Quadrant Chambers

Shipping & Commodities Department

London (Bar)
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A market-leading set, Quadrant Chambers continues to excel, offering a raft of stellar silks and high-calibre juniors who exhibit strong sector expertise in both dry and wet shipping matters as well as significant commodities disputes. Members regularly appear in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in the highest-profile cases, often with far-reaching implications. Recent instructions include the 'Volcafe', 'Pacific Voyager' and 'Ever Smart' cases. Sources say: "Quadrant Chambers is an excellent commercial set formed of sophisticated barristers who stand out in their expert fields."

Client service: "The clerking is excellent; they are highly responsive and very commercial." "The team are extremely impressive. A fantastic stable of talent. Gary Ventura remains standout as the best senior clerk in the business." Gary Ventura and Simon Slattery are the senior clerks.

Andrew Leung

He is a notable junior, regularly instructed in complex and high-value proceedings before the Commercial Court, Admiralty Court and the Court of Appeal. He is regularly instructed in wet and dry shipping disputes as well as significant commodities claims.
Strengths: "Andrew Leung is a pleasure to work with. He is responsive, collaborative and efficient. He is capable of handling all the detail and technicalities of a case." "Superbly hard-working, he is a go-to junior."
Recent work: Appeared at first instance and on appeal in Classic Maritime v (1) Limbungan Makmur SDN BDH and (2) Lion Diversified Holdings BHD, which raised novel issues as to causation and the correct application of the compensatory principle.

Ben Gardner

A likeable junior with a broad practice covering commodities and shipping matters as well as insurance and conflict of laws. He regularly receives direct in-house instructions from industry clients to appear in courtroom trials and confidential arbitrations.
Strengths: "He's an excellent lawyer who inspires confidence in his clients." "Ben offers good advice and is very eloquent and clear in his advocacy." "He is very responsive and thorough, a real team player."
Recent work: Appeared before the Supreme Court in 'The New Flamenco', a charter party dispute relating to mitigation and the calculation of contract damages.

Benjamin Coffer

A standout shipping and commodities junior. He has expertise in charter party, shipbuilding and ship finance disputes as well as in both hard and soft commodities including oil, coal, steel, sugar and grain.
Strengths: "Ben Coffer has extensive case law knowledge and an in-depth understanding of marine law. He is very responsive and able to provide swift answers to urgent enquiries." "He is a sound opponent and sensible to deal with."
Recent work: Represented cargo interests in the Supreme Court in the 'Volcafe' case. The appeal concerned the burden of proof under the Hague-Visby Rules.

Caroline Pounds

A sought-after junior regularly engaged on a broad range of high-profile wet and dry shipping disputes and commodities cases. She is highly commended for her ability in the High Court and in arbitration, frequently appearing on a sole basis. Her instructions emanate from around the world.
Strengths: "She is extremely hard-working and user-friendly." "She is a pleasure to work with, a very bright and able junior."
Recent work: Continued to represent Shagang Shipping, the owners of the vessel 'DONG-A-ASTREA' in a long-running dispute arising from the breach of a long-term charter party. The issues involved allegations of bribery and whether certain confessions had been obtained by torture.

Chirag Karia QC

A barrister with a significant shipping and commodities practice who undertakes work in a variety of areas including cargo claims, collisions and marine insurance disputes. Many of his instructions cross multiple jurisdictions. He has notable experience in cases concerning anti-suit injunctions.
Strengths: "Chirag Karia is a pleasure to work with, and he is responsive, thorough and reliable. He is also technically excellent." "Karia is very user-friendly, provides clear and concise advice and is extremely responsible." "He is outstanding and provides clear, commercial advice."
Recent work: Acted for RTE, the owners of subsea electricity cables that were cut by anchoring dragging by 'Stema Barge' and 'Saga Sky' in a limitation action and action for declaration of non-liability in London, plus related actions in France and Denmark.

Chris Smith QC

An accomplished silk with a wide-ranging practice encompassing dry shipping, commodities, transport and insurance disputes. He is a familiar figure in court and arbitration proceedings.
Strengths: "Chris is very approachable and commercially minded." "He is a punchy, skilful advocate who is not afraid to take difficult points."

David Goldstone QC

An excellent barrister with marked ability in shipping law. His practice covers wet and dry work such as salvage, unsafe ports and charter party disputes. He frequently appears in arbitrations. He maintains a multi-jurisdictional practice, interacting with lawyers from Singapore, the UAE, Russia, Greece and numerous other countries.
Strengths: "He is fantastic."

