Shipping in London Bar

Quadrant Chambers

Praised by clients as the ‘go-to chambers for shipping disputes’, Quadrant Chambers continues to be involved in major cases involving the full range of shipping matters. Simon Rainey QC continues to act at the highest level, as he appeared alongside Andrew Leung in the Court of Appeal for Classic Maritime v Limbungan Makmur SDN BHD and is also handling the Supreme Court case Evergreen Marine v Nautical Challenge with Nigel Cooper QC. Lionel Persey QC and Koye Akoni’s representation of the Kingdom of Spain in The Prestige before the Commercial Court was another notable instruction. Elsewhere, Simon Croall QC and 2020 silk Stewart Buckingham QC acted against John Russell QC in the Court of Appeals case CSSA Chartering and Shipping Services v Mitsui OSK Lines (Pacific Voyager). The future looks bright for the set, with Max Davidson and Michael Proctor being rising stars of the shipping Bar.

7 King's Bench Walk

‘A very good set with barristers of a very high standard’, 7 King's Bench Walk is noted for its work on high-profile shipping matters. A particular highlight of the last year for the set was the 52-day Commercial Court case Brillante Virtuoso (Suez Fortune Investments Ltd & Piraeus Bank AE v Talbot Underwriting Ltd & others), featuring Peter MacDonald Eggers QC, Tim Jenns and Richard Sarll against Jonathan Gaisman QC and Richard Waller QC. In other work, litigation related to the Atlantik Confidence involved Robert Bright QC and David Bailey QC, while Siobán Healy QC and Marcus Mander acted in the long-running OW Bunker litigation. Andrew Pearson is a rising star in the set.

Essex Court Chambers

‘A very good and well-respected set’, Essex Court Chambers covers a range of shipping disputes, including those involving shipbuilding, insurance, and charterparties. Highlights of 2019 for the set included the Panamax Trader, in which Steven Berry QC and Jeremy Brier handled a Commercial Court trial and LMAA arbitration involving allegations that shipowners scuttled their ship to claim insurance. Elsewhere, Nathan Pillow QC acted in the high-value Commercial Court case Palmali Shipping vs Litasco, while Christopher Smith QC handled CCNI Arauco, a case related to an explosion on a vessel.

Twenty Essex

‘A very good and well-respected set', Twenty Essex’s barristers handled a number of high-profile, cross-border shipping disputes in 2019. The highly experienced Michael Ashcroft QC led Luke Pearce in RENOS - The Swedish Club v Machrimar Management S.A. before the Supreme Court, while the Commercial Court case The Chang Hang Guang Rong featured Ashcroft QC and Oliver Caplin against Thomas Raphael QC, while Sara Masters QC represented another party to the dispute. Pearce was also against Daniel Bovensiepen in Nautica Marine Limited v Trafigura Trading LLC (The Leonidas) before the Commercial Court. Chambers has been strengthened at the senior end after Henry Byam-Cook and Philip Riches both took silk in 2020. Also of note, at the junior end, Matthew McGhee is a rising star in chambers.

4 Pump Court

4 Pump Court’s shipping specialists are frequently involved in international arbitration as well as appearing before the English courts. James Leabeater QC successfully acted in the Commercial Court case Elin, a case regarding the exclusion of liability for the carriage of cargo on deck, while Nick Vineall QC represented the LMAA in its intervention in the Supreme Court case Chubb v Halliburton. Sean O’Sullivan QC is active in arbitrations, particularly those in the Far East, an area in which fluent Mandarin speaker Andrew Stevens also excels. Alexander Wright appeared in the Court of Appeals case Silverburn Shipping Co IoM (Ltd) v Ark Shipping LLC, leading Ed Jones.

The 36 Group

36 Stone is part of the wider The 36 Group and includes a number of ‘very able leading counsel’ who are involved in complex, high-profile shipping and commodities instructions. In recent work of note, Vasanti Selvaratnam QC led Thomas Steward in the High Court case Rubicon Vantage International Pte Ltd v KrisEnergy Ltd, and also led James Shirley in Nautical Challenge v Evergreen Marine (UK) Ltd, the first appeal on liability in a collision case to reach the Court of Appeals since 2004. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Blackburn QC continues to appear in high-value arbitrations. On the junior side, Ravi Aswani appeared before the Commercial Court in Dera Commercial Estate v Derya Inc, while Charles Debattista acted both in court proceedings and arbitrations.