James is a shipping and international trade lawyer specialising in contractual disputes and sanctions.
James focuses on international trade and dry shipping matters, advising the firm’s clients on a range of matters. He acts for clients in High Court disputes, ad-hoc arbitration and arbitration under the LMAA rules.
James has dealt with various disputes arising out of charterparties, particularly relating to unsafe port claims. On the trade side, James has been involved in disputes arising out of sale contracts together with a general review of contractual provisions.
James has also been heavily involved in advising a broad range of clients on the impact of international sanctions imposed against various countries, by the UN, EU and UK. This has included advising clients on how the sanctions impact on pre-existing contracts, including charterparties, sale contracts and insurance policies, together with advising clients on how to protect themselves from sanctions when concluding new agreements. James has also advised clients in respect of their internal compliance procedures and in particular the type of due diligence that is required of them under the various sanctions regimes.
Owners, Charters, Traders, Insurers
My matter highlights
Various LMAA arbitrations for Owners in respect of unsafe port claims.
Various advices provided to Owners/Charterers in respect of the possibility of refusing voyage orders as a result of international sanctions.
Acting for the Buyer in a ship sale and purchase dispute (LMAA arbitration proceedings).
Review of general sale terms and conditions for a global bunker supplier.
My recent publications
News / UK imposes prohibition on port entry and UK registration to Russian linked shipping
02-03-2022 / Maritime
In a development that will have a potentially wide-ranging impact on shipping, the UK has introduced a prohibition on Russian-connected ships from (i) using UK ports and (ii) being registered in the UK.
News / EU Blocking Regulation, US sanctions and contractual termination – when sanctions and business collide
18-02-2022 / Commodities & Trade, Maritime
In a recent ruling, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) was asked to consider the interpretation of Article 5 of EC Regulation No. 2771/96 of 22 November 1996 (commonly referred to as the “Blocking Regulation”) in relation to the termination, by a German telecoms company, of a contract with a bank subject to US sanctions.
News / UK lays framework for increased Russian sanctions in the event diplomacy fails
15-02-2022 / Maritime
The UK Government has introduced amendments to the UK sanctions on Russia, which came into force at 5pm UK time on 10 February 2022 and which significantly increase the scope to sanction entities linked to the Russian Government and those involved across the Russian economy.
Insights / Court of Appeal confirms seller’s obligation to return advance payment following non-delivery of goods
20-12-2021 / Maritime
Nord Naphtha Ltd v. New Stream Trading AG  EWCA Civ 1829
Insights / Where’s my crude oil? Court upholds claim for return of monies paid under FOB contract
24-06-2021 / Commodities & Trade
BP Oil International Limited v. (1) Vega Petroleum Limited & (2) Dover Investments Limited  EWHC 1364 (Comm)
Insights / UK steps up sanctions regime and shipping must navigate carefully
23-09-2020 / Maritime
Following the UK’s departure from the EU, there have been some recent developments with regard to the approach of the UK to sanctions, including the issuance of guidance to the shipping industry on financial sanctions. We summarise some of these recent developments below.
Insights / Buyer beware – be certain of your grounds for termination
21-09-2020 / Commodities & Trade
Alegrow S.A. v. Yayla Agro Gida San Ve Nak A.S.  EWHC 1845 (Comm)
News / Court dismisses defences to non-performance under contract of affreightment
07-05-2020 / Maritime
Classic Maritime Inc v. Limbungan Makmur Sdn Bhd and another company  EWHC 619 (Comm) This was the latest dispute under a Contract of Affreightment (“COA”) between Classic Maritime Inc (“Owners”) and Limbungan Makmur Sdn Bhd (“Charterers”), with the Owners claiming damages for unperformed shipments under the COA. In reaching its decision, the Court relied closely on an earlier Court of Appeal judgment relating to the Owners’ claim for damages involving seven unperformed shipments.
News / BIMCO Sanctions Clauses for Time and Voyage Charter Parties 2020
16-03-2020 / Maritime
BIMCO has now released two new sanctions clauses for time and voyage charter parties to be used in all trades, except for container trades (where we understand a separate sanctions clause is under development).
News / Court of Appeal confirms EU Iran sanctions preclude sanctioned party’s entitlement to interest under arbitration award
11-03-2020 / Maritime
Ministry of Defence & Support for Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran v. International Military Services Limited  EWCA Civ 14 In a judgment handed down on 12 February 2020, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the intention of EU Regulation 267/2012 extends to preventing a sanctioned party from claiming interest under an arbitration award for the duration that its contractual counterparty was prevented from making payment pursuant to the arbitration award as a result of the sanctions.
News / Court determines identity of disponent owner under charterparty
03-02-2020 / Maritime
Americas Bulk Transport Limited (Liberia) v. COSCO Bulker Carrier Limited (China) (Grand Fortune)  EWHC 147 (Comm)
News / BIMCO Non-Payment of Hire Clause for Time Charter Parties: Can an owner withdraw for a previous non-payment of hire?
02-12-2019 / Maritime
Quiana Navigation SA v Pacific Gulf Shipping (Singapore) Pte Ltd (Caravos Liberty)  EWHC 3171 (Comm) The Court has upheld the decision of a tribunal that the Owners in this case were not entitled to rely on the BIMCO Non-Payment of Hire Clause for Time Charter Parties (“BIMCO Clause”) to withdraw the vessel from a time charter for a previous non-payment of hire.
News / Could or would standard sanctions wordings leave underwriters exposed?
29-11-2018 / Maritime
Mamancochet Mining v. Aegis Managing Agency  EWHC 2643 The Court has recently held that underwriters were obliged to pay a claim under a marine cargo insurance policy in respect of a cargo of steel sold to an Iranian national. This was the case notwithstanding the sanctions provision in the policy and President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the international agreement to ease economic sanctions against Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (commonly referred to as the “JCPOA”). In determining the case, the Court was required to interpret the sanctions exclusion clause developed by the London market Joint Hull Committee and adopted by the Joint Cargo Committee.
News / Cargo Claim not Trumped by Sanctions
24-10-2018 / Insurance, Maritime
The Commercial Court has handed down its expedited judgment in Mamancochet Mining Limited v Aegis Managing Agency Limited & Ors, holding that underwriters were obliged to pay a claim under a marine cargo insurance policy in respect of a cargo of steel sold to an Iranian national. This was the case notwithstanding the sanctions provision in the policy and President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the international agreement to ease economic sanctions against Iran (commonly referred to as the JCPOA).
News / Sanctions update
11-07-2017 / Maritime
A brief summary of some recent developments in international sanctions
News / Maritime Legal Issues Arising Out of Trading to Ukraine/Crimea
21-07-2014 / Maritime
New EU Sanctions and Ukraine Directive - July 2014 Ship operators trading to Ukraine, and particularly to the ports in the newly annexed Crimea, now face a potential problem of falling foul of International/European law on the one hand and Ukrainian law on the other.
News / Did GAFTA tribunal exercise its discretion to admit an otherwise lapsed claim?
29-05-2014 / Commodities & Trade
Bunge SA v. Nibulon Trading  EWHC 3936 (Comm) The GAFTA Arbitration Rules (Form No. 125) provide for the lapse of claims in circumstances where there has been a failure of the parties to submit any documentary evidence or submissions within one year of the date of the notice claiming arbitration. The Rules do, however, allow the parties to serve a notice renewing the claim for a further year before the initial one year period expires (and to repeat this renewal process for up to six years).