Called: 1987 Silk: 2010
Nigel's commercial practice predominantly covers the fields of shipping, energy and insurance law. He appears before the Commercial and Admiralty Courts, in arbitration (both domestic and international) and before the appellate courts. Nigel accepts appointments as an arbitrator and has acted as a mediator and as a party's representative in mediations. He has experience of public inquiries having appeared for the government in the three most recent shipping formal investigations.
Nigel's shipping & commodities work covers most aspects of international trade and the carriage of goods (including international sales disputes and all forms of bill of lading and charterparty disputes); shipbroking and management including related fraud and professional negligence claims; shipbuilding (including superyachts) and off-shore construction; ship sale and purchase; limitation and collision actions, pollution and, occasionally, Merchant Shipping Act offences. In addition to his commercial shipping practice, Nigel has a specialist interest in disputes in the yachting and marine leisure market. In the energy sector, Nigel's work covers both upstream and downstream aspects of the industry. He has advised on disputes relating to drilling and exploration, to production and to the sale and purchase of energy products as well as on related issues such as the enforcement of related guarantees and the insurance of drilling units. Nigel's insurance & reinsurance practice extends to policy disputes in both the non-marine and marine sectors.
In the wider commercial arena, Nigel has considerable experience of handling cases that are factually and technically complex with a corresponding level of documents. He is known for being approachable, and believes in working as a team with those instructing him.
"Charming and an able practitioner in both wet and dry shipping matters"(Legal 500, 2016)
“He is very approachable and conveys his points with clarity(Chambers UK 2015)
"He is really forthright, and his attention to detail is phenomenal”...“He quickly picks up the issues and is willing to work antisocial hours as required by the case”(Chambers UK 2014)
"Very careful and perceptive and gives prompt advice"(Legal 500 2014)
"An extremely approachable QC, who is incredibly easy to work with” He has the “ability to get right into the detail of a case yet still provide clear overall strategy, advice and assistance”.(Chambers UK 2013)
“Highly intelligent” and “Straightforward and to the point in all he does”(Chambers UK 2012)
Nigel has a broad commercial practice, covering most aspects of international trade (including commodities) and the carriage of goods, as well as construction (including off-shore), railways, professional negligence (particularly in relation to shipbrokers), fraud, international supply contracts and conflicts of law. During 2007 to early 2009, Nigel was heavily involved as junior counsel to one of the ship-broking defendants in the Fiona Trust litigation. Much of 2010 was spent defending a professional negligence claim for US$55 million against a firm of marine surveyors relating to work done for a condition warranty survey. During 2012 and 2013, Nigel acted for BHP Billiton in connection with claims in excess of US$110 million under a settlement agreement relating to a series of FFA contracts.
Nigel’s dry-shipping and commodities practice is broad and varied. His work covers all types of charter party and bill of lading disputes as well as international trade and related finance disputes. Nigel has a particular expertise in disputes relating to shipbrokers, managers and surveyors including fraud and professional negligence claims. During much of 2008 and 2009, Nigel acted for a firm of shipbrokers in the Fiona Trust litigation. In 2010, Nigel was heavily involved with a professional negligence claim against a firm of warranty surveyors for a sum of about US$55 million. In 2011, Nigel was instructed along with revenue counsel by HMRC in connection with a dispute over the tax treatment of a lease finance scheme for two LNG carriers. In 2012 and 2013, Nigel acted for BHP Billiton to obtain summary judgment and worldwide injunctive relief in connection with claims in excess of of US$110 million under a settlement agreement relating to a series of FFA contracts. During 2013 and 2014, Nigel acted in a variety of arbitrations, including references concerning project and heavylift cargoes as well as bunker quality disputes and safe ports.
A significant part of Nigel's work in this sector is international in nature and often raises complex issues relating to jurisdiction, conflicts of law and enforcement.
Nigel also has experience of the rail and aviation sectors including advising the government on regulatory issues for the rail industry and in relation to a dispute over rights of access to an airfield.
