Called: 1987 Silk: 2010
Nigel has a commercial practice predominantly covering the fields of shipping, energy and insurance/reinsurance law. He appears before the business and appellate courts in England & Wales,and has a strong arbitration practice advising on and acting in disputes before all the main international and domestic arbitral bodies. Nigel accepts appointments as an arbitrator and has acted as a mediator and as a party’s representative in mediations. He has experience of public inquiries having appeared for the government in three major formal investigations.
Nigel’s commercial practice covers most aspects of international trade and the carriage of goods, commodities, brokerage and commercial management disputes, fraud & illegality, and professional negligence. ; His shipping practice includes all forms of bill of lading and charterparty disputes; shipbuilding (including superyachts and military vessels) and off-shore construction; ship sale and purchase; limitation and collision actions, pollution and, occasionally, Merchant Shipping Act offences. In addition to his commercial shipping practice, Nigel has a specialist interest in disputes in the yachting and marine leisure market. In the energy sector, Nigel’s work covers both upstream and downstream aspects of the industry. He has advised on and acted in disputes relating to drilling and exploration, to production and to the sale and purchase of energy products as well as on related issues such as the enforcement of related guarantees and the insurance of drilling units. Nigel’s insurance & reinsurance practice extends to policy disputes in both the non-marine and marine sectors. In all areas of his practice, Nigel is experienced in dealing with related jurisdictional and enforcement issues, including early measures to ensure the preservation of assets.
Nigel has considerable experience of handling cases that are factually and technically complex with a corresponding level of documents or which have required him to become familiar with new areas of law (most recently cross-border insolvency). He is known for being approachable and believes in working as a team with those instructing him. Nigel has a global client base and is increasingly instructed for disputes with an overseas seat of arbitration.
Nigel is recommended as a leading silk for shipping and commodities (Chambers UK & Global), Shipping (Legal 500 UK and Asia Pacific) and for Energy (Legal 500 Asia Pacific).
"He's accessible, open-minded to suggestions, organised and easy to contact as well as a good advocate who knows which points to run."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He's remarkably calm, cool and clear. He's good at judging the best way to pitch so as to get the best results."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He is very experienced and commercial in his thinking; his advice and suggestions are concise and very helpful."(Legal 500, 2020)
"A class act: intelligent, sharp, quick on his feet and incisive in his thinking."(Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019)
"A very authoritative advocate." "Calm and measured."(Chambers UK, 2019)
‘Exceedingly good.’(Legal 500 2019)
"Very user-friendly. He gets to grips with things well and provides a good service."... "Flexible, accommodating, patient and easy to work with."(Chambers UK, 2018)
"He is very clever and knows his area of practice"(Legal 500, 2017)
"Charming and an able practitioner in both wet and dry shipping matters"(Legal 500, 2016)
“He is very approachable and conveys his points with clarity(Chambers UK 2015)
"He is really forthright, and his attention to detail is phenomenal”...“He quickly picks up the issues and is willing to work antisocial hours as required by the case”(Chambers UK 2014)
"Very careful and perceptive and gives prompt advice"(Legal 500 2014)
"An extremely approachable QC, who is incredibly easy to work with” He has the “ability to get right into the detail of a case yet still provide clear overall strategy, advice and assistance”.(Chambers UK 2013)
“Highly intelligent” and “Straightforward and to the point in all he does”(Chambers UK 2012)
Nigel has a broad commercial practice, covering most aspects of international trade (including commodities) and the carriage of goods, as well as construction (including off-shore), railways, professional negligence (particularly in relation to shipbrokers), fraud, international supply contracts and conflicts of law.
Examples of Nigel’s work include:
Nigel has considerable expertise in the Superyacht sector in particular dealing with disputes relating to construction, management, insurance and navigation.
Examples of Nigel’s work include:
Nigel is a contributor to the Law of Yachts and Yachting (now 2nd edn.), providing the chapters on yacht brokers and on the insurance of the yachts and superyachts.
Nigel’s dry-shipping and commodities practice is broad and varied. His work covers all types of charter party and bill of lading disputes as well as international trade and related finance disputes. Nigel has a particular expertise in disputes relating to shipbrokers, managers and surveyors including fraud and professional negligence claims.
