Commodities disputes in London

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP's international trade global practice group has 'deep sector knowledge combined with an ability to provide practical and agile solutions'. The firm has a stellar team of partners, which acts for clients in all of the world's major commodities markets, covering hard and soft commodities, as well as power and carbon trading. Marko Kraljevic, who leads the practice, focuses on complex international trade and energy-related disputes, while renowned expert Hatty Sumption predominantly handles cases involving oil, coal and metals trading. Eurof Lloyd-Lewis handles a broad spectrum of commodities, international trade, dry shipping, offshore and commercial litigation. Eleanor Coates frequently acts for national oil companies, oil majors, Japanese trading companies and leading international commodity traders; she has 'an incredible ability to quickly grasp complex matters and seamlessly provide practical and reliable advice'. Consultant Clare Hatcher is a longstanding adviser to the energy and trading sector, while veteran Michael Swangard and legal director Tara Smith have significant experience in arbitral forums such as LCIA, as well as before trade institutes such as GAFTA and FOSFA. Rachel Cropper-Mawer joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP in late 2020.

Practice head(s):

Marko Kraljevic

Other key lawyers:

Michael Swangard; Hatty Sumption; Eurof Lloyd-Lewis; Eleanor Coates; Alexander George; Rachel Cropper-Mawer


‘The team has deep sector knowledge combined with an ability to provide practical and agile solutions. When fast-moving (and often complex) disputes arise – we are very glad to have Clydes on our side.’

‘Eleanor Coates is an exceptional practitioner. She has an incredible ability to quickly grasp complex matters and seamlessly provide practical and reliable advice.’

‘My specific experience with Clyde and Co is in the oil space. The level of commercial understanding is outstanding, which both minimises the amount of time lost in explaining the specifics of the dispute but also improves the quality of the discussions.’

‘Hatty Sumption and associate Alexander George are a pleasure to work with. They efficiently digest the information and provide clarity with regards to the range of possible expected outcomes.’

‘From our experience, I can say that Clyde & Co is the go-to firm when you need a professional advice and legal assistance. They dedicate a lot of time for preparation and research, they use a variety of resources. All are very helpful and take a client-focused approach.

Key clients




Freepoint Commodities

Liberty House Group

Louis Dreyfus



HFW has 'a long tradition of first-class service in this sector with enormous experience and knowledge'. The firm represents many of the world's largest energy and commodity trading companies and banks, among them Vitol and Mercuria. The firm continues to be at the forefront of commodities litigation, with it blending the long experience of its key partners with innovations, such as its partnership with Solomonic to optimise case research. Practice head Alistair Feeney recently acted for BP Oil in a $1.2m dispute concerning restitution of pre-payments it made for barrels of Gulf of Suez Mix crude oil, which the defendants failed to deliver. Other names to note are Damian Honey (a key adviser to commodity traders and producers) and commercial litigator Brian Perrott, who frequently handles commodities, derivatives and shipping cases. Judith Prior has a particular focus on sugar, oil and biofuels. Sarah Taylor and senior associate Clare Chyb are also key individuals.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Feeney

Other key lawyers:

Damian Honey; Brian Perrott; Judith Prior; Clare Chyb; Sarah Taylor


‘A market-leading practice with wide expertise in commodities disputes.’

‘Brian Perrott is fizzing with ideas, great with clients, and fun to work with. Damian Honey is a calm presence with good instincts.’

‘It has very good relationships with clients, a very commercial approach and an understanding of clients’ needs.’

‘Clients love Brian Perrott, who is very sensible and commercial.’

‘Very practical and actionable advice prior to and during disputes. I want HFW on my side in any commodities dispute.’

‘Alistair Feeney is the go-to guy for physical commodities disputes, especially where seaborne commodities are concerned. Inspires confidence throughout the dispute process. Sarah Taylor is also very capable. Associates within the team are also very well-trained and seasoned, so the talent is deep.’

‘A market-leading firm in the commodities, energy trading and shipping sectors. Draws upon a huge amount of expertise to be able to advise on legal and regulatory issues right across the energy and commodity trading.’

