(02) 9236 8670


Level 6, 169 Phillip Street
Sydney NSW 2000
DX 328


Dr Christopher Ward SC is a highly experienced and powerful commercial advocate before trial courts, appellate courts and arbitral tribunals.  

He is the global President of the International Law Association.

He has a multidisciplinary and international practice and works in large commercial disputes and inquiries, international law, constitutional and governmental disputes.  He has particular expertise in international anti-corruption and bribery cases.

He a recognised expert in the fields of public and private international law where he has particular expertise in boundary disputes, foreign judgments, the law of the sea, aviation, resources and investor-state disputes.

He appears regularly in Australia as an advocate in cases which involve domestic and international law and accepts instructions in areas as diverse as human rights, maritime boundaries and diplomatic immunity.  He is known for his pro bono work in human rights in appropriate cases.

Areas of Practice

Commercial Disputes

Public International Law

Private International Law

Investor-State Arbitration

Constitutional & Administrative Law

Aviation Law

Appellate and High Court


Doctor of Philosophy (Law) (Australian National University)

Master of Laws (Class I) (Cambridge University)

Bachelor of Laws (Hons) (University of Sydney)

Bachelor Science (Genetics & Biochemistry) (University of Sydney)


Senior Counsel for the State of New South Wales (2015)

President, International Law Association

President, International Law Association (Australian Branch)

Adjunct Professor of International Law, Australian National University.

Select Cases

Berry v CCL Secure Pty Ltd (formerly known as Securency) ($64.8 million verdict for Dr Berry in a commercial fraud dispute) 

Kirk Group Holdings Pty Ltd v Industrial Court of NSW (for Kirk) (High Court of Australia) [2010] HCA 1 (Successfully appearing for Mr Kirk in a landmark constitutional argument on jurisdictional error)

Old UGC Inc v McRann (for Old UGC Inc) (High Court of Australia) [2006] HCA 24 (Successfully appearing for Mr McRann in a conflict of laws dispute)

Fair Work Ombudsman v Valuair Limited (No 2) [2014] FCA 759 (Successfully acting for the Jetstar group in a case involving the assertion of extraterritorial workplace jurisdiction in aviation)

Saab Aircraft Leasing Inc & Lambert Leasing Inc v v QBE Insurance Ltd [2015] NSWSC 750 (Acting for Saab Aircraft in commercial insurance proceedings related to the Lockhart River crash)

LFDB v SM [2017] FCAFC 178
(Successfully appearing for "SM" in a substantial dispute involving private international law and the public policy exception to recognition of foreign judgments)

In the matter of Al Jazeera Journalist Peter Greste (2014-2015) (Acting for Mr Peter Greste in relation to his imprisonment in Egypt)

Petrotimor v Commonwealth (Full Federal Court of Australia) [2003] FCAFC 3 (Acting for Petrotimor in oil & gas and constitutional litigation arising under the  Timor Gap Treaty)

Re Maritime Union of Australia; ex parte CSL Pacific Shipping Inc (for CSL Shipping) (High Court of Australia) [2003] HCA 43 (Acting for CSL Shipping in a case involving extraterritorial jurisdiction; maritime law)

Fair Work Ombudsman v Pocomwell Limited (No 2) [2013] FCA 1339 (Acting for the Commonwealth in a case involving employment, industrial, offshore oil rigs)

QZ v Department of Forensic Medicine (NSW) [2011] NSWCA 412 & [2012] HCA Trans 164 (Acting for Mr "QZ" in a case involving human rights and discrimination)

In the matter of Yoshe Taylor (Successfully advising and appearing for Queensland resident Yoshe Taylor in proceedings which resulted in her conviction and 23 year sentence in Cambodia being quashed) 

AWB Oil for Food Inquiry (advice to Commissioner the Hon TRH Cole QC) 

In the matter of the Status of Norfolk island as a Non-Self-Governing Territory (2016)

In the Matter of East Timor's Maritime Boundaries (Landmark opinion with Professor Vaughan Lowe, for Petrotimor/Republic of East Timor )

In the matter of "Z Co" (Advice on war crimes and sanctions issues arising from commercial activities in the Middle East)

In the matter of "Y Co" (Confidential advice on downstream gas supply contracts and related arbitration remedies)

In the matter of Chan and Sukumaran (2014-2015) (Advice on Death Penalty, Indonesia)

X Co v Papua New Guinea (Investor-State arbitration, settled)

International Organisation for Migration (middle eastern arbitration proceedings, settled)

Cortes v Republic of Venezuela (Advice and representation for the State of Venezuela on diplomatic immunity)

In the Matter of Japanese Whaling in the Pacific (for International Fund for Animal Welfare) 

In the matter of the delimitation of certain Indonesian islands (advice to NGO)

In the matter of “X Co” (UN sanctions and exportation of certain restricted materials; advice to Gadens)

In the matter of the Catholic Church and the Alien Tort Statute (for the Catholic Church)

In the matter of the threatened application of the death penalty by Indonesia (the Bali Nine)

In the matter of the extraterritorial application of industrial legislation to New Zealand (for Qantas)

In the Matter of the Mandatory Application of the Death Penalty by Singapore against an Australian Citizen

Zorba v Turkey (for Zorba) (European Court of Human Rights) 

The extraterritorial application of the Workplace Relations Act to flight crew (for Qantas)


National and International Litigation: Partners or Competitors (contributed chapter in Litigating International Law Disputes: Klein, N Ed, 2013)

The Domestic Relevance of International Tribunal Decisions (Doctoral Thesis)

International Law Association Reports (Ed) (2000 – 2012)

The Margin of Appreciation in Australian Law (2003) Aust Bar Review

Principles of Interpretation Applicable to Legislation Adopting Treaties (1998) 26 Fed.LR 207.

Agency & Distribution Law (in International Encyclopedia of Agency & Distribution Agreements) 1996, 1998 & 2000 (International Bar Association).

Drawing a Line in the Sand: Legal Issues Raised by the United Nations Security Council (1998) Aust.Int.L.J. 82.

Disputes Involving Trusts in Australia (in Nedim Vogt (ed)) 1999 Helbing & Lichtenhahn.

Voices in the Pacific: A Survey of Local and Regional Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (1998) Asia-Pacific Journal of Environmental Law 78.

Book Reviews

International Law: Contemporary Principles & Practice (AILJ 2007) 

Fairness in International Law and Institutions (1999) International.& Comp.LQ 

Antarctic Environmental Protection (1997) Law Society Bulletin of the ACT

Admiralty Jurisdiction (1997) Law Society Bulletin of the ACT

Minority Rights in the New Europe (2000) Melbourne University Law Review

International Commercial Arbitration (2011) The Arbitrator & Mediator

Judging the Security Council (forthcoming Australian Yearbook of International Law 2012)