Claudia Wilmot-Smith

Called: 2008

Practice Overview

Claudia joined Quadrant Chambers following the successful completion of her pupillage in 2009.  Since completing pupillage, Claudia has been acquiring experience in a broad range of commercial disputes, and accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers' work.  She has appeared as sole and junior counsel in the High Court and in arbitration proceedings.

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Claudia has experience across a broad range of commercial areas, including the sale of goods and international trade; commercial fraud; agency; injunctions; service out of the jurisdiction and jurisdictional disputes; and cross-border insolvency.  She has appeared in both the High Court and the County Court in both trials and interlocutory applications.

    She is instructed in actions proceeding in a number of different jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands and Jersey.

    She is currently instructed (as junior to Nigel Cooper QC) to act in a case involving allegations of conspiracy, breach of copyright, mis-use of confidential information, and breaches of employment contract.  The case involves a jurisdictional dispute. 

    She was recently instructed (as junior to Stephen Cogley QC) in an urgent application to protect her client’s position in the international insolvency context, whilst allowing it to continue to pursue its claims in England and Wales.  The case involved issues under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006

    She acted in a two week arbitration (led by Luke Parsons QC) where she acted for Owners who successfully enforced a charterers’ obligations under a guarantee.  The dispute involved conflicts of laws issues, agency, authority, and the applicability and enforceability of Chinese exchange control regulations.

    Claudia was instructed by HSBC (as junior to Stephen Cogley QC) in Rubenstein v. HSBC Bank Plc [2012] EWCA Civ 1184, an appeal to the Court of Appeal on a financial services mis-selling claim, considering issues concerning the scope of a financial adviser's duty of care, as well as issues of foreseeability, remoteness and causation in the context of market losses.   

    Since then she has been instructed by financial advisers to advise and act in financial services misselling claims.

    She has been instructed by major banks to advise and act in a number of disputes involving allegations of fraud, and advise on and defend restitutionary claims raising issues involving breach of fiduciary duty; tracing; the enforcement of property rights; and resulting and constructive trusts.

    Many of the cases on which she has worked have involved international elements, and she has experience assisting with conflicts of law issues in both the EU and non-EU context, and with questions of justiciability arising from state acts.

    Cases include:-

    • Rubenstein v. HSBC Bank Plc (CA) [2012] 2 CLC 747 – Led by Stephen Cogley QC
    • Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd v. Sonol Israel Ltd [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 697, a case considering the proper construction of demurrage provisions in commodities contracts. 
    • Vitol v Capri Marine Ltd [2010] EWHC 458 (Comm) - Led by Luke Parsons QC and Poonam Melwani QC, Claudia successfully resisted an application to restrain the Respondent from pursuing proceedings in the United States, and to set aside an order giving the Respondent permission to use documents disclosed in English litigation to aid enforcement proceedings in the United States.  The case raised conflict of laws issues; issues regarding the enforcement of judgments; and questions as to the scope of disclosure orders made subsequent to judgment.
  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Claudia has experience in a wide range of marine and non-marine insurance and reinsurance disputes, including high-level excess liability insurance on the Bermuda Form.  She has experience in disputes relating to avoidance for fraud, misrepresentation and non-disclosure, and coverage disputes under professional indemnity, D&O, product and public liability insurance and reinsurance policies, and K&R policies.

    She was instructed as part of a 6 strong counsel team in Markerstudy Insurance Company Limited v Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited, a substantial Commercial Court action concerning negligent claims handling across a number of books of business, which was set down for a 40 day trial before a settlement.

  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Claudia has experience in a range of banking matters including disputes relating to loan agreements; mortgages; guarantees; breach of mandate; consumer credit; claims arising under letters of credit; commercial fraud; and claims against financial advisers involving allegations of bad investment  advice. She has experience of claims with an EC law aspect, and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

    She is instructed by major banks to advise and act in a number of disputes involving allegations of fraud, and advise on and defend restitutionary claims raising issues involving breach of fiduciary duty; tracing; the enforcement of property rights; and resulting and constructive trusts.

    She has also been instructed to advise and draft proceedings in matters relating to yacht finance.

    She is also instructed by financial advisers to advise and act in financial services mis-selling claims.

    Cases include:-

    • Rubenstein v. HSBC Bank Plc [2012] EWCA Civ 1184 - The claim was originally brought by a consumer who suffered loss following his investment in the AIG Premier Access Bond.  The Judge at first instance found that whilst HSBC had been negligent and in breach of statutory duty, the loss suffered was caused by market hysteria following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and rumours about the collapse of AIG (a company distinct from the issuer of the bond).  Claudia appeared as junior to Stephen Cogley QC representing HSBC on appeal to the Court of Appeal.  The case raises issues of causation, foreseeability and remoteness, and Rix LJ extensively surveyed the leading authorities, before concluding that the loss was recoverable.
    • Edwards v. Broadstone Pensions a financial services misselling case relating to an investment made in the AIG Premier Access Bond.  the case involved consideration of issues relating to the recoverability of damages, foreseeability, and remoteness.
  • Aviation & Travel K View More

    Claudia regularly accepts instructions in this core area of Chambers' work.

