Professional practice

Philippa has a broad and varied commercial dispute resolution practice. She acts and advises both in court proceedings and in arbitration, and has appeared before a wide variety of courts (including the Court of Appeal) and arbitration tribunals. Philippa has extensive experience of heavy and complex cases in the Commercial Court and in arbitration, and of applications for interim relief. Her work is largely international in nature, often involving complex private international law issues. She has a particular interest and expertise in shipping matters.

Recognised annually by the leading legal directories, clients describe Philippa as “brilliant – intelligent, strategic and thorough”, “extremely hard-working, which, combined with her extremely high intellect, makes for a powerful mix”, “an outstanding advocate, who is very sharp and tends to frighten the opposition with her intellect and drive”, “highly intelligent, very proactive, and cuts straight to the crux of the matter” and “fabulous – at the top of her game”.

As well as her advocacy and advisory work, Philippa sits regularly as an arbitrator.

Philippa was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in February 2018.

 

What others say
  • “Brilliant. Intelligent, strategic and thorough.” “Experienced, persuasive, knowledgeable and well prepared.” (Chambers UK Bar 2019 – Shipping and Commodities).
  • “Extremely bright and very responsive.” “Very experienced and very capable.” (Chambers UK Bar 2019 – Insurance).
  • “She has an unparalleled hunger for knowledge and a superb ability to uncover case-law.” (Legal 500 2019 – Shipping).
  • “Always creative in her approach, resourceful and highly effective.” (Legal 500 2019 – Insurance).
  • “Having been a strong senior junior in commodities and shipping, she is set to continue building her reputation as a QC.” (Legal 500 2019 – Commodities).
  • “Extremely hard-working, which, combined with her extremely high intellect, makes for a powerful mix. For cases with high factual and legal complexity, Philippa should be first choice. She is a highly capable and dependable member of the team.” “Quick, reliable and responsive.” (Chambers UK Bar 2018 – Shipping and Commodities)
  • “Down to earth, clever and someone who shows vital common sense when problem solving” (Chambers UK Bar 2018 – Insurance)
  • “Very knowledgeable about shipping and commodities, she can be relied upon to provide clear and accurate advice” (Legal 500 2017 – Commodities; Shipping)
  • “She provides first-class advice and is brilliant on her feet (Legal 500 2017 – Insurance and Reinsurance)
  • “Extremely reliable.” “An outstanding advocate, who is very sharp and tends to frighten the opposition with her intellect and drive” (Chambers UK Bar 2017 – Shipping and Commodities)
  • “A very cerebral and forthright advocate, who takes no prisoners” (Legal 500 2016 – Commodities)
  • “Incisive and determined” (Legal 500 2016 – Insurance and Reinsurance)
  • “…She is highly intelligent, very proactive, and cuts straight to the crux of the matter” (Chambers UK Bar 2016 – Shipping and Commodities)
  • “First rate for shipping matters” (Legal 500 2015 – Shipping)
  • “She knows her field, and has a healthy scepticism and a good grasp of commercial reality” (Legal 500 2016 – Insurance and Reinsurance)
  • “Fabulous: at the top of her game” (Legal 500 2015 – Commodities)
  • “A very intelligent and responsive barrister” (Legal 500 2014 – Shipping)
  • “A versatile commercial barrister with a good track record in banking and finance work(Legal 500 2014 – Banking and Finance)
  • “…highly regarded for her expertise in shipping and commodities law, particularly on the dry side. She is a “tremendous advocate” who “knows shipping law so well you can guarantee she will give you the right answer every time”” (Chambers UK Bar 2013 – Shipping and Commodities)
Examples of recent cases

Recent cases include the following:

  • Bank Mellat v. HM Treasury: From May 2018 onwards, Philippa acted for Her Majesty’s Treasury in relation to its long-running dispute with Bank Mellat concerning the impact of financial restrictions orders made in 2009-2011 and the Bank’s claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998. The case settled just before trial (see also Bank Mellat v HM Treasury [2019] EWCA Civ 449 on disclosure issues).
  • J v. K [2019] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 323 (Butcher, J.): jurisdiction of arbitrators under hybrid arbitral/expert determination clause in superyacht construction contract.
  • Griffin Underwriting Ltd v. Varouxakis [2019] 1 W.L.R. 2529 (Males, J.): jurisdiction under Recast Regulation in relation to tort claim by marine insurers against principal of assured.
  • Cruise & Maritime Services International Ltd. v. Navigators Underwriting Agency Ltd.: The “Marco Polo” [2017] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 575 (Knowles, J.): charterers’ liability insurance; issues relating to Athens Convention.
  • Pan Oceanic Chartering Ltd. v. UNIPEC UK Co. Ltd. [2017] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 196 (Carr, J.): successfully defended claim by shipbroker for damages in tort arising from long-term COA.
Arbitration & related court applications