Particular examples of Nigel’s work include:
Nigel appears regularly in international arbitrations including arbitrations under the major institutional rules and under the rules of organisations such as the LCIA, ICC, SIAC, LMAA, SCMA and GMAA as well as adhoc arbitrations. Nigel advises regularly on strategies to ensure that parties are held to their agreement to arbitrate and to ensure the effective enforcement of arbitration awards in different jurisdictions.
Nigel accepts appointments as an arbitrator in all his areas of practice. Many of the cases discussed in other sections of this CV are cases subject to international arbitration.
Nigel appears in a broad range of Insurance and Reinsurance disputes (both marine and non-marine), often raising issues of non-disclosure or misrepresentation, the proper construction of policy terms and the effect of condition survey warranties. Recent litigation include disputes in relation to coverage for piracy, the meaning of ‘one occurrence’ under a policy of ship operator cover and an on-going dispute over whether coverage under a marine hull policy extends to cover main engine damage. Nigel is counsel of choice for a major insurer advising on both particular high value coverage disputes and policy wordings.
Nigel has a specialist interest in (super)yacht insurance disputes and has previously advised the Treasury in connection with a retrocession dispute for sums in excess of £80 million.
A selection of matters in which Nigel has recently been instructed include:
Nigel has a strong practice in shipbuilding (including superyacht construction). His work extends to the commercial, government and super yacht sectors. Recent cases include two major super yacht construction disputes, one for the builder and one for the owner and advising on the proper construction and enforcement of government shipbuilding contracts worth in excess of £300 million. During much of 2013, Nigel acted for owners in connection with a six-week arbitration for claims in excess of US$50 million arising under a shipbuilding contract for a bulk carrier.
Nigel has a well-developed practice in the field of energy and natural resources including both the oil and gas sectors as well as renewables. Illustrations of the type of cases on which Nigel had advised and acted include disputes relating to drilling and exploration, the laying of pipelines, sale and purchase of energy products, long-term offshore support contracts including support for the supply and installation of wind farms, construction of rigs and other offshore platforms as well as disputes relating to the safe design and operation of terminals.
Nigel was also counsel for the successful claimant in Ferryways v. ABP  EWHC 225 (Comm), one of the cases routinely cited in relation to the proper construction of exclusion and consequential loss clauses in both the shipping and energy sectors.
Examples of recent cases include:
Nigel is an accredited mediator, and has appeared as parties’ representative in mediations.
Having been a member of the Treasury panels and instructed by the Department for Transport for all of the last three shipping Formal Investigations in England & Wales, Nigel is familiar with the Administrative law concepts pertinent to his areas of practice and has experience of judicial review proceedings.
"Very user-friendly. He gets to grips with things well and provides a good service." "Flexible, accommodating, patient and easy to work with."(Chambers UK, 2018)
LL.B Hons (Leeds), LL.M (London), Dip.E.I. (European Business Law) (Amsterdam).
Member of the Attorney General's panel of Counsel (A & B Panels) from 1997 until becoming Queen's Counsel in 2010.
Accepts appointments as an arbitrator.
Provides expert evidence on English law for proceedings in other jurisdictions.
Nigel is a registered foreign lawyer with the Singapore International Commercial Court (2019).
Member of SCMA
COMBAR, TECBAR, supporting member of the LMAA, BMAA, LCIA, Bar European Group, European Circuit, British German Jurists Association.
Until 2011 Chair/Vice-chair of various Bar Standards Board Committees.
Contributor to The Law of Yachts and Yachting (2012).
Contributor to Butterworths' Commercial Court and Arbitration Pleadings (2005).
Co-editor of The European Advocate (1997-2000).
Co-author of Taylor & Cooper, European Litigation Handbook (Sweet & Maxwell, 1995).
Former contributor to Vaughan`s Law of the European Communities (Butterworths.
Contributor to the Practitioner's Handbook of EC Law (Bar Council/Trenton Publishing).
Nigel is a regular speaker on legal issues pertinent to his practice.
Able to accept instructions in German, Dutch and French.
Nigel is married and has two daughters
Sailing, Climbing and Walking