Gemma Morgan

Has a broad practice covering wet and dry shipping work as well as matters concerning commodities and international carriage of goods. Morgan has a prominent arbitration practice, regularly undertaking shipbuilding and technical disputes. She is especially adept at conducting arbitrations under LMAA terms. She is further noted for her yachts work.
Strengths: "Gemma Morgan is completely committed and very enjoyable to work with. She is extremely good with clients and excellent on her feet in cross-examination." "She demonstrates real thoroughness and care in her work." "She is razor-sharp in cutting through voluminous documents."
Recent work: Represented the owners of the 'SAGA SKY' in a case arising out of a collision with an unmanned barge as a result of storm force conditions. Damage was also caused to under sea cables owned by RTE.

Henry Ellis

Highly regarded for his work across both dry and wet shipping matters as well as commodities disputes. He appears in both courtroom trials and arbitrations and is particularly recognised for his experience of dispute resolution in Asia. He is further recognised for his capabilities in international trade work.
Strengths: "An excellent advocate, he is very smooth and very hard-working." "Henry Ellis is very user-friendly and approachable, with a good sense of humour. He is extremely bright and really gets to grips with the detail of a case swiftly. He has an excellent eye for detail, and his advocacy skills are remarkable."
Recent work: Represented Petroineos Trading before the Commercial Court in 'MT AIAS', a charter party dispute concerning the application of the INTERTANKO blending clause.

James Turner QC

A highly recommended barrister regularly instructed in shipbuilding, salvage and marine casualties. He also covers charter parties and trade finance matters including bills of exchange and letters of credit. He is a familiar presence in the Commercial and Admiralty Courts. He also appears regularly in arbitration proceedings.
Strengths: "James Turner QC approaches problems with intellectual rigour and an astute grasp of commercial realities. He makes himself readily available for clients, is wonderfully measured and provides assured and very thorough advice." "James Turner QC is a true expert in shipbuilding contract disputes."
Recent work: Appeared for the claimant in Priyanka Shipping Ltd v Glory Bulk Carriers, the first judgment on the availability of negotiating damages at common law since the Supreme Court decision in One Step.

John Kimbell QC

Has a flourishing commercial practice encompassing wet and dry shipping work. He routinely acts in LMAA arbitrations and in the Commercial and Admiralty Courts. He enjoys a substantial following among clients in Germany, where he is a qualified lawyer. He also sits as a GMAA arbitrator.
Strengths: "He is very strong and very bright."
Recent work: Advised on the 'Grumant' case, which involved a £50 million claim for damages after a ship dragged its anchor along the seabed and punctured a pipeline.

John Passmore QC

A highly able silk with a broad practice covering wet and dry shipping as well as commodities disputes. He also takes on ship sale and purchase, shipbuilding and offshore construction matters. His commodities expertise is particularly centred on metals and ores.
Strengths: "John Passmore QC is very astute and quick-thinking, he's a very good advocate." "He is very good technically, approachable and can be reached at any time."

John Russell QC

A tough advocate whose shipping practice includes charter parties, shipbuilding and piracy claims. He has particular acumen in both cargo claims and yacht-related disputes. He is equally at ease appearing in arbitrations as in courtroom trials. He has marked experience in cases concerning force majeure clauses.
Strengths: "One of the best of his generation, he is fantastic and logical in how he leads the judge." "John Russell is an excellent and effective advocate." "His ability to read the tribunal and to analyse questions and situations as they arise during oral hearings is outstanding."
Recent work: Successfully defended the cargo interests in 'CMA CGM LIBRA', a general average claim following the vessel’s grounding on departure from a Chinese port. The case notably extended the law on unseaworthiness to the preparation of passage plans.

Lionel Persey QC

An excellent silk, deputy High Court judge and Lloyd's arbitrator. He has a first-rate practice covering shipping matters including charter parties, bills of lading, salvage and collisions. He also has significant expertise in energy and insurance-related matters.
Strengths: "He is great, high calibre." "He is fantastic."
Recent work: Continued to represent The Kingdom of Spain in the long-running case 'The Prestige'. The dispute arose from the 2002 'Prestige' casualty which caused significant oil pollution in Spain and France.

