Christopher Hancock KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Commercial law
  • General contractual disputes
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Jurisdictional disputes
  • Sales of goods and international trade (including commodities and banking)
  • Shipping (carriage by sea, ship sale and purchase, shipbuilding)


Christopher is joint Head of Chambers.

He has appeared before courts at all levels, including the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and Privy Council.

Christopher is a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) accredited mediator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is also an LMAA supporting member and sits regularly as a commercial arbitrator.

He is a former Chairman of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR).

Christopher was appointed as a Recorder in 2004 and a deputy High Court judge in 2008. He sits regularly as a judge of the Commercial Court.


Year of call: 1983
Year of QC: 2000
CEDR Accredited Mediator.


  • British Maritime Law Association (BMLA) Subcommittee on Charterers’ Rights to Limit Liability (2008)
  • BMLA Committee on Carriage of Goods by Sea (1987–2002)
  • BMLAEDI Subcommittee: Chairman (2000)
  • COMBAR: Former Chairman
  • COMBAR: Chairman of North American Committee (2005–2007)
  • COMBAR: Vice Chairman (2007–2009)
  • Electronic Commerce Association Legal Advisory Group (1996–2000)
  • LMAA: Supporting Member


  • Harvard Law School: LLM
  • University of Cambridge, Trinity College: MA, First Class

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 5

Christopher Hancock KCTwenty EssexA veteran in shipping and commodities cases who works well as counsel or arbitrator.

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Christopher Hancock KCTwenty Essex

Fielding ‘great strength in depth across all levels of call’, Twenty Essex offers clients silks and juniors of ‘excellent quality’. Michael Ashcroft KC remains active on many of the largest cases in the shipping Bar. In 2020, he appeared several times before the Commercial Court, and has recently been instructed by Evergreen Marine to advise on matters related to the grounding of the Ever Given in March 2021, which blocked the Suez Canal for six days. Timothy Hill KC also had a strong year, handling CMA CGM Libra in the Court of Appeal; permission has been granted to appeal this case to the Supreme Court, where it will be heard in 2021. This dispute is the first time in almost 60 years that the highest court in the United Kingdom (and the first ever under the Supreme Court name) has considered the legal test for seaworthiness, in particular the extent to which a shipowner is obligated to exercise due diligence to make a ship seaworthy. Elsewhere, Christopher Hancock KC‘s handled CCNI Arauco in the Commercial Court, and Michael Collett KC appeared several times in the same court including in Sea Master Shipping Inc v Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd & Anor, a dispute involving the question of liabilities under bills of lading. On the junior end, Colleen Hanley acts as sole counsel, including against silks, in matters ranging from charterparty chain disputes to ship arrests.

London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Christopher Hancock KCTwenty Essex