Paul has a broad commercial practice with an emphasis on shipping and commodities, international trade, energy, banking, aviation, and insurance. Within these fields his work covers the full range of disputes from charterparties to international sales to shipbuilding and FPSO construction/conversion disputes to banking/trade finance to insurance and reinsurance towers to State Immunity disputes to multi-million dollar international arbitrations and much more.
For several years he has been recommended as a leading practitioner in the leading independent guides to the market. He holds recommendations in Chambers UK, Chambers Global, Who’s Who Legal, Legal 500 UK, Legal 500 Asia Pacific. He is recommended in a number of fields comprising Shipping, Commodities, International Trade and Aviation. The most recent (2019) described him as follows: "An excellent member of the team. He gets to grips with the technical issues quickly and is level-headed under pressure. His written work is excellent." (Chambers UK/ Global); “"Very responsive, articulate and clear, he thinks commercially rather than in a legal vacuum"(Legal 500 Asia Pacific); “Bright and commercial, he is very responsive and goes out of his way to help” (Legal 500 UK)
Paul appears led and unled, or as part of a team where he leads more junior barristers. He has appeared at all levels of the Court system, including the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council. His first instance Court work is primarily in the Commercial and Admiralty divisions; but he also appears in the Chancery Division, Companies Court and Mercantile Courts. He also acts in related interlocutory matters such as jurisdictional challenges, freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions and in appeals from/challenges to arbitration awards. Paul’s practice has a strong international flavour and in recent years his work has taken him to Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Bahrain, Trondheim, Piraeus, Geneva, Jersey, and (ahem) Liverpool
Paul’s largest cases (by value) typically arise in international arbitration. His recent instructions include:
Paul’s notable and reported Court cases include:
"Very responsive, articulate and clear, he thinks commercially rather than in a legal vacuum."(Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019)
‘Excellent advocate.’(Legal 500 2019)
'Bright and commercial, he is very responsive and goes out of his way to help.’(Legal 500 2019)
‘He has a strong intellect.’(Legal 500 2019)
"An excellent member of the team. He gets to grips with the technical issues quickly and is level-headed under pressure. His written work is excellent."(Chamber UK, 2019)
..."Enthusiastic and easy to work with." "Very bright and good on his feet in court."...(Chamber UK, 2018)
..."Very clever and a good choice as a junior for admiralty matters"...(Legal 500, 2017)
..."Great at "head on the block" advice, he always gives 100%"...(Legal 500, 2017)
..."His intellect, commercial acumen and attention to detail are impressive"...(Legal 500, 2017)
..."His work product is excellent, he is very hard-working and very user-friendly. I see him as a rising star."...(Chambers UK, 2017)
..."Extremely bright, diligent and reliable."...(Chambers UK, 2017)
...“An experienced junior with capability in a range of Commercial Court and arbitration actions.”...(Chambers UK, 2017)
..."Popular with leading solicitors and commodity trading houses for his dependable advocacy"...(Legal 500, 2016)
..."He applies good drafting skills and excellent application"...(Legal 500, 2016)
...“A highly regarded junior praised for his advocacy skills”….."He always makes time, and is personable and commercially minded"….."Phenomenally hard-working, phenomenally bright and phenomenally nice"...(Chambers UK, 2016)
...“A standout junior”..."A reliable advocate, popular with solicitors and commodity trading houses”...(The Legal 500, 2015)
...“An expert in matters relating to the sale of aircraft, lease disputes and cases arising from the maintenance of aircraft”...(Chambers UK, 2015)
..."Has brainpower and knowledge way ahead of his experience or years"……"He's very technically minded and quick to draw out the pertinent commercial issues"...(Chambers UK, 2014)
..."Unstinting in his energy and intellectually rigorous in his approach"...(Chambers UK, 2013)
Paul is recommended for his shipping practice in Chambers UK, Chambers Global, the Legal 500 UK, Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Who’s Who Legal. He has been recommended in the directories for several years.
Paul’s practice spans the full gamut of issues which arise in these fields, including for example unseaworthiness, dangerous cargoes, port safety, off-hire, withdrawal and termination, anti-technicality clauses, bunker disputes, laytime and demurrage, delivery/redelivery obligations, speed and performance disputes, claims under Hague/Hague-Visby Rules, claims under the NYPE Inter-Club Agreement, and much more.
In addition, Paul has considerable experience in "wet" cases (i.e., those involving collisions, salvage, general average, etc.), as well as urgent cases concerning disputed ownership of vessels, delivery-up applications and the like.
He is also frequently instructed in urgent interlocutory applications in shipping matters, such as arrest proceedings; applications to place surveyors onboard vessels ("Vasso orders"); applications for the preservation or sampling of cargo; Mareva (i.e. asset-freezing) injunctions; Angel Bell relief, and applications for mandatory injunctions to specifically enforce receivers' obligations to take delivery of cargo.
