Joseph England
Called: 2011

Joseph England

BA (Hons) (1st Class), LLB (Hons) (1st Class), GDL (Distinction), LPC (Distinction)
Hammonds Prize for Contract Law, Equity & Trusts Prize, Allen & Overy Prize for Distinction, Hardwicke Scholarship, Pupillage Scholarship, European Courts of Justice Programme, UK/US Supreme Court Exchange.
"Judicial morale, advice for the junior commercial Bar, and life beyond the law" - published in Counsel Magazine
Contributor to “Pleadings in Arbitration” (2nd Edition)
COMBAR (Junior Committee)
Chancery Bar Association
Before a career in law, Joe started life as a professional child actor appearing in lead roles in Hollywood films (Miles in Turn of the Screw, Simon Magus, Fierce Creatures, Thomas in Robert De Niro’s Frankenstein, Joshua in Chicken Talk); West End plays (John in David Mamet’s The Cryptogram with Eddie Izzard and Lindsay Duncan;Douglas in Shadowlands); television (Anthony Makes a Friend, Jackonary and Confessions for BBC1; London Kills Me, Comics and The Body Story for Channel 4); and advertisements (Flash, Koolaid, Jenga, Kraft Cheese). He was recently a legal adviser to the hit play Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse.

Joe qualified as a solicitor at Allen & Overy LLP before transferring to the Bar. He spent the first year of his practice as the Judicial Assistant to Lord Sumption and Lord Wilson in the Supreme Court. Joe soon returned to the Supreme Court as Counsel in Bank of Cyprus UK Limited v Menelaou [2015] UKSC 66.

Since starting practice in August 2013 to December 2018, Joe was engaged on a near full-basis in London and Geneva on a major ICC oil and gas arbitration, and subsequent related litigations, working and appearing with legal teams in Poland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Curaçao, Nigeria, Mauritius, Scotland, the US, London and Switzerland.

Other recent/current work includes:

  • Advising major insurers on the impact of the Coronavirus.
  • Acting (unled) in five cases in 2019 involving email frauds, all of which involved multiple injunction hearings – for example, World Proteins v Persons Unknown [2019] EWHC 1146 (QB) (injunction); [2019] 6 WLUK 500 (judgment).
  • Acting (led by Chris Smith QC) in Commercial Court proceedings concerning the sale of crude oil arising from a joint venture with the Government of Turkmenistan, including discharging a freezing order (and resisting a subsequent appeal) - United Petroleum Trading Switzerland SA v Mitro International Ltd [2019] EWHC 1382 (Comm.); and successful applications for security for costs and resisting the return of fortification sums, and extensive issues arising under the new Disclosure regime.
  • Appearing (unled) in the Court of Appeal in a second appeal concerning premature execution of registered foreign judgments and the interpretation of the Lugano Convention and the CPR (Islandsbanki hf, HMRC, Shinclear Holdings Ltd v Kevin Gerald Stanford - [2020] EWCA Civ 480).
  • Acting for Islandsbanki in long running and high-profile insolvency proceedings against the founder of All Saints clothing brand, including a rare successful case management appeal and an appeal over the construction of the Insolvency Act 1986  (Islandsbanki hf, HMRC, Shinclear Holdings Ltd v Kevin Gerald Stanford - [2019] EWHC 307 (Henry Carr J); [2019] EWHC 595 (Ch.) [2019] (ICC Judge Jones); [2019] 6 WLUK 295 (Fancourt J))  
  • Acting for the Government of India, most recently (led by David Wolfson QC) resisting enforcement of a c.£70 million award under s.103 of the Arbitration Act 1996 - A v B [2018] 5 WLUK 366; Hardy Exploration and Production vs India [2018] EWHC 1916 (Comm.).
  • Acting (unled) for AXA XL insurers in various Commercial Court proceedings against coverholders for misapplication of premiums, involving multiple injunctions and c.20 interim hearings, including obtaining disclosure on a proprietary/tracing basis in novel circumstances against HMRC - XL Catlin v IPORS & others [2018] EWHC 2251 (Comm.).
  • An ICC ship-building arbitration (led by Thomas Macey-Dare QC) and energy/construction arbitrations (led by Steven Walker QC).
International Arbitration

Since starting practice to present, Joe has been engaged almost full-time in London and Geneva on a large and long-running multi-million pound ICC oil and gas arbitration, and substantial related matters, working with teams in Poland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Curaçao, Scotland, the US, Nigeria, Mauritius, London and Switzerland.

