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Chambers of Simon Croall QC

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John Ashley Kimbell QC

Work 020 7583 4444
Quadrant Chambers (Chambers of Simon Croall QC)


John Kimbell QC is a maritime and aviation law specialist. He is instructed on a regular basis to appear in the Admiralty Court, the Commercial Court and arbitrations in London (LCIA, ICC and LMAA) and in Hamburg (GMAA). His shipping work encompasses both 'wet' collision and other Admiralty Court matters and 'dry' bill of lading and charterparty disputes. He was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in September 2018 and is chair of the Admiralty Bar Group.

John has acted on a number of leading cases in the shipping arena over recent years including advising a number of Owners and Charterers in relation to proceedings arising from the insolvency of OW Bunkers – see e.g. Stena Bulk AB v Copley [2015] Lloyd’s Rep Plus 5. He further acted on Stolt Kestrel BV v Sener Petrol Denizcilik Ticaret AS; and CDE S.A. v Sure Wind Marine Ltd - [2015] All ER (D) 146 (Oct) two cases concerning collision actions in the Admiralty court, the claimant ship owners had been refused an extension of time for issuing their actions in personam. He was involved in the first West-African piracy case to be litigated in the High Court (“CAPE BIRD”). John also advises clients on jurisdictional, private international law and foreign law aspects to disputes. He successfully represented Thomas Cook in the Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court in Stott v Thomas Cook [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 207 on the exclusivity of the Montreal Convention. John is rare in the marketplace as a barrister who is fluent in, and accepts instructions in German. Since 2001 he has been qualified to practice as a lawyer ('Rechtsanwalt') in Germany. He uses his knowledge of German law to provide a specialist service not only to German, Austrian and Swiss clients but more generally to clients from civil law countries. He recently acted for in German insurer in Woodford v AIG [2018] EWHC 358 (QB) and for a German ship manager in Harms Bergung, Transport & Heavylift GmbH & Co KG v Harms Offshore AHT 'Uranus' GmbH & Co KG and others - [2015] All ER (D) 72 (May). He acts as an arbitrator in London and Hamburg. He is the joint editor (with Nigel Meeson QC) of Admiralty Jurisdiction & Practice (5th edition, 2017) Informa and one of the authors (with Michael Howard QC and John Knott) of Foreign Currency: claims, judgments and damages (2016) Routledge.


Called 1995 (Inner Temple); Called to the German Bar (Rechtsanwalt) 2001. QC 2015; Deputy High Court Judge (2018).


Fluent German.


COMBAR; supporting member LMAA; British-German Jurists’ Association; TechBar; Chancery Bar Association (Honorary); GRUR.


Isleworth and Syon School; Emmanuel College, Cambridge (1990 BA Hons 1st; 1991 M Phil); Harvard University; Brasenose College, Oxford (BCL).


Walking Waldo (his GSP), film, theatre and opera.

London Bar


Within: Aviation – Leading silks

John Kimbell QC - Quadrant ChambersAbsolutely brilliant; he works well in a team and takes on-board views other than his own.

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Within: Shipping – Leading silks

John Kimbell QC - Quadrant ChambersVery client friendly and has exceptional skill.

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Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)

Within: Travel law (including jurisdictional issues) – Leading silks

John Kimbell QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is really clever and good with German law.

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