Mr Lionel Persey KC > Chambers of Poonam Melwani KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Poonam Melwani KC
Quadrant Chambers


Barrister and arbitrator specializing in: commercial litigation; international commercial arbitration; shipping; energy/oil and gas; conflict of laws; insurance. Legal 500 Silk of the Year 2014 in Energy & Projects.


Called 1981; Gray’s Inn; QC 1997; joint head of Quadrant Chambers 2006-2012; deputy High Court Judge 2010; Lloyd’s Arbitrator 2009; Recorder 2002; member of the Supplementary Panel of Treasury Counsel 1993-97.




Gibraltar Bar; Commercial Bar Association; London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association; TECBAR


Université de Limoges (1979 Diplôme D’Études Juridiques Françaises); University of Birmingham (1980 LLB Hons Law with French).


Music, reading, food and wine, travel, gardening; member of The Reform Club.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Lionel Persey KCQuadrant Chambers

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Lionel Persey KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Probably the first choice when the case will turn on cross-examination of technical experts because he has a deadly combination of authority and experience.’

Quadrant Chambers ‘has an impressive energy practice, with real expertise at all levels’ and it is ‘well regarded, clearly having a broad range of well-qualified barristers to pull from’. Renowned as one of the strongest shipping sets, it is increasingly active in disputes concerning energy infrastructure projects and upstream contractual disputes. Energy is one of the sectors identified as a key area of focus for growth in the set’s new ten-year strategy, which was introduced in 2019. Lionel Persey KC is one of the go-to arbitrators for large and complex energy disputes. Simon Rainey led increasingly prominent junior Henry Ellis in a $100m dispute arising from the US$2.7bn divestment of ConocoPhillips’ UK North Sea oil and gas production businesses to Chrysaor in 2019. In Shell Energy Europe Limited v Metaenergia S.p.A., another promising junior Gemma Morgan acted for Shell in a leading case on the right of a party to have its arbitration award enforced as a judgment under s.66 of the Arbitration Act 1996

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

(Leading counsel as arbitrators)Ranked: Tier 2

Lionel Persey KCQuadrant Chambers ‘One of the best presiding arbitrators in the field.’

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Lionel Persey KCQuadrant Chambers  ‘Probably the first choice for big energy project where the case will turn on cross-examination of technical experts, Lionel has a combination of authority and experience which makes him deadly.’

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 6

Lionel Persey KCQuadrant ChambersAn excellent silk.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Lionel Persey KCQuadrant Chambers  ‘Lionel is a tremendously diligent and his analysis is always spot on.’

Quadrant Chambers continues to be a leading set within shipping and commodities in the Asia Pacific region, with barristers frequently representing all parties in various disputes. The chambers is uniquely positioned to offer their shipping expertise at all levels and matters, from dry and wet shipping matters to marine insurance and fraud. Simon Rainey KC and Nigel Jacobs KC are both highly regarded for their work in the shipping sphere, dealing with issues involving limitation of liability and unsafe ports. In the English courts, Caroline Pounds  was successful in her role in Navig8 Chemicals Pools Inc v Aeturnum Energy International Pte Ltd where she acted on behalf of the claimant seeking to enforce performance of the defendant’s obligations under a Letter of Indemnity in respect of the cargo without production of the original bill of lading.  Lionel Persey KC has a wide-ranging practice, including private international law and arbitration matters in the shipping context.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Construction, energy and infrastructure

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Lionel Persey KC – Quadrant ChambersLionel is a tremendously diligent barrister whose analysis is always spot on.’