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Matthew Harley is a Senior Associate in the International Arbitration group. His practice focuses on commercial disputes, particularly disputes relating to Africa and the Middle East.
Matthew Harley has represented individuals, corporates, states and state entities in disputes in a variety of industry sectors, including energy, oil & gas, mining, hospitality and construction.
He has acted in arbitrations under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Dubai International Financial Centre-LCIA (DIFC-LCIA), Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and others, seated in major arbitral centres as well as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. He has represented clients in disputes governed by numerous governing laws, including those of England & Wales, the UAE, Yemen, Iraq, Nigeria, Kenya and Spain.
Mr. Harley has also represented clients in ad hoc arbitrations under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules.
He has substantial experience representing clients in court proceedings related to arbitrations, including obtaining interim relief such as anti-suit injunctions and acting in proceedings in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of England & Wales to successfully resist the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards on behalf of states and state entities.
Matthew Harley has advised clients on internal and external investigations, fraud, and asset-tracing, including advising on the UAE aspects of a global, multibillion dollar fraud and representing a state seeking to recover assets misappropriated by the former regime.
Mr. Harley was formerly Senior Counsel and Acting Registrar at the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre in Dubai, the premier arbitral institute in the Middle East. In that role he administered hundreds of commercial arbitrations, as well as mediations and regulatory proceedings, and worked closely with the LCIA Court. As a result he has a unique insight into the practice of international arbitration, as well as deep knowledge of the disputes market in the GCC.
He is a co-founder of the Virtual Arbitration project, established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage the use of virtual hearings. The project won a Global Arbitration Review special recognition award for “response to the coronavirus pandemic” in July 2020.
Matthew Harley has spoken and presented at conferences and events, including those organized by YIAG and the Young Members Group of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), as well as legal technology conferences and at events during the annual Dubai Arbitration Week.
Mr. Harley was an Africa representative for the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) from 2016 to 2019. He was also part of the core editor team of Arbitration in Africa: A Review of Key Jurisdictions (Thomson Reuters, 2016), a leading book on international arbitration across Africa. Matthew also co-authored the Ethiopia chapter.
Durham University, BA History
The College of Law (York and London, Moorgate), LLB
BPP Law School, Higher Rights of Audience (Civil)
Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG)
ICC Young Arbitrators Forum