Donny Surtani


Donny Surtani

Donny Surtani, FCIArb.
Barrister, Arbitrator, Mediator

Law office of Surtani, Toronto, ON (Ontario), CA (Canada)

ADR Certified Designation : FCIArb

VanIAC Panel(s) : Expedited Procedures Arbitrator, Mediation

Practice Areas : Accounting, Commercial Lease, Construction, Consumer, Corporate Commercial, Energy, Financial Services, Insurance and Reinsurance, Mergers, Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures, Partnership and Shareholder, Real Estate, Securities, Technology, Telecommunications

Professional Experience

Donny Surtani is a commercial arbitration and mediation specialist based in Toronto, Canada, and practising internationally with particular focus on North America, the United Kingdom, India and South East Asia.  He is a dual-qualified barrister (England and Ontario), and has over 20 years of legal and business experience.

​He accepts instructions to act as a neutral or as a party representative in international commercial arbitration and in mediation.

​He was formerly a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, having spent 15 years in their London office.  His legal practice focuses on complex commercial arbitration and litigation in the financial services, private equity, energy and telecommunications sectors, and has included an in-house secondment to a large conglomerate business based in Mumbai, India, with interests in energy, power, shipping and construction.

Prior to his legal career, Donny was a Chartered Management Accountant and worked in the energy industry in finance and treasury.  As such, his legal practice has often involved M&A and shareholder claims, banking disputes, accounting fraud issues and disputes with complex quantum or valuation aspects.

Donny has experience of living and working in Canada, England, India and Sri Lanka, and is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and a solicitor-advocate and barrister in England & Wales.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a mediator accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London, and a member of the ICC Canada arbitration committee. He served on the ICC’s Task Force on Arbitration and ADR (2020-2023).

He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Investment Committee of a well-known litigation fund based in London, and has been a guest lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto and the International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators.

Donny has been widely published, 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).

Dispute Resolution Experience and Training

Donny is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has appeared as counsel in numerous arbitrations as well as in the English High Court and Court of Appeal. He has sat as arbitrator in cases involving a variety of subject matters and legal issues.

His arbitration experience includes disputes seated in London, The Hague, Singapore and New Delhi, and he has advised on disputes under the laws of England, Ontario, Alberta, New York and India. His cases have often involved complex multi-party and multi-contract scenarios. He is on lists or panels of arbitrators at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, in addition to VanIAC.

In mediation, he has trained with and is accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (UK). He has acted in several cases involving multiple parties, multiple days and/or co-mediators. As a neutral, he has acted as sole or joint mediator or conciliator in over half a dozen cases.

Professional and Other Activities

Publications: see list on website at

England & Wales: Solicitor (2006), Solicitor-Advocate (2008), Barrister (2020)

Law Society of Ontario: Barrister and Solicitor (2020)

Academic Qualifications

 LL.B (Hons), London School of Economics: 2003 – LSE Hughes Parry Prize (Law of Obligations: 2001)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (Associate Member): 2001-2003 – CIMA Leverhulme

Prize – Management Accounting Applications: 1998