Duncan Graves is an associate in Latham & Watkins’ London office and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Practice. Mr. Graves is a barrister representing clients in commercial litigation and international arbitration.

Mr. Graves primarily assists commercial clients and financial institutions with disputes before the Courts of England and Wales with a focus on matters with an international aspect. He has experience of taking cases both to trial and appellate hearings, and he is also well-versed in securing advantageous settlements for his clients, including at mediations.

Mr. Graves regularly provides strategic advice on issues concerning shareholders and directors, including in boardroom disputes arising in a hostile environment.

Mr. Graves also represents clients in commercial arbitration. He has experience with proceedings conducted under the major international arbitration rules and ad-hoc arbitrations.

In 2021, Mr. Graves undertook a secondment into the litigation team of a leading international investment bank. He leverages his firsthand industry knowledge and business acumen to help clients successfully navigate their most complex legal challenges.

He is a member of Latham & Watkins’ pro bono committee with a focus on expanding the representation of vulnerable individuals before the courts and tribunals.

Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Graves undertook pupillage at a leading commercial chambers, where he worked on a broad range of international commercial disputes with a particular focus on civil fraud, preliminary issues relating to jurisdiction and the conflict of laws, and contracts for the sale of goods. He then served as a judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal, where he gained exposure to public, international, and commercial law matters, including matters relating to international terrorism, state immunity, and the enforcement of arbitration awards tainted by fraud.

In 2015, Mr. Graves won the English Speaking Union-Essex Court National Mooting Competition and the Magna Carta Moot, appearing before multiple judges of the Court of Appeal. He is a Bedingfield Scholar of Gray’s Inn.

Mr. Graves’ experience includes representing: 

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Barclays in a group claim by more than 100 claimants under ss.90 and 90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). The threatened claim relates to allegedly untrue or misleading statements and/or omissions made by the bank in the period regarding its “dark pool” trading system
  • A high-net-worth individual, the claimant in litigation worth over £500 million. The claim concerned an alleged conspiracy by the defendants to deprive the claimant of the ownership of shares in, and assets related to, one of the largest construction groups in the Middle East. Mr. Graves was involved in workstreams concerning the intersection between arbitral issues and issues for the English court, the extensive interplay with foreign systems of law, and several applications in the English High Court
  • Rothesay Life Plc (Rothesay) on the landmark Court of Appeal decision overturning the High Court’s refusal to sanction the transfer of around 370,000 annuity policies (comprising total policyholder liabilities of approximately £11.2 billion) from The Prudential Assurance Company Limited (PAC) to Rothesay
  • A Cypriot company in summary judgment proceedings in the English Commercial Court arising out of loan and shareholder agreements with a major shareholder
  • An English bank regarding a potential claim by customers alleging unfair contractual terms
  • A range of sellers and buyers on disputes arising out of Share Purchase Agreements
  • An English football club on compliance with domestic and international football rules and regulations
  • A global technology systems provider in the trial on merits of its claim in the TCC against a customer for breach of the license agreement*
  • A high-net-worth judgment debtor facing enforcement proceedings in the Caribbean*

Company Law

  • A major high street retailer in its operational and financial restructuring, including a landmark expedited trial before the High Court on a challenge to its company voluntary arrangement (CVA)
  • A Chinese biopharmaceutical company, defending claims brought by a major shareholder in relation to the outcome of the Company’s AGM, and the validity of the company's shareholder rights plan, at trial in the Antigua High Court, and before the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal
  • A Chinese automation technology company, defending claims brought by a former executive and a shareholder alleging that its directors acted with an improper purpose, at trial in the BVI High Court
  • Multiple commercial corporations on directors’ duties, conflicts, and insurance issues

International Arbitration

  • An African state-owned oil company concerning a US$5 billion dispute regarding its partnership with China, through its own state owned oil company, in multiple enormously valuable offshore oil blocks in Africa
  • A private equity company in relation to potential arbitration proceedings concerning substantial loan repayments
  • Corporations in the oil & gas industry bringing and defending sale of goods and shipping claims before the LCIA and LMAA*

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

Bar Qualification

  • England and Wales (Barrister)


  • Graduate Diploma in Law, Oxford Brookes University, 2015
  • BA (Hons) History, Magdalen College, Oxford University, 2014

Languages Spoken

  • English