Shipping and commodities in Asia Pacific: The English Bar
36 Stone includes Colin Wright, who is also called to the Bar of Hong Kong and is 'well aware of the differences between the way things are done in England and Asia'. He has a track record of wet shipping litigation before the Hong Kong courts, including one case concerning the breakdown of an offshore support vessel, allegedly due to contaminated bunker. Turning to the English courts, Vasanti Selvaratnam QC represented the successful appellants at the Court of Appeal stage of Evergreen Marine v Nautical Challenge. Mary Thomson is active in ICC, Singapore, and Hong Kong arbitrations, as either a party-appointed arbitrator or chair.
Instructed by well-known shipping firms in Singapore and Hong Kong, many of 4 Pump Court's members have particularly close relationships with Chinese shipyards and, therefore, mainland Chinese law firms, too. Winner of The Legal 500's shipping junior of the year award 2020, Alexander Wright is noted for recently representing a Singaporean shipowner in London litigation after one of its vessels was arrested following the misdelivery of its cargo.
Alongside arbitration work, Essex Court Chambers' David Walsh is instructed as counsel in an insurance dispute before the London courts concerning a pirate attack on the MT Gemini, an oil tanker owned by Golden Spring Line, with a key issue at dispute in the $4m case being the legality of ransom payments under Singapore law. Jern-Fei Ng QC is active both as counsel and arbitrator.
Quadrant Chambers 'is a very strong set for maritime law and commodity trade disputes'. Alongside a large number of members instructed in complex international arbitration in the shipbuilding and commodities arenas, the set is well-equipped to handle more esoteric dry and wet shipping matters. Simon Rainey QC and Nigel Jacobs QC are instructed for the appellants in the Evergreen Marine v Nautical Challenge case, due to be heard by the UK Supreme Court concerning a collision between a Marshallese-flagged crude oil carrier and a Taiwanese-owned container ship in the entrance to the Jebel Ali port in the UAE. In the Singapore International Commercial Court, Thomas Macey-Dare QC represented Yaw Chee Siew, the former chairman of Otto Marine in claims brought by entities owned by ICBC concerning ship financing arrangements allegedly containing personal guarantees. Michael Nolan QC is noted for instructions in India- and Korea-related cases.
Twenty Essex's members handle the range of dry shipping and commodities work, with much of this having close connections to Singapore. In wet shipping, Timothy Hill QC is instructed by Reed Smith LLP for a large group of cargo owners in an English courts case concerning the grounding of the CMA CGM Libra off the port of Xiamen, which required significant salvage. In another case before the English courts, Oliver Caplin was instructed, unled, by the Singapore office of Hill Dickinson LLP in a case concerning the sale of oil to Yemen. Two of the juniors – Henry Byam-Cook and Philip Riches – also have experience of sitting as arbitrators. Some recent instructions cross over with public international law matters, an area in which the set also has notable expertise.