Former Allen & Overy arbitration co-head joins Hong Kong’s Temple Chambers

Matthew Gearing KC joins as an arbitrator member having earlier also chaired the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre

Matthew Gearing KC

Matthew Gearing KC, former global co-head of international arbitration at Allen & Overy, has joined Hong Kong set Temple Chambers to practise as an arbitrator. 

Gearing, who also chaired the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) for three years from 2017, had intended to join Temple Chambers back in 2021 on leaving Allen & Overy alongside becoming a tenant at Essex Court Chambers, before that set was subject to sanctions by the People’s Republic of China

Following his exit from A&O, Gearing instead joined Fountain Court Chambers, where he practises in London and Singapore, and was later called to the Bar in Western Australia, practising at Quayside Chambers in that state.

Gearing’s arrival at Temple Chambers will boost the set’s arbitral credentials at a time when Hong Kong is keen to demonstrate its capabilities in commercial and investor-state disputes. The move sees him become the second English KC to join the set as an arbitrator member after Jern-Fei Ng KC, who left Essex Court in 2021 shortly before it was sanctioned by China to move to 7 Bedford Row and later that year joined Temple Chambers

As well as Ng, Temple Chambers boasts a bench of talent that includes current HKIAC co-chair and former Hong Kong secretary of justice, Rimsky Yuen SC, as well as fellow arbitrator member Geoffrey Ma, a former chief justice of Hong Kong who is also a door tenant at Brick Court Chambers. 

For his part Gearing, who is qualified in England and Wales and Hong Kong, is recognised as a leading practitioner in international arbitration for both commercial and investor-state disputes. Most of his nearly 25 years at A&O were spent in Hong Kong, where he qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and became a solicitor advocate in 2013. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel the next year while co-leading A&O’s arbitration group but retired from practice as a solicitor on joining the Bar.

Gearing currently serves as vice-president of the London Court of International Arbitration and is also a member of HKIAC’s, SIAC’s and AIAC’s panel of arbitrators, among other appointments, including working with Hong Kong’s Law Reform Commission to liberalise third-party funding in arbitration

Gearing wrote on LinkedIn that it was “great to have a definitive home in Hong Kong again”, adding: “I continue to practise from Fountain Court [in London and Singapore] and have a door tenancy at Quayside, Perth, following my recent call to the Bar in Western Australia.”

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