Joe is currently or has recently been instructed on the following other international arbitration matters;

  • Acting for a foreign state (led by David Wolfson QC and Nehali Shah of One Essex Court) in resisting the enforcement of a c.£70 million award under s.103 of the Arbitration Act 1996, including obtaining relief from sanctions (A v B [2018] 5 WLUK 366) and third party debt order proceedings involving issues of foreign law and State Immunity (Hardy Exploration and Production vs India [2018] EWHC 1916 (Comm.)).
  • Acting (led by Mark Howard QC and others) for the claimants in an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning claims of over US$150m relating to a joint venture for the production and marketing of base oil products
  • Acting in a major investment treaty arbitration against Uzbekistan in 2017.
  • Providing expert evidence in an ICC arbitration relating to matters arising out of the SFO investigation of Airbus (with Bettoseraglini, Paris).
  • Advising on and drafting (with Schillings) on multi-tier arbitration clauses for a complex multi-jurisdictional confidentiality matter.
  • One of the largest and most high profile enforcements in the Irish Courts (with Matheson) of an arbitral award, including advising on injunctive relief and questions of confidentiality, and appearing in the High Court in Dublin in the proceedings.
  • Enforcement Proceedings (with Houthoff Buruma,) of an arbitral award in The Netherlands, including providing expert law opinions on several aspects of English law and arbitration matters for Court proceedings.
  • Witness Examination and Disclosure Proceedings, including in Dutch Court of Appeal (with Houthoff Buruma), arising out of an alleged oil and gas fraud, including several expert opinions and attending hearings in The Netherlands.
  • Enforcement and injunctive relief proceedings (with BSJP, Poland) of an arbitral award in the Warsaw Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, including expert opinions and appearances in the Warsaw Commercial Court.
  • Successfully resisting a s.68 claim (using the summary procedure) in the Commercial Court in relation to a c.£15 million arbitral award.
  • Successfully obtaining a s.66 enforcement in the Commercial Court for a large arbitral award.

Joe has lectured and written on arbitration, including for the forthcoming Pleadings in Arbitration (2nd Edition), provides regular in-house training for Euromoney Plc’s seminar programme for leaders in the oil and gas industry, and was a keynote speaker on arbitration at the CARICOM Oil and Gas conference in Barbados attended by government ministers from across the Caribbean.

Commodities & International Trade

Joe has particular experience in cases concerning fruit having acted in the last year on cases involving lemons, grapes of several varieties, pomegranates, tomatoes and bananas. Joe is currently or has recently been instructed on the following international trade/commodities matters:

  • Junior counsel in Commercial Court proceedings enforcing a guarantee arising out of a commodities dispute in excess of £20 million raising novel questions of law.
  • Appearing as sole counsel in oral examination proceedings under CPR Part 71 in the High Court in connection with directors of an oil and gas plc.
  • Sole Counsel for the Indian Government in High Court proceedings arising out of a commodities arbitration.
  • Several ongoing High Court cases involving e-mail fraud perpetrated against various commodities companies involving particular expertise of Bankers’ Trust orders.
  • Advising and acting in a number of live claims in the Mercantile Court concerning fruit from Peru and the consignment of lemons from Turkey.
  • Acting for one of the major suppliers of soft drinks to the Middle East in claims over alleged mis-labelling of soft-drinks as alcoholic drinks.
  • CMR claims

Joe is currently or has recently been instructed on the following shipping matters:

  • A confidential live c. €30 million dispute currently as sole Counsel.
  • Sole counsel in a Commercial Court claim involving Nigerian cabotage approvals under a charterparty (settled shortly before trial).
  • Junior counsel in four related ICC and LMAA arbitrations involving oil rig disputes.
  • Advising on the implications of Hanjin shipping insolvency.
  • Advising on the meaning of "about" in relation to bunkers for charterers and the construction of a GA bonds and guarantees.
  • Demurrage claims
  • Bills of Lading disputes
  • Hire claims, including a current live LMAA claim for c.USD 5million.
  • Commercial Court claim involving jurisdictional issues under multiple charterparty agreements.
  • TCC dispute arising out of stevedore agreements at the Port of Tilbury
  • Defending a claim against the Nigerian Port Authority
Chancery Commercial

Joe is currently or has recently been instructed on the following chancery/company matters;

  • Junior Counsel in the Supreme Court on an appeal concerning subrogation (Menelaou v Bank of Cyprus [2015] UKSC 66), which has raised particular debate among practitioners and academics.
  • As sole counsel, obtaining multiple proprietary injunctions and related relief (involving around 12 interim hearings) in the Commercial Court arising out of misappropriation of funds held by coverholders from one of the world’s largest insurers (see “Insurance and Reinsurance” below) 
  • Junior counsel in a "test case" concerning a guarantee given under s.479C of the Companies Act 2006 in relation to a c.£20 million debt.
  • Acting and advising in a guarantee claim concerning the surrender of leases in excess of £5 million (Padwick Properties v Punj [2016] EWHC 502 (Ch.))
  • Seconded to HSBC in relation to mis-selling claims.
  • Several trials and appeals in relation to mortgage claims, with particular expertise in possession and overriding interest trials. In 2018, Joe acted in complex possession proceedings (led by John Passmore QC) arising out of Greek and Commercial Court proceedings for a freezing injunction for c.£7 million, 
  • Several cases concerning the execution of judgments and EEOs.
  • Acting in Commercial Court proceedings enforcing a borrower’s obligations to provide documents pursuant to a loan note and debenture.
  • Advising on loan and ISDA documentation for borrowers and lenders.
  • Acting as sole Counsel in a live s.994 unfair prejudice petition for a well-known Indian film producer where the company’s value exceeds £150 million; and three other live s.994 shareholder disputes.
  • Acting for the successful petitioner in first case where the Court has awarded compensation directly to the Petitioner in the context of s.994 (Rembert v Daniels [2018] EWHC 388 (Ch.)), now cited in leading textbooks on the subject. 

