Liisa Lahti

Called: 2009

Practice Overview

Liisa Lahti has a broad commercial practice work covering banking & finance, international trade, shipping and insurance.

Recent/ongoing cases include:

  • LIBOR manipulation: Acting in a dispute between a real estate investment company and a major commercial bank regarding loan agreements and associated swaps. Issues include the consequences of alleged LIBOR manipulation by the bank - allegations of misrepresentation, fraud and breach of contract (with Stephen Auld QC of One Essex Court).
  • Insolvency and sale of goods: Acting for various Owners (arbitration and court) in relation to claims arising from the insolvency of OW Bunkers.  Issues include the relationship between retention of title clauses and claims for the price of goods (with Stephen Cogley QC).
  • Enforcement of arbitration awards & the New York Convention: Proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning the enforcement of an arbitration award worth over £150 million against a European State (Diag Human Se v Czech Republic [2014] EWHC 1639 (Comm)) (with Raymond Cox QC of Fountain Court).
  • Ship finance and penalty clauses: An LCIA Arbitration of issues relating to the financial arrangements surrounding the sale of four vessels. Issues included contractual estoppel and the law on penalty clauses (with Steven Gee QC of Stone Chambers).
  • FX derivatives and contractual estoppel: Acting in a dispute between customer and issuer of structured FX products. Issues concerning misrepresentation, the interpretation of various clauses in the ISDA master agreement, contractual estoppel and the law of India regulating derivatives.
  • Insurance linked bonds and misrepresentation: Ongoing proceedings in the Commercial Court regarding allegations of misrepresentations made in the context of the issuance and sale of longevity-contingent notes.  Issues include the nature of interests traded on Clearstream.

Before coming to the Bar Liisa spent two and a half years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she gained experience in the Corporate, Finance and Litigation Departments and spent time on secondment to ExxonMobil. Liisa has also been seconded in-house at an international group P&I Club, the General Counsel’s Division of the (then) Financial Services Authority and a leading international law firm.

  • What the directories sayView More

    • ..."Very intelligent and very to the point."... "Hard-working, bright, commercially minded and a real joy to work with."...

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • ...."Proactive, very responsive and someone whose legal analysis is very good."...

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    •  ..."Grasps the issues, has a good handle across the piece and is good at suggesting routes forward."...

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • ..."a star of the future"...

      (Chambers UK, 2017)
    • ..."Enthusiastic, hard-working and very easy to deal with." ..."An amazingly user-friendly individual, very down to earth and bright"...

      (Chambers UK, 2017)
    • ..."Very knowledgeable, thoughtful, creative and dynamic – a developing star of the Bar"...

      (Legal 500, 2017)
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Liisa has experience working on disputes across a broad range of commercial areas including banking, finance, energy disputes, shipping and insurance. Recent experience includes the following:

    • Insolvency and sale of goods. Acting for various Owners (arbitration and court) in relation to claims arising from the insolvency of OW Bunkers.  Issues include the relationship between retention of title clauses and claims for the price of goods (with Stephen Cogley Q.C.).
    • Proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning the enforcement of an arbitration award worth over £150 million against a European State - issues concerning (among other things) State immunity and the availability of security for costs in the context of enforcement proceedings (Security for costs application Diag Human SE v Czech Republic [2013] EWHC 3190 (Comm), enforcement hearing Diag Human Se v Czech Republic [2014] EWHC 1639 (Comm)) (with Raymond Cox QC of Fountain Court).
    • Instructed to appear on behalf of Insurers making a late application to amend their defence to allege breach of an implied term (application in the Commercial Court): Elafonissos Fishing and Shipping Co v Aigaion Insurance Co SA (The “Agios Spyridon”) [2012] EWHC 892 (Comm).
    • Ongoing proceedings in the Commercial Court regarding allegations of misrepresentations made in the context of the issuance and sale of longevity-contingent notes.
    • Ongoing proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning payment under a parent company guarantee issued in the context of a commodities sale.
    • Ongoing proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning the enforcement of a domestic arbitration award worth $2 million – issues concerning the tribunal’s jurisdiction to decide the underlying dispute.
    • Ongoing proceedings in the mercantile court concerning agency arrangements surrounding the provision of stevedoring services.
    • Freezing injunction application in respect of payments made under Sovereign medium term €10bn issue of notes.
    • Injunction application in support of arbitral proceedings. Issues concerning the meaning of “assets” under section 44(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996.
    • Advising a consortium of banks on ways of enforcing security in circumstances where buyers in default under a shipbuilding contract – outstanding sums exceeding $10 million.
    • Advising the customer in the context of a dispute concerning the sale of interest rate swaps by a bank. Issues included estoppel by representation and estoppel by convention.
    • Many of the cases Liisa has worked on have involved international elements, and she has experience of conflicts of law issues in both the EU and non-EU context including issues concerning conflicting arbitration and jurisdiction clauses and the jurisdiction of the English courts to grant a freezing injunction.
  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Liisa has considerable experience in dry shipping matters. She has acted in a wide range of disputes concerning contracts of affreightment (bills of lading, voyage charters and time charters), cargo claims and the international sale of goods.  Liisa frequently advises on and drafts submissions in disputes concerning, inter alia, unpaid hire, laytime and demurrage, detention, unsafe ports, bunker quality / quantity, cargo (including containerised cargo) quality/carriage.

    Recent / ongoing matters include the following:

    • LMAA arbitration (ongoing) acting for carrier in defending a cargo claim.  Allegations that cargo of vegetable oil damaged during the voyage due to failure to keep cargo properly refrigerated in accordance with FOSFA Guidelines.
    • LMAA arbitration (ongoing) acting for Owners of a vessel in a dispute with Charterers regarding the correct period of off-hire / claim by charterers for demurrage lost under sub-charter due to vessel being unclean in her holds at load port.   Issues include the true construction of various clauses in an amended NYPE charter and a Vegoilvoy charter and the meaning of “port” under both English and Japanese law.
    • Advising on (inter alia) jurisdiction and applicable law in the context of a dispute between Owners and (purported) Charterers of a Vessel.  Allegations of fraud by an agent/broker.
    • LMAA arbitration between Owners and Charterers (time charter).  Issues included allegations that the port elected was an unsafe port and various issues surrounding a USCG Coast Guard order disallowing entry into a port alleging that the crew posed a threat to national security.
    • LMAA arbitration acting for carriers in a cargo claim dispute.  Allegations that cargo of rice damaged during voyage due to improper stowage and unseaworthiness of the vessel.
    • Successful summary judgment application in the mercantile court.  Dispute concerning the carriage of cars from England to Nigeria.  Issues included alleging damage to cargo and liability for theft at discharge port.
    • International sale of goods: Acting for various Owners in relation to claims arising from the insolvency of OW Bunkers.  Issues include the relationship between retention of title clauses and claims for the price of goods (with Stephen Cogley QC).
    • Proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning payment under a parent company guarantee issued in the context of a commodities sale.

    Liisa has also been seconded in-house at an international group P&I Club and a Defence Club where she gained experience in a wide range of dry shipping  disputes.

  • International Arbitration K View More

    Liisa has assisted in preparing submissions for international arbitrations in a range of commercial disputes. She has experience of the LCIA Rules, LMAA Rules and the New York Convention. Liisa also has experience of the relationship between arbitration and the courts. Recent highlights include:

    • LCIA Arbitration of issues relating to the financial arrangements surrounding the sale of four vessels. Issues included contractual estoppel and the law on penalty clauses. (with Steven Gee QC of Stone Chambers).
    • Acting in a dispute between customer and issuer of structured FX products. Issues concerning misrepresentation, the interpretation of various clauses in the ISDA master agreement, contractual estoppel and the law of India regulating derivatives.
    • Proceedings in the Commercial Court to enforce an arbitration award worth over £150 million – Issues concerning State immunity and the availability of security for costs: Diag Human SE v Czech Republic [2013] EWHC 3190 (Comm) and Diag Human Se v Czech Republic [2014] EWHC 1639 (Comm) (with Raymond Cox QC of Fountain Court).
    • Proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning the enforcement of a domestic arbitration award worth over $2 million.
    • Proceedings to challenge and appeal and arbitration award under sections 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
    • Proceedings to resist an application to appeal an arbitration award under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Liisa has gained experience of this area including:

