Duncan Graves

  • 99 Bishopsgate
  • London EC2M 3XF
  • United Kingdom

Duncan Graves is an associate in Latham & Watkins’ London office and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department. 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 & Wales, with a focus on matters with an international aspect. He has a particular interest in issues concerning jurisdiction and governing law, and disputes involving parallel proceedings in courts and in arbitration.

He has experience of taking cases both to trial and appellate hearings, and securing advantageous settlements for clients, including at mediations.

Mr. Graves regularly advises 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.

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 advising:

Complex Commercial Litigation
  • A high-net-worth individual, the claimant in litigation worth over £500M; 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, as lead associate, 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
  • 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
  • Multiple corporations on complex company law disputes across a multitude of jurisdictions including London and the Caribbean
  • A Chinese biopharmaceutical company, defending claims brought by a major shareholder in relation to the outcome of the Company’s AGM, and the validity the company's shareholder rights plan
  • A major high street retailer in its operational and financial restructuring, including hearings before the High Court and related disputes with creditors and landlords
  • 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 China's state owned oil company, about multiple valuable offshore oil blocks in Africa
  • A private equity company in relation to potential arbitration proceedings in relation to 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

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