Jeremy Russell QC

Called: 1975 Silk: 1994

Practice Overview

Jeremy Russell (BA (Hons) business law; LLM (Lon)) is a highly experienced commercial barrister specialising in international commercial, shipping and aviation law. Having practised for 38 years he has now ceased taking on new work as counsel to focus on his practice as arbitrator and mediator. He carries with him into that task his skills in handling large, document-heavy cases requiring particular attention to detail and “his commercial mind” (Chambers UK). He has considerable experience of dealing with complex technical cases requiring an ability to master a range of engineering and scientific expert evidence.

He is particularly highly regarded for his experience and expertise in maritime and commercial arbitrations (LOF, LMAA, LCIA and ICC) and has recently been appointed the Lloyd’s salvage appeal arbitrator (with effect from October 2016). His work typically involves detailed consideration of the many and varied technical issues which arise in the field of maritime and air transport.

His areas of experience include aviation and travel; collision, salvage and admiralty; dry shipping, commodities and transport; energy, shipbuilding and construction; commercial litigation; international arbitration; and mediation.

He has acted as mediator in five shipping disputes of various types, with three cases successfully settled.

  • What the directories sayView More

    • "...Experienced, approachable and a man with great understanding of his subject...."

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • "...A skilled barrister..."

      (Legal 500, 2016)
  • Aviation & Travel K View More

    Jeremy has acted as counsel in various aviation disputes involving carriage of goods by air, engine damage, fuel contamination, damage to aircraft on the ground resulting from collision, the correct interpretation of aircraft operating manuals, sale and lease-back dipsutes and airframe and engine maintenance issues. He has also acted as ICC arbitrator in several disputes involving passenger jet fleet maintenance contracts.

    • Sabena v European Aviation Ltd (Commercial Court, 2000) - disputes arising out of sale and lease-back of a fleet of Boeing 737s.
    • Airbus Industrie v Patel  [1998] 2 WLR 686 (HL) - issue relating to jurisdiction to grant an anti-suit injunction to restrain claimants from proceeding with an action against the appellant aircraft manufacturer in Texas in respect of a crash in India.

    He has recently acted for an air carrier in a lengthy arbitration chaired by Lord Hoffman arising out of a mid-air collision.

  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry shipping and commodities work comprises a significant part of Jeremy’s practice and he has for some years been recommended in Shipping by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.  He is frequently instructed in charterparty, bill of lading and ship-sale disputes of all types, involving cargo damage, unseaworthiness, due diligence, ISM, off-hire, withdrawal, alleged unsafe ports, bunker contamination, demurrage and detention, cancellation, faulty repair, title, risk, rejection– and the many and varied issues (relating to matters such as jurisdiction, security and proper law) which may arise in connection with them. 

    He is particularly adept at difficult issues of contractual construction; technical disputes requiring an ability to master engineering and scientific expert evidence; and cases requiring a good knowledge and understanding of ships and seamanship.

    Recently he has acted: for a charterer who alleged frustration of the charter by government action; for owners alleging breach of charter following an explosion and fire in the cargo; for owners alleged to be in breach of charter for failing to load a cargo of copra expellers which the master claimed was too hot load safely; for owners, in respect of letters of indemnity; for charterers, in respect of an allegedly unsafe port.

    He is presently acting in several large unsafe port cases (one on behalf of owners and another on behalf of charterers).

    Reported cases in this area include:

    • Western Bulk Carriers v. Li Hai Maritime [2005] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 389 – the first reported trial following a withdrawal from a time charter for non-payment of hire since The Lutetian [1982] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 140, and the only reported case to reconsider the approach taken to anti-technicality notices by Gatehouse J. in The Pamela [1995] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 249 in the light of the House of Lords’ decision in Mannai [1997] AC 749. 
    • Compania Sud Americana Vapores v MS ER Hamburg Schiffartsgesellschaft mbH & Co KG [2006] 2 Lloyd’s 66 – concerned the liability for bad stowage under a NY produce exchange form of time charter where (i) the Hague rules were incorporated and (ii) the stowage was so bad as to render the vessel unseaworthy and also whether the heating of bunkers in a tank abutting a cargo hold was an act in the navigation or management of the vessel or an act relating to the care of cargo.
    • The Borvigilant [2003] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 520 – involved questions of agency law and in particular whether the Court should take a new approach to ratification.
    • The Torepo [2002] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 535 – an unseaworthiness action involving (among other things) consideration of various aspects of the ISM Code.
  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Jeremy has wide experience in shipbuilding disputes, having acted for both yards and buyers. On the offshore side, he has experience of rig construction, operation and repair.