Nigel specialises in all types of admiralty work including collision, general average, limitation and wreck removal as well as appearing as counsel for the Department of Transport in formal investigations into the loss of the MV Derbyshire, the FV Gaul, and the Marchioness/Bowbelle. Much of Nigel's wet work concerns disputes in the off-shore industries. Nigel also has extensive experience in the field of marine pollution.
The WESTERN NEPTUNE  1 Lloyd's Rep. 158 - Application of the Collision Regulations to seismic arrays.
R (On the application of INTERTANKO) v. Sec. of State for Transport  Env. L.R. 8 - Challenge to the validity of the EU ship-source pollution directive and its compatibility with the Law of the Sea and the MARPOL Convention.
Nigel appears regularly in international arbitrations including arbitrations under the major institutional rules and under the rules of organisations such as the LMAA and GMAA as well as adhoc arbitrations. Nigel advises regularly on strategies to ensure that parties are held to their agreement to arbitrate and to ensure the effective enforcement of arbitration awards in different jurisdictions.
Nigel accepts appointments as an arbitrator in all his areas of practice.
Nigel appears in a broad range of Insurance and Reinsurance disputes (both marine and non-marine), often raising issues of non-disclosure or misrepresentation, the proper construction of policy terms and the effect of condition survey warranties. Recent litigation include disputes in relation to coverage for piracy, the meaning of 'one occurrence' under a policy of ship operator cover and an on-going dispute over whether coverage under a marine hull policy extends to cover main engine damage.
Nigel has a specialist interest in (super)yacht insurance disputes and has previously advised the Treasury in connection with a retrocession dispute for sums in excess of £80million.
Nigel has a strong practice in the fields of energy, construction and shipbuilding (including superyacht construction).
In the energy sector, Nigel's work covers both upstream and downstream aspects of the industry. He has advised on and appeared in disputes relating to drilling and exploration, to production and to the sale and purchase of energy products as well as on related issues such as the enforcement of guarantees and the insurance of drilling units. Nigel is also regularly instructed in disputes arising under the contracts for the supply of offshore support vessels and related services.
In the areas of offshore construction and shipbuilding, Nigel's work extends to the commercial, government and super yacht sectors. Recent cases include two major super yacht construction disputes, one for the builder and one for the owner and advising on the proper construction and enforcement of government shipbuilding contracts worth in excess of £300 million. During much of 2013, Nigel acted for owners in connection with a six week arbitration for claims in excess of US$50 million arising under a shipbuilding contract for a bulk carrier.
In the offshore sector, recent cases include the first English case concerning the construction of the IADCO standard form drilling contract and the first English case concerning the application of the collision regulations to vessels towing seismic arrays. Nigel was also instructed in relation to a substantial dispute arising under a contract for the supply of support vessels for the installation of windturbines.
Nigel is an accredited mediator, and has appeared as parties’ representative in mediations.
Having been a member of the Treasury panels and instructed by the Department for Transport for all of the last three shipping Formal Investigations in England & Wales, Nigel is familiar with the Administrative law concepts pertinent to his areas of practice and has experience of judicial review proceedings.
LL.B Hons (Leeds), LL.M (London), Dip.E.I. (European Business Law) (Amsterdam).
Member of the Attorney General's panel of Counsel (A & B Panels) from 1997 until becoming Queen's Counsel in 2010.
Accepts appointments as an arbitrator.
Provides expert evidence on English law for proceedings in other jurisdictions.
Member of SCMA
COMBAR, TECBAR, supporting member of the LMAA, Bar European Group, European Circuit, British German Jurists Association.
Until 2011 Chair/Vice-chair of various Bar Standards Board Committees.
Contributor to The Law of Yachts and Yachting (2012).
Contributor to Butterworths' Commercial Court and Arbitration Pleadings (2005).
Co-editor of The European Advocate (1997-2000).
Co-author of Taylor & Cooper, European Litigation Handbook (Sweet & Maxwell, 1995).
Former contributor to Vaughan`s Law of the European Communities (Butterworths.
Contributor to the Practitioner's Handbook of EC Law (Bar Council/Trenton Publishing).
Nigel is a regular speaker on legal issues pertinent to his practice.
Able to accept instructions in German, Dutch and French.
Nigel is married and has two daughters
Sailing, Climbing and Walking