Colleen Hanley > Twenty Essex > London, England > Barrister Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Commercial law and arbitration law
  • EU and UK competition law
  • Shipping


Colleen is a recommended leading junior in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

She specialises in commercial litigation with a particular focus on shipping, commodities and international arbitration. Colleen appears regularly before the Commercial Court and international arbitration tribunals in disputes involving complex commercial sale contracts, charterparty construction, cargo claims and jurisdictional issues. She has particular expertise in challenging arbitration awards under the Arbitration Act and in obtaining anti-suit injunctions. Colleen has also acted for some of the world’s largest commodity traders in sale of goods disputes and has specific expertise in oil and gas sale disputes. She has also advised in superyacht disputes.

Early in her career, Colleen worked in-house at the Nordisk Shipowners’ Defence Club in Oslo and has a unique understanding of the day to-day legal issues arising for shipowners. She regularly advises and acts for a variety of shipowners’ defence clubs and is happy to accept direct instructions.

In addition to her main commercial litigation practice, Colleen has expertise in UK and European competition law. From 2008 to 2009 she was the Principal Legal Adviser at Ofgem with responsibility for all competition law matters, as well as advising on public and regulatory law issues. As a Pegasus Scholar, Colleen worked in-house in the anti-trust department of the Washington DC office of Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP and as a Visiting Fellow on Capitol Hill during which she was seconded to the staff teams of a prominent US senator and well-known congressman.

Colleen was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2017. She also has full rights of audience to appear before the AIFC, in Astana Kazakhstan.


German (fluent); Irish (fluent); French (proficient); Italian (basic)

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Colleen HanleyTwenty Essex ‘Tenacious and prepared to go the extra mile.’

Lauded as ‘one of the pre-eminent shipping sets’, Twenty Essex’ strengths are well-distributed along the full range of maritime disputes. The charterparty dispute Trafigura Maritime Logistics Pte Ltd v Clearlake Shipping Pte Ltd kept a number of members busy, with Michael Ashcroft KC, Daniel Bovensiepen, and Timothy Young KC all being involved. The latter also led Colleen Hanley in the Shagang Giant, a case dealing with the interpretation of a force majeure clause in light of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Damages caused by the detention of a vessel and the subsequent claim for demurrage are central in Rhine Shipping v Vitol, where Patrick Dunn-Walsh is led by Philip Edey KC on behalf of Rhine Shipping.

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Colleen HanleyTwenty Essex ‘Quick thinking, responsive, intelligent and clear-thinking, Colleen’s work is always clearly expressed and logical.’