Mr Nigel Cooper KC > Chambers of Poonam Melwani KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Poonam Melwani KC
Quadrant Chambers


Barrister; practice covers the fields of shipping, shipbuilding (including superyacht and military build projects), insurance/reinsurance, energy and offshore, and commercial disputes (including international trade and conflicts of law). Full practice details are available at or by contacting chambers. Nigel is an experienced advocate appearing regularly in the Commercial and Admiralty courts, arbitrations and in the appellate courts; he has acted for the government at three major formal investigations as well as appearing as an expert witness in overseas proceedings. Recent cases include major arbitrations and commercial court actions in all areas of Nigel’s practice but particularly, shipbuilding in the commercial and yacht sectors, sanctions and fraud, unsafe ports, oil and gas and commodities. Reported cases include Kaefer Aislamientos SA v. AMS Drilling Mexico SA [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 575 (rig repairs and jurisdiction); Bug-5 Shipping Ltd v. Allia Systems Ltd. SA [[2015] EWHC 2550 (Comm) (sale of damaged cargo) BHP Biliton Marketing AG v. TMT Asia Ltd [2012] EWHC 3913 & [2016] EWHC 287 (Ch) (liability under a series of FFAs);  Seadrill Management Services Ltd v Gazprom [2010] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 543 and [2010] EWCA Civ 691 (claims arising out of the collapse of an oil rig); the Western Neptune [2010] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 158 and 172 (collision accident); Ferryways NV v Associated British Ports [2008] 1 Lloyds Rep 639; Almatrans SA v Tutova Shipping Co Ltd [2007] 1 Lloyds Rep10; The Doric Pride [2005] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 470 and court of Appeal (unreported) – charterparty dispute; WISE Underwriting Agency Ltd and Ors v Grupo Nacional Provincial SA [2004] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 483 (CA) – reinsurance dispute; Great North Eastern Railway Ltd v Railcare Ltd [2003] – claim for losses arising from a derailment; Seascope Capital Services ltd v Anglo-Atlantic SS Co Ltd [2002] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 611 – ship financing; reopened formal investigations into the loss of the bulk carrier MV ‘Derbyshire’ (2000) and the fishing vessel FV ‘Gaul’ (2004); formal investigation into the collision between the ‘Marchioness’ and the ‘Bowbelle’ (2001). Nigel was also heavily involved in the Fiona Trust Litigation


Called 1987, Lincoln’s Inn; internship with legal service, European Commission 1988-89; German Academic Exchange Service’s Young Lawyer’s Programme 1989-90; member A Panel of junior counsel to the Crown; accredited mediator; accepts appointments as arbitrator.


Dutch, German, French.


COMBAR; LMAA; Bar European Group; British German Jurists’ Association; European Circuit; Bar Council 1997-2001


Brentwood School; Leeds University (1986 LLB Hons); University of Amsterdam (1988 Diploma of European Integration, Business Law); Queen Mary & Westfield College, London (1992 LLM).


Sailing, walking.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Nigel Cooper KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Just brilliant on his feet. Also very good with clients and down to earth and easy to engage with.’

With long-standing experience in the maritime sector, Quadrant Chambers is seen by many clients as the ‘go-to set for shipping work.’ Silks and juniors alike are regularly instructed in market-leading matters across the full spectrum of wet and dry shipping. Simon Rainey KC and Nigel Jacobs KC appeared in the Supreme Court in Evergreen Marine v Nautical Challenge – after becoming the first appeal in a collision case to come before the highest court for almost half a century, the matter has been remitted back to the Admiralty Court. Rainey also led Tom Bird on The Eternal Bliss, which examined demurrage under voyage charterparties. Another Supreme Court case, the CMA CGM Libra, was handled by John Russell KC and Benjamin Coffer  , and concerned if a defective journey plan renders a vessel unseaworthy. Coffer continued to have a strong year in 2021 and was led by Robert Thomas KC on Holyhead Marina Ltd v Farrer, which considered the right of harbours, docks, and marinas to limit their liability for damage done to vessels at their facilities and which also featured Nigel Cooper KC acting on behalf of the defendants. Thomas Macey-Dare KC and Stewart Buckingham KC were both instructed on a number of high-profile wet and dry shipping disputes before various courts and arbitration fora. Gemma Morgan acted as sole counsel in the Commercial Court in Havila Kystruten AS v Abarca Companhia de Seguros SA opposite silks.

London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 5

Nigel Cooper KCQuadrant ChambersNigel is a very good advocate, and provides well-written detailed advice that is easy to understand and read.

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Nigel Cooper KC – Quadrant Chambers ‘Nigel is incredibly reliable and a deceptively strong advocate who is always well-prepared and never gets fazed.’

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Nigel Cooper KCQuadrant Chambers

‘Nigel is focussed and crisp in his advice. Nigel is also very personable in nature and is always up for a challenge.’                                                                                 ‘

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

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Nigel Cooper KC – Quadrant Chambers