UK Bar: International Trade and Commodities 2019

This year’s chapter highlights 40 silks and 21 juniors in the field of international trade and commodities law. These practitioners are noted for their breadth of expertise on a wide range of matters, including charter party, derivative and commodity contamination disputes.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Simon Rainey QC  Quadrant Chambers
2. Christopher Hancock QC  20 Essex Street Chambers
3. Philip Edey QC  20 Essex Street Chambers
4. Claire Blanchard QC  Essex Court Chambers
5. Duncan Matthews QC  20 Essex Street Chambers
1. Henry Byam-Cook  20 Essex Street Chambers
2. N G Casey  7 King’s Bench Walk


20 Essex Street Chambers performs well with 10 silks recognised in this chapter.
Christopher Hancock QC stands out in our research as one of the foremost trade and commodities silks at the UK Bar. Sources consider him a “very bright” advocate and note that they “have a lot of time for his work” on insurance and shipping matters.
Philip Edey QC is a distinguished practitioner who is “very pleasant to work with”. He is a leading figure in the field and is renowned for his particular expertise in sanctions relief and damages claims.
Duncan Matthews QC is a favourite among our sources who describe him as “an absolute top pick” for international trade work and “a big player in the field”. He has “a high profile” in the market where he is recognised for his “top-drawer work” on contractual disputes.
Charles Kimmins QC has a formidable reputation with observers stating that he “gets cases in really good order” and that he excels on disputes arising from hedging arrangements.
The “excellent” Michael Collett QC is “at his peak” according to respondents to our research who commend his impressive work on damages recovery arising from commodity contamination.
Michael Coburn QC is a “leading light” in the trade and commodities space. He is highlighted by peers as “a fantastic advocate” whose practice spans a range of matters relating to the shipping sector.
Julian Kenny QC is “a very personable advocate” who sources say “has an impressive ability to win over tribunals”. He is known for his strong expertise in commodity contract disputes.
Timothy Young QC is “an outstanding barrister” who is “unflappable as an advocate” according to sources. One impressed peer notes, “You can throw him a hard case and he will not be fazed at all.”
Michael Ashcroft QC is “an expert in the market” according to commentators who add he is “excellent in arbitrations” relating to sale of goods disputes.
David Lewis QC is “a bright and superb advocate” who has “a very impressive manner” in court according to respondents. He has a “very thorough” approach, “coupled with an effective style” and stands out for his work on disputes regarding sale contracts.

Quadrant Chambers sees 11 silks recognised in this chapter.
Simon Rainey QC is someone whose “reputation speaks for itself” according to sources, one of whom considers him “perhaps the most celebrated silk at the Bar”. His practice spans a range of matters including commercial contracts and shipping disputes.
Simon Croall QC has a prominent reputation for his excellent work on freight and commodities disputes, and is highlighted for his specialist understanding of dry shipping and commodities matters.
Peers “can’t speak highly enough about” Luke Parsons QC. He is well versed in handling a range of trade-related issues, such as the sale of goods and commercial contract disputes.
Lionel Persey QC draws high praise from respondents who highlight him as an experienced advocate and arbitrator and praise his extensive experience handling trade disputes under a range of arbitral rules.

At Essex Court Chambers, Claire Blanchard QC is described by sources as a “very hardworking” and “determined advocate” who stands out for her impressive expertise when it comes to complex charter party disputes.
Steven Berry QC has “a sterling reputation” in the international trade and commodities market. He is a “very smooth and polished advocate” with “an effective manner” and excels on matters relating to oil trading, loan facilities and banking-related disputes.
Nigel Eaton QC is a go-to name for trade and commodities disputes, and possesses broad experience on matters relating to energy contracts and ship finance claims.

At 7 King's Bench Walk, Alistair Schaff QC has a stellar reputation in the market with peers lauding his excellent work on jurisdictional and energy pricing disputes.
Dominic Kendrick QC is “unflappable” according to peers who note he is “very impressive on difficult cases” and provides deep understanding of freezing orders and shipping damages claims.
Stephen Hofmeyr QC is a prominent silk who wins widespread plaudits from commentators this year for his adept handling of shareholder and commercial contract disputes.

At 4 Pump Court, Sean O'Sullivan QC is a “fantastic and bright advocate” who “makes clients feel confident” with his “impressive way with tribunals”.

Richard Lord QC at Brick Court Chambers is a “very hard-thinking advocate”, with one peer stating, “Whenever you think of a point, he’s already thought of an answer.” He has deep understanding of issues ranging from breach of haulage agreements to construction disputes.
Maya Lester QC is a well-established figure in the field with respondents highlighting her impressive ability on sanctions-related matters.


20 Essex Street Chambers sees four of its impressive juniors highlighted in our guide this year.
Henry Byam-Cook is a “very able and experienced barrister” who “really knows his stuff” when it comes to jurisdictional disputes and breach of contract damages claims.
Josephine Davies is a superb barrister who stands out for her deep understanding of cargo contamination and charter party disputes.
Luke Pearce is an outstanding junior who draws praise from respondents for his excellent work on cargo loss and contamination disputes as well as contract claims.
Daniel Bovensiepen impresses market commentators with his first-rate work handling complex energy contracts and damages claims arising out of ship building delays.

7 King‘s Bench Walk sees six juniors receive listings this year.
N G Casey has “a keen grasp of the law in a commercial and practical setting” and “makes a big impression with judges” say sources. He is “very well spoken in court”, a “great cross-examiner” and is “excellent for quantum and number-driven issues”.
Charles Priday is a “top-quality barrister” who is particularly adept on commodity-related arbitration proceedings.
Richard Sarll has a strong reputation in the market for his fantastic work on ship brokerage disputes and dry cargo chartering.
Michael Holmes is highlighted as a go-to junior for issues arising from charter party disputes and freezing injunction applications.

At Quadrant Chambers Nevil Phillips receives widespread support for his top-notch practice that sees him regularly involved in charter party and contracts of sale disputes.
Stewart Buckingham is “a very pleasant advocate” whose work is “very highly thought of” by peers. He excels on matters relating to a range of cargoes with great expertise handling cargo contamination claims.

Alexander Wright of 4 Pump Court is “really bright and always a difficult opponent to come up against because he’s so good”, say peers who commend his impressive drafting work on forward freight agreements and contracts of affreightment.

36 Stone’s Ravi Aswani continues to impress peers with his in-depth understanding of international joint venture and commodities-related disputes.
Charles Debattista gains recognition for his expert handling of bills of lading, charter party disputes and commercial contract disputes.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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