Michael L. Morkin

Michael Morkin

Mike Morkin is a recognized practitioner in international arbitration and litigation matters. With experience leading the world’s largest, busiest, and most diverse international arbitration practice in the world, Mike has seen it all. Mike has handled arbitrations in Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean, and throughout the United States under the rules of nearly every institution in the world. He has successfully arbitrated disputes in hospitality, transportation, reinsurance, life sciences, energy, shipping, post-acquisition, intellectual property, and numerous commercial arrangements. His extensive experience has resulted in arbitration awards valued in excess of $1 billion.

Mike also previously served as the managing partner of a prominent multinational law firm’s home office. Having successfully managed that significant business to record headcount, brand recognition, revenue and profit, Mike brings each of his clients a unique commercial understanding in addition to his already successful track record as counsel.


Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended a pool of six global reinsurance companies in a $28 million ad hoc reinsurance arbitration, and obtained partial rescission on a counterclaim worth in excess of $90 million
  • Successfully defended (and recovered on a $5 million counterclaim) a state-owned company in an ICC arbitration pending in Taiwan, related to a $450 million supply contract to construct a power plant
  • Successfully defended a client in an ICC arbitration in Taipei seeking to invalidate a government contract used in the annual purchase of $500 million in coal for power plants, and recovered a $800,000 counterclaim plus lawyers’ fees
  • Successfully defended a Chinese airline in a $65 million ICC arbitration brought by a German aircraft manufacturer for breach of contract, and recovered a $2.5 million counterclaim and costs
  • Successfully defended a client in a $44 million ICC arbitration in Switzerland alleging breaches of joint development and patent license agreements involving elastomer technology
  • Successfully represented a Taiwanese charterer in a $185 million London maritime arbitration brought by a Chinese ship owner involving the attachment of bank accounts in New York and attempted seizure of vessels in Australia, Brazil, Iraq, UAE, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The matter settled on very favorable business terms
  • Successfully defended against six temporary restraining orders (TROs) and preliminary injunctions in parallel proceedings pending in New York Federal Court, Texas Bankruptcy Court, and the courts of Bermuda, Taiwan, and Singapore, involving a default on $22 million in corporate loans and subsequent foreclosure on a majority interest in a publicly held company
  • Obtained an award in excess of $13 million (and dismissed a counterclaim in excess of $11 million) on behalf of a global hotel brand against its Russian owner for unpaid fees, lost profits and attorney’s fees in a Swedish arbitration
  • Obtained an award in excess of $4 million (including $1 million in fees and costs), and successfully defended against a $20 million counterclaim on behalf of a U.S. company in an ICC arbitration pending in Paris related to the construction of a port facility in Yemen
  • Recovered $7.5 million from a Chinese state-owned reinsurer in an ad hoc arbitration pending in four venues and involving 121 reinsurance treaties
  • Represented a life reinsurer in $206 million parallel ad hoc arbitration and litigation proceedings relating to the number of occurrences stemming from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania




  • J.D. magna cum laude University of Illinois College of Law 1990
    • Order of the Coif
  • A.B. Physics cum laude Augustana College 1987

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Adjunct professor, Loyola University Chicago, College of Law
  • World Business Chicago
    • Secretary, Board of Directors
    • Member, Executive Committee


  • The Best Lawyers in America, International Arbitration - Commercial, 2011 – 2024