    • LCIA Arbitration of issues relating to the financial arrangements surrounding the sale of four vessels. Issues included contractual estoppel and the law on penalty clauses.
    • Advising a consortium of banks (as sole counsel) on ways of enforcing security in circumstances were buyers in default under a shipbuilding contract – outstanding sums exceeding $10 million. Included advising on possible arrest of a vessel.
    • Assisted in advising on a shipbuilder’s entitlement to terminate a shipbuilding contract as a result of failure to pay instalments due.
  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Recent experience includes the following:

    • LIBOR manipulation. Acting in a dispute between a real estate investment company and a major commercial bank regarding loan agreements and associated swaps. Issues include the consequences of alleged LIBOR manipulation by the bank - allegations of misrepresentation, fraud and breach of contract (with Stephen Auld QC of One Essex Court).
    • Acting in a dispute between customer and issuer of structured FX derivatives – issues concerning the true construction of representations in the ISDA Master Agreement, estoppel and the law of India regulating derivatives. (junior to Raymond Cox QC of Fountain Court).
    • LCIA Arbitration of issues relating to the financial arrangements surrounding the sale of four vessels. Issues included contractual estoppel and the law on penalty clauses. (junior to Steven Gee QC of Stone Chambers).
    • Ongoing proceedings in the Commercial Court regarding allegations of misrepresentations made in the context of the issuance and sale of longevity-contingent notes.
    • Recent secondment to a major international law firm to assist with skilled person review in connection with FCA’s investigation into swap misselling.
    • Recent secondment to the General Counsel’s Division of the (then) Financial Services Authority, where she advised an all aspects of conduct regulation.
    • Advising on making and stopping payments made through Clearstream and held by banks pursuant to fiscal agency agreements.
    • Assisted in advising on changes in relation to private bondholders of Greek sovereign bonds – issues concerning compliance with European Convention on Human Rights.
    • Ongoing proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning payment under a parent company guarantee issued in the context of a commodities sale.
  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Liisa has gained experience in a wide-range of insurance (marine and non-marine) and reinsurance disputes.  Furthermore, Liisa has spent time on secondment in-house at an international group P&I Club Liisa has a good understanding of the commercial background to insurance disputes.

    • Insurance (non-marine): Disputes involving coverage issue, notification issues, the scope of an insurance broker’s authority and the avoidance of policies for material non-disclosure and misrepresentation. Liisa has assisted in matters arising within the context of insurance covering various types of risk including a professional indemnity policy, a crime policy and a policy covering business interruption.
    • Insurance (marine): Instructed in an insurance dispute (instructed on behalf of insurers) – the issues concerning alleged breaches of warranty. Assisted in advising on the wording of a Marine Cargo Insurance Policy.
  • Injunctions K View More

    Recent experience includes the following:

    • Acted in freezing injunction application in respect of payment made under Sovereign medium term €10bn issue of notes.
    • Injunction application in support of arbitral proceedings. Issues concerning the meaning of “assets” under section 44(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996.
    • Advising on the merits of an application to set aside an anti-suit injunction obtained by a bank in connection with sums due under complex “exotic” derivatives where the contractual terms provided for LCIA arbitration in England.
    • Assisted in advising on the merits of an application to set aside a freezing injunction for (inter alia) material non-disclosure and abuse of process and ability to recover under the cross-undertaking in damages (ongoing).

..."Very knowledgeable, thoughtful, creative and dynamic – a developing star of the Bar"...

(Legal 500, 2017)

Academic


BA (Hons) Law (First Class) (Cantab) - St John’s College.
BCL (Oxon) – Christ Church.

Other Qualifications


BCL: Allen & Overy Prize for the highest mark in Corporate Finance 2006.
British Scholarship 2005-2006.
BA: McMahon Law Scholarship (best College performance in Law Tripos Part II).
St John’s College Book Prize.

Languages


Finnish (fluent), Swedish (Good), French (Basic).

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