Koye Akoni

Called: 2011

Practice Overview

Koye has an international commercial practice which encompasses shipping, international trade, energy, insurance, and aviation. He also has a particular interest in issues engaging equitable principles and unjust enrichment. He regularly appears in the High Court and has also appeared in the Court of Appeal and Privy Council. He has also appeared in the Belgrade Special Court as a representative of the Cypriot holding company of Miroslav Miskovic in ongoing criminal proceedings against Mr Miskovic and others. 

Prior to joining Quadrant Chambers, Koye worked in the litigation team (EMENA) of an energy multinational between 2012 and 2014. During that time, he advised on various matters including historical misallocation of processed oil and gas under a Production Sharing Agreement, interpretation of gas price review clauses in long- term gas supply agreements, and the purchase of assets in the administration of a joint venture partner. He also worked on several multi-million-dollar arbitrations, including:

  • An arbitration concerning the proper interpretation of a Transportation Processing and Operating Services Agreement (TPOSA) servicing several oil and gas fields in the North Sea;
  • An ICC arbitration concerning the suspensory effect of a declaration of force majeure in the context of a natural gas transportation agreement;
  • An LCIA arbitration concerning the recoverability of instalment payments made pursuant to a design and sale contract frustrated by Iranian sanctions.

Koye also worked at the Court of Appeal before joining Chambers, serving as the Judicial Assistant to the then Chancellor, Sir Terence Etherton, for two terms. He was also a Visiting Tutor at King’s College London where he taught Contract Law, and the Law of Trusts and Equitable Remedies.

He graduated with a first class degree in law from King’s College London and a distinction in the BCL from the University of Oxford.

  • What the directories sayView More

    • "He provides thorough and well-reasoned advice and responds quickly."

      (Legal 500, 2020)
    • "He is unflappable and calm under fire."

      (Legal 500, 2020)
    • ‘He is a rising star; a good public speaker and very personable with clients.’

      (Legal 500, 2019)
  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Dry Shipping

    Koye’s shipping work encompasses all types of charterparty and bill of lading disputes. He has acted as junior counsel (led by Simon Croall QC) in a multi-million-dollar arbitration dispute concerning the effect on a time charterparty on Shelltime 4 form, of the prolonged detention of a vessel by Venezuelan local authorities. The case raised issues of frustration, causation, and the construction of off-hire clauses. He has also appeared in two subsequent attempts to appeal partial final awards made in the arbitration proceedings pursuant to a clause conferring an express right of appeal on a question of law in ST Shipping and Transport Pte Ltd v Space Shipping Ltd [2016] EWHC 880 (Comm) and [2017] EWHC 2808 (Comm).

    He also acted in Regulus Ship Services Pte Ltd v Lundin Services BV [2016] EWHC 2674 (Comm) – (led by Yash Kulkarni) This was a case arising out of the towage of an FPSO from Tunisia, through the Cape of Good Hope, on to Labuan, Malaysia. It raised issues as to the proper construction and operation of a towage contract on BIMCO Towcon form.

    Other cases that Koye has been instructed on and are illustrative of his general dry shipping practice include:

    • arbitration proceedings arising out of a chain of charterparties where one of the parties in the middle of the chain is the subject of German insolvency proceedings, thereby raising issues of how, if at all, liability for damages can be passed down the chain (led by Robert Thomas QC);
    • parallel LMAA arbitrations arising out of the redelivery of several vessels from their respective bareboat charters (led by Robert Thomas QC and Paul Toms); 
    • an arbitration concerning unpaid sums under a long-term time charterparty for a diving support vessel supporting off-shore operations in West Africa;
    • an as sole counsel in ad-hoc arbitration commenced by shipowners seeking an indemnity from shippers pursuant to Article III rule 5 of the Hague Rules on account of cargo shortage; and
    • a dispute arising under a ship management agreement whereby sums collected by the ship’s commercial managers for the ship owners were the subject of a levy on all Cypriot bank deposits above €100,000 as a result of the 2012/2013 Cypriot banking crisis.

