Paul Choon Kiat Wee specialises in commercial litigation and international arbitration under English and international law. Paul’s clients include governments, corporate clients, financial institutions and individuals, and Paul has particular expertise in banking disputes, insolvency, civil fraud and asset recovery, private and public international law, and investment disputes.
Paul is regularly instructed as junior counsel on complex and high-profile matters, often with international or multijurisdictional elements. Notable current and recent instructions include acting for the Russian Federation to oppose the enforcement of highly-publicised USD 50bn arbitral awards obtained by the former shareholders of Yukos under the Energy Charter Treaty (one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2016); acting for the Republic of Kazakhstan to oppose the enforcement of a USD 500m arbitral award obtained under the Energy Charter Treaty; the Kazakhstan Kagazy plc fraud litigation; and acting as sole English law counsel for the Respondent in a USD 170m Singapore-seated ICC arbitration relating to the construction of a power plant in Indonesia.
Paul additionally has substantial experience of acting as sole counsel. He often appears unled, regularly in the High Court but also in the County Courts, and often against more experienced advocates (including QCs).
Paul maintains a keen academic interest in law. He is a contributor to a number of leading practitioner texts, including Paget on Banking and the Encyclopaedia of Banking Law, and has published in areas including banking law, international investment arbitration, equity and trusts, and general contract law. His published work was cited extensively by the Singapore Court of Appeal in MFM Restaurants v. Fish & Co  SGCA 36, one of the leading cases on contractual remoteness in Singapore.
‘Recent years have seen a slew of excellent juniors make silk, and still the junior members are very talented indeed.’
Legal 500 UK 2014
3 Verulam Buildings has ‘excellent strength in depth and some very talented juniors coming through’
Legal 500 UK 2014
Paul's recent cases include:
- acting for the Russian Federation to resist the enforcement of USD 50bn arbitral awards obtained by the former shareholders of Yukos under the Energy Charter Treaty (led by Jonathan Gaisman QC, Shaheed Fatima and Christopher Harris)
- acting for the Republic of Kazakhstan to resist the enforcement of a USD 500m arbitral award obtained under the Energy Charter Treaty (led by Ali Malek QC and Christopher Harris)
- defending a claim brought against (inter alia) the former Chairman of the Kazakhstan Kagazy group for the alleged misappropriation of USD 150m+ (led by Paul Lowenstein QC and David Head)
- acting for the defendant in Manx proceedings in a USD 700m claim arising from the alleged misappropriation of a leading telecoms company in Kyrgyzstan (part of a counsel team led by Stephen Phillips QC and David Head)
- acting for a leading global investment and asset management group in proceedings arising from the acquisition of an investment firm (led by Sonia Tolaney QC)
- acting as sole English law counsel for the Respondent in a USD 170m ICC arbitration seated in Singapore relating to the construction of a power plant in Indonesia
- defending a USD 37m claim arising from the termination of a long-term contract for the supply of Albanian crude oil (led by Ali Malek QC and Adam Kramer)
- acting for a former company director in BVI proceedings concerning a misfeasance claim brought by the company’s liquidators based on allegations of unfair preference and insolvent trading (led by John Jarvis QC)
- acting for T.C. Ziraat Bankasi AS in BVI proceedings to protect the priority of its rights and security interests under a USD 1.6 billion loan facility (led by Ewan McQuater QC)
- acting for the Respondent in a major ICC arbitration concerning the termination of licensing agreements in a developing economy (led by Christopher Harris)
- acting for the former shareholders of an advertising agency in a claim for deferred consideration arising out of a share sale and purchase agreement (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC)
- instructed by Barclays Bank plc (as part of a counsel team led by Ewan McQuater QC) to defend a breach of confidence claim arising from the acquisition of a carbon trading company
- acting for claimants in proceedings brought against private banks arising from the alleged mis-selling of financial products including dual currency deposits, accumulator contracts (FX and equities), and FX knock-out / barrier options (led by Richard Salter QC)
- acting as sole counsel for the liquidator of Highfield Distribution (UK) Limited in ongoing enforcement proceedings against the former sole director and shareholder of the company following the misappropriation of £9m in company funds
- defending a copyright infringement claim under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 relating to recordings of West End musicals
- acting for the Red Bull Racing Formula One Team in its appeal to the FIA International Court of Appeal following Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the 2014 Australian Formula One Grand Prix (led by Ali Malek QC and Michael Lazarus)
BVC (The City Law School) - Outstanding (ranked 2nd in year) (2010)
BCL (Keble College, Oxford) - Distinction (2009)
BA (Hons) in Jurisprudence (Keble College, Oxford) (2008)
Pegasus Scholar (Inner Temple, 2012)
Atkin Scholarship (Gray's Inn, 2010)
Prince of Wales Scholarship (Gray's Inn, 2009)
Barstow Scholarship (The City Law School, 2010)
The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators Prize (The City Law School, 2010)
College Scholarship (Keble College, 2005)
 LMCLQ 455 'Distribution of assets on relationship breakdown'
 LMCLQ 150 'Contractual interpretation and remoteness'
Encyclopedia of Banking Law (ed. Mr Justice Blair) - editor of "Guarantees"
Paget's Law of Banking (14th edn, ed. Ali Malek QC and John Odgers QC)
Key Authorities in Banking Law (ed. Sonia Tolaney QC)
Enforcement of Investment Treaty Arbitration Awards (with Christopher Harris) (ed. Julien Fouret)