T +44 (0) 20 7481 0010
Department Maritime, Commodities & trade Qualified 2013 Languages English
Sophie is a dispute resolution lawyer specialising in shipping litigation and general commercial disputes, both in court and through arbitration.
Sophie regularly advises on all aspects of wet and dry shipping matters. She focuses mainly on disputes arising under charterparties, COAs, bills of lading, bunker supply contracts and MOAs. She handles high-value, often multi-jurisdictional, disputes and has acted in cases that have reached the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Notably, she acted for the successful owners of the Ever Smart in the first collision case to come before the Supreme Court/House of Lords in almost 50 years. Her involvement in this matter spanned the initial casualty investigation, handling the liability and quantum references in the High Court and the appeal to both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Her non-contentious experience includes advising on and drafting contracts, bill of lading and charterparty terms, and assisting clients with the sale and purchase of assets. Sophie has significant experience in regulatory and compliance matters and provides advice to a range of shipowners and insurers in relation to bribery and anti-corruption issues, policies and procedures. She also has a particular focus on the negotiation of LNG sale contracts.
Having undertaken secondments to a leading global offshore contractor, an international commodity trader and an International Group P&I Club, Sophie understands her clients’ commercial needs and provides them with quick and concise advice.
My matter highlights
- Advising the Owners of the Ever Smart in relation to a collision with a laden VLCC outside the port of Jebel Ali, reported at:
- Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited (Appellant) v Nautical Challenge Ltd  UKSC 6
- Nautical Challenge Ltd v. Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited  1 Lloyd’s Rep 130
- Nautical Challenge Ltd v. Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited  EWHC 163 (Admlty)
- Nautical Challenge Ltd v. Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited  1 Lloyd’s Rep 666
- Acting for the successful applicant for an interim mandatory injunction compelling performance of a LOI, which considered the extent to which impossibility of performance is a good defence to such a claim: see Tenacity Marine Inc v NOC Swiss LLC  EWHC 3214 (Comm)
- Acting for a major Japanese shipowner in arbitration proceedings in defending a claim by a broker seeking payments of commission totalling over USD 2.5m
My recent publications
News / Admiralty Court tackles crossing rule head on
24-02-2023 / Maritime
This is the first collision case since the Supreme Court decision in the Ever Smart, in which the Admiralty Court has applied the crossing rules. This article discusses the Court's decision, which is unusual because of the finding of 100% liability against one vessel.
News / Court of Appeal finds arbitration agreement ‘subject’ to charterparty being concluded
12-12-2022 / Maritime
The Court of Appeal has held that a proposed charterparty which was expressly stated to be ‘subject shippers/receivers approval’ did not contain a binding arbitration agreement conferring jurisdiction on the Tribunal to determine whether the charterparty had been properly concluded.
News / Owners not in breach of charter and entitled to claim demurrage
09-11-2022 / Maritime
CM P-MAX III Limited v. Petroleos Del Norte SA (MT Stena Primorsk)  EWHC 2147 (Comm) This recent laytime and demurrage dispute demonstrates that an owner can legitimately refuse orders where such orders may jeopardise the safety of a vessel.
News / Court applies traditional good weather method for assessing vessel’s performance
07-09-2022 / Maritime
Eastern Pacific Chartering Inc v. Pola Maritime Ltd (Divinegate)  EWHC 2095 (Comm) The Court has recently dismissed a claim for wrongful arrest in an underperformance dispute and also given helpful guidance as to how speed and performance cases are to be approached.
News / Navigating Precautionary Areas: cross carefully!
30-05-2022 / Maritime
Wilforce LLC and Awilco LNG AS v. Ratu Shipping Co SA and Sea Queen Shipping Corporation (Wilforce v. Western Moscow)  EWHC 1190 (Admlty) The Admiralty Court has recently handed down judgment in the case of the collision between the LNG carrier Wilforce and the bulk carrier Western Moscow which took place in the Singapore Straits in May 2019. This case is notably the first collision case to come before the Admiralty Court since the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the Ever Smart collision case. It is also the first case in which the Court has had to consider responsibility for a collision in a Precautionary Area.
News / No binding fixture and no concluded arbitration agreement where subjects not lifted
08-02-2022 / Maritime
DHL Project & Chartering Ltd v. Gemini Ocean Shipping Co Ltd (Newcastle Express)  EWHC 181 (Comm) In this recent charterparty dispute, the Commercial Court has set aside an arbitration award on the basis that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction to rule in circumstances where the parties had not concluded a binding contract (or arbitration agreement) after conditions to which the fixture were expressed to be subject (“subjects” or “subs”) were not lifted.
Insights / Anti-suits revisited: a welcome reminder of the applicable principles
25-05-2021 / Maritime
ZHD v. SQO (Precious Sky)  EWHC 1262 (Comm)
Insights / Supreme Court collides with navigational rules
19-02-2021 / Maritime
Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited v. Nautical Challenge Ltd (Ever Smart c/w Alexandra I)  UKSC 6
Insights / Anti-suit injunction granted where foreign proceedings breached London arbitration agreement in contracts of carriage
27-01-2021 / Maritime
Ulusoy Denizilik AS v. COFCO Global Harvest (Zhangjiagang) Trading Co Ltd (Ulusoy-11)  EWHC 3645 (Comm)
Insights / Court dismisses challenge to award on grounds of procedural unfairness
10-09-2020 / Maritime
This case involved an unsuccessful appeal to the Court, where charterers contended that there was serious irregularity in the way that the sole arbitrator had dealt with two issues in the underlying arbitration, which had caused them substantial injustice.
Insights / The compensatory principle (re)applied by the Court of Appeal
18-07-2019 / Maritime
Classic Maritime Inc v. Limbungan Makmur SDN BHD & another  EWCA Civ 1102 The Court of Appeal has upheld a Commercial Court finding that the effect of an exceptions clause in a contract of affreightment (“COA”) depended on its proper construction. It further found that the Commercial Court had misapplied the compensatory principle. The principle, properly applied, was to compare the financial position of the Owners following the Charterers’ breach of the COA with their financial position had the Charterers actually performed the COA, not their financial position had the Charterers been willing but unable to perform.
News / Court finds defective passage plan rendered vessel unseaworthy
04-04-2019 / Maritime
Alize 1954 and CMA CGM SA v Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG and others (CMA CGM Libra) 2019 EWHC 481 (Admlty)
News / Chambers Shipping Guide 2019 by Ince Gordon Dadds
29-03-2019 / Maritime
The team at Ince Gordon Dadds recently contributed the UK chapter of the Chambers Shipping Guide 2019 which has now been published and is available for download.
Insights / Exceptions clause or contractual frustration provision? Not the same thing
29-11-2018 / Maritime
Classic Maritime Inc v. Limbungan Makmur SDN BHD  EWHC 2389 (Comm) In this case, the Charterer failed in its attempt to excuse its non-performance under a contract of affreightment on the basis that a force majeure event – a burst dam that halted production at a Brazilian mine - had prevented it from shipping the relevant cargoes under the contract. However, the Owner could only recover nominal damages because even if the Charterer had been willing and able to perform its contractual obligations, the burst dam would have prevented its performance.
News / Shipping E-Brief February 2016
17-02-2016 / Maritime
The Shipping E-brief is a quarterly publication providing you with key information on legal decisions and developments in shipping and related business areas.