David Holloway


David joined the School of Law in September 2019 to act as Programme Director of the LLM in International Commercial Law at the University’s new Dubai campus. Before joining the University of Birmingham he spent 4 years living and working in China (mainland and Hong Kong).  He has previously held academic appointments at the University of Edinburgh and at City University of Hong Kong (where he was the Director of the LLM programme in arbitration and dispute resolution).  He was also formerly Chair Professor of Law at Jiaotong University, Xi’an P.R.C. His teaching and research interests involve international trade law and international dispute resolution and he has a particular interest in international trade involving China and South East Asia. 

David publishes regularly in the field of international trade law and international arbitration. He has been General Editor of International Arbitration Law Review (Sweet & Maxell) since 1999. He has also been co-author of Schmitthoff, the Law and Practice of International Trade Law (Sweet & Maxwell) since 2007. He regularly presents research at international academic and practitioner conferences and has been involved in various training projects for lawyers and commercial organisations in the field of international arbitration and dispute resolution.

David also practises as a barrister and arbitrator and is a tenant at Outer Temple Chambers, London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He has particular expertise in the field of international arbitration and has represented clients in numerous arbitrations conducted under various international institutional rules and in ad hoc arbitrations. David has appeared as counsel in the Courts of England and Wales at all levels and has extensive experience of working in cases involving issues of commercial law and multi- jurisdictional elements. He has been involved in leading cases involving the enforcement of foreign judgments and awards and various court proceedings ancillary to arbitration.  David has also successfully represented clients in significant negotiations, mediations and other ADR procedures. Throughout his career he has developed particular experience of the oil and gas industry and has been involved in several substantial disputes arising from oil exploration projects. He also has extensive experience of insurance and reinsurance disputes (particularly in the marine and energy sectors), disputes involving sale and carriage of goods, joint ventures and construction projects. He has been instructed in several cases involving State parties and in various matters involving public international law including claims arising under bilateral investment treaties and disputes involving issues of State Immunity before national courts.

David sits as an arbitrator and has been appointed to the panel of arbitrators by CIETAC (Beijing), SCIA (Shenzhen), C.A.A (Taipei), THAC (Bangkok) and the LCIA-DIFC (Dubai). He is also a Tribunal Member of the Hong Kong Board of Review (the Hong Kong tax appeals Tribunal).

Research interests

David has published widely in the area of international trade and dispute resolution. Current research projects involve the evolution of new international commercial courts, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the relationship between arbitration and national courts. Whilst working in Hong Kong he was involved in multidisciplinary research connecting these themes with the idea of sustainability.

David is the General Editor of International Arbitration Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell) a scopus listed academic and practitioner journal.  (1998-present).

David has also been co- author of the well-known book on trade law, Schmitthoff: The law and Practice of International Trade (11th Edition Sweet & Maxwell September 2007, 12th Edition 2012, 13th Edition in progress to publish in 2019).

Other representative publications include:

  • Avoiding Duplicative Litigation about Arbitral Awards within the EU. Oxford Journal of International Dispute Settlement (2011, 2 435-457).
  • Retour sur la comity: les origines de la
comity au carrefour du droit international privé et du droit international public(Journal du droit international (Clunet), with Thomas Schultz, December 2011 Volume 3 pp.863-886).
  • Retour sur la comity: la comity dans l'histoire du droit international privé (Journal du droit international (Clunet) with Thomas Schultz, March 2012 Volume 1 pp. 572-595).
  • Research Handbook on Sanctions and International Law (ed. van den Herik). Book chapter, “The impact of International Economic Sanctions in International Arbitration”; Edward Elgar. July 2017- Chapter 14.
  • Enforcement of Judgments in the One Belt One Road Area, Book chapter for Cambridge University Press ,“One Belt One Road One Dispute Resolution clause”, with Michael Hwang SC (submitted, to publish in 2018/19 editors Shan, Su et al.). Now published also in Michael Hwang SC: collected essays in Dispute Resolution, December 2018.
  • The Cambridge Research Compendium of International Arbitration. Book Chapter, “State Control of Arbitration by National Courts” (forthcoming), editors Ferrari, Bjorklund, Kroell).
  • The New Chinese International Commercial Court and the Future of Dispute Resolution in the Belt and Road Initiative. 20188:Vindabona Journal of International Commercial Law and Arbitration (2018) 22 VJ (2) pp. 96-125.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

David has supervised several PhD theses in the areas of international arbitration law, international commercial law, comparative law, and oil and gas law. He is interested in doctoral supervision in these areas, particularly in research with a focus on the MENA or South East Asian regions.

Sustainable Development Goals