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Leading Silks

Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexOne of the best silks in this area.
David Bailey QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is incredibly thorough.
Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersVery clever and a good advocate.
Elizabeth Blackburn QC - The 36 GroupShe has the ability to absorb, process and retain large amounts of complex information and evidence and turn around work with astonishing speed and attention to detail.
Robert Bright QC - 7 King's Bench WalkCalm and methodical whilst also creative and approaches legal argument with an innovative mind where needed.
Simon Croall QC - Quadrant Chambers ‘He is exceedingly commercial and an excellent problem solver, who provides insight which a diverse base of clients from all around the world can comprehend and agree with.
Jonathan Gaisman QC - 7 King's Bench WalkBright in every respect and a thorough examiner.
David Goldstone QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is very experienced in shipping-related work.
Dominic Kendrick QC - 7 King's Bench Walk 'A very experienced silk.'
Luke Parsons QC - Quadrant ChambersA first-class advocate at the top of his game.
Lionel Persey QC - Quadrant ChambersA superstar of the shipping bar.
Simon Rainey QC - Quadrant ChambersA first-class all-round silk.
Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is a very impressive silk.
Timothy Young QC - Twenty EssexHe is very experienced and extremely knowledgeable.
David Allen QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA fantastic barrister.
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is a rapier-like cross-examiner.
Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexA very good and approachable counsel.
Christopher Hancock QC - Twenty EssexHe is very good with clients.
Nigel Jacobs QC - Quadrant ChambersHe has a manner which goes down extremely well with judges and arbitrators alike.
Richard Lord QC - Brick Court ChambersA go-to silk for all shipping law matters.
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexVery persuasive in front of tribunals.
Nigel Cooper QC - Quadrant ChambersSuccinct in his advice, astute in his views and savvy in the commercial dynamics of the shipping business.
Peter MacDonald Eggers QC - 7 King's Bench WalkSimply enormously able, an encyclopaedic knowledge matched to an awesome capacity for work.
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is highly rated by clients.
Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexHe is able to grasp the most difficult areas of the law as well as very technical issues, and is a fantastic tactician.
Stephen Hofmeyr QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA gutsy barrister.
Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexAn excellent cross-examiner.
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexA very good advocate.
Sean O’Sullivan QC - 4 Pump CourtHe is incredibly good.
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersVery strong on his feet and in cross-examination.
John Russell QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is emerging as one of the leading shipping silks.
Vasanti Selvaratnam QC - The 36 GroupA class act and a good advocate. She will always work with the client and fight their corner for them.
Christopher Smith QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is highly recommended for shipping disputes.
Richard Southern QC - 7 King's Bench WalkFantastic in oral hearings.
Robert Thomas QC - Quadrant ChambersVery user friendly and understands the commercial pressures that clients are under and the pace of response needed.
Nicholas Vineall QC - 4 Pump CourtHe has a stellar shipbuilding practice.
Richard Waller QC - 7 King's Bench WalkIncredibly bright and destined to be one of the best advocates at the bar.
Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersMarvellous to work with; a tough and effective advocate even in the most difficult cases.
Michael Coburn QC - Twenty EssexA very strategic thinker.
Michael Collett QC - Twenty EssexHe has a genial manner that belies his razor sharp mind.
Michael Davey QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is an excellent silk.
Siobán Healy -7 King's Bench WalkA great strategist and very able practitioner.
Michael Howard QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is well-known for his longstanding experience in shipping work.
Gavin Kealey QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHis knowledge of cases is amazing.
Stephen Kenny QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA calm, measured, effective advocate.
John Kimbell QC - Quadrant ChambersHis advices are concise and punchy, and one is left feeling that help is always at hand and that he is a genuine team player.
John Passmore QC - Quadrant ChambersHis insight, written work and advocacy for a complex case was exceptional.
James Turner QC - Quadrant ChambersVery responsive and very analytical.
Simon Birt QC - Brick Court ChambersHe is an excellent shipping silk.
Adam Constable QC - Keating ChambersHe wrote the book on shipbuilding mandates. I would certainly work with him again given the chance.
Roderick Cordara QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant and fiercely-competitive performer.
Julia Dias QC - 7 King's Bench WalkShe is knowledgeable, provides practical advice and is a pleasure to work with.
Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the cleverest barristers at the commercial bar.
Vernon Flynn QC - Brick Court ChambersHe is very experienced in shipping work.
Alexander Gunning QC - One Essex CourtHe has great insight and tactical awareness.
Chirag Karia QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is someone who I am always happy to have on my side rather than against me.
Sara Masters QC - Twenty EssexShe is a very able silk. I would definitely recommend her.
Michael McParland QC - 39 Essex ChambersA standout silk and a fantastic advocate.
Poonam Melwani QC - Quadrant ChambersHer strengths include an intelligent, thorough and detail-driven approach and a capacity to handle complex, high-value matters.
Michael Nolan QC - Quadrant ChambersClear advice and prompt attendance regarding difficult matters.
Thomas Raphael QC - Twenty EssexWell-regarded for his work in cross-jurisdictional matters.
Timothy Saloman QC - 7 King's Bench WalkCapable, knowledgeable and experienced.
Nigel Tozzi QC - 4 Pump CourtHe is a very experienced silk.
Andrew Wales QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe has a great eye for detail.

