Max Davidson

Called: 2013

Practice Overview

Max undertakes work in a broad range of commercial disputes, including wet and dry shipping, sale of goods, international arbitration, conflicts of law, aviation, energy, insurance and banking. He regularly appears in the County Court and has appeared as sole counsel in the Commercial Court, Admiralty Court and Companies Court.

Prior to joining Quadrant Chambers, Max studied law at King's College London, Oxford and Harvard. He was also a Visiting Tutor in Contract Law and Trusts Law and an Examiner in Commercial Arbitration at King's College London during 2012-2013.

  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry Shipping

    Max has extensive experience of advising on and drafting pleadings in a wide range of charterparty and bill of lading disputes, including cargo claims, off-hire, laytime and demurrage, general average, unsafe ports and dangerous cargo. These disputes are typically in either the Commercial Court or LMAA Arbitration and involve charterparties or bills of lading on the main forms (NYPE; Shelltime; Gencon; BPVoy). He also frequently acts in commodity and international trade disputes (typically international sale of goods on FOB, CIF, C&F and other terms). Max also has experience of freight forwarding disputes and disputes concerning the carriage of goods by road, typically governed by the CMR Convention or BIFA or RHA terms.

    Illustrative cases include:

    • Commercial Court in private (2017): Obtained worldwide freezing order for voyage charterer following shipowners’ failure to present vessel for loading
    • LMAA Arbitration: Acted (with Nevil Phillips) for respondent shipowners in $2m claim for damages for failure to delivery seaworthy ship
    • A v B (2015, Comm Court) - acted (with Stephen Cogley QC) for the successful Respondent to a freezing injunction application. Concerned the incorporation of a Scott v Avery clause into FOSFA sale contracts.
    • LCIA Arbitration: Acted for successful bareboat charterers in relation to $4m dispute regarding termination of bareboat charter (led by Tom Macey-Dare)
    • LMAA Arbitration: $1.3 million hire dispute, concerning issues of speeding consumption, seaworthiness, liens and interception of sub-freights
    • LMAA Arbitration: Acting for cargo interest in general average dispute concerning exercise of due diligence to make vessel seaworthy
    • LMAA Arbitration: Unsafe port dispute concerning suitability of mooring equipment in port and competency of crew's mooring
    • LMAA Arbitration: Successfully challenged arbitrator's jurisdiction in dispute concerning demurrage owing under a sale of oil contract.

    Wet Shipping

    Max has experience of a variety of salvage and collision disputes. Recently drafted an application for an order for appraisement and sale of a vessel under arrest.

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Max has experience of a wide range of both domestic and international commercial disputes in both court and arbitration, including sale of goods, supply of services, international trade and fraud.

    Illustrative cases include:

    • Sugar Association of London Arbitration (2017): Acted for defendant seller in USD 13 million dispute concerning contamination of a cargo of raw sugar with sand
    • Touton Far East Pte Ltd v Shri Lal Mahal Ltd (2017) - acted (with Chirag Karia QC) for a commodities company in obtaining committal orders against five directors of an Indian company, and an order for permission to issue a writ of sequestration against the Indian company
    • Acted, as sole counsel, for a French judgment debtor to obtain a worldwide freezing order in support of foreign proceedings against a Premier League footballer
    • Acted (with Stephen Cogley QC) for an energy consultant in respect of an interim search order obtained by a competitor for alleged misuse of confidential information, inducing breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy
    • A v B (2015) – acted (with Stephen Cogley QC) for the successful Respondent to a freezing injunction application. Concerned the incorporation of a Scott v Avery clause into FOSFA sale contracts
    • Advising on whether damages may be recovered under a data and telecommunications services agreement for loss of service following a fire
    • Advising on the effect of unilateral/hybrid jurisdiction clause in an international sale contract
    • Advising on specification dispute in an international sale of steel contract
    • Advising on the enforceability of an international stevedore services contract
    • Advising on recovery under a letter of credit in an engineering, procurement and construction contract.
  • Civil Fraud K View More

    Max has recently advised fidelity insurers on subrogated claims against third party recipients of money misappropriated from insureds as a result of employee and director fraud. These cases involved questions of whether or not there was sufficient evidence to plead fraud and dishonesty against third party recipients of company funds and whether or not to pursue freezing injunctions against those potential defendants. Relevant causes of action advised on included knowing receipt, dishonest assistance of breach of fiduciary duty and unlawful means conspiracy. 

