Damien specialises in international commercial and contractual disputes predominately involving mainland China having worked in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. He mainly divides his time between Hong Kong and Darwin but also practices from London where he accepts instructions as advocate and advisor. In Hong Kong, he practices from Prince’s Chambers and in Darwin as a barrister from William Forster Chambers.
He has experience of international arbitration under HKIAC, SIAC, ICC and UNCITRAL rules within petrochemical, energy and natural resources, China related investment, and hospitality sectors. Matters typically arise from contractual, M&A, shareholder, joint venture, private equity and fund-related disputes.
He is a former solicitor in Australia ( 2001) and England and Wales (2008) and Hong Kong (2016). Before transferring to the bar in Hong Kong (2020), he was a registered foreign lawyer and then international arbitration partner with a leading Chinese law firm in Hong Kong, Fangda Partners, between 2014 and 2019. Before then he was with Herbert Smith Freehills in London, Shanghai and Beijing. He commenced his legal career in Australia with Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King and Wood & Mallesons)
Damien is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and an arbitrator on the HKIAC List of Arbitrators and the Asian International Arbitration Centre Panel of Arbitrators. He accepts appointments as an arbitrator in commercial disputes.
He is also a CEDR qualified mediator. He accepts appointments as a mediator and will work with parties in the region and internationally to undertake mediations in person and remotely.
Examples of work as counsel in arbitration proceedings and litigation instructions as a solicitor:
Acting in a HKIAC arbitration for an investment fund in a claim to recover a deposit under a SPA and defence of a counterclaim alleging unlawful termination
Acting for an Asian investment fund in a HKIAC arbitration in respect of its investment in Mongolia
Acting for a leading international hospitality company in a HKIAC arbitration in respect of a hotel management contractual dispute with a mainland Chinese real estate developer/building owner
Acting for a respondent in a HKIAC arbitration in respect of the sale of shares in a joint venture company and transfer of control of business in China
Acting for a foreign investor in an ICC arbitration seated in Hong Kong in respect of a joint venture dispute with a mainland Chinese party
Acting for a leading Chinese company in a SIAC arbitration in a dispute relating to trade secrets / ownership of technical designs for petrochemical plants in China
Acting for a leading international investment bank in a HKIAC/UNCITRAL arbitration in relation to a private equity investment dispute
Damien McDonald is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.
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Books and Chapter Contributions
Seminars, Speaking Engagements and Journal Articles
Butterworths Prize for highest marks in Legal History (Shared) 1999 – University of Tasmania