Jonathan Gaisman QC > Chambers of Gavin Kealey QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Gavin Kealey QC
7 King's Bench Walk
Jonathan Gaisman photo


Barrister and arbitrator specialising in all fields of commercial law, particularly insurance, banking, professional negligence, shipping, oil and gas, and international trade.


Qualified 1979; Inner Temple; QC 1995; current directorships: International Musicians Seminar (Prussia Cove); Streetwise Opera.


Reasonable French and German.


Eton College; Worcester College, Oxford (1977 MA; 1978 BCL).


The arts, travel, country pursuits.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench WalkJonathan contributes intellectual rigour, determination, fierce work ethic. flair and willingness to discuss issues with the client.

7 King’s Bench Walk is an ‘excellent set‘ where the ‘overwhelming majority of barristers are  of an impressive standard and very helpful and responsive‘, with the ‘quality apparent throughout both silks and juniors‘. In addition to the set’s core strengths of insurance and shipping, the set’s members are regularly sought for major commercial and fraud cases. Several leading silks and juniors were involved in the FCA Business Interruption Test case concerning if policies cover government-mandated closures citing Covid-19, with Gavin Kealey QC, Jonathan Gaisman QC and Josephine Higgs QC a small selection of those involved for various interested parties. Other notable cases include PDVSA Servicios SA v PetroSaudi Oil Services in which David Allen QC and Michael Ryan are representing PetroSaudi, an attempt to use funds held by Clyde & Co, but argued to be the proceeds of the 1MDB fraud, to satisfy an arbitral award.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench WalkA formidable advocate – a top choice for the biggest, most complex cases.

7 King’s Bench Walk is ‘a really good set with several top notch practitioners‘ who are rapidly building a strong presence in the civil fraud space. Silks such as David Allen QC are especially active in this area, as demonstrated by his role on PDVSA Servicios SA v Petrosaudi Oil Services in which he is leading Michael Ryan in the defence of PetroSaudi – a case concerning the enforcement of an arbitration award, where it is alleged that funds earmarked to pay it are proceeds of the 1MDB fraud. Another highlight was the Brilliante Virtuoso case, a shipping insurance claim involving allegations of a fake Somali pirate attack, in which Jonathan Gaisman QC , Richard Waller QC and Keir Howie represented the insurers.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench WalkHe devours the case. He has incredible court presence and is great at reading the tribunal.

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench WalkJonathan has very strong analytical and strategic skills which he is able to carry over into his advocacy.

7 King’s Bench Walk is ‘strong in major commercial disputes’, making it ‘a destination chambers, providing excellent quality barristers across key work areas including shipping, commodities, general commercial litigation and international arbitration’. The set approaches energy cases principally from the perspective of insurance and shipping, which has seen it involved in high-profile matters such as the high-value PetroSaudi v PDVSA energy arbitration, in which Jonathan Gaisman QC, David Allen QC, Simon Kerr, Jason Robinson and Michael Ryan were instructed for PetroSaudi. Alistair Schaff QC is another key member involved in energy matters, bringing his extensive experience in international commercial law to bear on, among others, a case for SBM Offshore involving damage to the legs and topside of a North Sea rig.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench WalkThere is probably no one better at presenting a complex case to a sophisticated tribunal.

London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench WalkJonathan was a fabulous leader for our team in what was a torrid and challenging matter. He is intellectually fearless, determined and completely rigorous. He does not leave things to junior members of the team, but is always entirely top of the detail. Approachable and available, even in times of great challenge, it was a real privilege to work with him.

7 King’s Bench Walk is ‘undoubtedly the leading set for insurance disputes‘. Several of the set’s silks and juniors played roles in the leading insurance market test case (The Financial Conduct Authority v Arch Insurance (UK) & others), brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) against various insurers over pandemic-related losses and business interruption cover, including Jonathan Gaisman QC leading Adam Fenton QC and junior Harry Wright in the representation of Hiscox. In recognition of his longstanding work involving the insurance and reinsurance markets, Michael Holmes QC took silk in the 2021 round.

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench Walk

London Bar > Professional negligence

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Jonathan Gaisman QC7 King’s Bench WalkJonathan is a phenomenal advocate.

The ‘first-class‘ set 7 King’s Bench Walk has ‘a very solid reputation‘ in the professional negligence field.  Claims against auditors and accountants form the cornerstone of the practice, and in a prominent example of the group’s expertise in this area, Jonathan Gaisman QC, James Brocklebank QC, and Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC are appearing for various parties in Carillion v KPMG, an claim against auditors concerning the early 2018 collapse of the construction contractor and facilities outsourcing firm. In another matter, James Goudkamp (‘a fantastic source of knowledge‘) appeared for the successful respondent in Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, an appeal before the Supreme Court concerning the illegality defence in a clinical negligence context but with broader consequences.