Duncan Saunders

Duncan Saunders

  • Associate
  • Litigation
  • London
  • T:   +44.20.7972.6222
  • F:   +44.20.7972.9602
Download Vcard
Duncan Saunders is a litigation associate in Fried Frank's London office. Mr. Saunders represents corporates, banks, investors and ultra high-net-worth individuals in complex, high-value, litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters. His practice has a focus on Russia and the CIS; fraud, freezing injunctions and interim relief; multi-jurisdictional disputes; and the banking and financial sectors. Duncan recently spent six months working in the legal department of one of Fried Frank's investment bank clients, dealing with a range of litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters.

His recent experience includes:

International Arbitration
  • Successfully defending a US$140+ million claim brought by a Russian bank against a Cypriot company under the LCIA Rules, in connection with a development project in Siberia, including on grounds of illegality (corruption).
  • Defending an aircraft parts manufacturer in an ad hoc arbitration brought by a raw materials supplier.
  • Representing the claimant Russian PE fund in a US$120 million LCIA arbitration against its co-investor in a telecoms business, relating to drag-along rights.*
  • Representing the successful claimants in a US$385 million LCIA arbitration to determine the ownership of an Uzbek industrial conglomerate.*
  • Advising on proposed US$3+ billion investment treaty claims, arising out of the expropriation of oil and gas assets in Central Asia.*
  • Acting for a Spanish energy company in two US$ multi-billion ICC arbitrations arising from long-term LNG supply contracts.*
  • Acting as co-counsel to a US placement agent in a US$9+ million ICC arbitration against a UK investment fund.*
  • Representing an ultra high-net-worth individual in High Court proceedings against wealth managers, alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract, leading to a favourable settlement.Fried Frank obtained a £165 million worldwide freezing injunction in England and Norwich Pharmacal relief in the Bahamas, as well as relief in the BVI.
  • Defending a US$30 million enforcement action brought by a Russian bank in the BVI, successfully challenging service and jurisdiction in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal (JSC VTB Bank v Katunin and anor. [BVIHCMAP 2015/0004]).
  • Advising and conducting an internal review for an investment bank in connection with threatened litigation, arising from allegations that the bank's proprietary trading activity had adversely affected a client's proposed US$600 million bond buy-back.
  • Representing a former Russian senator in proceedings in the High Court and Court of Appeal, seeking to discharge a US$1+ billion freezing injunction obtained by a Russian state agency (JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank v Pugachev [2014] EWHC 4336 (Ch); and [2015] EWCA Civ 139).
  • Advising a noteholder in connection with High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings relating to the vesting of rights of appointment of a 'special servicer' in different classes of noteholder in circumstances of default (US Bank Trustees Ltd v Titan Europe 2007-1 (NHP) Ltd and ors. [2014] EWHC 1189 (Ch); and Court of Appeal (Civil Division), 9 February 2015, unreported.)
  • Representing the former owner of a Siberian agricultural business in High Court proceedings, resisting enforcement of Russian judgments alleged to have been obtained as part of a 'raid' against the business (JSC VTB Bank v Skurikhin [2014] EWHC 271 (Comm)).
  • Representing the pension scheme of an international engineering and industrial group bringing a £6 million claim against the scheme's investment advisors in the High Court.*
* Representation at previous firm.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Saunders is recognized by Legal 500 UK 2019 for commercial litigation and international arbitration.

Professional Associations

Member, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
Member, LCIA Young International Arbitration Group
Member, ICC Young Arbitrators Forum

Bar Admissions/Licensed Jurisdictions

England & Wales

Practices & Industries


University of Cambridge, BA, MEng – 2005
Oxford Brookes University, GDL – 2006
College of Law, York, LPC – 2007
Attorneys Home