Luke Parsons QC

Esteemed silk who is well respected for his broad shipping and commodities practice covering issues such as shipbuilding, ship sale and charter party disputes. He is highly active in the Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court and the High Court and is equally adept at arbitrations.
Strengths: "Luke is one of the very best QCs; his advocacy and cross-examination is incisive, succinct and effective." "One of the most experienced people at the Bar, he is smooth, calm and measured." "His cross-examination is superb, a real spectacle to watch in the courtroom."
Recent work: Acted for cargo underwriters MCAP in the Commercial Court in Natixis v Marex, Access World & MCAP [2019], a nickel fraud claim wherein claims were brought against Access World and its cargo underwriters over fraudulent warehouse receipts.

Mark Stiggelbout

A well-regarded shipping and commodities practitioner with additional faculty in insurance, energy and insolvency disputes. He regularly acts in court and arbitration proceedings and has experience obtaining urgent injunctive relief.
Strengths: "A bright young junior with good knowledge of shipping law." "He is extremely sharp and focuses on the key issues, providing clear and accessible advice." "He is ahead of his years, very measured, persuasive and very well regarded."

Max Davidson

An up-and-coming junior offering expertise across wet and dry shipping disputes, he has particular experience handling complex LMAA arbitrations. He is further noted for his competencies in commodities cases.
Strengths: "Max Davidson masters complex facts and documents very quickly, providing very clear and commercial advice." "Max is very approachable and an extremely skilful lawyer with the ability to simplify complex points of law."
Recent work: Acted for the cargo interests in MV 'ELIN' a claim for approximately USD4 million arising out of the loss and damage of a project cargo.

Michael Davey QC

Well regarded for his ability in wet and dry shipping disputes including charter parties, bills of lading, salvage and collisions. He also covers related insurance and conflicts of law matters. He has significant knowledge of fisheries disputes.
Strengths: "Michael Davey QC is very shrewd and makes every word count." "He has vast experience in both dry and wet shipping. He is hugely bright, very tenacious and enjoyable to work with."
Recent work: Represented Marina Stewardship in two Marine Council adjudications concerning the sustainability of tuna fisheries worldwide.

Michael Nolan QC

Manages an extensive shipping practice covering litigation, arbitration and advice. He deals with charter party, bills of lading and shipbuilding contract disputes. He has particular knowledge of the sea-fishing industry as well as harbour law.
Strengths: "He brings huge experience across almost every aspect of shipping and commodities work. He combines this experience with an encyclopedic knowledge of the black-letter law to deliver superb written advice which can be relied on without question."
Recent work: Represented Kaefer Aislamietos SA de CV in the Court of Appeal. Nolan acted for repairers claiming the cost of work of asbestos removal from an oil rig in Mexico. The case turned on the standard of proof required in order to establish jurisdiction in the English court.

Natalie Moore

An accomplished junior with capability to act in international trade and in wet and dry shipping matters in the Commercial Court and in arbitration. She has handled cases relating to piracy as well as bills of lading and charter party disputes. She is increasingly instructed in her own right as solo counsel. She has a strong knowledge of anti-suit injunctions.
Strengths: "She is commercial, detailed and understands the client's needs."
Recent work: Appeared for the successful appellant bareboat charterers, Ark Shipping Company, in the Court of Appeal, an important ruling on the classification of the charterers’ obligation to keep a vessel in class under a bareboat charter.

Nevil Phillips

An outstanding junior with an excellent and longstanding reputation who frequently appears unled against QCs. He has marked experience covering wet and dry shipping disputes, and he has authored a leading text on the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
Strengths: "Nevil is an extremely approachable barrister." "He is exceptional." "He is highly experienced in maritime and trade disputes and familiar with the latest developments in the law. He is patient, logical, persuasive and always makes himself available."
Recent work: Successfully acted in the 'Alhani' case, which determined the important question of whether the one-year time bar under the Hague Rules applied to cases of misdelivery of cargo.

Nichola Warrender

An experienced junior with significant expertise in wet and dry shipping, international trade and commodity matters. She also handles shipbuilding cases and other commercial disputes.
Strengths: "Nichola Warrender is perhaps the hardest-working human being who has ever lived and she has an eye for detail which would make most spreadsheets ashamed of themselves."
Recent work: Appeared for the successful underwriters in the high-profile 'Brillante Virtuoso' case, a constructive total loss claim which turned on the owner's wilful misconduct, breaches of warranty, misrepresentation and non-disclosure.

