Charles is a dispute resolution specialist, advising on shipping, insurance and general commercial disputes. He frequently acts for clients in English High Court proceedings and in London arbitrations, particularly those under LMAA terms. He recently spent six months on secondment to a leading marine insurer.
In the shipping sector, Charles acts for shipowners, charterers, P&I Clubs and H&M underwriters. He advises on ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ disputes including collisions, groundings, fires, charterparty disputes and cargo claims.
He has acted in a number of high-profile casualty cases, including the Rena grounding and the Ocean Victory (which went to the Supreme Court on the legal meaning of a safe port, the right to sue third parties in cases of co-insurance, and limitation of liability).
He has a particular interest in containership cases, especially those involving multiple vessel sharing partners, and has been instructed on many of the major containership casualties of recent years, including the Maersk Honam, Rena, MOL Comfort and Amsterdam Bridge.
Charles’ expertise extends to acting in professional indemnity cases for lawyers and other professionals and their insurers in High Court proceedings. He also acts in general commercial disputes.
"I seek to give my clients clear, practical advice that leads to prompt, commercial resolutions of disputes, where possible."
What you may not know about Charles
Charles is a Councillor in Kensington and Chelsea, and vice-chairman of the Planning Committee. He is also a keen horseman.
My matter highlights
Acting for appellants in a Supreme Court appeal hailed as the most important shipping and insurance case of the year.
Advising a very large container shipping line in the aftermath of a $400 million casualty which involved urgent practical assistance and several years of complex English court proceedings.
Advising a major shipping company following a fire involving their customers’ cargo, including advising on salvage, general average, cargo claims and indemnity actions.
Advising P&I insurers following the sinking of one of their entered vessels.
Advising the owners and insurers of a vessel that ran aground in the Parana River resulting in a very large salvage claim.
Advising the owners and insurers of a vessel alleged to have caused very substantial dock damage.
Advising a major US energy sector contractor in a dispute relating to drilling rig and obtaining urgent injunctive relief.
Advising a shipowner following a very large misdelivery claim.
Advising on the insolvency of the largest marine fuel supplier in the world and its impact.
Acting for a City of London firm of solicitors in a £30 million professional negligence dispute against them.
My recent publications
News / Court finds letter of indemnity obligations engaged
24-02-2022 / Maritime
Aramco Trading Fujairah FZE v. Gulf Petrochem FZC (MV Kronviken)  EWHC 288 (Comm) This case is another example of the English courts dismissing unmeritorious challenges to letters of indemnity (LOIs) issued against delivery of goods without production of original bills of lading. The message is clear: the English courts will not entertain unwarranted attempts to avoid obligations under a valid and enforceable LOI.
Insights / Supreme Court confirms defective passage plan may render vessel unseaworthy
11-11-2021 / Maritime
Alize 1954 and CMA CGM SA v. Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG & Others (CMA CGM Libra)  UKSC 51
Insights / Court rejects attempt to reargue issues previously determined in in rem action
06-07-2021 / Maritime
Tecoil Shipping Ltd v. Neptune EHF & Ors (Poseidon c/w Tecoil Polaris)  EWHC 1582 (Admlty)
Insights / Failure to acknowledge service of in rem collision claim results in default judgment
03-06-2021 / Maritime
Tecoil v. Owners of Poseidon  EWHC 393 (Admlty)
News / Court construes International Group’s standard LOI wording in context of charterparty chain
10-06-2020 / Maritime
Trafigura v. Clearlake and Clearlake v. Petrobras (Miracle Hope)  EWHC 995 (Comm)
News / A question of timing: errors, navigational or otherwise, made before or at beginning of voyage capable of rendering vessel unseaworthy
05-03-2020 / Maritime
Alize 1954 and CMA CGM SA v. Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG & Others (CMA CGM Libra)  EWCA Civ 293 In a unanimous judgment, a Court of Appeal panel of experienced shipping Lords Justice has upheld the decision of the Admiralty Judge, Teare J, in the CMA CGM Libra that a defective passage plan rendered the vessel unseaworthy and that the Owners’ claim for contribution in general average failed.
News / Supreme Court explains meaning of “abnormal occurrence” in context of a safe port warranty and tackles co-insurance questions
10-05-2017 / Maritime
Gard Marine and Energy Limited v. China National Chartering Company Limited and others (Ocean Victory)  UKSC 35 In an important judgment handed down on 10 May 2017, the Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision of 22 January 2015 that there was no breach of the safe port undertaking in this case. In doing so, the Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeal that the phrase “abnormal occurrence” in the context of a safe port undertaking should be given its “ordinary meaning”. Their Lordships endorsed the Court of Appeal’s view that this meant an event that was something well removed from the normal, out of the ordinary course and unexpected: “it is something which the notional charterer or owner would not have in mind”.