    The Shipbuilding matters on which Jeremy has acted and advised have included issues of:

    • Delay - damages at large and liquidated damages; rescission and repudiation.
    • Construction faults.
    • Classification issues.
    • Coating failures.
    • Defective propulsion units.
    • Speed and performance issues.
    • Third-party execution of warranty repairs.
    • Claims for consequential loss.
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    In addition to his shipping and aviation work, Jeremy is also instructed in other substantial commercial disputes, one of the most interesting being to advise a formula 1 racing team as to the proper construction of the F1 Concord Agreement and in respect of disputed television rights.

  • International Arbitration K View More

    Arbitration is the chosen forum in the majority of the matters on which Jeremy acts or advises. Many of those disputes come before LOF and LMAA panels, but Jeremy also has considerable experience of other arbitral procedures, including the ICC and the LCIA. In 2008 he was instructed in matters due to go to arbitration in Singapore. In addition, he is regularly appointed arbitrator - primarily in shipping and aviation disputes - and has been appointed in both LCIA and ICC references, as well as on an ad hoc basis.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution K View More

    Jeremy was accredited as a mediator by CEDR in 2002 and has been appointed and acted as a mediator in various shipping matters.

  • Collison, Salvage & Admiralty K View More

    Jeremy has been practising extensively in Admiralty and Maritime Law for the last 37 years, with particular emphasis on collision cases.

    Jeremy is one of the most experienced Admiralty silks currently in practice at the London Bar and is described by Chambers UK as a go-to silk for any wet shipping dispute.   During the last 10 years he has been instructed in more than 25 collision cases, four of which have fought to judgment.   As is common in collision cases, a number of issues concerning limitation of liability arose in some of those cases.   Jeremy is currently working on a non-collision Arbitration case in which the limitation provisions which apply are the same as in a collision case.

    Jeremy also sits extensively as an Arbitrator and Mediator in collision cases.

    Recently reported Collision cases:

    • The "Topaz" v The "Irapua" [2003] 2 Lloyd's Rep 19;
    • The "Sea Express 1" v The "Alaska Rainbow" [2010] EWHC 3180;
    • The “Western Neptune”  [2010] 1 LLR 158
    • The "Samco Europe" v The "MSC Prestige" [2011] EWHC 1580.

    Other areas of Jeremy expertise in Admiralty and Maritime Law include:

    • Salvage: usually LOF, but also private / ASG references and in the Admiralty Court - as in The "Tramp" [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 363; The "Key Singapore" [2005] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 91. He is instructed in the majority of the major cases. By way of example, he was instructed for owners in a salvage case involving the largest salved fund presently on record (in excess of US$1 billion) and also acted for owners in a substantial SCOPIC claim, in which the counterclaim was for loss of a nearly-new capesize bulk carrier.
    • Wreck removal, as in The "Green Opal" [2003] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 523.
    • Admiralty practice, as in The "Herceg Novi" [1998] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 454

"Experienced, approachable and a man with great understanding of his subject"

(Chambers UK, 2018)


BA (Hons) Business Law; LLM (Lon)


SHIAC accredited Arbitrator
CEDR accredited mediator


Joint author of article in the Tulane Law Review on “British concepts of limitation of liability”.


Jeremy regularly lectures and teaches seminars both in England and abroad on numerous ship-related topics including all aspects of bills of lading, charterparties, collision, salvage, oil pollution, admiralty procedure etc.


Member of The Baltic Exchange
Supporting member of LMAA
Member of EMAC panel


He is married with two children and enjoys military history and gliding/flying.


Military history; gliding/flying

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