Paul Starr


Hong Kong, China Hong Kong SAR

Paul Starr is asialaw's Hong Kong Disputes Star of the Year, and joint coordinator of King & Wood Mallesons' worldwide arbitration practice. Paul is Practice Team Leader in Hong Kong for Construction and Dispute Resolution. An honours graduate in law from Peterhouse, Cambridge University, England. Paul won a scholarship and the University's prestigious Squire Law Prize.

Paul's team won Asian Legal Counsel Award for best arbitration practice. The team is also several times winner of Asian Legal Business Construction Practice of the Year award, International Cross-border Law Firm of the Year in Hong Kong and Arbitration Advisory Firm of the Year in Hong Kong. He is one of six KWM lawyers to have been cited by Euromoney as a world leader in litigation.

The Global Arbitration Review cites a client's praise for Paul as: "Simply the best lawyer for dispute resolution in construction and industrials in the East Asia and Pacific region. From the outset he goes straight to the heart of the matter, developing strong, clear lines of argument and identifying and neutralising points of weakness early in the process. He is able to inform and guide preparation of the supporting technical and financial analyses and he is excellent in marshalling the required high-quality technical resources, both in-house in the client and from external sources".

The Asia Pacific Legal 500 specifically singles out Paul as "an excellent strategist". Chambers Greater China Region Guide quotes him “as the linchpin for the firm's successful integration of its PRC-based dispute resolution operations, he is masterly in assembling and leading a team that presses all the right buttons.”  Chambers Asia Pacific adds "everything you need in a lawyer - he's bright and a great listener, but above all a master of tactics and strategy. He is decisive, clear and spot-on. He doesn't just give superb advice: he gives the solution". Chambers Asia describes Paul as a "razor -sharp, supreme strategist who is attuned to clients... 'able to think really creatively about the issue at hand'." Chambers quotes clients as saying: "his knowledge of disputes is extraordinary, and his track record speaks for itself. What really amazed me is that though he is so senior on the team, he focuses on details to an amazing degree".

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  • 1980: Bachelor of Laws degree, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge (on scholarship). Winner of the University's prestigious Squire Law Prize
  • 1988: Masters of Arts degree, University of Cambridge
  • 1989: Solicitor, Cabinet Frere Cholmeley, France - on an ICC arbitration
  • He then gained experience working in the Netherlands at the US-Iran Arbitral Tribunal at the Hague. He was acting for a Ministry of the Government of Iran
  • Paul then worked for Messrs Frere Cholmeley in London undertaking general commercial and litigation work
  • 1985-1990 Denton Hall Hong Kong and Singapore, engaged in major infrastructure and arbitration work.
  • 1990 to present: Partner, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Hong Kong, now King & Wood Mallesons, Hong Kong.

Recent Matters

  • Many infrastructure arbitrations over the past 36 years throughout Asia; roads, rail, tunnels, bridges ( for example HK Stonecutters Bridge, Singapore-Johor Second Crossing Bridge, Hong Kong Airport, North-South Highway Malaysia)
  • Belt and Road disputes avoidance in many countries
  • HKD2 billion arbitration over first of its kind environmental project 
  • Judicial review of datacentre projects 
  • Arbitrations in China and Dubai on materials pricing
  • Arbitration over North Luzon Expressway Philippines
  • Housing Authority arbitration Hong Kong
  • Counsel for West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
  • Various multi-million disputes in Macau
  • Non-contentious infrastructure work: advising international contractor tendering for environmental work in Hong Kong; risk assessment for numerous projects; drafting of Asia-wide project documentation; on the Belt and Road Initiative


  • Arbitrator, CIETAC
  • Arbitrator and Mediator, HKIAC
  • Arbitrator, eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre
  • Arbitrator, Shanghai International Arbitration Center
  • Arbitrator, Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration
  • Arbitrator and Mediator, Asian International Arbitration Centre
  • Arbitrator, Hainan International Arbitration Court
  • Arbitrator, Bali International Arbitration and Mediation Center
  • Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Second Chairman of the Society of Construction Law Hong Kong
  • Advisory Board Member of the Hong Kong Red Cross
  • Advisory Board Member of the Asian Academy of International Law
  • Professional Services Committee Member, Hong Kong Trade Development Council

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