Charles Debattista gains recognition for his expert handling of bills of lading, charter party disputes and commercial contract disputes.
Charles Debattista has a busy practice in the areas of dry shipping, commodities and arbitration, appearing before London’s Commercial Court, as well as arbitral tribunals in the UK and abroad. He also runs a heavy advisory practice and frequently takes regular appointments as arbitrator, sitting as sole arbitrator, chair or party-appointed arbitrator. He also frequently assists foreign courts with expert opinions on English law. Before moving to full-time practice, Charles was professor of commercial law at the University of Southampton, where he ran the Institute of Maritime Law for several years.
He regularly appears as sole counsel against silks, most recently in the signal case on limitation of liability in bulk goods in Aqasia  EWCA Civ 276. His current caseload includes multimillion-dollar disputes involving the impact of hedging on the quantification of damages in commodity sales; the application of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992 in complex title to sue cases; and challenges to arbitration awards for procedural irregularity; audit, good faith and cooperation obligations in a shipping joint venture. Charles contributes pro bono to the drafting work of the International Chamber of Commerce, having participated in the drafting of several instruments used in international trade, most notably chairing and overseeing three versions of the ICC’s Incoterms (2000, 2010 and 2020).
Charles has taken appointments or appeared as counsel in arbitrations run under the LMAA, the ICC, the LCIA, the Swiss Chambers Arbitration Institution, GAFTA and FOSFA. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the British Maritime Law Association, and the Grain and Feed Trade Association; and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association.
Tel: 0207 440 6900