Nigel Cooper QC

A well-known silk engaged in both wet and dry shipping work as well as insurance and international trade matters. He frequently advises on shipbuilding and yacht-related disputes. He represents clients both as an advocate in court cases and arbitrations and as an arbitrator. He accepts instructions from law firms, corporations, insurance companies and the UK government.
Strengths: "He is concise and clear in his views and has an excellent commercial understanding of how the shipping trade works." "He is absolutely magnificent: tenacious, diligent and extraordinarily calm." "Nigel Cooper QC is a very thorough and clear thinker."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the third and fourth defendants in Kaefer Aislimentos v AMS Drilling, a claim arising out of refurbishment works to a rig for use on a drilling project in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nigel Jacobs QC

An esteemed practitioner who frequently tackles collision, salvage and marine insurance matters as well as dry shipping work. He is regularly called on to handle complex international cases across a range of jurisdictions.
Strengths: "He is very solid and pleasant, a very sound commercial lawyer."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of the owners in the 'Ever Smart' litigation before the Court of Appeal, proceedings arising out of a collision in the narrow channel off Jebel Ali.

Paul Henton

An experienced junior with capability in a range of Commercial Court and arbitration actions. His practice encompasses both wet and dry shipping cases, many of which are the subject of considerable press interest.
Strengths: "He is detailed, experienced and can cut through issues quickly and clearly."
Recent work: Acted for the owners of the 'Ever Smart' in quantum-only proceedings arising out of a collision with the tanker 'Alexandra 1' in the narrow channel off Jebel Ali. It was a dispute concerning the recoverability of loss of profits in circumstances where the collision damage repair period was dramatically extended following the loss of H&M cover due to illegal trading.

Paul Toms

A highly regarded junior with marked capability in shipping and commodities actions in the High Court and London Mercantile Court and in arbitration. He acts in piracy and charter party disputes, among other areas, and has a burgeoning appellate practice.
Strengths: "Paul Toms is easy to work with, very thorough and responsive." "Careful, considered and astute, he has an unparalleled eye for detail." "He is accessible, measured and reassuring, a real pleasure to work with."

Peter Stevenson

Focuses on high-value commodities and shipping disputes. His practice covers wet and dry shipping work as well as marine insurance and shipbuilding. He is well known for his ability to take on a range of disputes involving affreightment, dangerous cargo, collisions and unsafe port claims.
Strengths: "Peter Stevenson is knowledgeable, bright and extremely perceptive." "Peter's advice is concise and to the point, which always helps when feeding back to clients."
Recent work: Acted for client Shanghai Shipyard in the High Court on a claim to recover USD170 million in unpaid instalments from the parent company of an insolvent purchaser of a drillship.

Poonam Melwani QC

A well-regarded silk who approaches shipping and commodities cases within the context of a far-reaching commercial practice. She is regularly instructed in charter party, bill of lading and general contract disputes. Her practice also includes disputes regarding alleged fraud.
Strengths: "She is diligent and fights very hard for her clients."
Recent work: Appeared before the Court of Appeal for the defendant in Zumax Nigeria Ltd v FCMB, a complex claim concerning issues as to trusts, fiduciary duties, duties of account and the banking relationship between commercial parties and their banks.

Robert Thomas QC

A switched-on barrister whose varied practice includes shipping and commodities matters and advice on anti-suit injunctions and freezing orders. He is recognised for his ability in both arbitrations and litigation.
Strengths: "Rob is thorough, tenacious and really lives the case while he is handling it." "He is extremely user-friendly, very approachable and responds immediately." "He is sensible, extremely commercially minded and has excellent judgement in his advocacy."
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal on the 'Lady M', the first modern-day case to consider the scope of the fire exception found in Article IV rule 2 of the Hague/Hague-Visby Rules.

Ruth Hosking

Commended for her practice covering bills of lading, charter parties and commodities disputes as well as anti-suit injunctions. She appears in the Commercial Court and the Admiralty Court as well as in arbitrations. She is regularly instructed directly.
Strengths: "Ruth is a very solid, competent and user-friendly junior." "She is the all-round package, a brilliant barrister." "She is very down to earth, easy to work with, and clients like her."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of the ship owners in the 'BSLE Sunrise', a series of related general average disputes under bills of lading, Average Bonds and Average Guarantees.

