Called: 1981 Silk: 2015
Michael Nolan’s practice covers all aspects of the law relating to ships, the international carriage and sale of goods, insurance and reinsurance, harbour law, commercial contracts, private international law and professional negligence. He appears regularly in arbitration, is a supporting member of the LMAA , a member of the SCMA and accepts appointments as an arbitrator. He is a member of COMBAR and was on the executive committee from 1998 to 2001. He has strong links with Singapore and travels there regularly.
He is recommended for Shipping and Commodities in the current editions of the Legal 500 and Legal 500 Asia Pacific, as well as in Chambers UK and Chambers Global.
"His knowledge and expertise in all fields of maritime and admiralty law is exceptional."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He's a very careful, thoughtful advocate and a good opponent in court."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He is very effective and analytical."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He easily understands the commercial background of legal disputes and his replies are concise and easily understood."(Legal 500, 2020)
"An effective and meticulous advocate."(Legal 500, 2020)
"He has fantastic breadth and depth of experience in virtually all areas of shipping. His advice is thoughtful and practical. He always takes the time to understand the client's commercial perspective and the background to the matter."(Chambers UK 2019)
"Superb value, hard work and dedication."(Chambers UK 2019)
"User-friendly and approachable."(Chambers UK, 2018)
"First-class. He is very professional and good to work with."(Chambers UK, 2018)
"...He has an excellent ability to dissect case law and has the ability to be quite disarming...."(Legal 500, 2017)
"...always there when you need him, he's very responsive..."(Chambers UK, 2016)
“…very knowledgeable, thorough and pleasant..."(Legal 500, 2015)
“...he is tenacious at arguing our cases...”; “...he is considerably experienced, very knowledgeable and a good team player...”(Chambers UK, 2015)
“...a real professional, who is very bright, highly effective and very hardworking..."(The Legal 500, 2014)
"...he is a very diligent counsel whose analytical skills are most useful when fine distinctions may determine the outcome of a case..."(Chambers UK, 2014)
“…combines astute analysis with a clear appreciation of commercial challenges…”; "...always first-class..."(The Legal 500, 2011)
“…approachable and able to handle complicated matters excellently…”(Chambers UK, 2011)
"...highly intellectual, persuasive, gets to the point and has a tremendous eye for detail…”(The Legal 500, 2010)
A very substantial part of Michael Nolan’s practice involves shipping disputes under charterparties, bills of lading, ship sale and building contracts and marine insurance policies. He also has particular experience of disputes arising in the sea fishing industry and of harbour law. He has acted or advised in several disputes involving pollution of the sea including the Sea Empress incident off Milford Haven and the loss of the Ievoli Sun. He has acted in numerous reported shipping cases including Caltex v BP Shipping  1 Lloyd’s Rep 286 (jurisdiction), The Happy Fellow  1 Lloyd’s Rep 130 Court of Appeal (Brussels Convention), Reeman v The Dept of Transport  2 Lloyd’s Rep 648, Court of Appeal (fishing vessel certification), The Darya Tara  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 42 (time charter implied indemnity), Baghlaf al Zafer V Pakistan National Shipping Company, Court of Appeal (exclusive jurisdiction clause)  2 Lloyd’s Rep. 229 and  1 Lloyd’s Rep 1, General Feeds v Slobodna Plovidba (The Krapanj)  1 Lloyd’s Rep 168 (dangerous cargo) and the Smaro  1 Lloyd’s Rep.225 (Ship-sale arbitration – time-bar). Reported cases include:
Recent representative shipping arbitrations include:
Michael Nolan has extensive experience of all forms of Admiralty dispute but in particular those involving ship arrest, disputes as to jurisdiction and limitation claims. Amongst the reported cases in this area in which he has been involved are The Margaretha Maria  2 Lloyd’s Rep. 293, Court of Appeal (1976 Limitation Convention. First Court of Appeal authority on the employment status of share fishermen), The Happy Fellow  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 130 Court of Appeal (Brussels Convention/limitation), Caltex v BP Shipping  1 Lloyd’s Rep 286 (jurisdiction/ limitation), The Honshu Gloria  Lloyd’s Rep (appraisal and sale, Marshal’s fees), The Vanessa Ann  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 549 (release from arrest). He acted for the claimants in one of the very few General Average cases reported in the last 20 years - The Alpha  2 Lloyds Rep. 515. He has acted or advised in several of the recent disputes involving pollution of the sea including the Sea Empress incident off Milford Haven and the loss of the Ievoli Sun.