‘Brian Perrot is a very experienced solicitor. Really understands and gets delivering on client service. Trusted and is willing to go the extra mile to get the best outcome for his clients. Judith Prior is very impressive – a real expert in the niche area of biofuels trading and regulation. Inspires confidence with her advice and is very reliable and efficient. A pleasure to work with too.’

Key clients


GarantiBank International

ADNOC Global Trading




Concord Resources


Prax Petroleum

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP, which has ‘impressive depth and is strong on commodities‘, fields an eight-partner group that has an enviable track record of success in GAFTA, FOSFA, FCC and High Court disputes. It has the leading practice for sugar disputes in London, but acts across the full range of commodities, notably energy markets such as oil, coal and renewables. Practice head Jeff Isaacs, who provides ‘commercially sound, prompt and accurate advice‘, has vast experience of a range of commodities, including grain, feedstuffs, sugar, cotton and coffee. Paul Taylor has an international practice that sees him advise French, Swiss and German players in the commodities markets; Paul Sinnott acts for leading investment and financing banks, traders and producers, while up- and-coming partner Darren Wall excels in commodities and dry shipping disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Isaacs

Other key lawyers:

Paul Taylor; Paul Sinnott; Darren Wall; John McNeilly; Andrew Buchmann


‘They don’t sit on the fence and provide clear, practical advice, whilst covering all the legal issues. They are extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, and are also very cost-effective.’

‘Darren Wall, Jeff Isaacs and legal director John McNeilly are particularly outstanding. They’re easy to work with and provide clear, practical advice whilst covering all the legal issues.’

‘Hill Dickinson has impressive depth and is strong on commodities.’

‘Andrew Buchmann is an excellent lawyer, strategic and very responsive.’

‘The team always summarises the legal position in a concise way. They display a pragmatic and commercial view relating to the situation and have a good track record in advising on the risk/reward of litigation and the chances of success.’

‘Jeff Isaacs always makes time to respond to any enquiries in a timely matter and, if unable to manage personally will advise and ensure that the most suitable member of the team to deal with particular issues.’

‘Always available, thinking outside the box, providing realistic advice on the position and offering practical solutions.’

Key clients




Alliance Grain Traders






Gerald Metals


HDI Global

MS Amlin

Nibulon SA

Tate & Lyle

The International Cotton Association

The Sugar Association of London



Work highlights

  • Acting for steel producer Prakash Industries Limited in a dispute arising from the issue of convertible corporate bonds to (among others) a German partnership, which is now alleging an event of default and counterclaiming early redemption amounts and interest in excess of $12.1m and damages in excess of $10m.
  • Acting for BP Oil International Ltd in a dispute between oil traders concerning a parcel of fuel oil that was delivered off-spec, which raises interesting questions over a party’s right to reject a slightly off-spec cargo and/or whether the loading of a cargo that was knowingly off-spec serves as a waiver of a party’s right of rejection.
  • Acting for AGT Foods Switzerland in High Court litigation against international collateral and stock managers Katoen Natie for alleged breach of a stock monitoring agreement in relation to raw cashew notes stored in the Ivory Coast.

Reed Smith LLP

At Reed Smith LLP, 'the depth of expertise and the strength of the energy and commodities team put the firm in a class of its own among commodity firms'. It has built up a stellar 11-partner practice that operates as part of a global platform. The team acts for prominent businesses in the commodities sector, handling all major arbitral formats including FOSFA, GAFTA and RSA rules. Working closely with offices in New York and Singapore, the London litigation group handles disputes concerning soft and hard commodities, as well as power, LNG and emissions.  Vassia Payiataki leads the practice, which is known for its 'industry-leading knowledge and capability, responsiveness and availability'. Veteran Richard Swinburn has more than 30 years of 'top-level knowledge and experience', often acting for the world's largest trading houses. The 'very able, commercial and amiable' Paul Skeet and  international trade specialist Andrew Meads also play pivotal roles in the practice. Up-and-coming partners Elizabeth Farrell and Frances Furness are 'very prompt in understanding the issues at stake'.

