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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).

London Bar

Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is very, very thorough and is an appealing advocate.

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Commercial litigation

Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHugely knowledgeable and authoritative performer in court but a very calm demeanour and good with clients.

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Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe really stands out and immerses himself in cases.

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Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA star of the commercial Bar who is always impressive.

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Insurance and reinsurance

Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is a real force in court.

Within: Insurance and reinsurance

7 King's Bench Walk is 'the premier set for insurance and reinsurance work'; it 'consistently provides the desired balance of incredibly bright and talented barristers while also being approachable and enjoyable to work alongside'. Single Buoy Moorings v Zurich Insurancewhich concerned damage to the MOPUstor platform in the North Seawas a key highlight for the set where Jonathan Gaisman QC, Dominick Kendrick QC, David Bailey QC, Alistair Schaff QC, and several juniors from chambers, were instructed. Also of note, Peter MacDonald Eggers QC is instructed by Lloyd's Underwriters in Shuffle Along v Lloyd’s Underwriters, a claim under an event cancellation policy which is litigated in New York. In Cultural Foundation v Beazley Furlonge,  a key claim under a professional liability policy relating to two construction projects in the UAE, MacDonald Eggers QC led Marcus Mander on behalf of the excess insurers and James Brocklebank QC acted for the American School of Dubai.

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International arbitration: counsel

Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkGreat to work with.

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Product liability

Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkGives thoughtful and realistic assessments of cases and has excellent advocacy skills.

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Professional negligence

Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe commands the courtroom.

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Within: Leading Silks

Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkHe is formidable; exceptionally clever and is clear and concise.

Within: Shipping

7 King's Bench Walk is a 'thoroughbred stable' for shipping work, 'always impresses with its expertise in the sector'. Supreme Court case the B Atlantic, which examined the scope of cover for malicious third parties in marine insurance cover, and the construction of the exclusion of an infringement of customs regulations in the standard war risks form, is a key highlight for Alistair Schaff QC and Alexander MacDonald. Peter MacDonald Eggers QC and Sandra Healy appeared in the Court of Appeal in Aspen v Kairos, a $22m claim relating to the loss of the vessel, the Atlantik Confidence. Richard Southern QC acted in Classic Maritime v Limbungan Makmur Sdn Bhd, a $20m claim for non-performance of a contract of affreightment. Elsewhere, Suez Fortune v Talbot, a marine insurance claim under a war risks policy is a high-profile instruction for Peter MacDonald Eggers QC, Tim Jenns and Richard Waller QC.

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