Michael L. Morkin

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Michael L. Morkin advises US and non-US companies on a broad range of international dispute resolution issues. He has handled arbitrations in Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean and throughout the United States under the rules of institutions including the ICC, ICDR, UNCITRAL, AAA, London Maritime Arbitrators Association and numerous ad hoc arbitrations. He has arbitrated disputes in the areas of power, fuel supply, reinsurance, shipping, post-acquisition, intellectual property, construction, sports, distribution and supply agreements and other commercial arrangements. 

He is the former Managing Partner of the Chicago Office and has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, including listings in International Who’s Who for commercial arbitration, The Best Lawyers in America for international arbitration, Illinois Super Lawyers and a past honoree of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s 40 Under 40. He is a frequent lecturer and author on a wide variety of international disputes topics, having published articles and chapters of texts in the US, Europe and Asia.

Practice Focus

Mr. Morkin focuses on international arbitration and litigation, including cross-border enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards. In addition, he counsels clients on strategic ways to avoid and manage risk in international transactions.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Successful defense of pool of 6 global reinsurance companies in USD28 million ad hoc reinsurance arbitration, plus obtained partial rescission on counterclaim worth in excess of USD90 million.

  • Successful defense (and recovery on USD5 million counterclaim) of state-owned company in ICC arbitration pending in Taiwan relating to a USD450 million supply contract for construction of a power plant.

  • Successful defense of ICC arbitration in Taipei seeking to invalidate government contract used in the annual purchase of USD500 million in coal for power plants and recovery of USD800,000 counterclaim plus lawyer fees.

  • Successful defense of Chinese Airline in USD65 million ICC arbitration brought by German aircraft manufacturer for breach of contract, plus recovery of USD2.5 million counterclaim and costs.

  • Successful defense of a USD44 million ICC arbitration in Switzerland alleging breaches of joint development and patent license agreements involving elastomer technology.

  • Successfully represented a Taiwanese charterer in a USD185 million London maritime arbitration brought by a Chinese ship owner, involving attachment of bank accounts in New York and attempted seizure of vessels in Australia, Brazil, Iraq, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong.

  • Successful defense of six 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 default on USD22 million in corporate loans and the subsequent foreclosure on a majority interest in a publicly held company.

  • Obtained an award in excess of USD4 million (including USD1 million in fees and costs), plus successful defense of USD20 million counterclaim on behalf of US company in ICC arbitration pending in Paris relating to the construction of a port facility in Yemen.

  • Representation of Taiwanese charterer in USD185 million London maritime arbitration brought by Chinese ship-owner, including attachments and seizures in New York, Australia, Brazil, Iraq, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong (settled on very favorable business terms).

  • Recovery of USD7.5 million from a Chinese state-owned reinsurer in ad hoc arbitration pending in four venues and involving 121 reinsurance treaties.

  • Representation of life reinsurer in USD206 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.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Chicago Council on Foreign Relations
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Foreign Law Association
  • Chicago Bar Association


  • U.S. Tax Court~United States (1999)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit~United States (1996)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit~United States (1996)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois~United States (1990)
  • Illinois~United States (1990)


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


  • English