David Smallbone


international disputes practitioner

Mr Smallbone is available for appointments as Counsel, Arbitrator or Expert Determiner.

He has long experience in, and ancillary to, the various forms of domestic and international alternative dispute resolution, through mediation, arbitration, stay applications, construction adjudications, expert determination, enforcement action, and court applications in aid of arbitration. In domestic tribunals, he has acted variously in appointments as counsel or in an impartial capacity.

Mr Smallbone’s practice as an international disputes practitioner encompasses arbitration, mediation, expert determination and adjudication. In related litigation, he appears in stay applications, enforcement and other applications in aid of the arbitral process.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), a Fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (FACICA) and a member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). He is also a panel Mediator of the Qianhai International Commercial Mediation Centre.

Mr Smallbone contributed to the ACICA Review in December 2021 (see from p. 32) and has delivered several papers domestically and to law firms in Asia. His recent topics have centred around Dispute Resolution Clauses and Enforcing Chinese Judgments Debts at common law.

Selection of ADR Matters and Related Litigation

International Arbitration

  • Counsel for respondent in ICC Arbitration 27155 / HTG appearing for a State-owned enterprise in an infrastructure dispute.
  • As lead counsel, enforced RMB $720 million CIETAC Award in the Federal Court of Australia with freezing orders against the Award debtor and in aid of a foreign Court action against a third party.
  • Counsel for a world-wide franchisor terminating US Master franchise in arbitration and related Court applications
  • Advised on a “pathological” dispute clause providing for institutional arbitration in two different countries – whether clause conferred an election as to forum or was ineffective
  • Advised an overseas public utility on most expeditious procedure under ICC rules for early or interim determination of an urgent matter
  • Counsel for Award debtor’s subsidiary in enforcement dispute in the Supreme Court: ML Ubase v. Trigem Computer Inc (2007) 69 NSWLR 577
  • Enforcement of freezing order under Model Law Art. 17H

Domestic Arbitration

  • Counsel in building arbitration
  • Counsel in application to stay of Supreme Court proceedings and refer shareholders’ dispute to arbitration

Expert Determination

  • Lessee’s Counsel in site remediation dispute between a national carpark operator and its landlord
  • Advice on expert determination clause with short limitation period in construction matter

Construction Adjudication

  • Developer’s Counsel in a series of adjudications between a developer of industrial units and a concreter – and in related Court proceedings concerning termination of the contract and a Caveat over the building site

Domestic Tribunals

  • Counsel for a candidate in a pre-selection dispute in the Disputes Panel of a major Australian political party
  • Acted (pro bono) as independent Experienced Lawyer under Church Discipline Ordinance of the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney assessing disciplinary cases.