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Louise Woods
Louise Woods
Partner — International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration
Partner — International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

Louise Woods

Louise Woods

20 Fenchurch Street
24th Floor
London EC3M 3BY
United Kingdom

start quote symbolI aim to deliver sound commercial advice and ensure my clients achieve the best possible outcome for the dispute in hand. Sometimes this involves reaching a negotiated settlement, at other times it involves pursuing arbitration or litigation to a hearing and final award or judgment. Either way, the key is really getting to know my clients and their business so that I can tailor my advice to suit their needs and situation.end quote symbol
Louise Woods

Louise is ranked in Legal 500 UK, 2020 and 2021 in the field of International Arbitration, where she is described by sources as “an excellent lawyer who is very sharp and easily accessible”, and “in a word, brilliant.”

Louise has significant experience in arbitration and litigation of high value, complex international commercial disputes and investor-state arbitration. She also has extensive experience of dealing with fraud and corruption allegations and investigations in the context of large scale, complex international arbitration and litigation. She is admitted in England and Wales as a Solicitor-Advocate and regularly appears as an advocate before international arbitration tribunals.

She represents clients across a wide range of industry sectors, including energy, banking and financial services, construction, infrastructure, technology 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.

In recent years, Louise’s practice has increasingly focused on international energy disputes, in particular upstream oil and gas disputes across both Africa and Latin America.

Louise also works in support of greater diversity in international arbitration. She serves on the board of ArbitralWomen, a global nonprofit that works to support and promote women in international dispute resolution, through networking, mentoring and profile-raising opportunities. Louise is a regular speaker at international arbitration conferences.

Experience Highlights

  • Acting for a Chinese owned exploration and production company in an ICC arbitration relating to a non-operated interest in West Africa

  • Acting for an international exploration and production company in a dispute regarding environmental and tax warranties relating to a Latin American asset

  • Represented an international communications technology company in a dispute with an English company arising under a Share Purchase Agreement

  • Acted for a North American oil and gas company in a dispute relating to an East African asset

  • 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


  • University College London, B.A., Hons English, 2003
  • City University, London, GDL, 2005
  • BPP Professional Education, London, LPC, 2006
  • Legal 500 UK, Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration, 2018, 2020 and 2021
  • Who’s Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.), Arbitration (England), 2020 and 2021
  • 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
  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales (Higher Rights of Audience: 2016)
  • French (fluent), Spanish (conversational)
  • “4th Annual GAR Live Energy Disputes,” June 14, 2018 (speaker)
  • “European Investment Protection — Is There Life Left in Intra-EU BITs?” V&E International Dispute Resolution Update E-communication, September 27, 2017 (co-author)
  • “Contract Disputes in the Energy Sector,” Qatar & Middle East: 3rd Annual International Arbitration Summit, May 17, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Welcome Certainty For Investors From 27 OIC Member States,” Law 360, May 9, 2017 (author)
  • “Permanent Court of Arbitration Steps in to Appoint an Arbitrator on Behalf of Libya,” V&E International Dispute Resolution Update E-communication, April 4, 2017 (co-author)
  • “Case Report: Tenaris S.A. and Talta-Trading E-Marketing Sociedade Unipessoal Lda v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (ICSID Case No. ARB.11.26),” International Arbitration Case Law (IACL) and Transnational Dispute Management (TDM)/Oil-Gas-Energy-Mining-Infrastructure Dispute Management (OGEMID), March 2016 (author)
  • “Chinese Courts Enforce Foreign Arbitration Award Between Two PRC Entities for the First Time,” V&E International Dispute Resolution Update E-communication, February 4, 2016 (author)
  • “GAR Investment Treaty Know-How – Costa Rica,” March 31, 2015
  • “Former Yukos Investors in Record Win Following Ten-year Dispute With Russia,” V&E’s International Dispute Resolution E-communication, August 7, 2014 (co-author)
  • “Einstein Was Right: You Can Be in Two Places at Once,” V&E’s International Dispute Resolution E-communication, December 5, 2013 (co-author)