    Shipbuilding

    Koye has been instructed in several complex and valuable shipbuilding and ship purchase disputes. Examples of his recent cases include:

    • acting for a Chinese shipyard in two consolidated arbitration proceedings concerning the design and manufacture of two offshore jack up rigs (led by Simon Croall QC and Peter Stevenson).
    •  acting on behalf of a shipyard (led by Simon Rainey QC) in arbitration proceedings arising out alleged defects in the HVAC system of a luxury superyacht.
    • acting for buyers in arbitration proceedings concerning delays to the design, build, and commission of a semi-submersible drilling unit, and the eventual cancellation of the turnkey contract.

    Wet Shipping

    Koye has experience of advising on, and acting in, wet shipping cases. He was recently instructed in The Atlantik Confidence [2016] EWHC 2412 (Admiralty), a landmark case in the Admiralty Court regarding the breaking of limits under the Limitation Convention 1976 (as amended in 1996). It is the first case in which an English Court has determined that a person was barred from relying on the limits provided by the Convention, in this case, on account of having deliberately sunk its own vessel. He was led by Robert Thomas QC and Thomas Macey-Dare QC.

    His recent/ongoing wet shipping cases include:

    • a general average dispute (led by Luke Parsons QC and Stewart Buckingham) arising in the context of ransom payments to pirates to procure the return of an oil tanker captured between the Indian Coast and Somali Coast.
    •  an LOF salvage arbitration in respect of a vessel that was the subject of a fire shortly after commencing its laden voyage from Jebel Ali, Dubai. He acted on behalf of the ship (led by David Goldstone QC).
    • a general average claim representing cargo interests (led by John Passmore QC) in respect of an application by owners to sell cargo on board a vessel, in the absence of security for a general average contribution.
    • collision proceedings arising out of a collision between a vessel and a single point mooring at an oil terminal off the Baltic Sea. 
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Koye regularly works on large commercial disputes, in both arbitration and high court litigation. He also frequently advises on most private law areas and has a particular interest in the role of equitable principles in commercial relationships.

    Some of Koye’s recent and ongoing cases include:

    • UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings for unpaid sums under a brand licensing agreement, in the broader context of a sale and purchase agreement;
    • UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings concerning an indemnity arising out of the sale and purchase of the entirety of the retail business of an energy multi-national within a region in Europe.
    • Tecnocostruzioni-Costruzioni Generali SpA v Brighton Investments SA (2017): Commercial Court proceedings arising from the failure of a party to transfer asset-based securities in breach of contract. The case raised issues concerning the quantification of damages, unjust enrichment, and the circumstances in which a party may elect between two inconsistent remedies.
    • Commercial Court proceedings seeking an anti-suit injunction restraining the continuation of part of proceedings commenced in Jordan in breach of an English ICC arbitration agreement. The anti-suit injunction was sought in circumstances were the applicant had secured an award in excess of US$35 million and was seeking to enforce the award in France (led by Stephen Houseman QC).
    • WH Smith Travel Holdings Limited v Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Limited [2015] EWCA Civ 1188 (led by Stephen Cogley QC): Court of Appeal proceedings where it considered whether the relationship between two parties to a sale and long-term sale agreement was such as to form a running account, and if so, the effect to which that affected the burden of proof.
    • an $80 million aircraft redelivery dispute which raised several interesting issues arising from an alleged failure to properly redeliver two Airbus A340s aircraft.

    He has also assisted on a number of cases, including T&L Sugars Ltd v Tate & Lyle Industries Ltd [2015] EWHC 2696 (Comm) (assisting Yash Kulkarni), a dispute arising out of the sale of Tate & Lyle’s European sugar business.

  • Energy & Natural Resources K View More

    Koye has substantial experience in respect of energy disputes. During his time at the litigation team of an energy multinational, Koye advised on various matters, which are largely confidential, but which included issues such as: 

    • historical misallocation of processed oil and gas under a Production Sharing Agreement,
    • issues arising as to the specification of hydrocarbons under transportation and processing agreements, 
    • interpretation of gas price review clauses in long-term gas supply agreement, and
    • the interpretation and consequences of a force majeure clause in gas supply agreement.

