Christopher Smith KC KC > Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Essex Court Chambers
Christopher Smith KC photo


Chris Smith has a broad based practice covering all aspects of domestic and international commercial work, with particular emphasis on wet and dry shipping, professional negligence, and related areas such as marine and non-marine insurance and reinsurance. Chris’ practice involves advisory work, mediation and litigation in the Court of Appeal and all divisions of the High Court. He also has extensive experience of acting as co-counsel in disputes involving litigation in more than one jurisdiction and much of his practice involves arbitration, both in England and Wales and abroad including Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Norway. Chris is a CEDR accredited mediator and also accepts appointments as arbitrator both on LMAA and ad hoc terms.


Called 1989, Inner Temple; Silk 2009.


Working knowledge French, German.


Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association; London Court of International Arbitration; Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; supporting member London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association; Baltic Exchange.


Southampton University (LLB).


Sailing, riding, carriage driving.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Christopher Smith KCEssex Court Chambers

Fielding ‘high-level professional services’, Essex Court Chambers is known for its strong barristers on both junior and silk level.  The set handles disputes, arbitration, and litigation on the full spectrum of maritime matters. Christopher Smith KC appeared for the South African government in Argentum v The Silver – the case, concerning the recovery of silver bars from a 1942 shipwreck, was the first to consider the State Immunity Act in relation to an in rem claim. Sanctions were  a central part of OCM Nile and OCM Kama v Courage and Amethyst, in which Graham Dunning KC led for the defendants. Philippa Hopkins KC regularly appears in various courts and arbitration fora in relation to ship arrests, shipbuilding, and marine insurance. 2021 was another strong year for David Walsh, who was involved in the charterparty claim Container Schiffahrts-Gmbh & Co. KG MS “MSC Flaminia” v MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. about an onboard explosion caused by cargo. Jeremy Brier KC and Neil Hart KC are both 2022 Silk appointments.