Ruth’s practice encompasses the broad range of general commercial litigation and arbitration. Her particular areas of specialism include shipping, civil fraud, private international law and commodities. She undertakes drafting and advisory work in all areas of her practice and regularly appears in court and in arbitration, both as sole counsel and as a junior. Ruth also accepts appointments as an arbitrator (both as sole and as part of a panel).
Ruth has appeared in the House of Lords, Court of Appeal, High Court and has represented clients in a variety of international and trade arbitrations (including ICC, LCIA, LMAA, GAFTA and FOSFA). She has been involved in a number of high profile cases, including "The Achilleas", a leading case on the contractual principles of remoteness of damage and "The Atlantik Confidence", the first case in which an English Court has determined that a person was barred from relying on the limits provided by the Limitation Convention.
Ruth has a client-friendly approach to litigation and is happy to advise on urgent matters out of hours and at short notice. She adopts a collaborative approach to litigation, involving clients, experts and her instructing solicitors in progressing cases to trial or arbitration. She is ranked as a 'Leading Junior' in the latest editions of Chambers UK and The Legal 500. Praise given in previous editions include "quick to respond, pragmatic and honest" and "excellent". In 2018 Ruth was shortlisted for the Legal 500 Shipping Junior of the Year. She is a meticulous advocate who combines rigorous analysis of detail with a common sense commercial approach.
Prior to coming to the bar Ruth studied for an LLM in commercial & corporate law specialising in restitution, corporate insolvency, conflict of laws and marine insurance at UCL; and was a visiting law tutor at King's College London teaching tort (including economic torts) from 2001-2002.
"Ruth is both commercial and practical" ... "She has an impressive ability to construct arguments."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"Her legal advice is practical, accurate and straight to the point."(Legal 500, 2020)
"She provides swift and accurate advice."(Legal 500 2019)
..."User-friendly. Her advice is clear, concise and easy to read."... "She impresses with her understanding of the issues and professional delivery of expeditious and focused advice."...(Chambers UK 2019)
"...quick, practical and user-friendly. She hits the nail on the head every single time." ..."She is really diligent and has great attention to detail...."(Chambers UK, 2018)
“She is very quick thinking, gets straight to the point and has excellent attention to detail." "Her particular strength is her ability to cut through the detail and focus on the relevant issues."(Chambers UK, 2017)
"...Very responsive and user-friendly..."(Legal 500, 2016)
“She has been supportive and flexible, and is perfectly able to roll up her sleeves and help”(Chambers UK, 2016)
“...strong for shipping-related work...”(Legal 500, 2014)
"...a very hard-working and bright junior, who is not fazed by taking on more senior opposition in court..." "...really good at getting into the detail of a case and she will often know more about a case than pretty much anyone else..."(Chambers UK 2014)
Ruth has a busy general commercial litigation practice encompassing advisory and advocacy work across a broad range of commercial disputes including: claims for breach of warranty/ misrepresentation, claims for breach of commercial storage agreements and restitution claims. She regularly appears in the full range of courts and tribunals and her commercial practice includes private international law as well as international and domestic contracts of sale.
Civil fraud represents a growing area of work for Ruth. Her fraud cases range from fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit to unlawful means conspiracy and bribery. She has considerable experience of urgent applications for interim relief, such as freezing injunctions. Recent examples include:
Ruth has extensive experience of all kinds of commodities and international trade dispute, including numerous disputes under MoAs and FOB & CIF sale contracts. She has experience in a broad range of commodities including grains, feeds, oil, fertilisers and iron ore. Illustrative cases include:
Ruth has extensive experience of all kinds of dry shipping, commodities and transport disputes, including numerous disputes under charterparties, COAs and bills of lading including general average disputes. Examples include:
Ruth acts and advises for advisory and advocacy in salvage, collision & admiralty work. Ruth has been instructed in a number of large salvage arbitrations and has variously acted for salvors, shipowners and cargo respondents in relation to both Article 13 and SCOPIC cases. She has also been instructed in a number of collision cases in addition to advising and appearing in applications for determination of priorities, payment out of court following sale of a vessel and arrest proceedings. Examples include:
Ruth has experience of all kinds of arbitration disputes under the Arbitration Act 1996 including ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, as well as arbitrations under HKIAC, trade associations such as GAFTA, FOSFA and ad hoc arbitrations. Ruth also has knowledge of international investment arbitration, particularly under the ICSID Convention. Examples include:
Ruth acts and advises in choice for advisory and advocacy in coverage disputes. Ruth regularly advises on policy defences (including misrepresentation, material non-disclosure, excluded perils, breach of warranties/ condition precedents) and issues of moral hazard and allegations of fraud. She has also advised in cases concerning insurance broker's breaches of fiduciary duties and restitutionary remedies for mistaken payments (including asset tracing). Examples include:
Ruth has advised on ICSID and issues relating to diplomatic immunity and has knowledge of international investment arbitration, particularly under the ICSID Convention. Examples include:
Ruth has extensive experience of the full range of shipbuilding disputes and is well versed in their complex legal and technical aspects. Her shipbuilding practice includes issues regarding Rigs and extensive repair work. She is instructed frequently by a number of different shipyards predominantly in the Far East) and has experience of contracts to build barges, bulk carriers, container carriers, product/ chemical tankers and superyachts. She is a sought after junior who enjoys a significant amount of led work with Leaders in and out of Chambers.
In the shipbuilding context Ruth has been instructed in disputes relating to delay and its interplay with the prevention principle. She was the junior counsel in the reported case of Adyard Abu Dhabi v SD Marine Services. In that case Hamblen J considered the position where there were two concurrent causes of delay: one which was the contractor’s responsibility, and one which was said to trigger the prevention principle. In addition to the legal arguments the case was concerned with issues of critical path impact and repudiation of two shipbuilding contracts. Ruth has particular experience of experts in delay and critical path analysis.
"She impresses with her understanding of the issues and professional delivery of expeditious and focused advice."(Chambers UK 2019)
MA (Oxon) LLM (Lon)
Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke, Denning & Droop Scholarships
Article published in LMAA Autumn Newsletter entitled “The Right to a Fair Arbitration”.
Co-author with Simon Rainey QC of the chapter on Bills of Lading in Butterworths Commercial Court & Arbitration Pleadings.
Ruth regularly provides talks, presentations and seminars on various topics including interim measures in international arbitration, arbitration (in particular appears under sections 68 & 69 of the 1996 Act), construing contracts, bills of lading, charterparties, international and domestic contracts of sale and procedural issues.
Ruth has recently published a chapter on reasonable contracts of carriage in international sale contracts in International Trade and Carriage of Goods (Informa, published August 2016).
British Insurance Law Association
COMBAR (Chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee)
London Shipping Law Centre
LCIA Young International Arbitration Group
Young Maritime Professionals Group
Ruth gained practical experience of the London market following a placement at a leading firm of underwriters in April 2005. Ruth has also undertaken placements at a number of solicitor firms including Clyde & Co, Simmons & Simmons and Holman Fenwick Willan.
Ruth has undertaken a number of cases pro-bono and is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit.