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Louise Woods

Louise Woods Partner, International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

Louise Woods’ practice focuses on international commercial and investor-state arbitration and commercial litigation. Her experience includes arbitration under all the major institutional arbitration rules, as well as ad hoc arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules and litigation before the High Court. She is admitted in England and Wales as a Solicitor-Advocate.

Louise represents clients across a wide range of industry sectors, in particular energy, banking and financial services, construction and real estate development. Of particular note is Louise’s representation of a Saudi investor in Hesham Al-Warraq v. the Republic of Indonesia, an investor-state arbitration which set a precedent under the Investment Agreement of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, allowing foreign investors to take host states to arbitration. 

Having worked in-house at a leading global automotive finance company, Louise brings a unique understanding of how her clients instruct external counsel. Because of her extensive experience in arbitration, she is known to dive deeply into highly specialized issues in a variety of industries, from the ingredients in infant milk formula to the mechanics of offshore oil rig drilling.

Louise also works in support of greater diversity in arbitration. She serves on the board of ArbitralWomen, a nonprofit that supports the promotion of women in international dispute resolution, and mentors younger female associates through the group. Louise is a regular speaker at international arbitration conferences and was included in Legal 500’s inaugural International Arbitration Powerlist: United Kingdom.

Experience Highlights

  • Representing U.S. investors in an expropriation and unfair treatment claim against a Central American state under a multilateral investment treaty
  • Representing a Dubai based company in an SIAC arbitration with a Chinese company relating to a failed energy project
  • Acting on a number of ICC arbitrations in connection with the design and construction of a major maritime project in Central America
  • Represented a Saudi national in an investor-state arbitration against the Republic of Indonesia arising out of a bank bail-out
  • Represented a real estate investment company in an ICC arbitration claim arising out of a failed real estate joint venture in Poland
  • Represented a UK investor in an investor-state arbitration against the Republic of Indonesia arising out of a bank bail-out
  • Represented clients in relation to Red Notices issued by INTERPOL. The clients had suffered commercial and personal harm due to INTERPOL’s wrongful inclusion of their names in wanted persons list. The case was resolved on highly favourable terms for our clients
  • Represented a Chinese entity in a shareholder dispute involving breach of tax warranties
  • Represented a Chinese entity in an HKIAC arbitration regarding a dispute over carbon credits
  • Advised a major natural resources company in relation to potential ICSID arbitration to be brought against an African state
  • Represented a major investment bank in an ICC arbitration relating to a failed real estate investment project in Poland
  • Represented a U.S. dairy ingredient manufacturer in an LCIA arbitration with a joint venture partner
  • Represented a U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company in an LCIA arbitration with a contractor regarding an off-shore oil rig
  • Represented a U.S. real estate investment management company in an ICC arbitration in a shareholder dispute arising out of a failed real estate development project in Romania
  • Represented a hospital trust in a professional negligence claim against the architect responsible for the hospital's construction 
  • Acted in the high-profile Health Lottery proceedings in the High Court in which our clients, the 51 community interest companies which administer the monies raised by the Health Lottery to fund good causes, successfully overcame a challenge by Camelot to the Gambling Commission’s decision to issue a license to the Health Lottery

Contact Details


T +44.20.7065.6045
F +44.20.7065.6001
20 Fenchurch Street
24th Floor
London EC3M 3BY
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:00 PM
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Louise's Practices

  • University College London, B.A., Hons English, 2003
  • City University, London, GDL, 2005
  • BPP Professional Education, London, LPC, 2006
  • Admitted to practice: Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales (Higher Rights of Audience: 2016)
  • Other languages: French (fluent), Spanish (conversational)
    • Legal 500 UK, Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration, 2018
    • Who's Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.), Arbitration (England), 2020
    • Legal 500 Latin America, International Arbitration, 2019
      • Board Member: ArbitralWomen
      • Member: ITA Advisory Board
      • Member: Young Public International Law Group (YPILG)
      • Member: Law Society of England and Wales
      • Member: Women in the City
      • Member: Women in Law London (WILL)
      • Member: LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG)
      • Member: ICC Young Arbitrators' Forum (YAF)
      • Member: ICDR Young & International (Y&I)
      • Member: Young ICCA

      Solicitors and Registered Foreign Lawyers. A list of partner names is available for inspection at 20 Fenchurch Street, 24th Floor, London, EC3M 3BY. Vinson & Elkins RLLP is a limited liability partnership formed under the laws of New York authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No. 0079019).