    She is currently instructed as sole counsel in a dispute arising from an aircraft crash in Venezuela.  In particular, she has been instructed to advice in relation to the jurisdictional issues that arose therefrom.

    She appeared as junior to Jeremy Russell QC in a multi-million dollar arbitration involving issues of liability arising out of a mid-air collision.

    She frequently acts for major airlines in cases involving liability in relation to the carriage of passengers and baggage under EC Regulation 261/2004, and the Conventions.

    Claudia has also been instructed by airlines and ground handling service providers in a number of personal injury matters arising out of accidents both in aircraft and at airports.

    In addition, she has represented the Civil Aviation Authority in disputes involving services performed by the CAA in its capacity as Aviation Regulator.

    She also acts for a number of holiday companies, advising in relation to disputes arising out of the Package Travel Regulations.

  • International Arbitration K View More

    Claudia is currently instructed in a number of arbitrations, under both the LMAA and LCIA rules. 

    She has appeared as sole counsel in an LCIA arbitration involving a dispute over the sale of steel.

    Claudia has experience in disputes relating to jurisdiction; disclosure; and confidentiality in international arbitrations and has assisted in a number of international arbitrations.

  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Claudia has been instructed in a number of shipbuilding and energy disputes.

    She was instructed (as junior to John Passmore) to appear in a ten day shipbuilding arbitration.  The dispute was as to buyers’ right to cancel for delay, and involved detailed consideration of technical causes for delays in construction.  The case settled the day before the arbitration was due to commence.

    In 2011 Claudia spent time on secondment to a major international law firm in Hong Kong, where she worked on a wide range of matters, including a number of high-value shipbuilding disputes.

    She acted as junior counsel to Luke Parsons QC in a multi-million dollar arbitration involving 5 shipbuilding contracts.  In particular, the case involved consideration of provisions entitling buyers to a guaranteed right to a refund.

    She acted as junior counsel (led by Peter Ferrer) in Riva Bella SA v Tamsen Yachts GmbH [2011] EWHC 1434 (Comm), a multi-million pound dispute concerning the construction and sale of a super yacht.

  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Claudia is regularly instructed in a range of dry shipping and commodities disputes, including:

    • Charterparty disputes - disputes arising under both voyage and time charters, including off-hire, laytime and demurrage and bunker disputes; and disputes involving anchor handling and towage contracts.
    • Bills of lading disputes - Hague/Visby Rules issues; the incorporation of arbitration and choice of law clauses; and a range of disputes arising from the carriage of goods.
    • Commodities - cargo claims, including disputes arising from physical delivery of sugar from the futures market; and disputes as to the proper construction of international commodities contracts.
    • Carriage by road - both domestic and international carriage by road disputes.

    She is currently instructed (as junior to Sean O’Sullivan QC of 4 Pump Court) in a multi-million dollar arbitration arising from the shipment of a cargo of iron ore fines.  The case raises issues as to cargo safety, and the nature and scope of owners’ duties in relation to the shipment of potentially unsafe cargoes. 

    She appeared as sole counsel in Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd v Sonol Israel Ltd  [2011] EWHC 2756 (Comm), where Beatson J considered the proper construction of a demurrage provision in a contract of sale.

    She is frequently instructed to act in commodities disputes under the LCIA rules.  These case often involve jurisdictional disputes.  


Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding).
Graduate Diploma in Law, City University (Commendation).
Middle Temple Astbury Scholarship and Certificate of Honour.
BA in Theology, Trinity College, Cambridge (Double First).
Trinity College Cambridge, Senior Scholar 2006, 2005; Junior Scholar 2004.
Tripos prizes 2004-2006. 
Cambridge University Theology and Religious Studies Prize 2005.




Construction Contracts: Law and Practice OUP 2nd Ed., 2010.
Contributor - contributing editor for chapters on "Mistake, Misrepresentation, and Frustration" and "Procurement and the European Community".
Continuing the Interest in Interest: The Compound Interest Project De Voil Indirect Tax Intelligence, July 2009, with David Scorey.



Pro Bono

Claudia is a member of the Free Representation Unit, and has represented clients in both the social security appeals tribunal and the administrative court on a pro bono basis. She is willing to accept pro bono work.

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