Stephanie Barrett

Called: 2008

Practice Overview

Stephanie’s practice encompasses a wide range of commercial litigation and arbitration, particularly in the areas of shipping (both wet and dry), commodities, transport, aviation, international trade, energy, insurance and shipbuilding.  She undertakes drafting and advisory work in all areas of her practice.  Stephanie also appears regularly (both as a junior and as sole counsel) in Court hearings at High Court and County Court levels and in commercial arbitrations (on both LMAA and LCIA terms).

Stephanie acted as junior counsel in the reported cases of Emma Moore v Hotelplan, t/as Inghams [2010] EWHC 276 (QB), concerning tour operator liability for excursions, and Lloyds TSB Equipment Leasing (No. 1) Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2014] STC 2770 (Court of Appeal),[2012] UKFTT 47 (TC), [2013] UKUT 368 (Upper Tribunal)), concerning capital allowances on LNG tankers used in the Norwegian Snøhvit project.  She also appeared as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal in Ford v Malaysia Airlines [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 301, concerning the meaning of “accident” under Article 17 of the Montreal Convention.

  • What the directories sayView More

    • "Capable beyond her call, intelligent and hard-working."

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • "...A dedicated and pragmatic advocate..."

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • "...Exceptional..."

      (Legal 500 2017, Shipping)
    • "...Excellent advocate, who is extremely hard working and easy to work with."... "Very strong and very responsive...."

      (Chambers UK 2017, Aviation)
    •  "...She was very diligent, proactive and her response times were very swift...."

      (Chambers UK 2017, Shipping)
    • "...rising star..."

      (Chambers UK 2017, Shipping)
    • "...Pragmatic and straightforward..."

      (Legal 500, 2016)
    • "...Very able...."

      (Legal 500, 2016)
    • "...she is excellent, tenacious and someone who never lets points go..."; "...she is a rising star who is energetic and user-friendly..."

      (Chambers UK 2016)
    • "...bright, tenacious and happy to accommodate the client’s needs..."; "...a fearsome advocate with a first-rate intellect..."

      (Chambers UK, 2015)
  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry Shipping

    Stephanie regularly undertakes advocacy and drafting work relating to a wide range of dry shipping, transport and commodities disputes. She advises on Time Charterparties including a range of standard forms, including NYPE 1946 and 1993 and Shelltime 4; late and early redelivery disputes, speed and consumption claims, off-hire, employment and agency claims, bunker quality disputes, oil major approvals clauses, and unsafe port claims. Stephanie also regularly deals with voyage charters and bills of lading on a range of standard forms, and provides advice upon issues ranging from demurrage to time bar clauses and cargo claims, including Hague/Hague-Visby Rules issues.   

    Examples of Stephanie's experience include:

    • Dangerous cargo: Stephanie was recently instructed as junior counsel to Simon Rainey QC and Nevil Philips in a substantial arbitration concerning the loss of the “BULK JUPITER” and allegations of cargo liquefaction (bauxite).

    Unsafe port disputes: 

    • Stephanie is currently instructed as junior to Nigel Cooper QC in an arbitration concerning a ship’s tank which ruptured due to over-pressurisation during line clearing operations when loading palm oil products.  
    • Instructed as junior counsel to Poonam Melwani QC in a large and complex unsafe port arbitration involving an allision between a vessel and a jetty during berthing.

    Time charter disputes:

    • Instructed as junior to Simon Croall QC in a two-week arbitration involving late redelivery and illegitimate/unsafe orders in respect of a time charter of dredging equipment.
    • Junior counsel to Lionel Persey QC in a substantial arbitration concerning various issues arising out of a long-term time charter, including the construction of the laycan clause, deliverable condition and the appropriate measure of damages for early redelivery.
    • Junior to Chirag Karia QC in a week-long arbitration concerning the construction of trading range and oil major approvals clauses. 
    • Cargo claims: Junior to Robert Thomas QC in a bill of lading arbitration arising out of the loss of a sugar cargo due to the vessel grounding on a reef. The case concerned detailed navigational and ISM Code issues, deviation and unseaworthiness claims.

    Wet Shipping

    Stephanie has advised and drafted pleadings for a number of Admiralty disputes and is familiar with issues concerning Admiralty Court jurisdiction and procedure. Stephanie has also appeared in the Admiralty Court in order to obtain an order for sale following arrest of a yacht. In addition, Stephanie has worked on a number of charter and bill of lading disputes where general average and salvage issues, or detailed navigational issues, have been raised.  One recent category of work comprises a number of disputes about unseaworthiness and general average in the context of groundings and other accidents during laden voyages under charterparties and bills of lading.  

