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“Absolutely outstanding; a big name in international arbitration.”

B.A. Modern Languages (French and German) (BA converted into an MA in 1977), Christ Church, Oxford 1971-1974

England and Wales (1977)

  • Member of Arbitration Chambers (2015 – present)
  • President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration (January 2009 – June 2015): In the course of his term of office as President of the Court, John Beechey oversaw the introduction of the 2012 ICC Arbitration and Mediation Rules and new Rules for Experts. He was primarily responsible for the Court's move to new premises in Paris and he proposed and implemented the establishment of the new Governing Body, which has responsibility for long-term strategic planning for the Court. His term of office saw the opening of the Court's operations in New York, the inception of the Jerusalem Arbitration Centre and many changes both to the practices of the Court, the principal purpose of which was to improve the efficiency of the Court and the quality of the service that it offered to its users, and to the relationship between the Court and the ICC National Committees.
  • Partner in Clifford-Turner (subsequently, Clifford Chance LLP) (May 1983 – December 2008). Founding partner of the Clifford Chance international arbitration practice and one of the first Solicitors to undertake the role of advocate before international arbitration tribunals.
  • Solicitor, Clifford-Turner (1977 – 1983)

John Beechey CBE is among the best-known arbitrators in the world. He has served as chairman, party-appointed arbitrator, or sole arbitrator on international arbitral tribunals in both ad hoc (including UNCITRAL) and institutional arbitrations under the Rules of all major arbitral institutions including, inter alia, Association of Arbitrators South Africa, DIS (German Arbitration Association), DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre), the European Development Fund, ICC, ICDR/AAA, HKIAC, ICSID, LCIA, OHADA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration, PCA (Permanent Court of Arbitration), SCAI (the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution),  SIAC and SCC (Stockholm Chamber) on more than 80 occasions, including service as an arbitrator or presiding arbitrator in 12 pending investor-state disputes.

John is a past President of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC (2009-2015).  His term of office at the ICC is regarded as one which brought about significant reform to, and the reinvigoration of, the ICC Court.  He had previously served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the AAA in New York and as a Vice-President and member of the Board of the LCIA.  He is the current Chairman of the Board of the BVI International Arbitration Centre. In March 2018, John was elected to serve a four-year term on the Governing Board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA).  Before his retirement from private practice in the City of London, he was the founding partner and Head of the highly regarded International Arbitration Group of Clifford-Turner (subsequently, Clifford Chance LLP) (1983-2008).  In June 2016, John was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to international arbitration.

He is listed in Band 1 of the Chambers Most in Demand Arbitrators in Global Market Leaders Rankings and is one of 11 arbitration practitioners worldwide to appear in Who’s Who Legal’s Thought Leaders Global Elite 2021.

The following are institutions on the panels of which John Beechey is listed:

  • He receives regular appointments in cases administered by institutions which do not maintain formal arbitrator panels, including the ICC, LCIA and SCC, and in cases administered by ICSID and the PCA.
  • ACICA (Australia)
  • American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Disputes Resolution (Commercial, International, Large Complex Case and Energy lists)   
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Japan Commercial Arbitration Association
  • Korean Commercial Arbitration Board
  • Saudi Centre for Commercial Arbitration
  • Shanghai International Arbitration Centre

Among John’s more recent publications and lectures are:

  • “Evidence, Argument, Dr Johnson and Grotius”, V Conferencia International Hugo Grocio de Arbitraje, 3 March 2012, Fundación Universitaria San Pablo CEU.
  • “TTIP – Myths and Facts”, the Bergsten Lecture 2015, in Austrian Yearbook on International Arbitration 2016.              
  • “UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: From Scepticism to Confidence?”, University of Roma Tre-UNIDROIT 5th Annual International Arbitration Lecture, 28 September 2018.
  • The Pandora’s Box of Third-Party Funding: Some Practical Suggestions for Arbitrators in Light of Recent Developments”, in “Evolution and Adaptation: The Future of International Arbitration”, ICCA Congress Series No. 20, Sydney 2018, at page 558.
  • An ‘International Arbitral legal order’: Unicorn, Global Reality or Aspiration that has had its Day?”, Seoul Arbitration Lecture 2019                  
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Appointed member of the Council of the Mumbai Centre of International Arbitration (April 2016)
  • Appointed member of the Council of ACICA (March 2016)
  • Appointed Chairman of the Board, BVI International Arbitration Centre (October 2015)
  • Appointed Chairman of the ICC (UK) Arbitration Committee (2015-2019) and Member of the Governing Body of ICC (UK) (September 2015 to date)
  • Member of the Investment Advisory Panel, Woodsford Litigation Funding (2014 – 2021)
  • Member IBA Working Group on Guidelines on Impartiality, Independence and Disclosure in International Commercial Arbitration (2004)
  • President of the International Arbitration Club (2002 – 2008)
  • Vice President of the LCIA Court (May 2002 - May 2007) and member of the LCIA Board (1996 – December 2008)
  • Member of the Board of the American Arbitration Association (member of the Board’s Executive Committee, 2001-2008)
  • Re-appointed as a UK representative to the ICC Commission on Arbitration and Mediation (2000 – September 2008)
  • Member of the IBA Working Group responsible for drafting the First Edition of The IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Commercial Arbitration (1999)
  • Member of the ICC Institute of World Business Law (October 1998 – present)
  • Member of the UK Delegation to the ICC Commission and member of the ICC UK’s Arbitration Group under the Chairmanship of Lord Steyn (1993 – 2008)