O’Melveny Worldwide

David Foster is a seasoned litigator and head of O’Melveny’s International Disputes and Arbitration Practice Group in London. David is a Solicitor-Advocate with full rights of audience before the English courts. He frequently represents international clients in disputes in the English High Court, international arbitration, and multi-jurisdictional disputes.

David specializes in complex and high value commercial arbitration and litigation cases, usually involving a significant international element. He has particular experience acting in disputes in the financial services industry and in defending large follow-on and stand-alone competition law claims. He has conducted numerous ad hoc and institutional arbitrations seated in a variety of jurisdictions.

David conducts litigation and arbitration across all industry sectors and represents a broad range of clients, including sovereign states, multinational corporations, and high net worth individuals.

He is frequently recognized as a leader in his field by legal directories. In the 2022 edition, Chambers UK describes David as “really bright and very commercially adept” and as “tough, practical and straightforward”. The 2021 edition of Chambers Global praises David for his arbitration expertise and his “exceptional knowledge and understanding” of arbitration law and practice.

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  • Acting for Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd, the world's largest producer of silicon solar power units, in a €500 million cross-border fraud case involving proceedings in the Commercial Court in London, the High Court of Singapore and several other jurisdictions
  • Defending the Government of India in the US$1.6 billion investment treaty arbitration commenced by GE and Bechtel relating to the Dabhol power station project
  • Acting for Texas-based oil company, Sargeant Petroleum, LLC, in an investment treaty arbitration under the ICSID Additional Facility Rules against the Dominican Republic for alleged breaches of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement
  • Representing two defendants in High Court proceedings brought by a Seychelles company relating to the ownership of crypto-currency assets said to be worth £4.5 billion
  • Representing Norwegian Cruise Lines in High Court proceedings arising from a €1.4 billion shipbuilding project relating to the design and construction of two large cruise vessels
  • Representing the Government of Ecuador in HKIAC arbitration proceedings relating to a contract for the construction and delivery of a military vessel for the Ecuadorean navy
  • Acting for a Korean airline to defend proceedings in the High Court arising from claims by more than 600 companies for damages in excess of £1 billion alleged to have resulted from competition law infringements relating to air cargo services
  • Acting for a major reinsurance group in connection with negligence claims against a number of professional advisers valued at more than US$150 million
  • Representing a software production company in the online gaming sector pursuing four consolidated arbitrations seated in London, conducted under the WIPO Expedited Arbitration Rules
  • Representing a well-known global technology company in multi-party ICC arbitration proceedings seated in San Francisco concerning the disputed ownership of intellectual property and patent rights worth in excess of US$300 million  
  • Acting for a high net worth individual, the victim of a €50 million international banking fraud, in a case involving the coordination of asset-tracing and legal proceedings in the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, Spain, Monaco, France and Switzerland
  • Acting for a German bank in a complex multi-jurisdictional asset-tracing and fraud claim, involving successful without notice applications in the Commercial Court for search orders and worldwide freezing injunctions, and the coordination of legal proceedings in London, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands and Turkey


  • Solicitor, Supreme Court of England & Wales (1997)


  • Brasenose College, Oxford University, MA (Oxon)

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers Global for Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (London) (2020 - 2023)
  • Recognized by Chambers UK for International Arbitration (2010-2022)

Professional Activities


  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators


  • “International Alternative,” Legal Week (July 2006)
  • “Umbrella Clauses — a Retreat from the Philippines?” International Arbitration Law Review (August 2006)
  • “Necessity Knows No Law!”: LG&E v Argentina, International Arbitration Law Review (December 2006)
  • “Internationalisation” — Contractual Claims in BIT Arbitrations, European Arbitration Review (2007)
  • Challenges to Arbitrators, European & Middle Eastern Arbitration Review (2008)
  • C v D - The English Court of Appeal Upholds an Anti-Suit Injunction in Support of Arbitration Proceedings, International Arbitration Law Review (April 2008)
  • The Effects of Insolvency on Arbitration Proceedings, European & Middle Eastern Arbitration Review (2009)
  • European Law and International Arbitration, European & Middle Eastern Arbitration Review (2010)
  • Asymmetric Arbitration Agreements: Are They Worth the Risk? European & Middle Eastern Arbitration Review (2014)