    Examples of Stephanie’s work in this area include:

    • Stephanie is currently instructed in a case concerning issues of beneficial ownership and resulting trusts where a vessel was registered in one name but a different individual provided the purchase funds.
    • Stephanie is currently instructed as sole counsel in two arbitrations (one under a charterparty and one under a bill of lading) arising out of a grounding off West Africa.The issues include deviation, unseaworthiness in the form of crew incompetence, navigational issues (including compliance with the Collision Regulations) and general average.
    • Junior to Robert Thomas QC in a large charterparty arbitration arising out of a grounding on a reef.The case included consideration of navigational issues, ISM compliance, deviation and unseaworthiness.
    • Junior to Sean O’Sullivan QC in an arbitration concerning jurisdictional issues surrounding a general average and charterparty claim. 
    • Instructed as sole counsel for a keel manufacturer in a multiparty dispute where a yacht sank due to alleged keel defects. 
  • International Trade & Commodities K View More

    Stephanie acts in a range of commodities disputes, including FOB and CIF sales of commodities such as coal, wheat and oil. Illustrative cases include:

    • Instructed as junior counsel to Jonathan Gaisman QC in a Commercial Court dispute relating to pricing provisions under DES shipments of oil cargoes.
    • Instructed as junior to Simon Croall QC in a Commercial Court case involving US biodiesel allegedly shipped in breach of EU Regulations imposing duties and penalties on US origin biodiesel.
    • Advised on EU waste shipment regulations in respect of consignments of recycled carpet shipped from the UK to Pakistan. 
    • Instructed to advise in a case relating to the obligation to nominate a vessel under a FOB sale of coal.

    Stephanie has also undertaken drafting and advocacy in respect of a number of road transport disputes, including CMR claims and claims under RHA standard terms. In addition, she has been instructed in cases involving goods lost or damaged during household removals.

  • Aviation & Travel K View More

    Stephanie regularly accepts instructions in this core area of Chambers' work. She has undertaken advisory and drafting work as well as advocacy on behalf of a number of major airlines, tour operators and airports. Her experience relates to a broad range of issues, from personal injury, baggage and delay claims under the Montreal Convention, the denied boarding (EC Reg 261/2004) and reduced mobility (EC Reg 1107/2006) regulations, personal injury claims against airports and tour operators, the Package Travel Regulations, and general contractual issues, such as disputes under ground handling agreements and agreements between airlines and airports.  Stephanie has appeared as sole counsel for airlines, tour operators or airports in a number of County Court fast and multi-track personal injury trials and in High Court disputes. 

    Illustrative cases include:

    • Stephanie successfully represented Malaysia Airlines at a preliminary issue hearing on whether negligent medical treatment administered by one passenger to another constituted an "accident" under Article 17 of the Montreal Convention, and also appeared as junior counsel to Robert Lawson QC when this issue was appealed to the Court of Appeal (Ford v Malaysia Airlines [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 301).
    • Stephanie was junior to Michael McParland in Emma Moore v Hotelplan, t/as Inghams [2010] EWHC 276 (QB) concerning the liability of a tour operator for devastating injuries suffered by the Claimant whilst participating in a skidoo excursion which was not part of the original package holiday but booked through the Defendant's resort representative. Stephanie acted as junior counsel for the successful Claimant. 
    • More recently, Stephanie has acted for the tour operator “Club Med” (initially as sole counsel and subsequently as junior to Chirag Karia QC) in a personal injury dispute concerning an ice-climbing excursion during a teambuilding trip to France.  The issues raised by the case included questions of conflicts of law and the Rome I and Rome II Regulations.
    • Stephanie was instructed as sole counsel by Advantage Travel in an action against an individual travel agent member which involved allegations of fraud and breach of regulatory requirements in relation to the handling of customer deposits. 
  • International Arbitration K View More

    Stephanie has experience of a number of commercial arbitrations under LMAA and LCIA terms, as well as arbitration applications in the High Court under the 1996 Act. A substantial proportion of her shipping, international trade and shipbuilding work relates to cases which are arbitrated and she is therefore often instructed to provide advisory and advocacy work in relation to arbitration.  She has experience of a range of issues relating to arbitration procedure, including disputes concerning appointment, disclosure, jurisdiction and appeals under sections 67, 68 and 69. Stephanie has advised upon and drafted a number of applications under sections 67 and 69 of the 1996 Act, including the necessary witness evidence and skeleton arguments. Stephanie is also familiar with the usual procedural disputes that arise during the course of an arbitration. Stephanie also has experience of drafting the necessary documents for an anti-suit injunction application to restrain proceedings brought outside the European Union in breach of an arbitration clause.

    Examples of Stephanie’s work in the field of International arbitration are as follows:

    • Several lengthy and substantial shipbuilding arbitrations, as set out above in the Shipbuilding and Energy section.For instance, Stephanie appeared as junior to Nigel Cooper QC and Lionel Persey QC in a substantial shipbuilding arbitration lasting six weeks.
    • Several shipping arbitrations, including arbitrations relating to unsafe port claims, redelivery disputes under time charters and dangerous cargo disputes.For further details, please see under Shipping, Commodities and Transport.
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Stephanie has assisted with sale of goods disputes ranging from international sales to quality and condition disputes under the Sale of Goods Act. She regularly advises on issues of contract and tort law in a wide spectrum of commercial disputes such as sale of goods and supply of services, carriage of goods by road (both domestic and international).  Most recently Stephanie was instructed in an arbitration relating to a FOB sale contract for coal.