Joe is currently or has recently been instructed on the following insolvency matters;

  • Acting as sole Counsel for an Icelandic bank in long-running and multi-party bankruptcy proceedings against Kevin Stanford, the founder of Karen Millen and All Saints retailers. The case has featured over 10 hearings including a successful appeal raising novel procedural issues. (Islandsbanki HF v Kevin Stanford [2019] EWHC 307)
  • McCarty v Tann & Others [2016] EWHC 2049 (Ch) relating to a proof of debts and relief from sanctions.
  • Advising on the insolvency aspects of Hanjin Shipping and its effect on numerous live shipping claims.
  • Junior Counsel in a c.EUR 26 million dispute restraining a winding-up petition in both England and Ireland based on the debtor’s COMI.
  • Obtaining several injunctions to restrain the presentation of winding-up petition against a company on the basis of disputed debts.
  • Numerous other insolvency and bankruptcy applications and hearings,
  • Acting in live Commercial Court proceedings concerning the effects of administration and proprietary claims in the face of a statutory moratorium.
  • A successful 3-day Chancery trial relating to CVAs and a 1890 Act partnership.
  • Junior Counsel (with Leading English and Irish Counsel) in relation to corporate insolvency proceedings in Ireland against a leading energy company. 

Joe is a contributor to International Corporate Rescue.


Much of Joe’s litigation and arbitration work has focused on international energy disputes. Recent and present energy cases include:

  • Sole Counsel in live Commercial Court proceedings for USD8 million concerning an oil and gas venture involving the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, including obtaining a freezing injunction over a year after proceedings commenced against a well-known Nigerian businessman alleged to have misappropriated c.USD1.8 billion from the Nigerian State. (Lengard Projects v Aluko [2017] EWHC (Comm.))
  • Acting (led by Mark Howard QC and others) for the claimants in an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning claims of over US$150m relating to a joint venture for the production and marketing of base oil products
  • Advising with Nigerian and Mauritian Counsel on loan note agreements relating to a well-published energy venture in the Nigeria Delta subject to terrorist attacks.
  • Junior Counsel in an c.US$ 20 million ICC arbitration concerning the value of shares in an oil and gas field in Siekierki in Poland, and then resisting a s.68 challenge in the Commercial Court.
  • Advising on all English law aspects (and providing legal opinions for the Court) in proceedings in the The Netherlands involving an alleged fraud by the directors of American and Irish energy companies.
  • Instructed with Polish Counsel in relation to Polish Commercial Court proceedings for violations of a shareholders’ agreement over a project in Racwicz.  
  • Appearing in the Irish High Court in well-publicised proceeding for the enforcement of an arbitral award against an Irish energy company.
  • Junior Counsel in four related LICA and ICC arbitrations involving oil rig disputes.  
  • Advising with Floridian Counsel on agreements concerning an energy project in Iraq, and advising as Junior Counsel on dispute resolution clauses for an Australian mining group.
  • Advising major insurers on the impact of Coronavirus.
  • Sole Counsel for insurers in a c.£4million live Commercial Court claim for unpaid premiums by a cover holder, including obtaining a worldwide freezing order (and permission to enforce outside of the jurisdiction), multiple disclosure orders and further injunctions in support of proprietary claims by insurers.
  • Secondment to XL Catlin’s legal department
  • Junior Counsel (led by Robert Hunter, solicitor-advocate) in a 3-day QBD trial relating to the quantification of claims against insurers in relation to damage to specialist light aircraft.
  • Acting for the insured in successfully resisting claims by an insurer for material non-disclosure on the basis of past corporate insolvencies.
  • Advising on the applicability and transitional provisions of the Insurance Act 2015 in a High Court dispute concerning the delivery of faulty equipment.
  • Advising and drafting business and home insurance policies for UHNWIs for XL Catlin.
  • Successfully obtaining third party disclosure in novel circumstances against HMRC for insurers (XL Catlin v IPORS & others [2018] EWHC 2251 (Comm.)
  • Obtaining proprietary and freezing injunctions for AXA XL against coverholders and their directors in live Commercial Court proceedings.