Saira Paruk

Called: 2004

Practice Overview

Saira practises in all of Chambers’ key areas of work as both sole counsel and as a junior.

Saira regularly appears in the Commercial Court and in arbitrations in a wide range of commercial disputes including shipping, carriage of goods, shipbuilding, insurance and reinsurance, and private international law.  She also has extensive experience of interlocutory matters of all kinds including jurisdictional challenges, freezing orders and injunctions.

Saira’s recent reported cases include Carlos Soto SAU v AP Moller-Maersk A/S (The SFL Hawk) [2015] EWHC 458 (Comm) as sole counsel in a Commercial Court trial, Crowther & Another v Rayment & Another [2015] EWHC 427 (Ch) as sole counsel successfully resisting the appointment of an arbitrator, Navigators Insurance company V Alkahtani Jlawi Mohammed & Another [2015] EWHC 1137 (Comm) as sole counsel in a jurisdiction challenge.  

Saira has undertaken secondments in the shipping departments of leading London law firms and at a Lloyd’s of London Syndicate.

  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    ​Dry shipping

    Dry shipping work forms the core of Saira’s practice.  She has experience of the full range of disputes arising out of charterparties, bills of lading, contracts of affreightment and the like. She regularly advises in relation to and acts in cargo damage and misdelivery claims.

    In respect of charterparty disputes, Saira’s experience includes off-hire disputes, demurrage, dangerous cargo, unsafe ports and speed and consumption disputes.

    Saira is regularly instructed in international sales disputes and is familiar with all forms of standard international sale contracts (CIF, FOB etc).

    In relation to transport disputes, Saira is frequently instructed in road carriage cases under the CMR, RHA or BIFA terms as well as in multi-modal transport disputes and storage cases involving chains of carriers and forwarders.

    Recent and ongoing cases include:

    • Carlos Soto SAU v AP Moller-Maersk A/S ("The SFL Hawk") [2015] EWHC 458 as sole counsel in a Commercial Court trial arising out of damage to a cargo of frozen fish.
    • Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd v Sonol Israel Ltd [2011] EWHC 2756 (Comm) where she successfully appeared as sole counsel in a strike out application in which Beatson J considered the proper construction of a demurrage provision in a contract of sale.
    • Geofizika DD v MMB International Ltd (Greenshields Cowie & Co Ltd, Pt 20 Defendant) [2010] EWCA 459 – (a case concerning the liability of freight forwarders) where she was solely instructed at first instance, and, on appeal to the Court of Appeal, was led by Richard Lord QC.
    • Enviroco Ltd v Farstad Supply A/S  [2011] UKSC 16 – junior to Poonam Melwani QC in a case concerning the proper construction of exemption and indemnity provisions in a charterparty providing for risk allocation as between groups of companies and their affiliates. 
    • Junior counsel (led by Nigel Jacobs QC in a dangerous cargo claim.
    • Solely instructed in a deadfreight and demurrage arbitration claim.  Successfully determined on a documents-alone basis.
    • An arbitration claim in respect of a bunker quality dispute.
    • Acting for shipowners in their US$3million claim against shipbrokers for negligent misstatement.
    • Advising in and acting for head-owners in a hire claim involving liens over sub-hire.
    • Acting as sole counsel for a port in a claim arising out of an oil spill.
    • Advising the Metropolitan Police in relation to duties and obligations of security staff on vessels employed on the River Thames.

    Wet shipping

    Saira has considerable experience of general average disputes and arrests.  She is currently solely instructed in various admiralty claims in rem and limitation claims.

    Saira has recently been led by Nigel Cooper QC in a collision claim and and by Jeremy Russell QC in a substantial salvage arbitration.

