Nigel Jacobs QC

Called: 1983 Silk: 2006

Practice Overview

Nigel Jacobs QC is a specialist in shipping, commercial disputes and arbitrations. Consistently ranked as a 'Leading Silk' in Chambers UK, Chambers Global and The Legal 500 directories where he has been praised as "...excellent under pressure with good judgement and an effective courtroom manner...," his work covers the full range of shipping and commercial disputes from collisions, salvage and Admiralty practice through to guarantee, marine insurance and letter of credit disputes, as well as ‘traditional’ charterparty and contractual claims while he also regularly appears in cases involving anti-suit and freezing injunctions and conflicts of laws.

Arbitration proceedings form a substantial proportion of Nigel's practice, both as counsel and as arbitrator. His recent arbitrations have included unsafe port cases (in South America and the Indian sub-continent), a grounding in the Suez Canal and cargo claims (oil, cars, fertilizer and other commodities). 

Praised by Chambers UK 2014 as "...a guru in jurisdictional disputes...,” Nigel has a strong international practice. He was specially called to the Hong Kong bar to represent the Master of the NEFTEGAZ 67 in his appeal against conviction arising from a collision in Hong Kong waters; he has appeared in the Kuala Lumpur Arbitration Centre representing a substantial Malaysian company in a commodity and letter of credit dispute. He has also given expert evidence in international jurisdictions and acted as an arbitrator including in marine insurance disputes in the Spanish High Court (Madrid and Tarragona).

Nigel has acted on many ground-breaking cases including during 2015 THE “ATLANTIK CONFIDENCE involving the shipowner’s right to limit under the Limitation Convention, and  conducted the First Appellant's appeal in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in Kulemesin Yuriy v. HKSAR [2013] 2 Ll.R. 367.  The former case is in the process of being tried and is the first substantial challenge to the right to limit to reach the English Courts since the enactment of the 1976 Limitation Convention in 1990.

  • What the directories sayView More

    • ..."He did a fantastic job on his feet."... "He's very hard-working and good with juniors."...

      (Chambers UK 2016)
    • ..."excellent under pressure with good judgement and an effective courtroom manner"...

      (The Legal 500, 2015)
    • ..."He is very responsive and his advice is strategically very good."

      (Chambers UK, 2015)
    • ..."First class advocate"...

      (The Legal 500, 2014)
    •  ..."He is very responsive, not grand, and has a commercial attitude.”…"He is a guru in jurisdictional disputes."...

      (Chambers UK, 2014)
    • ..."Incredibly hardworking and dedicated"...

      (Legal 500, 2016)
  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry Shipping

    Nigel is regularly instructed in whole range of dry shipping and commodity disputes including charterparty and bill of lading disputes (unsafe port, off-hire, unseaworthiness, identity of carrier claims and alternative liability in tort and bailment), and ship sale/MOA disputes in both Court and arbitration. In the past few years he has been instructed in cases involving the carriage of dangerous goods and the application and scope of the IMDG and BC Codes.  He has also been instructed in GAFTA and RSA disputes (including appearance before the GAFTA Board of Appeal) and in disputes involving commodities, foodstuffs and oil trading.  He recently appeared in a ‘rice’ dispute in the Kuala Lumpur Arbitration Centre.  Illustrative cases include:

    • Currently leading the cargo interests team in The "Atlantik Confidence" in which the right to limit under Article 4 of the 1976 Limitation Convention is challenged by reference to the (alleged) scuttling of the vessel. This is the first time that a challenge to the right to limit will have reached a trial in this jurisdiction since the enactment of the 1976 Limitation Convention (in 1990).
    • Shagang South-Asia (Hong Kong) Trading Co Ltd v Daewoo Logistics [2015] EWHC 194 (Comm) s 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996.  This was an important case because it clarified what law governs procedure applied in Hong Kong arbitration.
    • Greatship (India) Ltd v Oceanografia SA de CV, The "Greatship Dhiriti" [2013] 2 Ll.R. 359 This was an appeal from an arbitration award in respect of an owners’ right to suspend the performance of services under the BIMCO Supplytime 1989 form without notice to charterers and the first case in which the Court gave detailed consideration to the right to suspend services in the context of Supplytime form.
    • The "Western Moscow" [2012] 2 Ll.R. 163 involving the nature and scope of an owner's lien on sub-freight.
    • The "Genius Star" [2012] 1 Ll.R. 222 involving an Inter Club Agreement.

    Wet Shipping

    Nigel is regularly instructed in marine casualties, including safe port disputes, collision, salvage, towage and pilotage disputes and limitation cases. Illustrative cases include:

    • Led the First Appellant's team in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in the criminal appeal of Captain Yuriy Kulemesin in relation the scope and application of the "narrow channel" rule:   [2013] 2 Ll.R. 367.  This case examined whether an undesignated stretch of waterway in Hong Kong waters constituted a "narrow channel" and the inter-relationship between Rule 9 of the Col Regs, general rules of good seamanship and Rules 17.
    • Acted as counsel in [2011] 2 Ll.R. 579 (an application of the crossing rules) and related costs issues (the effect of the withdrawal of a Part 61 offer.
    • Acted as successful counsel in [2012] 1 Ll. R. 140 involving counterclaims and costs in collision proceedings and the application of the single liability principle.
    • Ease Faith v. Leonis Management [2006] 1 Ll.R. 673.
    • Also represented one of the family action groups in the Marchioness Public Enquiry (2000).

    Nigel is also frequently involved in cases involving the construction of the Pilotage Act 1987 and local harbour authority statutory powers, in the context of claims for breach of statutory duty, judicial review and public misfeasance.

