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Chambers of Gavin Kealey QC

Work 020 7910 8300
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Alistair Schaff QC

Work 020 7910 8300
7 King's Bench Walk (Chambers of Gavin Kealey QC)


Barrister specialising in all aspects of international commercial law, including international arbitration (in the UK and abroad, both as advocate and arbitrator), insurance and reinsurance, conflict of laws/jurisdiction disputes, shipping, international sale of goods, oil disputes, professional and commercial negligence. He was named the Chambers Bar Awards Insurance Silk of the Year for 2009 and has been regularly shortlisted ever since. Significant recent cases include: Atlas Navios v Navigators [2014] EWHC 4133 (Comm) – a war risks insurance case in which a vessel was detained when cocaine was discovered strapped to her hull; Clarks v In Focus [2014] EWCA Civ 118 – a financial services case in which res judicata principles precluded subsequent court proceedings for claims in excess of the maximum amount awardable under the FOS jurisdiction; Helmot v Simon [2012] UKPC 5 – a personal injury case upholding the use of a negative discount rate for lump sum awards of damages; Standard Life v Ace [2012] EWHC 104 (Comm), [2012] EWCA Civ 1713 – a pension fund mis-selling case involving a claim for ‘mitigation costs’ under a professional liability policy; Aioi v Heraldglen [2013] EWHC 154 (Comm) – a reinsurance case involving ‘9/11 – one event or two?’; Wasa v Lexington [2009] UKHL 40 – a leading House of Lords case on the nature/scope of ‘back to back’ reinsurance. In addition, he has been involved in countless high-profile international arbitration disputes ranging from Middle East oil concessions, South American political risks and pharmaceutical liabilities to Far Eastern hotels damaged by the Tsunami and banking fraud.


Called 1983; Queen’s Counsel 1999.


Cambridge University (MA).

Asia Pacific: The English Bar


Within: Commercial – Leading silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHis work includes insurance arbitrations.’

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London Bar

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation – Leading silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King’s Bench WalkA go-to silk for complex insurance coverage disputes.’

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Within: Commodities – Leading silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King’s Bench WalkAbsolutely first-rate; a top-notch silk, who provides first-class service.’

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Insurance and reinsurance

Within: Insurance and reinsurance – Leading silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King’s Bench WalkAn excellent advocate, who judges his presentation perfectly.’

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International arbitration: counsel

Within: International arbitration: counsel – Leading silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King’s Bench WalkA quality act.’

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Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence – Leading silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King’s Bench WalkAn incredible intellect.’

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Within: Shipping – Leading silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King’s Bench WalkTechnically brilliant.’

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