Paul is an experienced junior barrister practising across a wide range of commercial disputes. He is described as “A delight to work with. He is approachable, astute and commercially minded” (Chambers UK 2018).
He appears regularly in the High Court (mainly the Commercial and Circuit Commercial Courts) and in domestic and international arbitrations. He also has twice appeared in the Court of Appeal as sole counsel in addition to several other appearances alongside Queen’s Counsel. In 2017, he appeared in the Supreme Court in The Longchamp, which considered the meaning of Rule F of the York Antwerp Rules.
Paul has particular expertise in commercial dispute resolution across a number of commercial sectors including information technology, insurance, energy, international trade, sale of goods, shipping and shipbuilding. As to commodities, he handles a significant number of GAFTA, FOSFA and ANEC disputes. His experience also extends to oil, petroleum products, biofuel and coal. More recently, he has been involved in a number of sugar disputes, including under RSA Contract Rules and ICE Rules. He also has experience of related applications to the Commercial Court under ss. 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996. He also has significant experience of procedural issues commonly arising in commercial litigation, including seeking and resisting injunctive relief (e.g. freezing, anti-suit and asset disclosure orders) and jurisdictional challenges (both in Court and arbitration).
He has been recommended for many years in the Legal Directories, namely Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar, the Legal 500 and Chambers UK. His significant experience of working in the Asian Pacific market is reflected by his recommendation for both commercial and shipping work by the Legal 500 in its Asia Pacific rankings.
"He is very erudite and quick on his feet; he has an unparalleled eye for detail and is careful, considered and astute."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He's persuasive in a gentle but firm manner."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"Immensely knowledgeable, commercially aware and meticulous."(Legal 500, 2020)
"He combines strong analytical skills and legal knowledge."(Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019)
‘Popular with commodities law firms, he frequently handles GAFTA, FOSFA and ANEC disputes.’(Legal 500 2019)
"He has a very good written style and attention to detail."(Legal 500 2019)
"Extremely experienced. He knows shipping back to front and is very approachable and easy to deal with. He is extremely good on paper, very good on his feet and very good with clients in conference too."(Chambers UK 2019)
..."A delight to work with. He is approachable, astute and commercially minded"...(Chambers UK, 2018)
..."He has an easy manner and provides clear, detailed and thorough advice, which takes account of the commercial context"...(Legal 500, 2017)
..."He has great tactical awareness and a good sense of humour; a very sharp and thorough junior"...(Legal 500, 2017)
..."He has a sharp and keen intellect"...(Legal 500 Asia Pacific: The English Bar, 2017)
..."An intense eye for detail"...(Legal 500, 2016)
..."Very strong on international trade, he is consistently excellent in commodities disputes"...(Legal 500, 2016)
..."He has great attention to detail and great tactical awareness"...(Chambers UK, 2017)
..."A very good, smart junior"...(Chambers UK, 2016)
..."He is completely on top of his game in terms of knowing the law and being able to give commercial user-friendly advice"..."We call him 'the brain' here"...(Chambers UK, 2015)
..."a very bright junior, who is extremely responsive... able to give clear, concise and cogent advice"...'His "polished presentation" has also been highlighted by sources"...(Chambers UK, 2014)
"A barrister of intellect and mature judgement - a person befitting his profession."(Legal 500, 2020)
Paul is recommended in the field of Commodities by the Legal 500. Recent comments include "He has great tactical awareness and a good sense of humour; a very sharp and thorough junior" (2017) and “Very strong on international trade, he is consistently excellent in commodities disputes” (2016).
He is also recommended by Chambers UK for Shipping and Commodities who note his " excellent attention to detail." (2019).
In addition, he is recommended for International Trade and Commodities by Who's Who Legal: UK Bar where he said to be a "formidable opponent" and "great person to work with" (2015).
Paul has a busy practice in commodities work and related international trade disputes. He handles a significant number of GAFTA, FOSFA and ANEC disputes and related applications to the Commercial Court under ss. 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996. In particular, he was involved in a series of FOSFA and related disputes that arose out of one of the earliest cases of piracy off the coast of Somalia, namely the MV Chemstar Venus.
His experience extends to other commodities including oil, petroleum products, biofuel and coal. He also has recent significant involvement in sugar trades and sugar futures on RSA Contract Rules and ICE Rules including seeking urgent injunctive relief under s. 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
Illustrative cases include:
Paul is recommended by Chambers UK in the field of Shipping and Commodities where he has been described in recent years as:
..."A delight to work with. He is approachable, astute and commercially minded" ... (Chambers UK, 2018)
..."A highly regarded junior with marked capability in shipping and commodities"... (Chambers UK, 2018)
..."He has great attention to detail and great tactical awareness"... (Chambers UK, 2017)
..."A very good, smart junior"... (Chambers UK, 2016)
..."He is completely on top of his game in terms of knowing the law and being able to give commercial user-friendly advice"…."We call him 'the brain' here"... (Chambers UK, 2015)
..."a very bright junior, who is extremely responsive... able to give clear, concise and cogent advice"….'His "polished presentation" has also been highlighted by sources"... (Chambers UK, 2014).
