World Law Alliance

Donny Surtani

Donny Surtani

Average Reviews


Donny Surtani is a commercial arbitrator and mediator based in Toronto, Canada, and practising internationally with particular focus on North America, the United Kingdom, India and South East Asia. He is a dual-qualified barrister (England and Ontario), and has over 20 years of legal and business experience. He maintains his neutral practice through Crown Office Chambers in London.

He was formerly a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, having spent 15 years in their London office. His legal practice focuses on complex commercial arbitration and litigation in the financial services, private equity, energy and telecommunications sectors, and has included an in-house secondment to a large conglomerate business based in Mumbai, India, with interests in energy, power, shipping and construction.

Prior to his legal career, Donny was a Chartered Management Accountant and worked in the energy industry in finance and treasury. As such, his legal practice has often involved M&A and shareholder claims, banking disputes, accounting fraud issues and disputes with complex quantum or valuation aspects.

Donny has experience of living and working in Canada, England, India and Sri Lanka, and is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and a solicitor-advocate and barrister in England & Wales. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a mediator accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London, and a member of the ICC Canada arbitration committee. He serves on the ICC’s Task Force on Arbitration and ADR, and is empanelled on the List of Arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, and the Mediation and Expedited Arbitration Panels of the Vancouver International Arbitration Centre.

Current and past positions
  • Barrister, Crown Office Chambers: 2020 –
  • Member, ICC Task Force on Arbitration and ADR: 2020 –
  • Senior Advisor to the Investment Committee, Balance Legal Capital: 2019 –
  • Consultant Barrister, Herbert Smith Freehills (London): 2019 –
  • Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills (London): 2017-2019
  • Senior Associate / Associate / Trainee, Herbert Smith Freehills (London): 2004-2017
  • In-house Advisor, Essar Group (Mumbai): 2010-2011 (secondee)
  • Treasury Analyst, Shell Treasury Centre (London): 2000-2002
  • Revenue Accountant, Shell Gas Lanka Limited (Sri Lanka): 1999-2000
  • Barrister and Solicitor, Ontario
  • Barrister, England & Wales (former solicitor-advocate)
  • Accredited Mediator, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
  • LL.B (Hons), London School of Economics
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (Associate Member)
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Fellow)
  • Arbitration Place, Toronto (Resident Neutral)
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (List of Arbitrators)
  • Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (Mediation panel and Expedited Arbitration panel)
  • Wasel&Wasel Arbitrator Services (roster arbitrator)
  • ADR Institute of Ontario (member)
Selected publications
  • Parent company liability in England following Vedanta and Shell: weakening the corporate veil(with S.J. Bushell) – Seladore Legal update, June 2021
  • English Court of Appeal Issues Key Decision on Law Governing Arbitration Agreements – Canadian Journal of Commercial Arbitrationblog, April 2021
  • Data vs “gut instinct”: analytics in dispute resolution (with A.J.Oddy) – HSF Global Bank Review 2019
  • Co-author, Class Actions in England and Wales (2018, Sweet & Maxwell)
  • Developments in the law on bankers’ duties (with K. Kilgour) – Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, 2018, 33(7)
  • When should a prospectus’ jurisdiction provision bind a secondary purchaser of securities? (with N. Chapman) – Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, 2016, 31(8)
  • Where in the world? (with N. Chapman) – New Law Journal, 2016, 166
  • Claims against directors under the Brussels Regulation (with A. Taggart and A. Pertoldi) – Employment Law Journal, 2015/16, 166
  • Hague Choice of Court Convention: gaining momentum (with G. Rowan, A. Alcasabas and D. Waldek) – PLC Magazine, 2015, 26(10)
  • Prospectus Liability: bracing for parallel claims in multiple jurisdictions- Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, 2015, 30(5)
  • Various posts on HSF blogs on international arbitration, banking disputes and private international law