Jonathan Chambers

Called: 1996

Practice Overview

Jonathan has a broad practice covering all aspects of commercial and transport law.  He is consistently ranked by Chambers UK and Legal 500 as a Leading Senior Junior  with Chambers UK (2016)  commenting that he is  “Noted by peers for his meticulous preparation, strong advocacy skills and easy manner with clients” and Legal 500 (2016) describing him as “Very well prepared”.

Jonathan has a strong international practice and he is qualified to practise in England & Wales, Northern Ireland (practising) and Australia (currently non-practising). He has also advised on disputes involving Australia, Canada, the Channel Islands, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, and the United States of America.

Jonathan has acted in disputes involving many of the major airlines, cruise and tour operators, UK airports and the CAA. He also acts on behalf of shipyards, ship-owners, rig owners, crewing agencies and shipping unions and the Royal Yachting Association. He is involved in a large volume of wet and dry shipping cases including cargo claims, pilotage, collisions and groundings. International ship-building, rig-construction and repair cases are also a strong feature of his practice.

He frequently acts in inquests involving aviation and maritime incidents and the civil claims which follow.

Jonathan has acted in a number of recent reported cases including:

  • Collins v Lawrence [2016] Lloyd’s Rep Plus 81 – Athens Convention case involving first judicial examination of the meaning of “disembarkation” and the temporal width of the application of the Convention.
  • GSP Fortuna Ltd v Dean International Trading SA [2014] EWHC 2208 (Comm) - oil rigs purchase and upgrade arrangement involving sanctions issues;
  • Buckley v Monarch Airlines [2013] 2 Lloyd's 235; [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep Plus 44 -  meaning of “accident” under the Warsaw/Montreal Conventions;
  • The Millennium City [2012] 1 Lloyd's Rep 471 – collision in River Thames
  • Cowden & Mitchell v British Airways plc [2009] 2 Lloyd's Rep 653 - on the recovery of damages in travel cases.

He is an accredited mediator (ADR Chambers), an LMAA Supporting Member and an arbitrator on LMAA terms, and a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Irish Maritime Law Association, the Anglo-Australasian Lawyers Society and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Editor of carriage on Shawcross & Beaumont Air Law 2011 - 2016

  • What the directories sayView More

    • "...Very clever and impressive..."

      (The Legal 500, 2016)
    • …“Quickly grasps complex cases. Has a substantial practice and regularly represents defendants in aviation disputes”…

      (Chambers UK, 2016)
    • …"Has a no-nonsense attitude, and is a lucid thinker who takes a helpful, collaborative approach. Committed, knowledgeable and user-friendly"…

      (Chambers UK, 2016)
    • …"Noted by peers for his meticulous preparation, strong advocacy skills and easy manner with clients. He has a particular proficiency in aviation insurance matters”… "He has a brilliant touch with clients and with the court; they immediately get his intellect and he produces silky submissions"…

      (Chambers UK, 2015)
    • …"...an established and approachable star in the aviation arena, with a strong grasp of EU and international jurisprudence relating to carriage-by-air cases..."

      Chambers & Partners (2014)
    • …“first-rate”…

      Legal 500 (2014)
  • Aviation & Travel K View More

    Jonathan has acted for and against

    • many of the major carriers e.g. Air Canada, American Airlines, Britannia, British Airways, British World Airlines, Emirates, European Aviation Air Charter, GB Airways, Gulf Air, Pakistan International, easyJet and Ryanair;
    • major UK airports e.g. BAA (Heathrow and Gatwick), Bristol International and Newcastle International;
    • other aviation and travel organisations e.g. the  British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA), the CAA and  the Air Travel Trust; and
    • a number of major tour operators and cruise lines e.g. Thomas Cook and Fred Olsen.

    Jonathan is experienced in General Aviation and has acted in both inquests and civil proceedings in GA  matters.

    He has drafted Terms and Conditions for several international travel groups including Laver Holidays group.

