arbitration, acid plant
Representing a joint venture in an ICC arbitration relating to the construction and operation of an acid plant and associated tank farm in the Middle East.

Litigation:

Licensing dispute in the drinks industry
Representing a Pakistani drinks manufacturer, Gul Bottlers, in a multi-million pound dispute concerning its licensing arrangement with Nichols plc, the owner of the Vimto brand. This case was notable for being an early example of a litigation being successfully funded by a third party, and led to Robert and his team being nominated as Legal Business Magazine’s Dispute Resolution Team of the Year.

Asset recovery for victims of fraud
Advising a number of commercial clients, who had become victims of fraud, on asset recovery, which generally involved injunctive relief and asset tracing applications to recover property.

Professional negligence action for a major building contractor
Representing a major building contractor in a professional negligence action against an international chemicals company relating to the supply of a defective product that was incorporated into a number of buildings.

Breach of retainer
Acting for banks and financial institutions in relation to breaches of retainer agreements entered into with clients and also wrongful termination of retainer agreements.

Speaking Engagements

"Dispute Resolution in the Nuclear Sector", 2015: Bulgaria Energy Forum, Sofia, Bulgaria

"The Rule of Law in International Energy Policy - the Role of International Treaties and Agreements", 2015: Polish Energy Forum, Wroclaw, Poland

"Commencing and Conducting Arbitration - views from France, Germany, the US and UK", 2014: Transatlantic Litigation , Amsterdam

"Strategies for controlling the costs of discovery across borders", 2014: IBA Litigation Conference , Canada

"Opening Address": Innocence UK 2013, United Kingdom

"Litigation Funding": CDR Conference on litigation 2013, United Kingdom

"Current and Preferred Practices in the Arbitral Process": White & Case International Arbitration Conference 2013, United Kingdom

Funding in International Arbitration: The Judge 2013, United Kingdom

The new Saudi Arbitration Law: Construction Law: Contracts & Dispute Management 2013, United Kingdom

Publications

Unlocking the door: BDMS Limited v Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, CDR News, 21 May 2014

The legal trap - is trickery tactical or unconscionable in litigation proceedings?, Legal Week, March 2012

Dallah and the contradictory French and English Court Decisions, Australia Construction Law Newsletter, November/December 2011

Dallah: Agreement or Disagreement between the UK and French Courts?, LCIA News, Spring 2011

Confidentiality in international arbitrations under English law, CDR News, November 2010