Michael Nolan acts regularly in disputes involving the international sale of goods. Many of the disputes he has been involved in have been in the fields of oil and grain but he has acted in cases involving the gamut of goods from bowling equipment to sulphur. He appeared in 3 of the recent reported cases on final and binding determination clauses in oil contracts. Recent representative cases include:
In addition to transport by sea, Michael has extensive experience of disputes involving the international carriage of goods by road. Reported cases include:
Michael Nolan has extensive experience in all forms of disputes arising out of commercial contracts, ranging from a long running dispute arising from a Russian Joint Venture for the production of sanitary ware to a claim arising from the breakdown of a tele-marketing venture. He acts regularly in commodity disputes both in court and arbitration, as well as in cases involving jurisdiction challenges and applications for freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions.
Recent representative cases:
Michael Nolan has very substantial experience in arbitration in all forms of disputes, ranging from a long running dispute arising from a Russian Joint Venture for the production of sanitary wear to a claim for relief from forfeiture in a long term demise charter of a drilling ship and a multi-million pound claim for damages arising out of the failure of a tele-marketing venture.
He acts regularly in commodity disputes both in court and arbitration, as well as in cases involving jurisdiction challenges and applications for freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions. He has acted in several of the cases in which the scope and meaning of the Arbitration Act 1996 have been considered including CTI v Transclear (No2)  1 Lloyd’s Rep.250 (grounds upon which Respondent can uphold award under section 69), Hawk Navigation v Cron Shipping  EWHC 1828 (Comm) (ss 57, 68 slip rule), The Gannet  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 713 (section 57 slip rule), Cuflet Chartering v Carousel Shipping  1 Lloyd’s Rep 707 (s 68 serious irregularity – contrary to public policy), Rustal Trading v Gill & Duffus  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 14 (s 68, apparent bias, s 73 waiver of irregularity), The Catherine Helen  2 Lloyd’s Rep. 511 (extension under s 12).
He is a supporting member of the LMAA and a member of the SCMA and is happy to accept appointments as an arbitrator.
Reported cases include:
Michael Nolan has recently been involved in a series of multimillion dollar arbitrations arising out of the termination of shipbuilding contracts for delay and involving issues such as whether the prevention principle applies, whether the delay was permissible or not and force majeure. Other recent arbitrations included a SIAC arbitration involving a claim for reimbursement under a contract for the long term supply of blast furnace feed pellets, a safe port dispute and a dispute as to the meaning of “RightShip approved” in a time charterparty. He has been involved both as counsel and as arbitrator in several arbitrations involving contracts for the construction of Superyachts as well as numerous arbitrations involving disputes under charterparties and the sale of commodities.
Michael Nolan has acted for insurers and assureds in claims arising out of a wide variety of policies covering subject matters ranging from race-horses through lease credit, pregnancy testing kits and crop sowing aircraft to film-editing suites. Much of his work in this area involves acting for and against insurers of marine risks, including P & I Clubs. A particular speciality is yacht insurance; he acted for the successful insurers in The Dora  1 Lloyd’s Rep 69, The Moonacre  2 Lloyd’s Rep. 501 and The Arabesque (unreported 1998) and has advised or acted in numerous other cases. Recent representative cases:
Michael has extensive experience in Shipbuilding disputes. Recent cases include:
Michael Nolan is occasionally instructed to represent clients at, or advise them during, mediations.
"He has an excellent ability to dissect case law and has the ability to be quite disarming."(Legal 500, 2017)
MA (Oxon), Dip Law (City)
Astbury Scholar, Winston Churchill Pupillage Award
Butterworth’s Commercial Court and Arbitration Pleadings (Contributor).
COMBAR, LCLBA, LMAA (supporting member), SCMA
Michael is willing to accept pro bono work.