Henry Byam-Cook KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Banking
  • Civil fraud
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Commercial law
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Information technology
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Private international law
  • Shipping and international trade


Henry practises in a range of commercial disputes, principally shipping, energy, IT/telecoms, banking, fraud and insurance. He frequently represents clients as sole counsel, but also has considerable experience working as part of a larger team.

Clients and the directories highlight his advocacy (“his oral advocacy is superb”), depth of analysis (“has a very sharp mind”) and user-friendly approach (“absolute pleasure to work with”).

He is regularly instructed on cases in the English High Court (Commercial Court, TCC and Chancery Division) and has also appeared in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He has extensive experience of jurisdictional disputes and interim applications (including obtaining and resisting urgent injunctive relief, anti-suits and freezing orders), together with acting in trials, often with a complex, technical dimension.

Henry also has a strong commercial arbitration practice. He represents clients in all forms of international arbitration – ad hoc, institutional and trade arbitrations. In addition, he has considerable experience of applications to court in support of arbitral proceedings, appeals against arbitration awards, jurisdictional challenges and enforcement. He accepts appointments to sit as an arbitrator.


Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 5

Henry Byam-Cook KCTwenty Essex ‘Consistently cool, calm and collected, he excels in particular in distilling complex technical points into readily understandable soundbites.’

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 5

Henry Byam-Cook KCTwenty Essex ‘Henry is a very clear and polished advocate. His arguments are always well-structured and carefully pitched.’

Praised as a ‘premier set in shipping and commodities with strength in depth at all levels’, Twenty Essex  supports clients in disputes across the whole gamut of maritime matters. Timothy Hill KC, Alex Carless, and Michal Hain all acted on the CMA CGM Libra, which proceeded to the Supreme Court in 2021 and held that a defective passage plan renders a vessel unseaworthy. Elsewhere, Timothy Young KC acted for the Spanish government in London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v Spain opposite Alexander Thompson; the case concerns one of the largest oil spills in Europe caused by the sinking of the Prestige off the coast of Galicia in 2002. Henry Byam-Cook KC and Philip Riches KC continue to receive instructions on high-profile disputes, with the former involved in two cases arising out of the insolvency of a trading company and a subsequent ship arrest which will be heard concurrently in the Commercial Court. Oliver Caplin, who specialises in dry shipping, has also had a strong year, including acting as sole counsel against silks.