2019 Silks

Nicholas Craig QC - 3 Verulam BuildingsAn excellent advocate with a great feel for the courtroom. He is strong on paper and engenders confidence.
James Leabeater QC - 4 Pump CourtA very capable and intelligent barrister.
Christopher Smith QC - Quadrant ChambersHis willingness to roll up his sleeves and work closely and persistently together to forge a way through some of the difficulties we faced was much appreciated.

2020 Silks

Stewart Buckingham QC - Quadrant ChambersKnowledgeable, organised, rigorous, thorough, practical and a pleasure to work with.
Henry Byam-Cook QC  - Twenty EssexHe is incredibly good.
Philip Riches QC Twenty Essex ‘Very thorough and detailed.

2021 Silks

David Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is a good choice for shipping disputes.
Michael Holmes QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA skilled and thorough advocate.
Nichola Warrender QC - Quadrant ChambersThorough, hard-working, and able to adopt independent positions.

Leading Juniors

Ravi Aswani - The 36 GroupHe gets very quickly to the heart of the issue and has a forensic eye to details that impact on that.
Daniel Bovensiepen - Twenty EssexHe is outstanding and is very good on paper.
Marcus Mander - 7 King's Bench WalkFiendishly clever and great to work with.
Nevil Phillips - Quadrant ChambersHighly experienced in maritime disputes and familiar with the latest development of law.
Charles Priday - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is an all-round stellar counsel.
Richard Sarll - 7 King's Bench WalkExcellent at picking out the important points from the detail, and the legal points arising therefrom.
Rachel Toney - The 36 GroupThorough, technically sound, shows good judgement in identifying the relevant legal and factual issues, produces excellent written drafts and is approachable and responsive.
Alexander Wright - 4 Pump CourtAn astonishingly good barrister.
Tom Bird - Quadrant ChambersA first-rate lawyer and very precise when it comes to preparing pleadings.
Oliver Caplin - Twenty EssexA great barrister and well-liked by clients.
Noel Casey - 7 King's Bench WalkA class act.
Benjamin Coffer - Quadrant ChambersHe is always impressive.
Charles Debattista - The 36 GroupAn authority when it comes to charterparty and bill of lading issues.
Sandra Healy - 7 King's Bench WalkShe provides high quality analytical skills, and well written and reasoned pleadings and advice.
Ruth Hosking - Quadrant ChambersHas a quick grasp of complex issues.
Mark Jones - The 36 GroupCharming and persuasive in oral advocacy.
Alexander MacDonald - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is very thorough and is exceptionally bright.
Gemma Morgan - Quadrant ChambersA star junior, extremely intelligent and focused on the detail of every case.
Benjamin Parker - 7 King's Bench WalkA very good barrister.
Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexHis advices are very well-structured and coherent and always highlight the more complex and trickier aspects.
Caroline Pounds - Quadrant ChambersVery thorough and brilliant on the detail of cases.
Matthew Reeve - Quadrant ChambersTenacious and compelling in court.
James Shirley - The 36 GroupA capable barrister and a worthy addition to any legal team.
Paul Toms - Quadrant ChambersExcellent on technical points.
Adam Turner - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is both exceptionally talented and commercially focused.
James Watthey - 4 Pump CourtExtremely personable with clients and instructing solicitors alike.
Koye Akoni - Quadrant ChambersHe has a tenacious work ethic and nuanced ability to articulate finer points of law in the manner one would expect of a top-level junior counsel.
Stephanie Barrett - Quadrant ChambersShe is a very good junior counsel.
Clara Benn - 7 King's Bench WalkShe has a great grasp of the materials and excellent application of the facts to the law.
Jeremy Brier - Essex Court ChambersHas a wealth of experience.
Thomas Corby - Twenty EssexAbsolutely excellent and very user-friendly; nothing is too much trouble.
Stephen Du - 7 King's Bench WalkA thoroughly modern barrister who combines a powerful intellect with a no-nonsense and professional approach.
Henry Ellis - Quadrant ChambersA very bright guy who is not afraid to roll his sleeves up.