    Illustrative cases include:

    • Collins v Lawrence [2016] Lloyd’s Rep Plus 81 – Athens Convention case involving first judicial examination of the meaning of “disembarkation” and the temporal width of the application of the Convention.
    • (2015-2016) Advising local authorities in UK on issue of stowaways and bodies falling from aircraft landing in UK.
    • Agusta Westland AW139 (G-LBAL): Inquest and civil proceedings - Flight into terrain after takeoff in fog and at night, near Gillingham Hall, Norfolk, 13 March 2014
    • Buckley v Monarch Airlines [2013] 2 Lloyd's 235; [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep Plus 44: Determination of the issue of “accident“ under the Montreal Convention 1999 in relation to an alleged drinks spillage. Defence successful.
    • AGUSTA 109A (N2NR) (Senior Coroner John Leckey): Fatal accident in the Mourne Mountains on 23rd October 2010. Inquest and civil proceedings - acted for the deceased pilot and co-owner of helicopter in relation to crash which resulted in 3 deaths and in resultant civil proceedings. Civil claim settled.
    • Rosen v easyJet Airline Company Ltd (2012) 839 LMLN 1: Interpretation of EU Regulation 261/2004 in relation to denied boarding and cancelled flights in relation to ash cloud disruption. Defence successful.
    • Cowden & Mitchell v British Airways plc [2009] 2 Lloyd's Rep 653; [2009] Lloyd's Law Reporter 17th August 2009): Successful appeal on the interpretation of Art.19 of the Montreal Convention 1999 and common law on the issue of recoverability of damages for loss of enjoyment.
    • Barclay v British Airways plc [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep 661; [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep Plus 36; [2008] EW Misc 1 (EWCC) (Affirmed by Court of Appeal (2009) 1 All ER 871): The Times 4th March 2009)(Petition for leave to appeal to House of Lords refused): Meaning of "accident" under Article 17 of the Montreal Convention 1999. Defence successful.
    • Iskra Television Limited v Stansted Airport Ltd (2006). Case involving the interpretation of s.19 of the Aviation Security Act 1982, and the new security measures in place at UK airports after the series of security incidents in 2007. Defence successful.
  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Jonathan has acted in a number of banking disputes and asset finance disputes involving in particular retention of title clauses and liens in a variety of jurisdictions. Recent cases include:

    • Friends First Managed Pensions Fund Ltd v John McCann (2009–2013) - (Queen's Bench Division - High Court of Northern Ireland: Case No. 09/100849 Weatherup J./Burgess J. Final Judgment 31/1/2013). Issues of loan and compliance with Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and equivalent Eire provisions. Successfully represented the Irish lender and obtained judgment for £18 million.
    • Peter Stiles & Ors v Permanent Trustee Australia Ltd & Permanent Trustee Company Ltd (Supreme Court of Victoria. Commercial & Equity Division, Mandie J.) 01.04.2005 [2005] VSC 86. Breach of trust/fiduciary duty and procedural issues regarding multi-party actions and joinder/substitution of parties.
    • JG Trustees Limited v HSBC Trustee (CI) Limited and HSBC Investments International Ltd (2006-2007)(Royal Court, Jersey Bailhache J.). issues in relation to management of a large investment fund.
  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry Shipping

    Jonathan’s practice encompasses all of the main forms of international and domestic carriage contracts, international and domestic sales contracts and financing arrangements. He has particular experience in hydrocarbon carriage and sale contracts in the UK, Europe, West Africa and the Middle East. Recent cases include:

    • Collins v Lawrence [2016] Lloyd’s Rep Plus 81 – Athens Convention case involving first judicial examination of the meaning of “disembarkation” and the temporal width of the application of the Convention.
    • Air Canada v Coastal Containers Line Ltd and anor (2011-2013) (Queen's Bench Division - High Court of Northern Ireland - Weatherup J). Damage to aircraft seats in container while being transported from UK to USA.
    • Hamburg Sud v AMP Packaging Ltd ta AMP Rose (2010-2011). Dispute over container and port charges involving export of chocolate machinery from UK to Tunisia.
    • Cleartech Limited (t/a North West Woodland Industries) v T Alun Jones Ltd (2008). Incorporation and reasonableness of the FTA 2002 Conditions and examination of RHA 1998 and BIFA 2005 terms. Reasonableness under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 established.
    • Jarl Tra Ab & ors v Convoys Ltd [2003] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 459 - Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court) - Moore-Bick J - Judgment 25.06.03. Doctrine of privity, liens, common law and contractual liens, general and specific liens, Himalaya clauses, waiver and examination of The Pioneer Container.
    • (2009-2016) Live animal exports and imports - Advising several local authorities and port operators on legality of ban/controls on live animal exports and imports.