    Stephanie has experience of assisting with issues of conflicts of laws and jurisdiction both in an EU and non-EU context, and in relation to both contract and tort.  She has advised on issues such as service out of the jurisdiction, and incorporation of jurisdiction and arbitration clauses into contracts.

    For further details of Stephanie's experience in relation to CIF and FOB sales and transport law, please see under "Dry Shipping, Commodities and Transport".

  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Stephanie has experience of a range of insurance and reinsurance matters, both marine and non-marine, including the construction of standard terms in a marine policy and assisting in advising on recovery and quantum under a property and business risks policy.  She has also advised on more unusual clauses, such as the construction of an exclusion for "stand alone warehouses", and on jurisdiction and subrogation in respect of a hangarkeeper's policy following a fire which destroyed a number of helicopters.  Stephanie was instructed as fourth junior to Simon Bryan Q.C. and Guy Blackwood Q.C. in the multi-million dollar Commercial Court dispute between Markerstudy and other insurance companies and their claims handlers in respect of negligent handling. This was a complex and substantial dispute involving work on a detailed Scott Schedule of sample claims over a period of around 8 months. Recent instructions include a marine insurance dispute concerning ISM warranty compliance and whether a vessel constituted a constructive total loss.

  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Stephanie is regularly instructed to appear for major banks and credit card companies, including in relation to debt claims, Consumer Credit Act issues, possession claims and obtaining charging orders. Stephanie's practice takes in a wide range of County Court work, including summary judgment applications against debtors, costs hearings, case management hearings and a number of trials.  Issues range from interest lost when a bank failed to transfer funds in accordance with a customer's request to the application of the Data Protection Act 1998 to credit reference agencies.

    Stephanie has advised in conjunction with leaders in chambers on construction issues relating to bareboat charterparties set up as part of complex Islamic ship finance arrangements.

  • Shipbuilding & Energy K View More

    Stephanie has been instructed in a number of shipbuilding and energy disputes, both as a junior and in her own right. From a very early point in Stephanie’s tenancy, shipbuilding disputes have formed a large part of her practice and she has substantial experience of acting in lengthy and technically complex arbitrations concerning issues such as deliverability, ascertainment of the “drop dead date”, and warranty claims.  She has acted for both buyers and yards and in respect of vessels ranging from bulk carriers, tankers and container vessels to specialist heavy-lift vessels and superyachts. 

    Examples of Stephanie’s work in the field of energy and shipbuilding is as follows:

    • Stephanie is currently instructed as junior to Lionel Persey QC in a technically complex energy dispute concerning alleged manufacturing defects in electrical submersible pumps (“ESPs”) supplied for use in a subsea context.
    • Appeared as Junior counsel to Lionel Persey QC and Nigel Cooper QC in a multi-million dollar, six-week shipbuilding arbitration concerning alleged repudiatory breach by a shipyard during construction of a Capesize bulk carrier. One of Stephanie’s main tasks in this arbitration was to produce a detailed schedule analysing all the evidence in respect of more than 200 alleged technical defects in the vessel.  The issues considered included issues of poor supervision by the Classification Society, interference with inspection rights by the shipyard and a range of defects including welding and steelwork defects, shaft alignment problems and breaches of SOLAS.
    • Stephanie appeared as second junior (with David Ewart QC, Nigel Cooper QC and Raymond Hill) in the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and Upper Tier Tribunal (Tax and Chancery) hearings concerning the tax treatment of bareboat and time charterparties of two LNG tankers involved in the Norwegian Snohvit LNG Project (Lloyds TSB Equipment Leasing (No. 1) Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2014] STC 2770 (Court of Appeal), [2012] UKFTT 47 (TC) and [2013] UKUT 368 (TCC)).
    • Stephanie was instructed as junior to Simon Croall QC in a lengthy arbitration concerning whether or not a tanker vessel was in a deliverable condition by the drop dead date under a shipbuilding contract.  The defects alleged included breaches of SOLAS relating to the arrangement of CO2 pipes in an electrician’s workshop, and coating and cleanliness of tanks and bilges.
    • Appeared as junior to Lionel Persey QC in a two-week arbitration concerning the construction of a specialist Heavy-Lift vessel and alleged delays caused by the buyers’ site supervision team.The case included consideration of the critical path and the quality of welding and other work carried out by the yard.

..."bright, tenacious and happy to accommodate the client’s needs..."; "...a fearsome advocate with a first-rate intellect"...

(Chambers UK, 2015)


B.A. in Jurisprudence, University College, Oxford (1st Class)
Bachelor of Civil Law, University College, Oxford (Distinction)
Bar Vocational Course, BPP London (Very Competent).


Exhibitioner of University College, Oxford and awarded 2 College prizes for consistent good work. Winner of the Birks prize (2007) for the best Restitution examination paper on the BCL.
Middle Temple Queen Mother Scholar (2007-8).


Tutor in Equity at School of Oriental and African Studies 2007-8.


LCIA Young International Arbitration Group

Pro Bono

Stephanie is willing to accept pro bono work. Stephanie has appeared in the Social Security Appeals Tribunal on a pro bono basis.


Welsh (conversational).

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