Practice head(s):

Vassia Payiataki

Other key lawyers:

Richard Swinburn; Paul Skeet; Andrew Meads; Elizabeth Farrell; Frances Furness


‘Industry-leading knowledge and capability, responsiveness, availability.’

‘Richard Swinburn – very personable, top level knowledge and experience, always a pleasure to have involved on a matter. Paul Skeet – very able, commercial, amiable to deal with.’

‘Elizabeth Farrell and Frances Furness. Very prompt in understanding the issues at stake and adapting sharply to the client’s interests.’

‘Very good lawyers, giving high-quality legal advice which is concrete and fits well into the practice . They can bring not only best legal opinion but also practical solutions.’

‘A practice with strong personality – intelligent , quick and available.’

‘The depth of expertise and strength of the energy and commodities team put Reed Smith in a class of their own among commodity firms. The partners leading the team are excellent and immensely experienced, and skilled both technically and commercially. Their response times and dedication are remarkable.’

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood's team has 'an excellent understanding of, and wealth of experience in, the coal and metals trading markets'. Its work covers a full range of commodities, including oil, LNG and grains. With vast experience in all key fora - among them GAFTA, FOSFA, the LME and the High Court - the firm is widely recognised as having one of the deepest benches for commodities, shipping and international trade law. Haris Zografakis leads a practice known for its 'firm and confident, but not aggressive or unnecessarily antagonising' approach to litigation. Peter Bennett is 'an extremely experienced and diligent commodities lawyer, who has a very good bedside manner with clients'. The 'meticulous and careful' Jonathan Spearing is adept in both litigation and arbitration. Newly-promoted partner Emma Skakle is well-versed in all aspects of shipping and commodities litigation. Consultant Elisabeth Gaunt, who joined from Taylor Wessing LLP, adds extensive experience in commodities finance cases.

Practice head(s):

Haris Zografakis

Other key lawyers:

Peter Bennett; Jonathan Spearing; Emma Skakle


‘The service of the firm is really outstanding: quick responses, deep knowledge of the market and great authority in the legal issues involved. Great in advising the client. They are our first choice in this area. We would recommend them to anyone, but not to our opponents!’

‘We are always impressed that Stephenson Harwood have not only an excellent grasp of the law – something, which of course we would expect from a law firm of this stature – but also, more unusually, a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the relevant market, the latest industry trends, developments and crises.’

‘The team has an excellent understanding of, and wealth of experience in, the coal and metals commodities trading markets.’

‘Peter Bennett is really an expert in this area, particularly skilled in arbitration strategy and tactics; always available, reliable and – above all – effective, he conducts all the trial phases with precision and appropriateness.’

‘I have known Peter Bennett for well over 10 years and time and time again he has proven to be one of the most reliable lawyers there are. His thorough knowledge, quick grasp of the issues involved, excellent understanding of the industry and clear, no-fluff advice have always been greatly appreciated in times of crises. His ability to remain calm even in the most tense situations has the effect of bringing down the stress of everyone involved in a dispute.’

‘Peter Bennett is an extremely experienced and diligent commodities lawyer who has a very good bedside manner with clients. Jonathan Spearing stands out for his expertise in relation to metals trading fraud and is a meticulous and careful lawyer.’

Key clients


Vedanta Resources and subsidiaries/related companies


Macquarie Bank



BASF Intertrade



Sahara Energy Resources

Work highlights

  • Advising Mercuria in claims brought against Deutsche Bank in the English Commercial Court arising out of the Qingdao warehousing fraud in 2014.
  • Acting for Sahara Energy Resource Ltd in ongoing English High Court, LCIA arbitration, Nigerian Court (Lagos & Abuja) and UAE Court proceedings. The client is a Geneva-based commodities trader, which is engaged in disputes with UAE-based trader Ultimate Oil & Gas DMCC and its Nigerian based parent company Rahamaniyya Oil & Gas DMCC. Sahara entered into a sale contract with Ultimate to deliver gas oil to the Rahamaniyya’s storage terminal in Nigeria. Following various payment defaults by Ultimate, Sahara terminated the sale contract with Ultimate and requested the release of the balance of the remaining gas oil that had not been paid for by Ultimate. Rahamaniyya refused to release the remaining gas oil Sahara, which currently remains at the terminal in Nigeria.

