Lucy Martinez

Martinez Arbitration

85 Great Portland Street, First Floor
W1W 7LT, London, England


Peers and clients say:

“Lucy is a great lawyer and expert on damages issues”

“She is an excellent arbitration specialist”

"Lucy is really brilliant, very hard working, and is held in really high esteem"


Independent arbitrator and counsel, with extensive experience in international disputes pursuant to contracts and investment treaties. Applicable law experience includes laws of Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, England, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela, together with public and private international law. Industry experience includes banking, construction, energy (oil, gas, electricity, mining), finance, gambling, hospitality, hotel management, insurance and reinsurance, leisure sectors, life sciences, satellite technology, shipping, sports, supply of goods, technology, telecommunications, and trademarks. Nationality: Australian.

How did you start in arbitration practice?

In 2003, as a junior associate in the international arbitration group at White & Case LLP in New York, after completing a LLM at Columbia Law School in NY, with a focus on public and private international law.

What are the most essential skills for an arbitration lawyer to be successful?

Genuine interest in and curiosity about international and comparative law, politics, culture, and economics. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Collegiality, diligence, resilience. Willingness to work hard, to work as part of a team (counsel team, or tribunal member), and to travel (pre- and post-covid-19). Ability to master new industries, legal systems, factual and legal issues, and technologies, quickly and cost-efficiently. And last but certainly not least – a sense of humour.

You practised in New York, London and Australia. What are the differences between practising in these three jurisdictions, and how do you advise young practitioners to manage practising across multiple jurisdictions?

In international arbitration, the “seat” (or place…) of your practice is less important, because the disputes are governed by various laws (civil, common, and/or international), and conducted and resolved by counsel and arbitrators from various countries and backgrounds. It is important to be flexible and open-minded regarding applicable law, legal systems, and cultures, and to research/review applicable law, with input from qualified counsel as needed. Also be willing and able to attend Zoom calls/hearings at unusual times to account for different timezones, and to travel a lot, as we emerge from the long shadow of covid-19.

You have published on the impact of covid-19 on arbitration. What do you think are the most significant changes emerging from the pandemic?

In no particular order: comfort and familiarity with virtual technology eg Zoom, and using it for hearings, client/co-counsel meetings, and witness interviews. Increased understanding of and attention to: (a) force majeure, economic hardship/ changed circumstances, and necessity clauses and arguments; (b) cyber-security issues; and (c) the importance of maintaining physical and mental health. Working from home as a semi-permanent mode for many participants in arbitrations -- clients, counsel, experts, arbitrators, institutions -- with all its concomitant pros and cons. Expanding the pool of arbitrator and counsel candidates, outside the traditional arbitration hubs. And the realisation that the true “essential workers” are doctors, nurses, teachers, farmers, truckdrivers etc (not arbitration lawyers!).

Any tips for virtual hearings?

Speak slowly. Take regular breaks to combat screen fatigue. Fix your lighting and camera angle. Test the technology. Have a back-up plan. Triple-check the recipients before you hit “send” on any chat message during the hearing. Beyond that: review the plethora of protocols/ guidance notes on virtual hearings.

Any tips for counsel more broadly?

As an arbitrator, the three standard pillars when drafting an award are the text of the contract/treaty, contemporaneous pre-dispute documents, and burden of proof. Build your case on these pillars, where possible. Keep your written submissions short and succinct, without unnecessary adjectives or hyperbole.

What was the most memorable appointment in your arbitration career?

My very first appointment, and my most recent one.

What advice would you give to a young lawyer who wants to become an arbitrator?

See Q2 - develop all those skills. Also develop and maintain a strong professional network, including with mentors who will guide you throughout your career, and with institutions who are likely to be the source of your first few appointments.