Some illustrative shipping and maritime cases include:
Paul has a strong commodities and international trade practice, and is frequently instructed both by the leading solicitors in this area and by well-known commodities trading houses. His practice encompasses all aspects of international trade and commodities, including international sales (CIF, FOB, CFR etc), futures, hedging, and involvement at all levels in arbitrations (and related appeals) under institutional rules such as GAFTA, FOSFA, RSA and many more.
Paul is recommended for his international trade and commodities practice by the directories, including Chambers UK, Chambers Global, Legal 500, Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Who’s Who Legal.
Illustrative cases in this area include:
Paul has a busy insurance and reinsurance practice encompassing both marine and non-marine matters. His experience spans the full range of issues which arise in these areas including (for example) CTL/ATL, fraud/fraudulent devices, breach of warranty defences, misrepresentation, non-disclosure, claims co-operation provisions, valued/non-valued claims, follow clauses and much more.
Some Illustrative cases include:-
Paul has developed a high-level of experience in this field, having acted in substantial disputes relating to: the construction, maintenance and repair of rigs/FPSOs, exploration platforms, support vessels, pipelines; the exploration for and extraction of natural resources (including drilling contracts, long-term supply contracts, joint venture agreements and the like); the international sale and carriage of hydrocarbons; the sale and purchase of FPSOs and support vessels (ultra-deep-water drilling vessels, pipe laying vessels.) Disputes under the full range of specialised forms for the chartering and tug/tow of FPSOs and offshore equipment; disputes under related agreements in respect of finance, insurance and reinsurance of the above; and related issues in respect of jurisdiction and applicable law, including where Sovereign Immunity is asserted by overseas suppliers and contractors.
Illustrative cases include:
Much of Paul's practice is in arbitration (in particular, LMAA, LCIA, ICC, and commodities arbitrations) - invariably having an international dimension. In recent years he has had particular experience of truly international arbitrations seated outside London and governed by non-English procedural or substantive law. In this connection he has worked closely with lawyers from numerous jurisdictions including Chile, Israel, France, the US (various states), Singapore, Morocco, Algeria, China and elsewhere.
Paul is also frequently instructed in connection with challenges to domestic arbitration awards under s. 67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996, applications for urgent interlocutory relief under s. 44 of the Act, and for costs assessments under s. 63 of the Act. Paul conducts documents-only arbitrations, and also appears led and unled in larger arbitrations which go to final hearings.
Some illustrative cases include:
Paul is frequently instructed in shipbuilding disputes as well as related matters such as refurbishment/repair, ship sale/MOA disputes, ship management disputes and similar. He is familiar with all the standard forms in these areas including the SAJ, AWES and NSF forms. Recent matters have included:
Paul acts on behalf of airlines, airports and providers of services to the aviation industry. His aviation practice has a particular focus on aviation disputes in a commercial context, including cases involving aircraft leases, aircraft and engine maintenance agreements, contracts for the sale of aircraft and related commission agreements, and disputes involving aircraft liens / powers of sale and arrest. Paul has also appeared in numerous trials and other hearings in relation to claims under the Montreal Convention and its predecessors (in particular, cargo claims and baggage disputes). He has been recommended in the legal directories for his aviation practice for several years.
Recent illustrative examples in this field include:
Paul has experience of acting for banks and financial institutions, including for example disputes in relation to ship-finance, aircraft finance, trade finance, cheques, letters of credit, investment advice, account fraud and breach of mandate claims. He has conducted commodities arbitrations at final hearing where the issues included disputes as to trade finance. Some illustrative examples in this field have included:
In addition to the specific practice areas referred to elsewhere, Paul acts in a range of commercial and contractual disputes. Some illustrative examples include:
Paul is an advocate of mediation in appropriate cases. He has acted as mediation advocate in several successful (and one or two unsuccessful) mediations. For example, he recently acted for Buyers at the mediation of a high-value shipbuilding dispute, for a bank at the mediation of £multi-million Chancery Division proceedings, and for industrial machine strippers at a mediation relating to the dismantling and stowage of industrial printing presses.
Paul is also conscious of the benefits of obtaining suitable mediation directions and/or Ungley Orders in appropriate cases. He is often called upon to advise on the extent to which mediation or similar mechanisms should form part of the pre-trial strategy in a given case. He frequently drafts position papers for mediations to be conducted without his attendance.
Paul is regularly instructed in connection with jurisdictional disputes, as well as challenges to the jurisdiction of arbitral Tribunals. Several of Paul’s cases in this area have involved allegations of State Immunity. Paul is available to advise clients strategically in cases where a number of potential jurisdictions might be available.
Examples of recent instructions:
"His work product is excellent, he is very hard-working and very user-friendly. I see him as a rising star."(Chambers UK, 2017)
LLM (Cantab.) (1st class)
COMBAR, LMAA, Supporting Member, LSLC, LCLCBA
Harlequins RFC; food; wine; travel; spending time with the family.
For several years Paul co-published (with Emmet Coldrick) a regular summary of recent arbitration awards for the LMAA's quarterly newsletter. Paul has also published a number of articles relevant to his practice areas.
Paul regularly gives presentations relevant to his practice. Some examples include: