Michael Tselentis QC is an international commercial Arbitrator, with wide-ranging experience which includes disputes relating to energy and natural resources, shipping, commodity trading/international sale of goods, agency, distribution/franchising, shareholder disputes, construction and insurance.
Until 1 May 2015, when he retired from advocacy work in order to concentrate on his arbitration practice, he also practiced as an advocate in these fields. In the course of a 36-year career at the English and South African Bars, he appeared as counsel in a large number of cases in these and related areas before trial and appellate courts and arbitral tribunals, and he has been highly recommended by various practice directories, particularly in the fields of Energy and Natural Resources and International Arbitration (see under "Quotes" below).
He has been appointed in over 60 international commercial references as Presiding Arbitrator, Tribunal Member and Sole Arbitrator, principally (though by no means exclusively) in ICC, LCIA, SIAC, LMAA, UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitrations, as well as a number of domestic references. His appointments (examples of which are given in the links below) have involved a wide variety of governing laws, including English, French, Netherlands, Western Australian, Indonesian, Qatari, Kenyan, Trinidad and Tobago, South African, Swazi, Lesotho, Tanzanian and Nigerian law. Arbitral seats have included London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore, Cyprus, Lagos, Dar Es Salaam, Mauritius and Johannesburg.
His current (July 2016) arbitration appointments include references relating to oil and gas assets in the Black Sea; the expropriation of mining rights in an African country; a mining venture in Indonesia; a property development project in Qatar; a contract for the manufacture and supply of components for mining equipment to the global subsidiaries of a major mining house; a contract for the provision of a deep-water drilling rig and operations support services in the South Atlantic; a contract for work to be carried out on an FPSO; an equity dispute in respect of an oil and gas field offshore a West African country; a port dredging contract; and disputes relating to shipping and commodity contracts and guarantees.
He is a Chartered Arbitrator (UK), and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Association of Arbitrators (Southern Africa), and the Botswana Institute of Arbitrators. He is also a member of ICCA, the ICC (UK), the LCIA, ARIAS (UK), the LMAA (supporting member), the Chinese-European Legal Association (CELA), the New York International Arbitration Centre (NYIAC), the Perth Centre for Energy and Resources Arbitration (PCERA) and the Piraeus Association for Maritime Arbitration (PAMA).
His international panel memberships include:
- The ICDR's Energy Arbitrators' List
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators' Presidential Panel
- Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
- Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA)
- Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
- Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCAC)
- China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)
- Shanghai International Arbitration Centre (SHIAC)
- Chinese European Arbitrators' Centre (CEAC)
- Arbitration Foundation of South Africa (AFSA)
- Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)
- Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association (CIDRA)
- Badan Arbitrase Nasional Indonesia (BANI)
- British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (BCICAC)
- Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA)
- China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC)
He holds the B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Cape Town (1971), and the B.C.L. degree from the University of Oxford (1975), which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He was admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa in 1978 and was appointed Senior Counsel in South Africa in 1989. He practised at the Johannesburg Bar where he was a leading commercial silk, with a specialisation in mining law, from 1978 to 2000 before relocating his practice to London. While in practice at the Johannesburg Bar (as junior counsel and subsequently as Senior Counsel) he held general retainers on behalf of the Anglo American Corporation and the De Beers Corporation and their subsidiary and associated companies. He was appointed an Acting Judge of the South African High Court in 1992, and was Chairman of the Johannesburg Bar in 1993-1994.
He was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Gray's Inn in November 1995, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in April 2003. He was elected a Bencher of Gray's Inn in 2008.
Although the main focus of his practice as a Barrister and Arbitrator since 2000 has been the law of England and Wales, he also has considerable expertise in the civil law, by reason of his South African law degrees and his extensive practice at the South African Bar before moving to London, and he has been involved in cases which have raised issues of French, Netherlands, Romanian, Qatari, Russian, Azeri, Kazakh, Finnish, Thai, South African, Swazi, Lesotho and Namibian law.
He holds dual South African and Greek nationality.