Philippa has been involved in a wide range of domestic and international arbitrations (including ICC and LCIA arbitrations), and in related court applications. Instructions have included:

  • acting for a shipyard in a dispute over the construction of a superyacht;
  • acting for a major pharmaceuticals company in relation to a dispute with a product licensor;
  • acting for a power station in relation to a dispute with the designers of the station’s gas turbines;
  • acting for a coal production company in a dispute relating to a long term coal supply agreement;
  • regular instructions in shipbuilding, shipping (see below) and insurance/reinsurance arbitrations.

Philippa has a particular interest in arbitration-related court work, including anti-suit injunctions. Her reported cases in this field include the following:

  • J v. K [2019] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 323 (Butcher J): jurisdiction of arbitrators under hybrid arbitral/expert determination clause in superyacht construction contract;
  • ADM Asia-Pacific Trading PTE Ltd. v. PT Budi Semesta Satria [2017] Lloyd’s Rep. Plus 1 (Phillips, J.): anti-suit injunctions, delay;
  • A series of challenges to awards of the International Cotton Association Ltd.: Libero Commodities S.A. v. Alexandre Augustin [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 372 (C. Butcher, Q.C.); A. Ltd. v. B. Ltd. [2015] EWHC 137 (Comm.) (Phillips, J.) and [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 393 (Andrew Smith, J.), Cottonex Anstalt v. Patriot Spinning Mills Ltd. [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 615 (Hamblen, J.), Dunavant Enterprises Inc. v. Olympia Spinning and Weaving Mills Ltd. [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 619 (Burton, J.);
  • Caspian Oil Resources Ltd. v. Naftiran Intertrade Co. (NICO) Ltd. [2015] EWHC 4252 (Comm) (Knowles, J.): application to vary judgment entered under s. 66 Arbitration Act 1996; interest on foreign currency judgments;
  • UR Power GmbH v. Kuok Oils & Grains Pte Ltd. [2009] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 495 (Gross, J.): FOSFA arbitrations; severability of arbitration agreements; time limits applicable to 2‑tier arbitrations;
  • Nisshin Shipping Co Ltd v. Cleaves & Co Ltd & Ors [2004] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 38 (Colman, J.), relating to the arbitration provisions of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999;
  • CMA CGM S.A. v. Beteiligungs-kommanditgesellschaft MS Northern Pioneer Schiffahrtgesellschaft Mbh & Co & Ors [2003] 1 WLR 1015 (CA), in which the Court of Appeal considered the principles governing the seeking of permission to appeal from arbitration awards under the Arbitration Act 1996.

Philippa also regularly acts as an arbitrator. She accepts appointments under the auspices of the ICC, the LCIA, ARIAS and the LMAA, as well as in ad hoc arbitrations. She sits both as a sole arbitrator and as part of a panel.

Aviation

Philippa frequently accepts instructions in contractual aviation disputes, including disputes relating to the lease and charter of aircraft, acting mainly (but not exclusively) for airlines and for their insurers. She acted for Air India in a long-running arbitration relating to wet-leased aircraft and acted for an Italian aircraft leasing company in Aircraft Purchase Fleet Ltd v. Compania Aeria Alitalia SpA [2019] EWHC 567 (Comm) (Phillips, J.).

Banking & financial services

Notable cases include:

  • Bank Mellat v. HM Treasury: From May 2018 onwards, Philippa acted for Her Majesty’s Treasury in relation to its long-running dispute with Bank Mellat concerning the impact of financial restrictions orders made in 2009-2011 and the Bank’s claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998. The case settled just before trial (see also Bank Mellat v. HM Treasury [2019] EWCA Civ 449 on disclosure issues);
  • Royal Bank of Scotland plc v. Highland Capital Partners LP [2012] EWHC 1278 (Comm) (Burton, J. – setting aside of anti-suit injunction for want of clean hands by applicant);
  • Uzinterimpex JSC v. Standard Bank plc [2008] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 456 (CA) (mitigation in the context of conversion, standard of knowledge in context of a knowing receipt claim).
Commercial dispute resolution

