Vernon is a Partner in the firm’s shipping team and is based in London. He specialises in dispute resolution both in court and through arbitration.
Vernon works on both wet and dry cases including dry charter disputes, defending complex cargo damage claims, fuel related main and auxiliary engine damages and shipping casualties including in the superyacht sector catastrophic injury and fatality cases. His main focus is on shipping casualties with particular experience with groundings, fire/explosions and allisions. His clients are Shipowners, Charterers, P&I Clubs and H&M insurers.
"Dispute resolution means finding the best commercial outcome for the client as soon as possible and only litigating or arbitrating to the extent necessary to achieve that outcome."
Professional associations & memberships
- Supporting Member LMMA
My matter highlights
Container ship fire and explosion off Mauritius caused by undeclared hypochlorite.
Grounding of Ultra Large Bulk Carrier when exiting Brazilian port.
Port structure damage Ore Terminal, Brazil.
Port structure damage Aviation Fuel Terminal, UK.
Grounding and capsize off Port Elizabeth, SA.
My testimonials and accolades
“Vernon handles complex casualty work.”
My recent publications
Insights / Court of Appeal finds charterers’ associated company not barge “operator” for limitation purposes
21-12-2021 / Maritime
This was a dispute over whether an associate company of the charterers was entitled to limit its liability in respect of a barge that was involved in an incident off Dover that resulted in a claim for about Euros 55 million worth of damage.
Insights / Court of Appeal finds experts had conflict of interest that breached client retainer
22-01-2021 / Maritime
The Court of Appeal has agreed with the lower Court that separate entities within an international group of companies should not be permitted to act as experts for different parties in related arbitrations.
Insights / Supreme Court clarifies scope of arbitrator’s duty to disclose appointment in multiple overlapping references
30-11-2020 / Maritime
Halliburton Company v. Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd  UKSC 48
News / Court finds ship operator can limit liability
01-06-2020 / Maritime
(1) Splitt Chartering APS (2) Stema Shipping A/S (3) Maibau Baustoffhandel GmbH (4) Stema Shipping (UK) Limited (Claimant) v. (1) Saga Shipholding Norway AS (2) RTE Reseau De Transport D’Electricitie SA and others (Stema Barge II)  EWHC 1294 (Admlty)
News / Experts’ fiduciary duty of loyalty to clients: practical implications for marine and offshore sectors
22-04-2020 / Maritime
A Company v. X, Y and Z  EWHC 809 (TCC) In this case, companies of the same group were retained as experts by opposing sides in two related arbitration references in respect of an offshore construction project. The Court found that the whole company group, in its capacity as expert, owed a fiduciary duty of loyalty to their client, which was not inconsistent with an expert’s paramount duty to the Court or Tribunal. On this basis, the Court granted an injunction prohibiting the expert group of companies from acting for another party in the arbitration. This decision highlights the need for clients to be quick in retaining their experts when facing complex marine or offshore disputes, given that the number of experts able to give evidence in relation to these fields in courts and tribunals is very limited.