Mills & Co

Mills & Co is one of the few UK firms based outside of London with a presence in the commodities and international trade sector. From its offices in Newcastle upon Tyne, it focuses solely on shipping and commodities law, which sees it involved in significant commodities disputes. Its work is predominantly centred on arbitration, usually under LCIA, GAFTA or FOSFA rules. 'For a small regional firm, it really punches above its weight on commodity disputes', remarks one client. The lead partners are Neville Hopper, who is 'direct, straightforward, professional but friendly', and Jonathan Green.

Practice head(s):

Neville Hopper; Jonathan Green

Other key lawyers:

Alastair Moir; Edwin Hashagen


‘For a small regional firm, Mills & Co really punches above its weight on commodity disputes. They cover the full range of disciplines relevant in this area, with good industry knowledge on both wet and dry commodities, as well as the inevitable interactions with maritime law. Very competitively priced for City firm quality.’

‘Neville Hopper has a wealth of experience and is very user friendly and commercial. Alastair Moir recently became partner, which is very well deserved. He was a very calm, through and commercially-minded senior associate before this.’

‘A solid team of professionals, always available, with good and quick delivery at very competitive fees for this industry.’

‘Neville Hopper in the key individual to our relationship. His knowledge of the business and our company, as well as my expectations is what makes him stand out. He is direct, straightforward, professional but friendly. It is easy to make him understand the issues and our expectations. He has a commercial approach to the matters that allows us to take decisions.’

‘Mills & Co offers top-quality legal advice with astute commercial insight, at an extremely competitive rate. They are a stand out among the smaller firms operating in this highly technical space.’

‘Neville Hopper and his associate Edwin Hashagen are brilliant. They are responsive, proactive, bright, and commercially savvy.’

‘Mills & Co is a highly specialised law firm always available to support you on whatever you need.’

‘Mills & Co practitioners are agile, assertive, cooperative and very knowledgeable. Neville Hopper is exceptional and whoever he introduces from his team is also very good.’

Key clients



Work highlights

  • Acting for Vitol in a demurrage claim against Springfield.
  • Acting for Vitol in a contaminated gasoil claim against Glencore.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘strong practitioners at every level and can handle the most difficult cases in the area – they know the industry inside out‘. The firm has a global platform for commodities and natural resources work, and it frequently acts for leading financial institutions, commodity trading houses, national and international mining and energy companies. EMEA head of litigation Michael Godden and Neil Miller, who leads the energy, infrastructure, trade and transport disputes group, oversee the commodities disputes team. Holly Stebbing handles disputes in the energy and natural resources sector, with a particular focus on Africa, while commercial litigator Antony Corsi, arbitration specialist James Rogers and up-and-coming partner Harriet Jones-Fenleigh handle complex, cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Godden; Neil Miller

Other key lawyers:

Holly Stebbing; Antony Corsi; James Rogers; Harriet Jones-Fenleigh


‘Outstanding knowledge of the markets and industry context, a highly intelligent approach from great communicators.’

‘The team has a high level of experience in the commercial nuances of the area, achieved through their instruction by a large number of big players in the industry.’

‘Michael Godden is truly excellent. His legal knowledge is just as good as a QC, but he wears his learning lightly and has an excellent client manner and tactical sense.’

‘Quick turnaround, good collaboration between team members, relationship of trust has developed due to long-standing working engagement with NRF.’

‘Norton Rose’s commodities disputes practice is brilliant. Their lawyers are market leaders in the area. They have strong practitioners at every level and can handle the most difficult cases in the area. They know the industry inside out. They are also extremely nice people to work with.’

‘Antony Corsi is very well respected in this field. He has a great sense of strategy and gives very sensible advice.’