He is also recommended for Shipping by Legal 500 in both their Asia Pacific and UK Bar Guides.
Paul’s practice embraces the full range of sea carriage disputes arising under bills of lading, charterparties (including on the standard forms for the offshore industry), towage contracts and the like.
Illustrative cases include:
Illustrative cases included:
Paul has extensive experience across a wide range of commercial disputes determined in International Arbitration including insurance, commodities and sale of goods, oil, gas and energy, construction and shipbuilding. He has experience in the following arbitration fora: LCIA / ICC / LMAA / FOSFA / GAFTA / RSA / UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, as contained in the Singapore International Arbitration Act.
In addition, Paul has significant experience of applications to the Courts which may arise out of such arbitrations including, arbitration appeals under the Arbitration Act 1996, anti-suit injunctions and asset disclosure orders.
Illustrative cases include:
Paul has extensive experience across a wide range of commercial disputes including IT and telecommunications, asset finance, sale of goods, disputes relating to the activities of agents, commercial fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment claims. He regularly appears in the Commercial Court and London Mercantile Court, as well as being instructed in a variety of commercial arbitral proceedings (LCIA / ICC / LMAA / FOSFA / GAFTA).
Paul advises on all aspects of private international law, in particular the Recast Brussels Regulation and its interaction with other international conventions.
Illustrative cases include:
Illustrative cases include:
Paul has been instructed in a very large number of shipbuilding disputes typically in arbitration, many of which have proceeded to substantive hearings. Very many of these disputes raise extensive and challenging technical issues, ranging from naval architecture to marine engineering to heat transfer.
Legal issues which he has encountered in practice recently include:
Paul also has experience in related disputes, including claims under refund guarantees and other financial instruments.
Paul has been described by Chambers UK as, “an emerging talent of the Shipping Bar, who handles a raft of marine insurance matters” (2013).
In addition to handling a wide array of marine insurance disputes, Paul has significant experience of general insurance claims on behalf of assureds and insurers. Cases include business interruption disputes, disputes raising non-disclosure and misrepresentation defences and the fraudulent presentation of claims, claims for sums due under binding authorities, claims under goods in transit policies for damage to or loss of goods, claims against brokers, and advising reinsurers in respect of their entitlement to refuse cover on the basis of non-payment of premium.
Illustrative cases include
Paul has particular expertise in unjust enrichment, breach of mandate, and guarantee claims. In addition, by reason of his experience in shipbuilding disputes, he has particular knowledge of issues surrounding the financial instruments typically produced as part of such commercial transactions, including refund guarantees, payment guarantees and demand bonds. Paul has also acted in cases concerning swaps, especially forward freight swaps agreements, letters of credit and factoring agreements. Illustrative cases include:
Paul acted for Iain Dowie, the football manager, at trial in a claim brought against him by Crystal Palace Football Club (Crystal Palace (2000) Ltd v Iain Dowie (2007) IRLR 682). He was instructed on behalf of the Amateur Boxing Association of England in respect of a medal incentive scheme for the Olympic Games.
Paul has been instructed by several airlines in respect of claims under the Montreal Convention and its predecessors and the Denied Boarding Regulations. In the travel arena, Paul has acted on behalf of package holiday operators and travel agents, including claims under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. Illustrative cases include:
Paul has experience at appearing as Counsel at Mediations and preparing Mediation statements.
Paul also has vast experience in domestic and international carriage by road cases, with a particular expertise in the CMR, including jurisdictional disputes.
"Extremely experienced. He knows shipping back to front and is very approachable and easy to deal with. He is extremely good on paper, very good on his feet and very good with clients in conference too."(Chambers UK, 2019)
BA (1st Class), BCL (Distinction) (Oxon)
Eldon Scholar (Oxford University) (2003)
Bedingfield Scholar (Gray's Inn) (2002)
Joint Winner of Allen & Overy Prize for Corporate Insolvency (BCL, Oxford University) (2002)
Joint Winner of Gibbs Prize (Oxford University) (1999)
Paul is available on request to give talks on any topic falling within his practice areas. Recent talks include force majeure in commodities contracts, package/unit limitation under the Hague/Hague-Visby Rules, mistaken payments in the law of unjust enrichment, Incoterms, standard forms in the offshore industry, and an analysis of The New Flamenco.
COMBAR, LCLCBA, Supporting Member of LMAA, YIAG, ICC YAF
Plymouth Argyle FC