    Wet Shipping

    Jonathan is instructed in many and varied Admiralty matters on behalf of both cargo, shipowner and salvage interests in respect of collisions, groundings and other incidents at sea.

    He is experienced in issues of limitation and pollution and has a particular interest in yacht disputes.

    He has advised the Royal Yachting Association, ports and harbour authorities, crewing agencies and marine unions on various matters. Recent cases include:

    • (2016) (Anonymity preserved) Advised on fatal collision between yacht and dredger in UK waters
    • The Foyle Pilot's Co-Operative v Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners (Action Number 2014 No. 14/041897/1):  Represented the pilots for Lough Foyle and Londonderry in the High Court of Northern Ireland on an application for judicial review in respect of the termination of  pilotage arrangements at the Port of Londonderry and the replacement of an experience-based training regime with a short duration simulation-based safety regime. Leave for judicial review was granted on all grounds by Mr Justice Treacy and substantive review settled on terms.
    • The Millennium City [2012] 1 Lloyd's Rep 471; [2012] 1 Lloyd's Rep Plus 2; (2012) 841 LMLN 2. Successfully defended Transport for London (TfL) the owners of Westminster Bridge in relation to claims arising from a collision involving "MILLENNIUM CITY on 25th January 2008. Involved issues of safety and navigation on the tidal Thames and the design and suitability of replacement anti-scour works on the bridge. The Admiralty Court re-affirmed the burden of proof in relation to contacts between animate and inanimate objects (see The Po and The Bowditch [1990] 1 Lloyd's Rep 418).
    • Broughton-Leigh v Hunton & Others 17 March 2010 Manchester Mercantile Court Before HHJ Pelling: partial flooding of a power yacht, Chaser III, whilst on her mooring in Braye Harbour. Issues of loss of use of non-profit earning vessel and examination of "The Mediana" [1900] AC 113.
    • Captain Brian Wilson v Belfast Harbour Commissioners (2009-2010). Judicial review of powers of Competent Harbour Authorities and Pilotage Authorities in relation to pilots at the port of Belfast.
    • Smit International (Deutschland) GmbH v Josef Mobius Bau-gesellschaft mbH & Co - Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court) - Morison J. - Judgment 07.06.01; [2001] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 265. Interpretation and meaning of TOWCON/TOWHIRE contract in tug and tow collision and issues of limitation of liability for maritime claims.
  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Jonathan is repeatedly instructed in energy and construction disputes including rigs and vessels sale and construction and yacht building disputes. He is experienced in pipeline construction disputes. Recent cases include:

    • GPS Fortuna Ltd v Dean International Trading SA [2014] EWHC 2208 (Comm) - successfully resisted a summary judgment application on behalf of the purchasers of two oil rigs, valued at US£90 million.  
    • LMAA Arbitration (anonymity preserved) – 2010 and ongoing. Arbitration of dispute involving building and purchase of 2 large bulk carriers in South Korea.
    • Oil Rigs - Instructed by purchaser in high value Commercial Court litigation involving the sale, purchase and refurbishment arrangement for 2 jack-up oil rigs. The case involves issues of construction of MODU sales agreements, rights of inspection and survey and entitlements to retain deposits. The proceedings are ongoing.
    • Wind farms - Advising several interested groups on legality of navigational exclusion zones imposed around offshore wind-engine farms on East Coast of England.
    • Litasco v Bulrom Gas Limited - Commercial Court - Langley J. Cross-border supply of gas commodity between Ukraine and Moldova.
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Jonathan acts in a wide variety of disputes in the general commercial field. Recent cases include:

    • Advising Flybe Ltd  (2016) in relation to dispute with a regional airport.
    • Hexstall Technical Services Ltd. -V- Shell Gabon (2015-2016) – advising on commercial dispute and enforcement.
    • Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd (2013-2014). Acting on behalf of Irish state body in attempted recovery of two aircraft.
    • Hamburg Sud v AMP Packaging Ltd ta AMP Rose (2012). Advising on liens and other claims in respect of chocolate making machinery exported from England to Tunisia
    • Wilcomatic Ltd v Autowash Pty Ltd (2012). Advising Australian importer on aspects of English law in relation to import to Australia of automatic tram wash assemblies.
    • Heathrow Airport Ltd v Menzies World Cargo (2010). Instructed on behalf of Heathrow Airport Ltd in relation to recovery of sums from Menzies World Cargo in relation to electrical supplies at London Heathrow.
    • British Car Auctions v Tayeby and On Line Finance Limited (2008).Advised on and appeared in case involving theft of vehicles and fraud in particular in relation to “clocking” of odometers.
  • International Arbitration K View More

    Jonathan is experienced in many forms of commercial arbitration and mediation including the LMAA Terms (2006), the LMAA Small Claims Procedure (2012), LMAA Mediation Terms (2009), the London Metal Exchange Rules and other private arbitration and mediation agreements.  He is an Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and an LMAA Supporting Member.

    • Private arbitration (2015)- Arbitrator in case involving seaworthiness issues under a charterparty (approximate value US$3,000,000.00).
    • LMAA Arbitration (2016) – Acting as arbitrator in charterparty dispute

     

     

     

    ADR

  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Jonathan is frequently involved in insurance disputes addressing coverage issues and the construction of policies. Recent cases include:

    • Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co Ltd v Wiseman & others [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep 308 - Langley J. (Commercial Court) - 22/6/2007 - jurisdiction/forum non conveniens issues in intra-UK jurisdictional regime in context of fraudulent insurance claim.
    • Metal & Waste Recycling Ltd (Formerly GD Metal Recycling Ltd) v Pinn`s Wharf Ltd – issues of safety of wharf for scrap metal exports and coverage issues
    • North West Names & Anor v The Stop Loss Mutual Insurance Association Ltd - issue of section 9 Arbitration Act 1996 application and of professional conduct of insurers and brokers in respect of a stop-loss policy and reinsurance issues.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution K View More

    ADR Chambers Accredited Mediator

    • Cargo dispute (anonymity preserved) – mediator in relation to dispute over Latin American bananas and their reefer carriage to the EU
    • Thames Collision (anonymity preserved) - mediator in collision between tall ship and bascules of Tower Bridge.
    • Clothing contracts (anonymity preserved) - mediator in clothing dispute in relation to concessions in high street shops
    • Beauty products (anonymity preserved) - mediator in dispute in relation to supply of beauty products
    • W v F (anonymity preserved) - mediator in commercial dispute between finance house and hirer.
  • Inquests and Inquiries K View More

    • Agusta Westland AW139 (G-LBAL): Inquest and civil proceedings - Flight into terrain after takeoff in fog and at night, near Gillingham Hall, Norfolk, 13 March 2014
    • AGUSTA 109A (N2NR) (Senior Coroner John Leckey): Fatal accident in the Mourne Mountains on 23rd October 2010. Inquest and civil proceedings - acted for the deceased pilot and co-owner of helicopter in relation to crash which resulted in 3 deaths and in resultant civil proceedings. Civil claim settled.
  • Injunctions & Arrests (Freezing injunctions/Vasso Orders) K View More

    Jonathan is frequently involved in obtaining security and interim measures either by way of injunction (in particular freezing, search and delivery up orders) and/or arrest. Recent cases include:

    • Sister ship arrest (2013) (anonymity preserved). Application leading to sister ship arrests in fleet in Italian ownership. 
    • Guildhall Asset Management Ltd v Benson Bros. (Bristol) Ltd - Queen's Bench Division (Admiralty Court) Field J. Mandatory Order to ensure compliance with ship registration requirements.
    • Unifruit Ltd v Jining Sinotrading Co Ltd - Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court) - Blake J. Mandatory Order for delivery up of Chinese Emperor Garlic in various European ports.
    • Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Ltd v Mulvaney - Chancery Division - Proudman J. Injunction to prevent presentation of winding up petition.
    • Agence Pour La Securite de la Navigation Aerienne en Afrique et a Madagascar (ASCENA) v. Sudan Airways Company Limited - Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court) - Thomas J. Freezing injunction over Sudan Airways' aeroplane for non-payment of air traffic control fees.
  • Conflicts of Laws K View More

    Jonathan frequently deals with private international law issues and jurisdictional disputes including the availability of interim measures both within and without the EU Regulation states. Recent cases include:

    • EC225 LP Super Puma G-CHCN (2012) – advising on jurisdiction in respect of helicopter which ditched in sea on 22nd October 2012 off Sumburgh Head, Scotland.
    • Robert Hicks v Virgin Atlantic Airways & others (2013-2014) – Parallel English and California proceedings in respect of injury to paraplegic on disembarkation and issues in relation to contribution/indemnity claims in England in respect of settlements and Court Judgments in other jurisdictions.
    • Veneziana Di Navigazone SPA  v Sociedad Anonima Trabajos Y Obras - (2010). Successful challenge to jurisdiction under TOWCON agreement where tow had sunk in Tunisian waters.
    • Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co Ltd v Wiseman & others [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep 308 - Langley J. (Commercial Court) - 22/6/2007 - jurisdiction/forum non conveniens issues in intra-UK jurisdictional regime in context of fraudulent insurance claim.
    • "Thor Triumph" - Grounding of vessel at Chittagong. Jurisdiction and conflicts of law issues and substantive issues of safe port warranties and conditions at Bangladeshi port. Travelled to Bangladesh to investigate issues with Harbour Master and Maritime Authority.

…"Has a no-nonsense attitude, and is a lucid thinker who takes a helpful, collaborative approach. Committed, knowledgeable and user-friendly"…

(Chambers UK, 2016)

Academic


M.A. (Oxon)(Double First Class); B.C.L. (Oxon); C.P.L.S. (Queens, Belfast), Short Shipping Course (Southampton); ACIArb.

Awards


Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship (Inner Temple).
British Academy Open Scholarship.
Northern Ireland State Studentship.
Scholar (Saint Edmund Hall, Oxford).
Winner Richards Butler Travelling Scholarship.
Winner Baker & MacKenzie Travelling Scholarship.

Other Qualifications


Accredited Mediator (ADR Chambers). 
Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 
Accredited advocacy trainer - Australian Advocacy Institute (AAI). 
Supporting Member LMAA. 
Lecturer in International Trade at Bristol Institute of Legal Practice. 
Sometime lecturer in Insurance, Equity and Trusts law at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). 
Sometime external examiner on the Bar Vocational Course. 
Contributor to LMCLQ. 
Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (ALAANZ) (committee member (retired)) and Maritime Law.   Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ). 
RYA Dayskipper Theory and Practical. 
Australian Rugby Union Referee (Victorian Branch). 
Rugby Football Union Referee (Somerset Referees' Society).

Appointments


Accredited Mediator (ADR Chambers).

Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Editor, Shawcross & Beaumont Air Law.

Presentations


International Trade (Bristol Institute of Legal Practice); RAeS Summer Course – Introduction to Air Law; In-house lectures on Insurance, Shipping and Aviation topics; CLT Webinars.

Publications


Editor of carriage on Shawcross & Beaumont Air Law 2011 - 2016
Exclusivity Trumps Equality in the UK Supreme Court: Stott v Thomas Cook Ltd (2014) LMCLQ 317-319
Aviation Accident Reports Admissible in Civil Proceedings in the UK: Rogers v Hoyle (2014) LMCLQ 329-333
The meaning of accident in the air: Air Link Pty Ltd v Paterson [2010] L.M.C.L.Q. 19.

Memberships


ACIArb, COMBAR, LSLC, PNBA, LCLCBA, RAeS.

Languages


English; French; German (conversational).

In-House Experience


2008 – Secondment to Barlow Lyde & Gilbert LLP (aviation).

2003-2006 - Senior Associate at Ebsworth & Ebsworth, Melbourne, Australia.

In house experience with Holmes Hardingham and Richards Butler (Hong Kong).

Personal


  • Rugby Union
  • Literature
  • Hill Walking
  • Gardening
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