    Further, in practice, Koye is frequently instructed in to act in arbitration proceedings and advise on matters in the energy and natural sectors. Some of Koye’s ongoing and current cases arising out of the energy and natural resources sector include:

  • International Trade & Commodities K View More

    Koye acts in wide ranging commodities cases, his experience in-house within the litigation team of an energy multi-national put him at the heart of commodities disputes and international trade. Koye also regularly provides assistance and advice in support of GAFTA arbitrations.

    Amongst other cases, Koye is currently instructed in:

    • Commercial Court proceedings for damage to a cargo of galvalume steel coils;
    • LCIA proceedings concerning the disrupted supply of steel pellets by reason of the political and economic instability in Venezuela. The case raises issues of contractual interpretation especially of force majeure provisions and the quantification of damages.
    • arbitration proceedings concerning the contamination of lubricant oil, raising issues as to the extent of a ship's duty to take reasonable care of cargo;
    • Several GAFTA and FOSFA arbitrations concerning the correct and proper construction of standard industry terms in the context of substantial delay in delivery of cargo purchased on FOB terms.
    • arbitration proceedings concerning the repudiation of a contract for the sale and purchase of gasoil for delivery CIF a port in West Africa; and
    • ad-hoc arbitration proceedings concerning the purported termination of a long-term crude oil supply agreement between a large West African energy conglomerate, and a large energy multi-national.

    Koye was also involved T&L Sugars Ltd v Tate & Lyle Industries Ltd [2015] EWHC 2696 (Comm) (assisting Yash Kulkarni). Part of the trial involved issues relating to Inward Processing Relief under EU and HMRC rules; and issues as to futures positions taken out in relation to the purchase of raw sugar and the sale of refined sugar)

  • International Arbitration K View More

    Koye acts on a broad range of arbitrations administered by the ICC, LMAA and LCIA. He also acts in support of trade arbitrations involving GAFTA and FOSFA. 

    His recent and ongoing cases include:

    • SIAC arbitration proceedings commenced on behalf of an energy multinational, arising in the context of the interruption of jet fuel supply to an airport as a result of a rupture to the sole pipeline transporting jet fuel from the only refinery in the particular country. The case raises issues of force majeure and construction of the multinational’s supply and delivery obligations.
    • LCIA proceedings concerning the disrupted supply of steel pellets by reason of the political and economic instability in Venezuela. The case raises issues of contractual interpretation especially of force majeure provisions and the quantification of damages.
    • Arbitration proceedings between a Dutch supplier of food products and an English food ingredients supplier in respect of the sale and purchase of several parcels of black pepper products. The proceedings concerned the alleged wrongful termination of the agreements and gave rise to issues of food business operators’ obligations to ensure the traceability of food products supplied under European law, and the quantification of damages.
    • UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings for unpaid sums under a brand licensing agreement, in the broader context of a sale and purchase agreement.

    His in-house experience in the litigation team of one the world’s largest energy multi-nationals also saw him acting as advocate on:

    • An arbitration concerning the proper interpretation of a Transportation Processing and Operating Services Agreement (TPOSA) servicing several oil and gas fields in the North Sea;
    • An ICC arbitration concerning the suspensory effect of a declaration of force majeure in the context of a natural gas transportation agreement; and
    • An LCIA arbitration concerning the recoverability of instalment payments made pursuant to a design and sale contract frustrated by Iranian sanctions.
  • Aviation & Travel K View More

    Aviation takes up a significant part of Koye’s practice. He has advised on various issues, including:

    • the termination of aircraft purchase agreements and aircraft financing agreements pursuant to which 30 aircraft were due to be purchased and financed;
    • issues arising out of the fraudulent sale of an executive jet, including issues relating to ownership of aircraft and avenues available for recovery of the sums paid under the fraudulent transaction;
    • the sale of an aircraft by an MRO, pursuant to a contractual lien, in circumstances where the lessee of the aircraft had failed to make payments in respect of work done by the MRO;
    • the ability of an aircraft lessor to ground and take possession of two aircraft from a defaulting lessee;
    • a claim for commission arising under an agency agreement in the context of the sale of aircraft; and
    • non-owned aircraft insurance policies in the context of large oil and gas contractors.