Key clients

Citibank N.A. and Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Mercuria Energy Group

Barrick Gold Corporation

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

The international trade and commodities group at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is heavily involved in cases concerning soft commodities, metals, mining, oil and gas and trade finance. Its diverse client base includes Czarnikow Group and the British Coffee Association. The firm acts across the supply chain, from producers through to trading companies and end-users, though it is particular focused on acting for trading companies and financing banks. George Mingay (who is 'measured, thoughtful and calm under pressure') and Mark Sachs jointly lead the 'quick, practical and knowledgeable' team, in which key partner Lisa Hillary plays a central role.

Practice head(s):

George Mingay; Mark Sachs

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Hillary


‘Very practical approach and commercially attuned. Good quality and consistency.’

‘Penningtons has a very good reputation in commodities disputes, both on the oil side as well as grains.’

‘The teams I have interacted with for advice and service have always been well informed and sympathetic to the matter and delivered on a timely basis. They have consistently given strong professional and considered advice.’

‘I am particularly impressed by George Mingay, who is a great lawyer, measured, thoughtful and calm under pressure. He always thinks through issues and works closely with other members of the team, including counsel, to achieve the best possible result for the client.’

‘I have been particular grateful to have George Mingay, who has been outstanding in looking after my interests. He has always been available to explain the legalities of the process.’

‘Highly professional and experienced people, able to understand and analyse quickly the problem, providing replies without losing time with details, going straight to the point, anticipating issues which may be raised by counterparties, with the ability to clearly explain complex matters involving various different jurisdictions, and able to work under pressure remaining calm.’

Key clients

Czarnikow Group Limited

British Coffee Association

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

The energy and natural resources practice at specialist litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is frequently involved in high-value disputes concerning oil and gas, renewable energy, mining and metals. These range from competition disputes and corporate investigations for major trading houses and natural resources companies. Ted Greeno is chair of the energy litigation practice and leads a group of eight partners. Global chair of international arbitration Stephen Jagusch handles disputes concerning contracts and multilateral investment treaties. Of counsel Jenni Lajzerowicz is experienced in matters arising from the extraction, trading and transport of all resources.

Practice head(s):

Ted Greeno

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Jagusch; Jenni Lajzerowicz

Key clients

Gerald Metals SA

Work highlights

  • Retained by Gerald Metals – a commodities broker dealer in Switzerland – (i) against mining magnate Frank Timis and (ii) in an LCIA arbitration against his family trust.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has 'longstanding and deep understanding of all aspects of commodities disputes, based on long practice in shipping, energy and resources disputes'. The firm has a strong disputes practice, which is jointly led by Andrew Ward and Rebecca WilliamsAndrew Hutcheon has a strong focus on the commodities, mining, oil & gas, shipping and aviation sectors. Robert Fidoe recently acted for oil & gas company PTT in a dispute with Triple Point Technology concerning PTT’s global commodities trading and risk management systems.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ward; Rebecca Williams

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hutcheon; Robert Fidoe


WFW’s London office has a strong and knowledgeable energy and resources department. Its non-contentious department is very closely linked to its disputes team who have longstanding and deep understanding of all aspects of resulting commodities disputes, based on long practice in shipping disputes and in energy and resources disputes.’

‘Good market understanding and a sensible approach to managing disputes. Able to bring in significant resources when required, but most commodities disputes are run by an associate overseen by an experienced partner.’

‘A strong commodities practice with wide expertise in upstream disputes and giving good sense of perspective for downstream disputes.’

‘Robert is an outstanding lawyer, adept at managing complex technical disputes and with a good eye for the issues that are important in a dispute. Robert’s easy going manner is very popular with clients and other team members who find him very easy to work.’

‘Andrew Hutcheon is an exceptional lawyer, able to analyse the most difficult problems.’

‘Rob Fidoe is calm, sensible, tactically astute.’

