Commodities Update 2019:  Risks and Practical Issues: Digitisation, LOIs and Fraud

Quadrant Chambers will be holding its annual Commodities Update event on 20 June 2019. We are delighted to have Lord Justice Males chairing this event. Our fantastic panel includes Ann Shazell, Global Lead Lawyer at Cargill International SA, Ajay Ahluwalia, Legal Counsel at Trafigura, John Russell QC and Paul Toms from Quadrant. 

Our panel will consider the following topics:

Digitalisation and the modernisation of global trade operations - Ann Shazell, Cargill International SA

Risky Business: LOIs in International Trade: Managing risks and practical issues arising out of the use of Letters of Indemnity in international trade contracts - Ajay Ahluwalia, Trafigura

Fraud part 1: where a fraudulent act prevents sums due under a contract reaching the contractual counterparty - Paul Toms will explore cases where sums due under a contract do not reach the contractual counterparty by reason of fraud and consider who bears the risk of non-receipt.

Fraud part 2 where the Claimant has been guilty of fraudulent conduct - John Russell QC will explore cases where a party seeking to make a claim has been guilty of fraudulent behaviour, in terms of his ability to bring a substantive action or enforce an arbitral award.

Lord Justice Males

Sir Stephen Males was educated at state primary and secondary schools in the home counties, before going on to be the first in his family to attend University and the first to become a lawyer.

He was called to the bar in 1978 and became a Queens Counsel in 1998. Between 1998 and 2012 he was an Assistant Recorder and Recorder and a Deputy High Court Judge sitting in the Administrative Court and Commercial Court. He was appointed to the High Court in 2012 and is currently a Presiding Judge of the North Eastern Circuit.

A specialist in commercial law and arbitration, he has acted in and decided a number of notable cases including Allianz SpA v West Tankers on antisuit injunctions in EU law, NA v Nottingham County Council on the liability of local authorities for the wrongful acts of foster carers  and Rathband v Northumbria Police (the policeman who was shot by gunman Raoul Moat).

He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2018. 

Ann Shazell, Cargill International SA

Ann Shazell is the Group Lead Lawyer for Cargill's Ocean Transportation business, based in Geneva. Ann is an English-qualified solicitor specialising in maritime law, shipping and commodities trading issues.

Ajay Ahluwalia, Trafigura

Ajay Ahluwalia is Legal Counsel based in the Geneva headquarters of Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading and logistics houses.

John Russell QC

John is an experienced and determined commercial advocate and has acted as lead Counsel in numerous Commercial Court trials, international and marine arbitrations and appellate cases, including two successful appearances in the Supreme Court, including the landmark decision in Volcafe v CSAV. He has also appeared as counsel in inquests and public enquiries.

John has a very strong commodities practice. He has extensive experience of FOSFA and GAFTA arbitrations, including appeals from Board of Appeal Awards to court, in LME arbitrations, and commodities disputes on LCIA and ICC terms. A recent highlight was securing an award of US$45million in a dispute involving Chilean iron ore. John has also been involved in numerous GAFTA cases arising out of the prohibition / quota system in respect of grain exports from Ukraine in 2010.

He has been instructed in numerous force majeure claims arising out of recent natural disasters. 

John has also been instructed in numerous fraud cases in the commodities sector, including payment frauds, warehousing frauds, and he appeared in the multi-jurisdictional bribery dispute between Eurochem and Dreymoor.

He is ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in Shipping, Commodities, Aviation and Travel.

To view John's full website profile, please click here.

Paul Toms

Paul is a very experienced junior barrister practising across a wide range of commercial disputes including information technology, insurance, energy, international trade, commodities, shipping and shipbuilding. He is described as “A delight to work with. He is approachable, astute and commercially minded” (Chambers UK 2018). 

Paul has extensive experience of GAFTA, FOSFA and ANEC disputes. His practice also extends to disputes arising out of the supply of oil, petroleum products, biofuel, coal and sugar, both under RSA Contract Rules and ICE Rules. In addition, he is regularly instructed to make applications ancillary to, or in support of, commodities arbitrations, including seeking and resisting injunctive relief (e.g. freezing, anti-suit and asset disclosure orders) and challenging arbitral awards under ss. 67 – 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 including Transition Feeds v Itochu Europe PLC [2013] EWHC 3629.

He has been recommended for many years in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK for his work in shipping and commodities.  Paul is also a contributor to ‘Arbitration law: 2018 in review’ recently published by Informa in association with Quadrant Chambers.

To view Paul's full profile, please click here.