Ben Gardner - Quadrant ChambersHe produces high quality written work.
Gavin Geary - 7 King's Bench WalkGood with detail and definitely somebody it is good to have on your side.
Colleen Hanley - Twenty EssexShe has a sharp eye for details. Applies a commercial and cost-conscious approach.
Dominic Happé - The 36 GroupHe is noted for his extensive experience in shipping cases.
Neil Hart - Essex Court ChambersHe is a very astute advocate.
James Hatt - 4 Pump CourtA very good, pragmatic and calm junior counsel.
Neil Henderson - 4 Pump CourtHe is very highly rated.
Paul Henton - Quadrant ChambersAlways available on a case when needed and turns around high quality work quickly.
Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexHe is very experienced.
Christopher Jay - Quadrant ChambersHe goes the extra mile for the client.
Thomas Lazur - Keating ChambersHe is noted for shipbuilding disputes.
Andrew Leung - Quadrant ChambersBright, hardworking, and a good team player.
Sarah Martin - 7 King's Bench WalkApproachable, responsive, easy to work with, understands the issue and provides tailored advice.
Natalie Moore - Quadrant ChambersA very good junior.
Rani Noakes - 4 Pump CourtShe is very experienced in shipping matters and has good instincts.
Angharad Parry - Twenty EssexA wonderful barrister.
Saira Paruk - Quadrant ChambersHer advice is always commercial and reflects the client's needs.
John Robb - Essex Court ChambersClever, tenacious, and hardworking.
Jason Robinson - 7 King's Bench WalkExtremely clever and analytical.
John Snider - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent and experienced junior for large cases.
Sean Snook - Twenty EssexA very able junior counsel.
Andrew Stevens - 4 Pump CourtVery familiar with China and a very good choice for work with Chinese elements.
Peter Stevenson - Quadrant ChambersSharp, focused and results-driven.
Thomas Steward - The 36 GroupA strong performer who always comes up with the goods.
Mark Stiggelbout - Quadrant ChambersHe has an excellent knowledge of shipping law, and is approachable and charming to work with.
Jessica Sutherland - 7 King's Bench WalkI have never come across such a thorough barrister. You know when you walk into trial that she has considered every single angle.
Charlotte Tan - Brick Court ChambersHer written work is always first class.
David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersSuperb performance in oral hearing by comprehensive and intensive preparations and sharp cross-examinations.
Sushma Ananda - 7 King's Bench WalkA superb barrister.
John Bignall - 7 King's Bench WalkDetail orientated, technically strong and brings a real analytical focus. Very bright. Clear, concise advice. Reliable response times. Commercially savvy.
Adam Board - Essex Court ChambersClever and is able to get to the heart of complex disputes.
Josephine Davies - Twenty EssexA very bright and attentive barrister; methodical, thorough and very articulate.
Jocelin Gale - 7 King's Bench WalkA very thoughtful and careful advocate.
Emma Hilliard - 7 King's Bench WalkShe is a very able junior.
Tim Jenns - 7 King's Bench WalkThorough, tireless, bright and committed in his approach.
Ed Jones - 4 Pump CourtA very diligent and efficient junior who is flexible, bright and hard-working.
Elizabeth Lindesay - 7 King's Bench WalkIncredibly diligent and an asset to any team.
Emily McWilliams - Quadrant ChambersEfficient and unflappable, with a lovely courtroom manner.
David Semark - Quadrant ChambersClever, knowledgeable, hard-working, and well-organised.
Gideon Shirazi - 4 Pump CourtBright and quick on his feet.

Rising Stars

Max Davidson - Quadrant ChambersHis strengths include his exceptional attention to detail and thorough understanding of the law.
Matthew McGhee - Twenty EssexA bright, clear thinker, who has demonstrated a knack for devising creative legal arguments.
Andrew Pearson - 7 King's Bench WalkUnfailingly reliable, industrious, thoughtful, and a very safe pair of hands.
Michael Proctor - Quadrant ChambersRecommended for his excellent written and oral advocacy and his ability to provide clear, concise and well-reasoned advice.

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 Jacobs 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 Nicholas 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.