    Max has recent experience in obtaining, and resisting, worldwide freezing orders, an important remedy where dishonest parties may seek to dissipate assets.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Max recently completed a placement at a leading London insurer and reinsurer and has experience of advising on a range of insurance and reinsurance disputes. Illustrative cases include:

    • advising on coverage under P&I policy
    • advising on whether an insured had made a fair presentation of risk under a hull and machinery policy
    • advising on whether an employee's claim for sexual harassment is covered by an employers' liability policy 
    • advising on whether an insurer may avoid a policy for non-disclosure of a report relating to an excluded peril
    • advising on coverage under a product liability policy and whether certain claimed losses were said to arise out of damage to tangible property
    • advising on a reinsurer’s liability to a reinsured in respect of claims brought under an underlying products reinsurance policy
    • advising on whether claims for fraudulent misdelivery are covered under the Institute Cargo Clauses A form
    • advising on reinsurers’ potential liability under the Insurance Act 2015 for late payment of claims by reinsureds
  • Aviation & Travel K View More

    Max has experience of a wide range of aviation and travel disputes involving jurisdictional and choice of law issues, the Montreal/Warsaw Convention and Regulation 261/2004. Max is regularly instructed by a number of major airlines, including Ryanair, British Airways, Emirates, Monarch and Thomas Cook.

    Max recently successfully represented Ryanair in an appeal against the Home Office’s decision to impose a charge upon Ryanair pursuant to section 40 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1996 for the carriage of two passengers who travelled into the United Kingdom on false passports. The appeal, which was the first such appeal brought in relation to section 40, considered the question of whether the falsity of the passports used by the passengers was “reasonably apparent”. 

  • International Arbitration K View More

    Max accepts instructions to act in international commercial and investment arbitration (including under LMAA, ICC and LCIA Rules).

    Max has previous experience of assisting on advising on the merits of an investment treaty arbitration and has studied International Dispute Settlement and Investment Treaty Arbitration at Oxford and Harvard respectively. Recent work includes:

    • Drafting an application for permission to appeal to the High Court on a point of law under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 concerning the application of the rule of avoided loss.
    • Drafting an application for permission to appeal on a point of law concerning the correct measure of damages for delayed loading
    • Drafting an application for the appointment of an arbitrator
  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Max accepts instructions in this field. Recent work includes:

    • LCIA Arbitration (2015): Junior on a $150 million dispute concerning the mooring system design of an FPSO
    • Assisted with a $800 million EPC contract dispute
  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Max has experience of a number of banking and finance related issues, including matters involving letters of credit, loan agreements and financial product misselling. 

  • Sports Law K View More

    Max has previous experience of drafting arbitral awards for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (in both Ordinary and Appeal procedures), including a case involving a contractual dispute between a football club and player. 

    Max recently acted as sole counsel to obtain a worldwide freezing order against a Premier League footballer who had failed to pay judgment sums outstanding.


LLB, King’s College London (Highest First Class Honours – ranked 1st in both 2nd and 3rd years).
BCL, Oxford University (Distinction).
LLM, Harvard Law School.
BPTC, BPP Law School (Outstanding – 3rd in Year).


Visiting Tutor in Contract Law and Trusts Law, KCL (2012-13)

Examiner in Commercial Arbitration, KCL (2013)

Stagiaire, Cleary Gottlieb, Brussels (Summer 2012)

Placement in leading US insurance law firm

Placement in leading London shipping firm

Placement in leading London insurer and reinsurer


Gray’s Inn Prince of Wales Scholarship; Judges and Silks Award; Sweet and Maxwell Book Prize; Zafrullah Khan Prize; Oxford University Press Book Prize; Helen Gibbons Prize in Commercial Law; KCL scholarships for excelling in academic studies and contribution to student life (08/09 and 09/10)


COMBAR, London Shipping Law Centre, LCLCBA.


Protecting and extending time in collision actions: The Stolt Kestrel (Shipping and Transport International Vol 10 (2))

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