Henry Ellis

Called: 2008

Practice Overview

Henry has a broad commercial practice, with an emphasis on shipping and international trade litigation. He has appeared in the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal and regularly acts in confidential arbitration (LMAA, LCIA, SIAC, ICC and ad hoc).

Henry is recommended in both Legal 500 and Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 as a leading junior barrister for shipping, where he is described respectively as “a rising star” and “popular in Singapore shipping cases.”

Henry’s practice is a blend of advocacy, drafting and advisory work.He is instructed to appear in trials, and has experience of handling both lay and expert witnesses. He also appears in appeals, CMCs and interlocutory hearings, and has obtained injunctive relief for clients.  He is often appointed as sole counsel, but has been led by Leading Counsel both in and out of Chambers. 

As acknowledged by the legal directories, Henry has particular interest in, and experience of, dispute resolution in Asia.  He practised primarily  from Singapore in 2014-15, and was licensed by the Singapore Attorney-General to practise in Singapore.

Henry has experience of working in-house at solicitors’ firms, having spent time on secondment at Holman Fenwick Willan LLP in London and at Nordisk Skibsrederforening in Oslo.

  • What the directories sayView More

    • "...Popular in Singapore shipping cases...."

      Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2016
    • "...A rising star..."

      Legal 500, 2016
    • “...sharp, articulate and responsive”. 

      Legal 500, 2015
  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry Shipping

    Charterparty and cargo disputes form a substantial part of Henry’s practice. He has considerable experience of acting in all types of dispute arising under time charters, voyage charters and other contracts of carriage, usually under the LMAA Rules. The following are some notable and recent examples:

    • Pan Oceanic Chartering Inc v Unipec UK Co Ltd & Anor [2016] EWHC 2774 (Comm), Henry (led by Charles Kimmins QC) acted for the claimant shipbrokers in this 11-day Commercial Court trial. The claim for damages, originally in excess of US$100m, was for lost brokerage commissions arising from the early termination by Unipec Asia of a long term contract of affreightment with Tankers International. POC claimed that the Unipec entities, part of the SINOPEC petrochemicals giant, were liable in conspiracy and interference with contractual relations under the law of New Jersey. The trial addressed interesting issues concerning the relationship between shipbrokers and their principals, as well as the proper approach to choice of law issues under the Rome Regulations.
    • LMAA Arbitration (January 2015): acted as sole counsel for claimant owners in a successful claim for demurrage and damages for detention (1-day hearing).
    • LMAA Arbitration (October 2014): acted as sole counsel for respondent charterers in a dispute regarding the application of the “CONWARTIME 2004” clause following an alleged threat to the vessel by Syrian Insurgents (1-day hearing).LMAA Arbitration (September 2014): acted for respondent ship owners to a US$3.5m claim for alleged misdelivery of coking coal (2-day hearing).
    • LMAA Arbitration (October 2013): acted as sole counsel for claimant charterers in a misdelivery and underperformance claim (1-day hearing).
    • LMAA Arbitration: acted for respondent owners resisting a US$7m claim relating to containers lost overboard in the South China Sea (issues of poor stowage).
    • Acer UK Ltd & ors v Kuehne + Nagel NV & ors Claim No. 2011 Folio 1033: instructed as sole counsel by Associated British Ports to resist a £1m claim in the Commercial Court arising out of the theft of two containers of computers. The trial was averted by favourable settlement.
    • Perseveranza SpA v Western Bulk Carriers, the “NEWLEAD MARKELA” Claim No. 2010 Folio 1172: acted for respondent owners in a Commercial Court trial regarding the settlement of a long-term time charterparty. The case concerned issues of rectification for common or unilateral mistake and trial was averted by a late favourable settlement.
    • “THE WILDEBEEST” Claim No. 2010 Folio 1197: acted for the claimant disponent owners in a four-party US$2.5m collision and demurrage dispute in the Commercial Court.
       

    Wet Shipping

     Admiralty and Salvage

    • The Nordlake and The Sea Eagle [2015] EWHC 3605 (Admlty): the first collision action in the Admiralty Court for a number of years, Henry acted for the owners of the Nordlake in their claim for apportionment of liability for a collision with an Indian warship, the INS VINDHYAGHIRI.  The case decided a novel point of law: namely whether or not the court must take into account the degree of fault of a vessel that is not before the court in apportioning liability under section 187 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
    • LOF Arbitration (October 2015): instructed as sole counsel for respondent shipowners in LOF claim for a salvage award. The hearing was averted by a late settlement.
    • The “BALTIC LEOPARD and the “PISTI” Claim No. 2013 Folio 169: acted for the respondent owners of the MV “PISTI” in a collision action in the Admiralty Court. The trial was averted by late settlement.
    • Acted for the Owners of the MV “CORVUS J” in their jurisdiction challenge to the Limitation Fund established by the owners of the MV “BALTIC ACE” (car carrier lost after a collision) in the Isle of Man.
    • MV “WESTWIND II” Claim No. 2011 Folio 1329: acted as sole counsel for the owners of a mussel and oyster farm in an application for the appraisement and sale pendente lite of the arrested vessel “WESTWIND II”, following its collision with the farm. Henry also appeared at the hearing of the determination of priorities.
    • Acted for owners in a US$5.6 million claim against the managers of four VLCC vessels on the SHIPMAN 98 form.