  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Nigel is instructed in a wide range of shipbuilding and related construction projects, including ship repair cases and pipeline construction and damage incidents.

    Commodites

    He is also regularly instructed in oil trading contracts: see, for example, The "Mercini Lady" [2011] 1 Ll.R. 442 (a leading case on FOB contracts and implied terms).   He regularly acts in relation to other commodities: e.g. grain, sugar, and fertilisers.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Marine and Non-Marine Insurance and Reinsurance: including coverage disputes, non-disclosure and misrepresentation, fraudulent claims and scuttling.   Nigel has also been involved in disputes involving P&I cover under Club Rules and liability between Clubs under the International Pooling Agreement.  Recent cases include:

    • The "DC Merwestone" [2013] 2 Ll.R. 131 (the meaning and scope of "perils of the sea" cover, the effect of the Inchmaree provision and the effect of the fraudulent or reckless presentation of an otherwise valid claim upon recovery under the policy); 
    • The "Buana Dua" [2011] 2 Ll.R. 655 (construction of "follow the leader" clause and its effect on a breach of warranty defence and fraudulent presentation of a claim);
    • The "Dina" (2008: early neutral evaluation): coverage and non-disclosure/misrepresentation dispute);
    • Eagle Star v. Games Video, The "Game Boy" [2004] 1 Ll.R. 238 (misrepresentation and fraudulent claim);
    • Project Asia Line v. Shone [2002] 1 Ll.R. 659 (statutory seaworthiness warranty and coverage dispute);
  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Nigel has substantial experience in letters of credit, guarantees, loan agreements and ship mortgages and related financial instruments and insurance products.    He heads the cross-border insolvency group in chambers and regularly appears and/or advises in cases involving liens on hire and sub-freight. Illustrative cases include:

    • Representing the Greek trustee in bankruptcy in personal cross-border insolvency proceedings in Alpha Bank SA v Vardinoyiannis [2013] EWHC 4220 (Comm) involving the discharge of a freezing injunction and the release of shares to the receiver.
    • The "Western Moscow" [2012] 2 Ll.R. 163 involving the nature and scope of an owner's lien on sub-freight.
  • International Arbitration K View More

    A substantial proportion of Nigel’s practice involves international arbitration proceedings, including LMAA, ICC and ad hoc proceedings.  He recently appeared (as counsel) in the Kuala Lumpur Arbitration Centre.  He also acts as sole arbitrator (oral hearing and documents alone) and as a member of panel.  

    He recently appeared in Shagang South-Asia (Hong Kong) Trading Co Ltd v Daewoo Logistics [2015] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 504, a case which concerned whether the seat of the arbitration was London or Hong Kong. 

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Nigel is regularly instructed in general contractual and related disputes.  Illustrative cases include:

    • Loss of goods from warehouses as a result of fire or theft ( [2004] 2 Ll.R. 241).
    • theft of mobile telephones from bailee’s warehouse caused by willful default of bailee’s employees, whether bailee vicariously liable for employee willful default and whether bailee was entitled to limit liability under cl. 27(A) of BIFA (including the application of the Unfair Contract Terms Act, 1977).
    • Also instructed in judicial review cases (arising from the exercise of harbour authority and pilotage powers) and public misfeasance.
    • The “Julia” [2003] Ll.R.I.R (recovery of interest)
    • The “Siben” (No.2.) [1996] 1 Ll.R. 35 (fraudulent misrepresentation and rescission).
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution K View More

    Nigel has acted as mediator and as counsel in mediations on several occasions (in shipping and insurance disputes) during the past few years.

  • Civil Fraud K View More

    Nigel has substantial experience in insurance fraud including claims in respect of the fraudulent presentation of claims and the use of fraudulent devices. Illustrative cases include:

    • He is currently leading the cargo interests team in The "Atlantik Confidence" in which the right to limit under Article 4 of the 1976 Limitation Convention is challenged by reference to the (alleged) scuttling of the vessel.  The case is due for trial in April 2016. 
    • The "DC Merwestone" [2013] 2 Ll.R. 131 (the effect of the fraudulent or reckless presentation of an otherwise valid claim upon recovery under the policy);
    • The "Buana Dua" [2011] 2 Ll.R. 655 (construction of "follow the leader" clause and its effect on a breach of warranty defence and fraudulent presentation of a claim);
    • Eagle Star  v. Games Video, The "Game Boy" [2004] 1 Ll.R. 238 (misrepresentation and fraudulent claim);
    • Frans Maas v. Samsung UK [2004] 2 Ll.R. 241(willful default and theft in a warehouse contract);

..."incredibly hardworking and dedicated"...

(The Legal 500, 2016)

Academic


M.A. (Pembroke College Cambridge)
LL.M (Trinity College Cambridge)

Awards


Middle Temple Entrance Scholarship

Other Qualifications


Lecturer (Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration): Diploma in Maritime Law (Metropolitan University)

Appointments


Arbitrator, Mediator, Examiner (for foreign proceedings), expert witness on English law in foreign proceedings.

Presentations


Regularly presents seminars at solicitors’ offices. Recent talks have included:
Liens on Freight and Hire, Time Limits and Charterparty Indemnity Claims; Damages for Breach of Charterparty and Related Issues; Recent Developments in relation to the prosecution of claims under the Inter-Club Agreement; The Single Liability Principle (in the context of collision actions); The "Astra" and the obligation to make puntual payment.

Memberships


COMBAR

Personal


Married with two daughters (and a dog).

Interests


Travel, Theatre, Cinema and Sport.

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