Dr Michael Reynolds

Dr Michael Reynolds

Visiting Senior Research Fellow

Department of International History

Key Expertise
International Arbitration, Diplomatic History 1870-1914, Legal Biography

About me

Michael Reynolds is a solicitor and chartered arbitrator, specialising in international arbitration. He was a lawyer and an arbitrator by profession before completing his PhD in Law at the LSE in 2008. His research focuses on the processes of international arbitration and its application in the resolution of disputes between states in the period 1870-1914. He is particularly interested in the inter-action of the processes of negotiation and settlement in the context of diplomacy and international law.

He carried out his doctoral research into a rudimentary form of case management employed by Official Referees (Judges of the High Court) in the resolution of technically complex construction and engineering disputes using qualitative and quantitative research methods. Following that he undertook post-doctoral research at the Socio-Legal Centre at the University of Oxford which looked at comparative European arbitration institutions and dispute resolution processes. In that time, he became interested in inter-state disputes, an interest which was influenced by Britain’s uncertain position in Europe. He has lectured on international arbitration and supervised masters’ dissertations at a leading professional law school and supervised doctoral theses.

His current study looks at the instruments of diplomacy and the processes of negotiation and arbitration that were attempted to prevent war between states during this period taking as its model the Geneva Arbitration of 1871 and developing a theoretical framework from the diplomatic practices and understanding of international law at that time. It encompasses a study of some of the key personalities of those times, leading international jurists and statesmen especially in the period just prior to 1914. The study therefore takes an interdisciplinary perspective from both a lawyer-arbitrators approach and that of diplomats and statesmen.

Michael is a member of the Law Society, the London Court of International Arbitration, Chatham House, the British Institute of Comparative and International Law and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Expertise Details

International Arbitration; International Dispute Resolution Processes; Diplomatic History 1870-1914; Legal Biography


• (May 1987) Avoiding War Between the States. The approach taken by British and American Commissioners in resolving the Venezuelan boundary dispute. Arbitration.

• (February 1988) The Bering Sea Arbitration. The settlement of the Fur Seal fishing dispute between the US and Great Britain.  Arbitration.

• (November 1988) The Grand Trunk Railway Arbitration. The arbitration process adopted in resolving the railway dispute in Canada. Arbitration.

• (February 1990) The Anglo-American Arbitration Board. The constitution of the Anglo-American arbitration panel for settling disputes between the two countries avoiding further conflicts in the early twentieth century. Arbitration

• (May 1990) The Anglo-Persian Oil Company Arbitration. A case study of the first major oil arbitration and the process adopted by the tribunal. Arbitration

• (February 1991) The Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway Company. A case study of the railway arbitration as to its constitution, terms of reference and process adopted. Arbitration.

• (2016) Non-Signatory Issues in International Arbitration (2016) 27 The Company Lawyer, Issue 6 2016 Thomson Reuters (Professional) UK Limited and Contributors

• (2014) Arbitration and Ethical Codes Legal Ethics Vol.17. No.3. pp.458-462(5).

• (2014) An Overview of the Use of Arbitration in England (Centre for Socio Legal Studies, University of Oxford)

• (2021) Instruments of Peacemaking 1870-1914 (Hart Publishing, Oxford)