Shipping Barristers

Shipping & Commodities


39 Essex Chambers has extensive experience in a wide range of “dry” and “wet” shipping and shipping-construction matters. Members are regularly instructed by all interests in disputes under charterparties (time, voyage, bareboat, contracts of affreightment), bills of lading, payment and security instruments (letters of credit, performance guarantees), and insurance policies; by service providers in the maritime sector (bunker providers, ship repairers, and ship managers); in collisions, groundings, and on-board incidents; in marine insurance and general average claims; in construction, repair and conversion disputes involving all types of vessels including off-shore units and luxury and other recreational craft and involving claims for negligence, delay, repudiation, and under security instruments; in ship sale and purchase disputes; and in admiralty actions including arrests of vessels, statutory detentions, and the exercise of rights over bunkers and cargo. Members also have expertise in maritime environmental and pollution disputes.

Members practise in a range of jurisdictions in addition to England, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur, and regularly appear in arbitrations under all of the leading rules (e.g. LMAA, SCMA, HKIAC, LCIA, ICC and SIAC) in addition to appearing in courts in England and elsewhere. Members of chambers are also frequently appointed as arbitrators in shipping-related disputes.


Members of 39 Essex Chambers are regularly instructed in commodities and international trade disputes in relation to all types of commodities including, principally, oil and gas, petrochemical products, steel, ore, coal, cement, grains, and chemicals. Members routinely act for sellers, buyers, insurers, and financial institutions in disputes arising under all major sale forms and in respect of sales on FOB, CIF, DES and other terms.

Members regularly appear in court in England and in other jurisdictions as well as in arbitrations around the world subject to all of the leading rules (e.g. ICC, SIAC, LCIA, HKIAC, GAFTA, FOSFA). Members of chambers are also frequently appointed as arbitrators in international commodities disputes.

Who to contact

Alastair Davidson

Alastair Davidson is the Senior Clerk for the Shipping & Commodities team and will, along with the clerking team below, be able to help you with any questions.

Alastair DavidsonEmail

Call: +44 (0)20 7832 1181

Mobile: +44 (0)7736 154 109

View clerk's team

Marion Smith QC

Marion Smith QC

Call: 1981 Silk: 2015

Michael McParland QC

Michael McParland QC

Call: 1983 Silk: 2017

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards

Call: 1999

Ben Olbourne

Ben Olbourne

Call: 2003

Denys Hickey

Denys Hickey

Call: 1975

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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