Philippa acts and advises in a wide range of general commercial disputes (see also Arbitration, above). Her practice includes injunctive work, including freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions, and commercial fraud. She has experience of dealing with public international law issues, such as state immunity, in the context of commercial litigation. She regularly acts in disputes involving both domestic and international sales of goods, and has been involved in a number of disputes concerning the sale and supply of computer software. Amongst her reported cases are:

  • Bank Mellat v. HM Treasury [2019] EWCA Civ 449 (CA): issues of disclosure and illegality under foreign law; part of this long-running dispute in which Philippa acted for HM Treasury from May 2018 onwards;
  • Aircraft Purchase Fleet Ltd v. Compania Aeria Alitalia SpA [2019] EWHC 567 (Comm) (Phillips, J.): termination of aircraft leasing framework agreement;
  • Pan Oceanic Chartering Ltd. v. UNIPEC UK Co. Ltd. [2017] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 196 (Carr, J.): successfully defended claim by shipbroker for damages in tort arising from long-term COA;
  • ADM Asia-Pacific Trading PTE Ltd. v. PT Budi Semesta Satria [2017] Lloyd’s Rep. Plus 1 (Phillips, J.): anti-suit injunctions, delay;
  • Euroil Ltd. v. Cameroon Offshore Petroleum SARL [2014] EWHC 52 (Comm), [2014] EWHC 215 (Comm) (Males, J.): setting aside of injunction relating to performance of joint operating agreement for Cameroon gas field;
  • Royal Bank of Scotland plc v. Highland Capital Partners LP [2012] EWHC 1278 (Comm) (Burton, J. – setting aside of anti-suit injunction for want of clean hands by applicant);
  • GB Gas Holdings Ltd. v. Accenture UK Ltd. [2010] EWCA Civ 912 (Field, J and CA): Philippa acted as the junior for Accenture in this high-profile and long-running commercial dispute;
  • Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Europe Ltd. v. Dow Deutschland Inc. [2010] EWCA Civ 864 (CA): claim for damages arising from illegal cartel in the synthetic rubber industry; jurisdictional dispute;
  • Statoil ASA v. Louis Dreyfus Energy Services LP (TheHarriette N”) (Aikens, J.) [2008] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 685: contract formation, unilateral mistake;
  • Kensington International Ltd. v. Republic of Congo [2008] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 161 (CA): privilege against self-incrimination, application of Fraud Act 2006;
  • The “Laemthong Glory” (No. 2) [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 668 (CA): Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999; letters of indemnity;
  • The “Laemthong Glory” (No. 1) [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 100 (Colman, J.): principles governing renewed applications for injunctive relief;
  • Nisshin Shipping Co Ltd v Cleaves & Co Ltd & Ors [2004] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 38 (Colman, J.): the first case on the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties Act) 1999 to come before the courts;
  • Molestina v. Ponton [2002] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 271: appropriate test for summary judgment (Colman, J.);
  • Lonrho v. Export Credits Guarantee Department [1999] Ch 158 (Lightman, J.): character of Crown receipts under international treaty.
Conflict of laws & private international law

This is a particular interest. Philippa advises regularly in relation to conflicts of law issues, especially jurisdictional issues, including anti-suit injunctions. Reported cases in this field include:

  • Griffin Underwriting Ltd v. Varouxakis [2019] 1 W.L.R. 2529 (Males, J.): jurisdiction under Recast Regulation in relation to tort claim by marine insurers against principal of assured;
  • ADM Asia-Pacific Trading PTE Ltd. v. PT Budi Semesta Satria [2017] Lloyd’s Rep. Plus 1 (Phillips, J.): anti-suit injunctions, delay;
  • Royal Bank of Scotland plc v. Highland Capital Partners LP [2012] EWHC 1278 (Comm) (Burton, J. (see above);
  • Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Europe Ltd. v. Dow Deutschland Inc. [2010] EWCA Civ 864 (Teare, J. and CA) (see above);
  • Cavell USA Inc v. Seaton Insurance Co. [2009] EWCA Civ 1363 (Gross, J. and CA) (see above).
Energy & natural resources

Philippa is familiar with, and has advised in relation to, a wide variety of upstream and downstream oil and gas contracts, as well as contracts for the hire/charter of drilling rigs, FSPOs and support vessels. She acted in a major dispute involving a West African production sharing contract (see Euroil Ltd. v. Cameroon Offshore Petroleum SARL [2014] EWHC 52 (Comm)).