Simon Croall QC

A distinguished barrister with a superb practice that takes in shipping, commodities and international trade matters. He has a fantastic track record in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Commercial Court, as well as in arbitrations. His recent caseload includes disputes regarding charter parties, ship detention and shipbuilding.
Strengths: "He is always thinking outside of the box, coming up with novel and interesting ways to argue a point. He is fantastic." "His advice is always prompt, clear and comprehensive." "He is an able and driven advocate."
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal for the owners of the 'Pacific Voyager', on the novel issue as to whether a ship owner is required to commence an approach voyage under a voyage charter by a specific date, even where it has not warranted an arrival date or given an expected ready to load date.

Simon Rainey QC

A highly acclaimed silk active across the shipping and commodities spaces. His exceptional practice covers diverse matters including shipbuilding, piracy and explosion, dangerous cargo and charter party disputes. He is further noted for his excellence in superyacht disputes.
Strengths: "Simon Rainey QC is widely regarded as one of the very best of the shipping silks, a reputation which is entirely justified." "The best of the best. He's stunning in writing and on his feet, making the most complex of matters seem easy; he can take hundreds of pages of documents and turn them into five killer bullet points." "Simon Rainey is immensely experienced, very personable and outstanding on his feet before a tribunal or judge. He always delivers." "He's smoother than a marble and more polished than a guardsman's jacket button."
Recent work: Appeared for the respondent in the 'Volcafe' case, a landmark two-day Supreme Court proceeding wherein the court set out new guiding principles pertaining to the correct interpretation of the Hague/Hague-Visby Rules as to the burden of proof in cargo claims, generally and in relation to inherent vice.

Stephanie Barrett

Has notable experience across a range of shipping matters. She demonstrates strong ability in shipbuilding and cargo claims as well as charter party disputes including demurrage and unsafe port issues. She acts as an advocate in arbitration as well as in court.
Strengths: "She is approachable and responsive."

Stewart Buckingham QC

Demonstrating considerable expertise across a wide practice area, he takes on work in energy commodities, shipbuilding, and wet and dry shipping law. He has notable experience of both highly technical arbitrations and litigation in the Commercial Court. He has acted in numerous cases concerning piracy, collision and salvage.
Strengths: "Stewart is incredibly thorough, calm and measured in style. He is never flustered and extremely well prepared, you always feel like the case is in safe hands when he is involved." "He is tenacious, thorough and has a very easy manner."
Recent work: Appeared before the Court of Appeal in the 'Pacific Voyager', a case concerning the nature and scope of the obligation on an owner to commence performance of a voyage charter, and whether it can rely upon the general exceptions clause to excuse performance.

Thomas Macey-Dare QC

A highly commended practitioner specialising in wet and dry shipping, international trade and insurance disputes. He has particular strength in emergency applications as well as technical issues related to navigation and seamanship. He is a frequent presence both on the courtroom circuit and in trade arbitrations.
Strengths: "Tom Macey-Dare QC is very thorough and conscientious. He is easy to deal with and provides excellent commercial advice."
Recent work: Acted in the 'Eleni P' litigation, a series of disputes arising from the capture by pirates of the Greek-owned bulk carrier in the Arabian Sea and the subsequent insolvency of the owner, Deiulemar. A central issue was whether the capture placed the vessel off hire under a chain of time charter parties.

Tom Bird

Impressive up-and-coming junior with a burgeoning dry shipping practice. He regularly acts in charter party, bill of lading and shipbuilding disputes. He represents ship owners and cargo interests in significant arbitrations and court actions. He also has notable expertise in commodities cases.
Strengths: "Tom Bird is an excellent barrister. He is highly intelligent and provides clear and insightful advice on complex legal issues. A rising star." "Tom Bird is a fast thinker and is very easy to work with."
Recent work: Represented the Defendant in the Commercial Court in Palmali Shipping SA v Litasco SA, a USD2 billion damages claim arising from an alleged long-term contract of affreightment.

Yash Kulkarni QC

A skilful barrister with an active shipping and commodities practice, who works to resolve disputes through litigation and arbitration. He has marked experience in freezing, search and asset preservation orders as well as anti-suit injunctions.
Strengths: "A poised and suave advocate." "He is extremely able and has the ability to focus on the commerciality of any issue, which is particularly helpful."