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Dermot Woolgar

Call 1988

"A highly personable barrister with superb technical and tactical skills."
(Solicitor 2011)

International Arbitration

Dermot advises and appears as a party advocate in both domestic and international arbitrations, and before English domestic courts in connection with disputes arising out of arbitrations. In 2011 – 2012 he obtained the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration.

In addition to acting as a party advocate, he regularly accepts appointments to sit as an arbitrator. He acts as sole arbitrator or as a panel member in a broad range of disputes, reflecting his knowledge and experience in diverse fields of practice.

Selected Cases

  • Acting for an English company in ICC proceedings in Delhi connection with a c£20m product liability dispute with an Indian manufacturer concerning the design and manufacture of miniature circuit breakers (with Andrew Rigney QC).
  • Advising defendants, including substantial US manufacturer, being sued in the Bombay High Court for unpaid commission of EUR400k and damages of INR40m as to merits of anti-suit injunction from Commercial Court in London on the basis of an arbitration agreement between one of the defendants and the plaintiff which provides for ICC arbitration of disputes in London (with Andrew Rigney QC).
  • Advising German manufacturer / designer of evaporation cooling system installed in steel plant in South Wales to recover EUR3.8m outstanding from purchaser; purchaser defending claim on grounds that system was performing inadequately and as a result had cross-claim against manufacturer for damages for breach of contract of approximately EUR3m. Arbitration agreement provided for ICC arbitration in London.
  • Omnibridge Consulting Ltd v Clearsprings (Management) Ltd [2004] EWHC 2276 (Comm) [2004] ArbLR 48 – Acting in a domestic arbitration in connection with a bonus dispute arising out of a consultancy agreement, and in ensuing challenge and cross-challenge to the Commercial Court concerning breaches of the arbitrator’s section 33 Arbitration Act 1996 powers and duties.
  • Aldcroft v International Cotton Association (2015 – 2016) – Acting for cotton arbitrator in Commercial Court challenging rules of arbitral institution that limit the number of appointments that may be accepted on the grounds that they are unenforceable at common law for being in restraint of trade.
  • Whitworths Ltd v Synergy Food Ingredients & Processing BV [2014] EWHC 4239 (Comm) – Acting for English company in Commercial Court on application for interim, and then permanent, anti-arbitration injunction to restrain Dutch supplier of almond meal from pursuing arbitration before specialist Board of Arbitration in Holland, in breach of arbitration agreement providing for arbitration of disputes before specialist tribunal in England; related applications concerning the contempt of the respondent arising from its failure to obey interim injunction (with Andrew Rigney QC). Successfully represented English company before Board of Arbitration in Amsterdam and Appeal Board of Arbitration in Rotterdam.
  • Emmott v Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd [2013] EWHC 3690 (Comm) – Acting for Central Asian legal consultancy in Commercial Court seeking to resist freezing injunction in aid of arbitration proceedings. Subject matter of freezing injunction was defendant’s alleged holding in Kazakh cement company and monies lodged in support of bank guarantees to support related proceedings brought by the defendant in New South Wales. Major issue was whether claimant had obtained bank guarantees from a defendant in the Australian proceedings in breach of the Harman undertaking (the implied undertaking against the collateral use of documents obtained in litigation). Subsequent dispute about reopening summary assessment of costs conducted on pape.
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  • Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • LLB (Hons), Manchester University


  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association

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