Key clients

PTT Public Company Limited

JE Energy Limited

FBN Bank (UK) limited

Union Bank UK plc

OMV Gas Trading GmbH

Anglo American plc

Louis Dreyfus

Work highlights

  • Representing PTT Public Company Limited in a Supreme Court hearing relating to a longrunning multimillion-dollar dispute between it and Triple Point Technology concerning claims and counterclaims arising in relation to PTT’s global commodities trading risk management systems.
  • Advising an independent trading consultancy in respect of two separate disputes (one international arbitration against its Singaporean offtaker- successfully settled; and one High Court case against its supplier, one of the world’s largest independent commodities trading houses) arising out of contracts for the sale and purchase of fuel oil FOB Tema, Ghana.
  • Representing a state-owned O&G company in South Asia in respect of multimillion-dollar arbitral disputes against various suppliers under long-term agreements for the import of LNG.


DWF, which is a strong choice for commodities disputes, is a key adviser to marine insurers, P&I clubs, shipowners and cargo owners. The key partners at the firm are David Abbott (head of the global risks group) and 'knowledgeable, pragmatic and highly responsive' head of marine and trade Jonathan Moss. Moss frequently handles high-value disputes for international traders, bespoke commodities houses and shipping industry clients. Matters concern losses, cargo theft, piracy, charterparties, bills of lading, ports and terminals.

Practice head(s):

David Abbott; Jonathan Moss


‘Jonathan Moss is the MVP of the practice, and the reason it stands out. Jonathan Moss is knowledgeable, pragmatic and highly responsive. His breadth of experience is invaluable when dealing with complex cross border disputes. He is ably supported by an excellent team.’

Jonathan Moss has a very good commercial understanding. He gives practical advice.’

‘Excellent knowledge of our industry. Proactive.’

‘Very pragmatic lawyers.’

Key clients

Sahara Energy

Vallis Group Ltd, previously Vallis Commodities Ltd

PS Maritime

Targray International

Nimex Petroleum

GP Global Group

Berkshire Hathaway Specialist Insurance




Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's team frequently handles GAFTA and FOSFA arbitrations, and it also has experience of RSA, LME, ICC and LCIA matters. The shipping and transport group also advises on related matters such as insurance issues, demurrage or other charterparty disputes. The firm's work spans the full range of commodities, with recent matters concerning wheat, maize, barley, soya beans, palm oil, rice, refined sugar, petroleum products, coal and steel. Practice head Nicholas Walser has more than 35 years of experience advising commodities traders. He works closely with shipping and commodities litigator Paul Dickie and international trade partner Brian Taylor.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Walser

Other key lawyers:

Paul Dickie; Brian Taylor

Jackson Parton Solicitors

Jackson Parton Solicitors is highlighted for its specialist focus on shipping and international trade matters. The firm is unique in being able to conduct its own advocacy without counsel in the Commercial and Admiralty Court. It has five partners, many of whom handle significant commodities disputes. Andrew Patrinos is well-versed in GAFTA and FOSFA arbitrations, while Alexander Askew and Nicholas Parton have extensive experience of Refined Sugar Association and Sugar Association matters.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Parton; Alexander Askew

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Patrinos

Key clients

Compagnie du Ponant

Inversiones Titanio SRL

Gard P & I Club

Thomas Miller Defence

The Charterers Club

West of England P & I Club

The American P & I Club

Caribbean Shipping Line

Banque Internationale de Commerce-Bred (Suisse) SA

Sealogis SA

Schjodt LLP

Since opening its London office in 2019, Schjødt LLP has recruited a team of 'highly experienced, sophisticated specialist trade lawyers', which is now led by Will Marshall, who joined from Ince in 2020. He acts for many of the world's largest trading houses, among them Glencore and Trafigura, as does commodities disputes specialist Carl Walker, who also moved over from Ince in early 2021, as did senior associate Eleanor Dickens. Their primary focus is on oil and gas trading, and it has extensive experience in LNG contracts and disputes.

Practice head(s):

Will Marshall

Other key lawyers:

Carl Walker; Eleanor Dickens


‘Highly experienced, sophisticated specialist trade lawyers.’

Key clients



Platinum Corporation FZE

ACT Commodities BV

Fertisa, Fertilizantes, Terminales I Servicios

Reybanpac Rey Banano Del Pacifico C.L.


