Energy Business Leaders
Partner White & Case
Michael Polkinghorne is a lawyer, resident in Paris where he heads White & Case’s arbitration group (2008-present). He is former joint-head of the firm's energy practice, as well as pro bono leader of the firm's Paris office. He has lived and practiced in Australia, England, France, Vietnam and Thailand, and has a broad range of experience in arbitration and litigation notably in the areas of energy, project finance and infrastructure.
He has served as counsel in arbitrations conducted under most major institutional rules and is the former Australian member of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC (2006-2015), where he has been a member of the ICC Task Force on arbitrations involving state entities (2008-2012). He is also a council member of the ICC Institute and a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR.
Michael has covered disputes arising in a vast range of countries, and has significant expertise in the area of foreign direct investment and acting for and against states. He has in recent years been involved in a number of mediations, notably in the industrial gas sector, and has served in over two dozen cases as arbitrator (sole, party-appointed or chair), predominantly in the energy sector, under the ICC, LCIA, Bahrain, Thai MoJ and UNCITRAL rules.
Michael also has a significant transactional practice, advising clients in the energy and infrastructure development fields. He has advised a number of energy clients on projects in South East Asia, the Gulf, the Russian Federation, India, China and West and North Africa.
Admitted to practice in both common and civil law jurisdictions, Michael is presently a member of the Legal Advisory Taskforce of the European Energy Charter Secretariat (2010-Present). He has written extensively on energy dispute resolution and foreign investment, and provides courses on long-term energy contracts and dispute resolution. He has taught at the Paris Bar School and several universities and business schools