    He recently appeared in the Privy Council in Bahamasair Holdings Ltd v Messier Dowty Inc [2018] UKPC 25 (led by Tim Marland) for landing gear manufacturers in an appeal from the Bahamian Court of Appeal. The appeal arose in the context of a claim for damages by Bahamasair on the ground that the landing gear manufacturers failed in their duty to warn Bahamasair of certain alleged design defects in the shock strut apparatus of the Bombardier Dash-8 300 models. The appeal raised question of causation, and the standard of burden of proof. 

    Amongst other cases, Koye is also currently or has recently been instructed in the following cases:

    • a claim on behalf of the owners of an aircraft involved in a crash while landing at Blackpool Airport in March 2015 suffering extensive damage as result such as to be determined a constructive total loss. The owners have commenced proceedings against the manufacturers of the aircraft’s engine hydraulic pump which it is alleged caused the accident. The case raises several important issues, such as the correct approach to the establishing jurisdiction under the Brussels Regulation in a product liability case where the relevant product is a component of a larger, complex product, as well as substantive product liability issues.
    • High Court proceedings on behalf of an aircraft lessee defending a claim for unpaid sums. The proceedings raising issues various issues, including issues of illegality.
    • An $80 million aircraft redelivery dispute which raised several interesting issues arising from an alleged failure to properly redeliver two Airbus A340s aircraft. The case settled shortly before trial.

    He was involved (assisting Tim Marland) in Foster v Action Aviation [2014] EWCA Civ 1368. The case concerned the sale and purchase of an SJ30 aircraft and raised issues on agency and fraudulent misrepresentation.

    Koye has also recently been instructed by for airlines in several matters concerning flight tickets purchased at erroneously low published fares, which were cancelled by the respective airlines upon discovery of the mistaken fares. The cases raise interesting issues as to whether those contracts were void for unilateral mistake.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Koye has a growing insurance practice, and has most recently acted in advised on the following:

    • several aspects of a non-owned aviation insurance policy in the context of an oil and gas contractors,
    • the potential effects of the Insurance Act 2015 on insurance policies, in particular, the ability and consequence of contracting out of Parts 2 to 4 of the Act,
    • the effect of an "excess clause" and an "escape clause" in the context of double insurance,
    • the existence of an insurable interest in the context of a claim for material damage and business interruption,
    • the scope of cover, and the applicability of the doctrines of waiver and estoppel in the context of an insurer’s conduct in respect of the availability of cover,
    • the availability of consequential damages for an insurer’s breach of an insurance policy, and
    • the correct interpretation of an agreement as between insurers and the insured as to how recoveries made from a claim brought by the insured against the underlying tortfeasor, were to be divided as between the parties.

    Koye was also involved in Ted Baker v AXA Plc [2014] EWHC 4178 (Comm) (assisting Tim Marland), a case arising out of business interruption losses suffered as a result of systematic theft of the Claimants’ merchandise by one of its employees. 

    He has also been instructed on behalf of insurers in respect of an equine insurance dispute, raising, issues concerning the scope of cover, and whether on proper construction of the policy the claim made by the insured fell within an express exception to cover.


"He is unflappable and calm under fire."

(Legal 500, 2020)

"He provides thorough and well-reasoned advice and responds quickly."

(Legal 500, 2020)

‘He is a rising star; a good public speaker and very personable with clients.’

(Legal 500, 2019)

Academic


LLB, King’s College London, 2010 (First Class).
BCL, University of Oxford, 2012 (Distinction).
BPTC, BPP Law School, 2011 (Very Competent).

Awards


Kaplan Prize for Commercial Arbitration (2010) – King’s College London.
Ruth Deech Prize for performance on the BCL (2012) – St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Appointments


Visiting Tutor, King’s College London – Elements of the Law of Contract, and The Law of Trusts and Equitable Remedies.

In-House Experience


Worked for two years in-house within the litigation team of an energy multi-national.

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