Michael Tselentis KC’s practice as an international arbitrator covers a wide field, which includes energy and natural resources (principally oil and gas, mining and minerals and power sale agreements), shipping and commodities, commercial disputes (including agency, distribution/franchising, joint ventures, shareholder agreements and contractual disputes generally), investment arbitration (with a focus on mining disputes in Africa), telecommunications, insurance, infrastructure, construction and engineering.
He has been a full-time arbitrator since 2015 when he retired from advocacy work in order to concentrate on his international arbitration practice. During a 36-year career as an advocate (1978-2015), he appeared as leading counsel in many cases in these areas before trial and appellate courts and arbitral tribunals, including a number of high-value international arbitrations in London, Paris and Singapore. Details of his advocacy and advisory work in this period appear in the “Advocacy and Advisory Career” link below.
Before Michael relocated his practice to London in 1996, he was a leading commercial Silk at the Johannesburg Bar, with a specialisation in mining law, and held general retainers from the Anglo American and De Beers groups of companies. He was appointed as an acting judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1992, and was the Chairman of the Johannesburg Bar in 1993/1994.
Michael has been appointed in over 140 references as presiding arbitrator, tribunal member and sole arbitrator, principally (though by no means exclusively) in ICC, LCIA, PCA, SIAC, LMAA, HKIAC and ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL rules. Much of his arbitration work has an Asian or African focus. Arbitral seats have included London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, DIFC, Dubai, Lagos, Cyprus, Dar Es Salaam, Jakarta, Johannesburg and Mauritius. His appointments have involved a wide variety of governing laws, including the laws of England, France, Spain, Singapore, the Netherlands, Western Australia, Indonesia, Qatar, UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Malaysia and international law.
His common law expertise is complemented by a wide experience of civil law systems, including South Africa, France, the Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, Finland, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
For convenience, details of his arbitration appointments, arbitration accreditations, and legal career generally appear in the sections below.
He has been highly recommended by various practice directories in the fields of International Arbitration and Energy and Natural Resources over the years. For example:
- The Legal 500, International Arbitration, Arbitrators, 2024: “Michael is meticulous in his approach. He is thoughtful, careful and courteous, and is easy to work with.”
- The Legal 500, International Arbitrators, 2023: “His analytical skills and arbitration knowledge are first rate.”
- The Legal 500 International Arbitration, Arbitrators, 2022: “A truly excellent arbitrator, hugely experienced, conscientious and diligent, scrupulously fair, and approachable.”
- Chambers and Partners, UK Bar 2016, Energy and Natural Resources: “He is a highly respected member of the Bar who has decades of experience in litigating energy issues, and increasingly focuses his practice in acting as an arbitrator. He is highly knowledgeable on upstream oil and gas contracts, licencing disputes, and mining transactions. Strengths: he has a formidable intellect and is a worthy opponent.”
- Chambers and Partners, UK Bar (2015), Energy and Natural Resources: “Michael Tselentis QC acts in litigation and arbitration and sits as an arbitrator in energy disputes. He has an internationally focused practice and appears in matters connected to areas such as oil and gas and mining. Strengths: very solid and thorough, he leaves no stone unturned and has excellent analytical qualities.”
- Who’s Who Legal, UK Bar 2015, Energy and Natural Resources (which listed him as one of the six most highly regarded silks in this sector): “Michael Tselentis QC garners particular acclaim as both a barrister and arbitrator in this sector. He is internationally renowned for his work in the mining sector, having been involved in many high-proﬁle cases, including precious metal and base mineral disputes in South Africa, where he practiced for many years.”
- Chambers and Partners, UK Bar (2013), Energy and Natural Resources: “The outstanding Michael Tselentis QC is absolutely top-class for energy and mining disputes. He receives particular recognition for the extensive work in this area that he has recently been undertaking in South Africa.”
See further the “Directory Recommendations” link below.
He holds dual Greek and South African nationality.Privacy notice