 

Insurance & reinsurance

Philippa is recommended as a “new silk” in this field by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500. She appears in a wide variety of marine and non-marine insurance and reinsurance disputes, both in court and arbitration. Philippa is one of the editors of Arnould’s Law of Marine Insurance and Average. Reported cases include:

  • Griffin Underwriting Ltd v. Varouxakis [2019] 1 W.L.R. 2529 (Males, J.): jurisdiction under Recast Regulation in relation to tort claim by marine insurers against principal of assured;
  • Cruise & Maritime Services International Ltd. v. Navigators Underwriting Agency Ltd.: TheMarco Polo [2017] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 575 (Knowles, J.): charterers’ liability insurance; issues relating to Athens Convention;
  • Atlas Navios-Navegação Lda v. Navigators Insurance Co.: The “B Atlantic” [2012] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 629 (Hamblen, J.): operation of exceptions in marine war risks insurance;
  • Cavell USA Inc v. Seaton Insurance Co. [2009] EWCA Civ 1363 (Gross, J. and CA): construction of settlement agreement related to run-off management dispute;
  • Coromin Ltd. v. Axa Re [2007] EWHC 2818 (Cooke, J.): reinsurance of contractors’ combined insurance policy;
  • Carvill America Inc. v. Camperdown UK Ltd. [2005] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 457 (CA): brokers’ commission dispute;
  • The “Kleovoulos of Rhodes” [2003] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 138 (CA): operation of exceptions in policies of marine war risks insurance;
  • Mander v. Equitas Ltd. [2000] Lloyd’s Rep. IR 420: construction of Equitas reinsurance contract;
  • Eide U.K. Ltd. v. Lowndes Lambert Group Ltd. [1999] Q.B. 199 (CA): marine insurance broker’s lien on policy;
  • Lancashire County Council v. Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd. [1997] QB 897 (CA): liability insurance and awards of exemplary damages.
International trade, transport & commodities

Philippa acts and advises regularly in relation to disputes concerning international sales of goods (including letters of credit). She acts and advises in proceedings in court and arbitration, including trade arbitrations (e.g. GAFTA, FOSFA) and has (unusually) appeared before the FOSFA Board of Appeal. She is recommended by both the Legal 500 and the Chambers directory as a “new silk” in this area. Philippa has advised in disputes relating to the Commercial Agents Regulations, and has acted and advised in disputes relating to the CMR Convention. Reported cases include:

  • ADM Asia-Pacific Trading PTE Ltd. v. PT Budi Semesta Satria [2017] Lloyd’s Rep. Plus 1 (Phillips, J.): anti-suit injunctions; competing claims in Indonesia and FOSFA arbitration;
  • A series of challenges to awards of the International Cotton Association Ltd.: Libero Commodities S.A. v. Alexandre Augustin [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 372 (C. Butcher, Q.C.); A. Ltd. v. B. Ltd. [2015] EWHC 137 (Comm.) (Phillips, J.) and [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 393 (Andrew Smith, J.), Cottonex Anstalt v. Patriot Spinning Mills Ltd. [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 615 (Hamblen, J.), Dunavant Enterprises Inc. v. Olympia Spinning and Weaving Mills Ltd. [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 619 (Burton, J.);
  • UR Power GmbH v. Kuok Oils & Grains Pte Ltd. [2009] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 495 (Gross, J.): FOSFA arbitrations; severability of arbitration agreements; time limits applicable to 2‑tier arbitrations.

 

Media, art, entertainment

Philippa has considerable experience in this field. Instructions have included:

  • acting for a French TV channel in a dispute relating to a joint venture for activities in a different EU state;
  • acting for an art collector in relation to claims advanced by and against a prominent dealer;
  • acting for a well-known TV channel in dispute with a sales house over an airtime sales agreement;
  • representing the owners of modern art destroyed in a London warehouse fire; acting for a literary agent in a contractual dispute with a rival agency;
  • representing a London auction house holding artefacts the subject of a title dispute.
Professional negligence

Philippa is regularly asked to advise in connection with, in particular, solicitors’ negligence and insurance brokers’ negligence claims. She was the junior counsel for the successful underwriters at the trial in Aneco Reinsurance Underwriting Ltd. v. Johnson & Higgins Ltd. [1998] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 565. She acted recently for former clients of a major City firm in relation to professional negligence claims arising out of advice given by that firm.