    General Average

    • LMAA Arbitration (December 2015): acting for ship owners in a claim for a US$3m contribution under a General Average adjustment from cargo interests.
  • International Trade & Commodities K View More

    The following are some examples of Henry’s recent and ongoing work:

    • LCIA Arbitration: currently instructed as junior to Simon Rainey QC in a c. US$3m coal quality dispute (hearing in August 2017). 
    • SIAC Arbitration: currently instructed as sole counsel for the claimant shipowner in a US$13m claim under contract of affreightment for the carriage of steel pipe from Korea to the USA. 
    • SIAC Arbitration: currently instructed as sole counsel for the claimant coal trader in a US$1.2m damages claim arising out of a disputed spot cargo contract
    • ICC Arbitration (January 2014) (Qatar seat): acted for claimants in a US$23 million claim under a bitumen supply agreement for the New Doha International Airport.
    • SIAC Arbitration (July 2015): acted as sole counsel for respondent buyers, successfully resisting a US$2m claim under an iron ore sale contract involving allegations of force majeure due to extreme weather.
    • LCIA Arbitration (November 2015 & February 2016): Henry acted a sole counsel for the successful Russian “oligarch” claimant in this US$8m claim for damages arising out of the sale of a Russian bank to another “oligarch” respondent.  The arbitration involved a very substantial counterclaim involving alleged breaches of warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation.  Henry’s client made a very substantial recovery of damages, and the counterclaim was dismissed in its entirety.
    • LCIA Arbitration: advised the sellers of an African Telecommunications company in a US$100 million dispute with the buyers.
    • Baltic Highway Ltd v Pryzbla & ors: acted for the owners of the MV “CORVUS J” in their challenge to the jurisdiction of the Isle of Man Court.
    • SAPI SpA v Sunshine Oil: successful application for the Commercial Court to exercise its discretion to appoint an arbitrator under section 18 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    • New Proton Bank S.A. & ors v Brit Insurance Limited & ors Claim No. 2011 Folio 1255: acted for the claimant owners of the MT “ELLI” in a US$40 million constructive total loss claim in the Commercial Court. The trial was averted by a late favourable settlement.
  • Shipbuilding K View More

    • LMAA Arbitration: acted for the shipowner claimant in a claim for US$24m worth of instalments paid on two Kamsarmax vessels in late 2008.
    • Acted as part of a team on twin shipbuilding arbitrations with a combined value of US$52 million.
  • Reported Cases K View More

    • Pan Oceanic Chartering Inc v Unipec UK Co Ltd & Anor [2016] EWHC 2774 (Comm), Henry (led by Charles Kimmins QC) acted for the claimant shipbrokers in this 11-day Commercial Court trial.  The claim for damages, originally in excess of US$100m, was for lost brokerage commissions arising from the early termination by Unipec Asia of a long term contract of affreightment with Tankers International.  POC claimed that the Unipec entities, part of the SINOPEC petrochemicals giant, were liable in conspiracy and interference with contractual relations under the law of New Jersey. The trial addressed interesting issues concerning the relationship between shipbrokers and their principals, as well as the proper approach to choice of law issues under the Rome Regulations.
    • The Nordlake and The Sea Eagle [2015] EWHC 3605 (Admlty): the first collision action in the Admiralty Court for a number of years, Henry acted for the owners of the Nordlake in their claim for apportionment of liability for a collision with an Indian warship, the INS VINDHYAGHIRI.  The case decided a novel point of law: namely whether or not the court must take into account the degree of fault of a vessel that is not before the court in apportioning liability under section 187 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
    • X v Y [2013] EWHC 1104, an application for security for costs and payment into court of c. US$3.8m pursuant to sections 70(6) and (7) of the Arbitration Act 1996.  The application for payment in was successfully resisted.
    • Henry acted for the Second Defendant at first instance in BNP Paribas SA v OJSC Russian Machines & anr [2012] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 61 (Blair J.) and [2012] EWHC 1023 (Teare J.), and then subsequently in the Court of Appeal in the conjoined appeals in Joint Stock Asset Management Company Ingosstrakh-Investments v BNP Paribas SA [2012] EWCA Civ 644.  The case concerned complex issues of service and jurisdiction, as well as interim anti-suit relief obtained by the claimant bank against the Russian-domiciled Second Defendant.

..."A rising star"...

Legal 500, 2016

Academic


MA (Cantab) First Class - Trinity College, Cambridge
CPE, BVC – City University

Awards


Levitt Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn - 2008
Lord Denning Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn - 2007
Lord Haldane Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn -2006
Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lincoln’s Inn - 2006
Senior Scholarship, Trinity College, Cambridge - 2006
Junior Scholarship, Trinity College, Cambridge - 2004, (reawarded) 2005
Tripos Prizes, Trinity College, Cambridge - 2004, 2005, 2006
Royal Historical Society’s Frampton Prize (top national mark in History A-level) – 2003

Appointments


2011: Henry spent six months on secondment to the Shipping and Transport Litigation Department of Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, where he assisted on a wide range of both dry and wet shipping disputes.


2013: Henry was seconded to Nordisk Skibsrederforening in Oslo.

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