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  • Charles O'Connor

    Charles O'Connor
    Managing Associate, London

    Maritime, Commercial Disputes, Insurance

    T. +44 (0) 20 7481 0010

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.

Highlight Matters

  • 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. 


"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.

Maritime, Commercial Disputes, Insurance

England & Wales 2013

Education (University):
University of Edinburgh