Nicholas Tse is an experienced advocate with a diverse client portfolio representing governments, multinationals, banks, and financial institutions.

He heads the worldwide international arbitration team at Brown Rudnick and leads the Firm's MENA Practice Group, but is also active in advising governments and corporates on risk allocation and management for major projects and transactions, especially in developing countries and emerging markets, and he is a problem-solver often instructed to negotiate both contracts and solutions in complex situations.

He also possesses strong experience in the construction and financing of major infrastructure (including energy), and marine and defence assets.

His notable experience in the field includes work on major projects, transactions, and/or disputes related to the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Brazil, BVI, Canada, Cayman Islands, Bangladesh, Chad, China, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Isle of Man, Latvia, Jersey, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia & the CIS, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, US, Vietnam, and Yemen.

A major strength of the service Nicholas & his team offer is rooted in their multi-cultural analytical abilities as lawyers who are qualified in both common law and civil law. Their personal knowledge of the principles, and differences of approach between these 2 major systems of law provides insight and reassurance for clients from civil law backgrounds and helps them understand better certain common law behaviours, and vice versa.

He has also tried cases offshore in Bermuda, the BVI, Cayman, Jersey, and the DIFC Courts, acting as counsel in a number of high profile cases before the DIFC Courts and the Dubai World Tribunal, and arbitrations in London, Paris, New York, Geneva and Dubai.

Nicholas is bilingual and dual qualified as an English barrister and French Avocat, and frequently handles matters in both French & English.

He is also admitted to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the DIFC Courts, and has handled a number of significant multi-jurisdictional offshore matters.



A selection of his work highlights includes:

Defending China against the US before the WTO Appellate Body in DS363;

Acting as global coordinating counsel in the Masri v CCIC litigation across some 13 jurisdictions.

Advising France on problems besetting the EUR 25 billion A400M military airlifter programme and potential solutions; also advising in respect of other defence related matters including the construction of stealth frigates and submarines; and

Advising in relation to major projects in certain African countries, including Mozambique, Algeria, and Rwanda.

Serving as an expert witness on French law in Jersey in the FG Hemisphere v Générale des Carrières et des Mines case [2010] JRC 195 & [2012] UK PC 27.

Successfully resisting unlawful attempts by a vulture fund (which had purchased sovereign debt owed by an African State) to enforce against third party concessionaires of certain natural resources including an oil major (multiple jurisdictions including: BVI, Jersey, France, US). Defeating claim and RICO threat.

Advising a major investor and devising, brokering, negotiating and closing successfully a global settlement transaction between 31 parties following the collapse of the Norshield Univest hedge fund (5 jurisdictions involved);

Enforcing a number of arbitration awards against recalcitrant Respondents, often via the use of multiple jurisdictions including the UK & various offshore jurisdictions.

Some of Nicholas’ notable engagements (including representations handled by Nicholas prior to joining Brown Rudnick) include:

Advising the main joint venture contractor on the $18 billion Qatar Pearl Gas-to-Liquid refinery project, and defending its rights to receive contract revenues in Bermuda (Supreme Court of Bermuda Commercial List 2008 No. 142), Qatar, Greece and England.

Counsel to a household name in broadcasting in the MENA region in a major current ICC arbitration against a MENA satellite broadcaster concerning 22 countries.

Advised a leading French bank on pre-litigation issues with regard to a €900 million securitization, and brought injunctive proceedings in France and the UK.

Counsel to a major Dubai financial institution in landmark proceedings involving conflicts of jurisdiction between the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Court; successfully defending the first ever application for an anti-suit injunction before the DIFC Court: Taaleem v (1) NBC and (2) Deyaar, CFI 014/2010. Conducting appeal on jurisdiction: CA 001/2011. The claim concerns a 1.64 billion AED property development and the effects of the global economic crisis on the Dubai property market.

Enforcing an arbitration award against Chad in England, in a landmark case on sovereign immunity which may widely impact enforcement of arbitration awards against sovereign states: Orascom Telecom Holding SAE v Republic of Chad and another (Citibank NA, third party) (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development intervening) [2009] 1 All ER (Comm) 315.

Norshield/Univest: Assisting a major institutional investor to recover the lion’s share of its investment in hedge funds which collapsed due to suspected fraudulent trading by the asset managers. Nicholas conducted concurrent litigation across 5 jurisdictions (Cayman Islands, Barbados, Bahamas, New York, and Canada (Ontario)); Nicholas devised, brokered, negotiated and delivered a global settlement compromising claims between 31 parties.

Kensington International v Montrow and Others (BVI, Jersey, France, Congo-Brazzaville): Defending African oil resources against attack by vulture funds in common law and civil law jurisdictions, removing a provisional liquidator, and successfully dismissing all claims and allegations of fraud.

Fraikin, MBIA and Others v Kroll: Advising the lender, guarantor and participating companies under a €900 million securitisation. Bringing proceedings in France & the UK and forcing a successful settlement.

Counsel to an investor in pending Dubai World Tribunal proceedings to recover monies wrongfully retained by a Dubai World subsidiary (DWT/0007/2010).

Advising a major contractor on the C3 Dubai International Airport expansion project for the A380 on delays and the contractor’s rights and risks, and potential negotiated or contentious solutions and strategies.

Counsel to a MENA shipping group in relation to eight LMAA arbitration references concerning a fleet of Algerian bulk carriers, and ICC arbitration.

Advising a major Saudi group in relation to long-term distribution arrangements with one of the world’s leading agricultural machinery manufacturers.

Advising a French naval shipbuilder in relation to a long-term shipbuilding project to supply a fleet of stealth frigates to an Asian State.

Advising a number of major banks in relation to several multi-billion dollar problems under financing arrangements following the recent global financial crisis.

Advising the Mozambican water operator in respect of certain operational and fee difficulties.

Advising an African State on the privatization of its major telecommunications operator.

Advising a major French multinational and negotiating contractual arrangement for the development of innovative new waste management technology.

Advising an African State on maritime boundary issues concerning the sea floor and oil exploration & production rights.

Advising several multinationals in the power, water and energy sectors in relation to various project financings in Africa and Asia, concentrating pin particular on concession contracts, “take or pay” arrangements under water purchase agreements and power purchase agreements, construction contracts, and O&M.

Advising a major ship owner on issues relating to residual value insurance policies and the sale of a fleet of ships including both luxury cruise liners and commercial vessels.

Advising a major North African corporation on long-term supply and distribution arrangements concerning valuable raw materials.

Advising shipbuilders and banks on a number of complex credit export financings and restructuring operations concerning a number of new buildings.

Leading the legal team appointed to carry out the World Bank funded Central Bank Strengthening Project in Bangladesh.


Inns of Court School of Law – BVC, 1995
College of Law, London – Diploma of Law, 1994
Ecole Normale Superieure – Lettres Modernes, 1993
Sorbonne – Maitrise de Lettres Modernes, 1993
Oxford University – B.A. Hons Modern Languages, 1992

Bar Admissions

Barrister of England and Wales
Barreau de Paris
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
Dubai International Financial Centre Courts


Awards and Honors
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