Shipping & admiralty

This is one of Philippa’s core practice areas. She is identified as amongst the leading juniors in this area in both the Chambers directory (as a “new silk”) and in the Legal 500 (as a “tier 1” junior). Reported cases include:

  • J v. K [2019] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 323 (Butcher, J.): jurisdiction of arbitrators under hybrid arbitral/expert determination clause in superyacht construction contract;
  • Pan Oceanic Chartering Ltd. v. UNIPEC UK Co. Ltd. [2017] 2 All E.R.196 (Comm) (Carr, J.): successfully defended claim by shipbroker for damages in tort arising from long-term COA;
  • SK Shipping (S) Pte Ltd. v. Petroexport Ltd.: The “Pro Victor” [2010] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 158 (Flaux, J.: repudiation/renunciation of voyage charter);
  • The “Harriette N” [2008] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 685 (Aikens, J.: contract formation, unilateral mistake, demurrage);
  • The “Laemthong Glory” (No. 2) [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 668 (CA): Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999; letters of indemnity;
  • The “Laemthong Glory” (No. 1) [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 100 (Colman, J.): principles governing renewed applications for injunctive relief;
  • Nisshin Shipping Co Ltd v. Cleaves & Co Ltd & Ors [2004] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 38 (Colman, J.): the first case on the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties Act) 1999 to come before the courts; shipbrokers’ commissions;
  • CMA CGM S.A. v Beteiligungs-kommanditgesellschaft MS Northern Pioneer Schiffahrtgesellschaft Mbh & Co & Ors [2003] 1 WLR 1015 (CA): principles governing the seeking of permission to appeal from arbitration awards under the Arbitration Act 1996; time charter; war clauses.

As well as appearing regularly in court on shipping cases, Philippa appears in many LMAA and ad-hoc shipping arbitrations (she is a Supporting Member of the LMAA), and advises in relation to a wide range of bill of lading, charterparty and related disputes. She has considerable experience in dealing with complex technical issues. Recent instructions have included acting in an LMAA arbitration concerning the seizure of a vessel in China; acting in an LMAA arbitration involving issues of economic duress; representing charterers in a dispute relating to the lengthy detention of a vessel; various cargo damage claims.

Philippa’s shipping practice also includes acting in ship sale and shipbuilding disputes, mostly in arbitration. Recent instructions include acting for a shipyard in relation to a dispute over the construction of a superyacht; acting for buyers in relation to a claim for rescission of an agreement for the sale and purchase of a cruise ship for misrepresentation; a dispute relating to the provision of refund guarantees in a ship sale contract.

 

Career
  • Called to the Bar in 1994 by the Middle Temple.
  • Joined Essex Court Chambers as a pupil in October 1994.
  • Became a tenant at Essex Court Chambers in October 1995.
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel in February 2018.

Before joining Chambers and whilst undertaking the Bar Vocational Course, Philippa was a law lecturer at Merton College, Oxford from 1993-1994.

Philippa worked as a research assistant at the Law Commission in the summer of 1994. Her work there was published as Parliamentary Procedures and the Law Commission — A Research Study, (Law Commission, November 1994).

Philippa assisted Lord Woolf and Sir William Blair in the preparation and drafting of new legislation for the Qatar Financial Centre, and the establishment of the Qatar Financial Centre Civil and Commercial Court.

Philippa is the co-author of Colman, Lyon & Hopkins: The Practice and Procedure of the Commercial Court (6th edn.) and is a contributing editor to the 19th edition of Arnould’s Law of Marine Insurance and Average (published 2018, with supplement due in 2019).

As a mother of three sons who has taken career breaks on three occasions, Philippa has a particular interest in equality and diversity both within Chambers and more generally within the profession. Philippa sits on Chambers’ pupillage committee and was involved in the drafting of Chambers’ parental leave policy. She is a mentor on the Bar Council’s Maternity Mentoring Scheme.

Philippa is a member of the Commercial Court Users’ Group, the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), the LCIA Young International Arbitrators Group, the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association, the British Insurance Law Association and the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (Supporting Member).

Education

1993  Merton College, Oxford: BCL – Distinction

1992  Merton College, Oxford: BA, Jurisprudence – First Class (ranked joint first in the university)

Awards

1994  Eldon Law Scholarship, awarded annually to the most promising Oxford gradate intending to practise at the Bar

1993  University of Oxford: Martin Wronker Prize (jointly) for the best overall performance in the year in Jurisprudence Final Honour Schools (University final exams)

1991  Middle Temple: Queen Mother’s Scholarship

1990  Merton College, Oxford: Postmastership (scholarship)