  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Saira’s practice includes shipbuilding disputes including the construction of yachts, super-yachts and tankers. She is currently instructed in relation to various shipbuilding disputes acting for both buyers and yards.  She has considerable experience of drafting detailed pleadings in complex shipbuilding cases and advising in relation to a full spectrum of legal and practical issues in this area of work.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Saira has extensive experience of insurance matters covering both marine and non-marine policies.  Examples of recent and ongoing matters include:

    • Navigators Insurance Company v Alkahtani Jlawi Mohammed & Another [2015] EWHC 1137 (Comm) as sole counsel in a jurisdiction challenge.
    • Aizkir Navigation Inc. v Al Wathba National Insurance Co. [2011] EWHC 3940 (Comm) – Saira successfully acted (solely) for insurers in a jurisdictional challenge in a US$2 million marine insurance dispute.
    • Saira advised and acted for insurers in the High Court in a marine insurance dispute alleging fraud, involving omplex expert forensic evidence.
    • Saira has also recently advised in relation to a reinsurance coverage dispute and continues to advise and act for insurers in a range of subrogated claims.

    On secondment to a major Lloyd’s of London Syndicate, Saira advised in relation to various insurance and reinsurance disputes, including a significant claim involving insurance intermediaries, covering a range of agency points.

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Saira has extensive experience across a wide range of commercial disputes.  She acts and advises in several general commercial disputes often raising issues of construction, misrepresentation and agency. Saira also has considerable experience in interlocutory applications and in all aspects of Private International Law.  Recent and ongoing cases include:

    • Crowther & Another v Rayment & Another [2015] EWHC 427 (Ch) where she successfully resisted the appointment of an arbitrator.
    • Aizkir Navigation Inc. v Al Wathba National Insurance Co. [2011] EWHC 3940 (Comm) – Saira successfully acted (solely) for insurers in relation to a jurisdictional challenge in a US$2 million marine insurance dispute.
    • Linsen International v Humpuss Sea Transport & others [2011] EWHC 2339 (Comm) – Led by Michael Howard QC, this case concerned piercing the corporate veil and Chabra injunctions.
    • Saira successfully obtained an injunction in relation to the recovery of unpaid solicitors’ fees.
    • Saira was instructed as junior to Guy Blackwood in a case where third party debt orders have been obtained and which raises issues of state immunity.
    • Saira was a junior to Michael McParland, acting in a high profile multi-million pound High Court dispute raising issues of fiduciary duty and fraud.
  • International Arbitration K View More

    Saira has significant experience of arbitrations across a range of maritime, commercial and international trade disputes (ICC, LCIA and LMAA).  She also has extensive experience of drafting submissions and assisting in the presentation of claims made under GAFTA and FOSFA rules.  Saira has also been instructed in a number of cases concerning applications to Court under the 1996 Act, including challenges to arbitration awards and in relation to the appointment and removal of arbitrators.

  • Aviation & Travel K View More

    Saira has varied experience in this field.  She regularly advises and acts for major international airlines and airport groups in relation to their defence of personal injury, disability discrimination and baggage claims, and regularly acts in carriage matters involving the full range of issues under the Conventions and EC Regulation 261/2004. Saira has also:

    • represented a major online travel agency in a range of disputes raising issues of agency and misrepresentation;
    • Solely instructed to act in a multi-million pound aircraft leasing dispute; and
    • whilst on secondment to a leading law firm, acted on a range of high profile aviation insurance disputes, with individual claims in the region of US$10 million and significant cross-jurisdictional elements, including detailed advice on the position under French law. 
  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Saira regularly appears in the High Court and County Courts in a range of banking matters representing major clearing banks and other financial institutions.  The broad range of claims for which Saira is instructed include those relating to guarantees, insolvency proceedings and consumer credit disputes often raising issues such as undue influence, agency and alleged fraud.  The work includes both interlocutory applications and final hearings.


MA (Oxon) Law with French Law; Dip. French Law (Paris II); BCL


Thomas More and Hardwicke Scholarships.


French, German, Urdu.


2006 to date: Chartered Insurance Institute Fact File,“The FOS and General Insurance”;. First published June 2006, updated quarterly.2004-2005: Associate Editor, Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal.


Saira regularly lectures on topics related to her practice.



In-House Experience

Secondments to the shipping groups of two city law firms (February and July 2008); the aviation department of a third (November 2007); and to a Lloyd’s of London Syndicate (October 2007).

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