Freight Trading Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Trafigura in a multijurisdictional dispute involving a $76m letter of indemnity claim.
  • Advising Glencore on the recovery of debts totalling $14m from a state-owned oil company.
  • Acting for Trafigura in a charterparty dispute, which established new law on the conclusion of charterparties and the meaning of particular “subjects” widely used in pre-contract negotiations in the shipping industry.

Squire Patton Boggs

In November 2019, Squire Patton Boggs launched a new global commodities and shipping group with 21 fee earners in London, Singapore, New York and Australia. The London practice comprises of a team of six practitioners who moved over from HFW. Among them are Chris Swart, who has more than 20 years of experience of international dispute resolution; his clients include traders, charterers, banks and state-owned enterprises. Katie Pritchard's work includes both arbitration and litigation, while other notable individuals are legal director John Rollason and senior associate Gabriella Martin. They are known for providing 'very helpful and constructive legal advice', and 'are able to connect the legal side of things with commercial considerations'.

Practice head(s):

Chris Swart

Other key lawyers:

Katie Pritchard; John Rollason; Gabriella Martin


‘Our working experience with SPB has been excellent. Apart from having been provided with very helpful and constructive legal advice, the lawyers we have been dealing with also understand our business very well so they are able to connect the legal side of things with commercial considerations and practices, which is very important for a trading house like us. They are always available for phone and video calls or for in-person meetings.’

‘The quality of individual lawyers at the firm is exceptionally high.’

‘Great experience and versatility.’

‘Our working experience with Chris Swart and his team, including John Rollason, has been excellent. Mr. Swart is a highly experienced partner who has advised us for a long time now, and who understands our business and needs very well . They understand when things are urgent and adjust their schedules to advise us quickly and in detail, so we feel we have a strong reliable partner on our side.’

‘John Rollason is very knowledgable and a good speaker.’

Key clients

Asia Coal Energy Ventures Limited

Argyle Street Management

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Asia Coal Energy Ventures (ACE) in a claim brought by a large Austrian bank arising from the purchase of distressed loans resulting from a high-profile takeover dispute in the City of London of one of Indonesia’s largest coal mines. The Court found ACE was entitled to rescind the purchase of the loans by reason of misrepresentations by the bank.
  • Acting for ADM in obtaining a number of worldwide freezing orders against defaulters of GAFTA Arbitration awards.
  • Advising a client on the recovery of a cargo of oil, which had been seized by the Indonesian authorities in the Straits of Singapore and representing them in proceedings in London.

Wikborg Rein

Wikborg Rein is 'a delight to work with at every level', with clients praising its 'proactive, bright and commercial partners who are supported by excellent and diligent associates'. Strong in both shipping and commodities matters, the firm is best known for its LNG expertise, covering its physical trading, transportation and storage, as well as contractual matters and disputes. Practice head Chris Grieveson is 'a tough litigator with a very strong strategic eye'.  The 'extremely capable and bright' Eleanor Midwinter is now a partner and leads on commodity contract disputes with shipping partner Rob Jardine-Brown.

Practice head(s):

Chris Grieveson

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Midwinter; Rob Jardine-Brown; Fiona Rafla


‘Wikborg Rein is a delight to work with at every level. It is staffed by proactive, bright and commercial partners who are supported by excellent and diligent associates. They are experienced and good strategic litigators who are driven to obtain the best results for their clients.’

‘The firm is highly recommended as it is a wonderful mixture of well renowned professionals in the main jurisdictions where the maritime law disputes arise and are settled – Norway and England – The are always one step forward in the study of cases, technologies and diversity.’

‘Chris Grieveson is an excellent and tough litigator with a very strong strategic eye. Rob Jardine-Brown is a strong and experienced partner and very commercial in his approach. Eleanor Midwinter has recently made partner and is extremely capable and bright. In terms of associates, Fiona Rafla is a pleasure to deal with – very bright, hard working and enthusiastic.’

‘Personally, I have had the privilege to know the human quality and sharp professional skills of Eleanor Midwinter. Her level in maritime law and disputes is outstanding.’

Key clients

Golar LNG


Gard AS

PPD Global

Mitsui OSK

Elkem ASA

Yara International


Met Group