Professional Profile

Donny Surtani has an independent practice as a party representative and as a neutral in arbitration and mediation.

He is dual-qualified in England and Ontario, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a former Chartered Management Accountant. Formerly a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) in London, he now practises independently through Wasel & Wasel Arbitrator Services Inc. and Crown Office Chambers.

In addition to counsel work, Donny accepts appointments to act in a neutral capacity as an arbitrator or mediator, particularly in cases with a substantial accounting, banking or financial element, or with complex quantum of damages issues. His practice experience encompasses financial services, energy, TMT, corporate, construction, insurance, joint venture disputes, M&A disputes, and civil fraud. Before moving to Toronto in 2019, he spent 15 years practising in London, England, and has appeared as an advocate before the High Court, Court of Appeal and various tribunals.

In addition to his arbitration and mediation experience, he has acted in complex commercial litigation, often with a cross-border element, including in the RBS Rights Issue Litigation (a £4 billion dispute settled in 2017) and the Construction All Risks coverage claim brought by Single Buoy Moorings against a variety of insurers (for US$1.3 billion, settled in 2018). He is a member of the ICC Task Force on Arbitration and ADR, and a listed or database arbitrator at a number of leading arbitral institutions including the ICC, LCIA and HKIAC. He has been a guest lecturer on arbitration and ADR at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London, the Academy of Financial Crime Litigators, and Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto.

He has been accredited as a mediator by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (UK), and co-authored the leading practitioner text Class Actions in England & Wales (Sweet & Maxwell, 2018). He is an Advisory Board member for the Centre for the Online Resolution of Disputes (CORD).


Toronto, Canada



Proficient Language(s)


Main Profession


Current Ocupation

Self-employed barrister

Gender Identity


Date of Birth

January 31, 1980

Employer and/or Professional Affiliation(s)

Crown Office Chambers (UK) - door tenant
Balance Legal Capital LLP - consultant (independent for conflicts purposes)
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP - consultant (independent for conflicts purposes)

Bar admissions

England (solicitor 2006, solicitor-advocate 2008, barrister 2020)
Ontario (barrister & solicitor 2020)

Degrees / Certificates / Education

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (UK) - passed finalist 1999, Associate Member 2002
London School of Economics (UK) - LLB. (Hons) 2003
Canadian National Committee on Accreditation examinations (equivalent to Canadian law degree) - 2010/2011

Professional Training

Legal Practice Course (UK) - 2004;
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators: Accelerated Route to Fellowship - 2020

Relevant memberships in professional organizations

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Fellow)
ADR Institute of Ontario
ICC Canada Arbitration Committee
Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners
ICC Task Force on Arbitration and ADR (Track leader)

Arbitral institutes that they are listed as an arbitrator with


Arbitral institutes that they have experience with


Number of arbitration disputes they were counsel to


Highest value of arbitration dispute they were counsel to

USD 4 billion

Jurisdictions they have experience in

Canada (Ontario, Alberta)
USA (New York)
Cayman Islands

Applicable jurisdictional laws to arbitration that they have experience in

Canada (Ontario, Alberta)
USA (New York)

Value of arbitrator liability insurance

GBP 1 million