Claire Irwin

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

United Kingdom
T:+44 (20) 74443535
United Kingdom
T:+44 (20) 74443535
Claire Irwin

Claire Irwin


Related services and key industries


Claire Irwin is a dispute resolution lawyer based in London. She focuses on complex commercial litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.

Claire has led a range of complex disputes most of which have included a cross border element.  As well as litigations in the English court, Claire is experienced in advising clients in complex high value cross border international arbitrations conducted under institutional bodies such as the LCIA and the ICC, and ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL rules.  Claire has also advised on investment treaty arbitration and claims for state immunity and has extensive experience of alternative dispute resolution (in particular mediation and expert determination).

Claire qualified with the firm in 2007 and worked on major disputes before moving to Centrica plc in 2017 where she was latterly Head of Legal LNG, Shipping and Disputes in the energy marketing and trading business (now Centrica Energy Trading).  Claire re-joined Norton Rose Fulbright as Counsel in 2021.

Claire combines excellent private practice experience with invaluable skills learnt from having led a disputes team in-house, advising the Board and Senior Leadership teams on disputes and risk mitigation strategies.

Professional experience

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  • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales


  • Acting on a high value and complex ICC arbitration arising out of a major international M&A deal, involving multiple claims and counterclaims.  The hearing is scheduled for November 2025.

  • Ongoing matter advising a client on a potential ICC arbitration to pursue warranty, indemnity and breach of contract claims arising out of a European M&A deal.

  • Advising a mining joint venture in relation to state immunity and jurisdictional issues for an investment in Egypt.  

  • Advice in relation to a dispute under a long-term North Sea gas sale and purchase agreement. An appeal on three preliminary issues was heard by the Court of Appeal in October 2020.

  • Advising an international mining company and its ten subsidiaries in respect of multimillion dollar claims brought by two Claimants under a long-term tripartite supply agreement which proceeded under UNCITRAL arbitration before a three-arbitrator panel. The dispute involved issues arising under the Sale of Goods Act and obligations in a commercial context to supply goods which are fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality.

  • Advising a client in relation to a dispute under a gas sale and purchase agreement for the future offtake of gas from the Cotton field in the North Sea. This matter resulted in a favourable settlement.

  • Advising Adamantine, a frontier exploration company, in Adamantine Energy (Kenya) Limited v Bowleven (Kenya) Limited [2016] EWHC 130 (Comm) - in relation to a dispute with a farm-in partner under the English law governed SPA and JOA for an onshore block in Northern Kenya. The dispute related to a 'drill or drop' decision and the transition to the next period of exploration under the PSC. The claim proceeded in the English court under the abbreviated Part 8 procedure. Judgment was obtained within seven months of issuing proceedings.

  • Acting for a North Sea field operator - in relation to a dispute arising under a unitisation and unit operating agreement with respect to a field in the UKCS in relation to the costs recoverable by an Operator as necessary for the conduct of joint operations. The dispute proceeded under an expert determination process.

  • Advising an upstream oil and gas company in relation to a dispute which arose under a decommissioning security agreement (DSA) relating to a field in the UKCS. The dispute involved arguments over the obligations to prepare production profiles as a "Reasonable and Prudent Operator" (as defined in the DSA) in order to determine the Net Cost and the Net Value calculation under the DSA.

  • Acting for an engineering and construction company with respect to a claim for conversion which proceeded in the London Mercantile Court. The matter settled on favourable terms for our client the day before the hearing was due to commence.

  • Advising an offshore engineering and construction company in respect of a multimillion dollar UNCITRAL arbitration claim brought by an offshore platform installation company in respect of the transportation and installation of the component parts of a drilling platform offshore Turkmenistan.

  • Acting for Balli Group plc and its subsidiaries in Blue Sky One Ltd and Ors v Mahan Air [2009] EWHC 3314 - in which the Court considered issues relating to title to 3 Boeing 747 aircraft in the context of United States sanctions against Iran. In the same case ([2010] EWHC 631) the court considered the measure of damages for conversion of the 3 aircraft and the enforceability of aircraft mortgages applying the lex situs rule. Due to the complex and expedited nature of the litigation, the trial was heard in two phases with numerous interlocutory applications made by our client. Judgment in both phases was in favour of our clients. This remains the leading case on lex situs.

  • Acting for Svenska in Svenska Petroleum Exploration v. The Government of Lithuania (proceedings to enforce an ICC arbitration award, both at first instance (Gloster J. ((2006) 1 Lloyd's Rep. 181)) and in the Court of Appeal ((2007) 2 WLR 876)). This remains the leading case on the scope of the arbitration exception in s.9, State Immunity Act 1978.