Professional practice

Sebastian is developing a broad commercial and arbitration practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He has experience in a wide range of practice areas including civil fraud, commodities, shipping, banking, partnership and public international law.

Sebastian’s recent and current instructions include:

  • acting (led by Mark Howard KC and instructed by Mishcon de Reya) for Nigeria in FRN v P&ID, an eight-week Commercial Court trial leading to the setting aside of the US$11 billion arbitration award against Nigeria. The case won GAR’s 2024 Most Important Decision Award and is said to have sent “shock waves” through “the usually discreet world of international arbitration” (The Times) and “put a spotlight on the role of London’s arbitration courts” (Financial Times);
  • acting (led by Tim Akkouh KC and instructed by Slaughter and May) in Chugga Chugg v Privinvest in Commercial Court proceedings arising out of a shipbuilding arbitration;
  • acting (led by Angeline Welsh KC and Clifford Chance) in BCB and Prize Holdings v Belize in a PCA arbitration arising out of a port infrastructure project;
  • acting (led by foreign counsel) in an eight-figure Swiss commodities arbitration governed by English law;
  • acting (led by Tim Akkouh KC and instructed by Candey) in Rogachev v Goryainov, a 12-day Chancery trial arising out of a partnership dissolution.

Sebastian studied law at Cambridge (where he graduated 4th in his year), Oxford and Harvard and won prizes in Commercial Law and Conflict of Laws. He speaks fluent French and Dutch.

 

Career

2022: Tenant at Essex Court Chambers

2021-2022: Pupil at Essex Court Chambers (supervised by Tom Ford)

2021: Called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn

Education

2019-2020: LLM, Harvard Law School

2018-2019: Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction), University of Oxford

2016-2017: Erasmus, Universiteit Utrecht

2014-2018: Bachelor of Arts in Law (First Class, 4th in year), University of Cambridge

Awards

2020: Lord Denning Scholar

2019: Belgian American Education Foundation Fellow

2019: Monckton Chambers Prize for highest mark in Competition Law

2018: Fountain Court Chambers Scholar

2018: Herbert Smith Freehills Prize for highest mark in Conflict of Laws

2018: Norton Rose Fulbright Prize for highest mark in Commercial Law

2018: Bateman Scholar

Arbitration & related court applications

Sebastian has experience of international and commercial arbitrations (under various arbitration rules) and related court applications, including challenges to awards under sections 67 and 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

Banking & financial services

Sebastian has experienced a number of banking and financial services disputes:

  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with advice on the merits of potential claims in negligence and misrepresentation against a bank arising out an alleged advisory duty.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers in respect of an appeal against a Bermuda judgment involving claims in negligence and fraud against a bank: Bidzina Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with advice in respect of the scope and effect of a non-assignment clause in the context of disposals of distressed debt.
Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Sebastian has experienced a number of civil fraud matters:

  • Acting for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in FRN v P&ID, an eight-week fraud trial in the Commercial Court in 2023, regarding an application to set aside an arbitration award on grounds of fraud and public policy. The case was identified by The Lawyer as one of the Top 20 cases of 2023.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with drafting amendments to statements of case and resisting summary judgement in a bribery claim.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with advice in respect of the postponement of limitation under section 32 of the Limitations Act 1980 in the context of a dishonest assistance claim.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with drafting statements of case in a misrepresentation claim arising out of fraudulent invoicing.
Conflict of laws & private international law

Sebastian has an interest in private international law and came top of his year in conflict of laws at the University of Cambridge. Sebastian has experience of cases raising jurisdictional and choice of law issues. Examples include:

  • Acting for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in FRN v P&ID, which raised issues of Nigerian law.
  • Assisting Tom Ford in respect of a dispute concerning share options granted in relation to the sale of a major telecommunications group, which raised issues of Swiss law: Kinsella v Emasan AG.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers in respect of an application for an anti-arbitration injunction.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with advice as to the scope of the jurisdiction to stay proceedings under Brussels I Recast.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with initial advice regarding parallel proceedings in the United States for a declaration of non-liability and the merits of a potential anti-suit injunction.
Energy & natural resources

Sebastian’s work includes disputes arising in the energy sector.

European law & competition

Sebastian has an interest in EU and competition law. He came top of his year in competition law at the University of Oxford.

Recent instructions include advising on the merits of tortious claims based on breaches of EU law. During pupillage, Sebastian assisted Members of Chambers with advice on various EU conflict of laws instruments.

Insurance & reinsurance

Sebastian experienced insurance and reinsurance matters during pupillage. His recent work incudes advice on the construction of warranties in an insurance policy.

International Trade & Transport

Sebastian has experience of several commodities and international trade arbitrations:

  • His recent instructions include an arbitration under the Swiss rules concerning a dispute as to the quality of goods.
  • During pupillage, he assisted a Member of Chambers with drafting statements of case in an arbitration under the ICC Rules.
Offshore litigation

During pupillage, Sebastian was exposed to various offshore litigation matters. He worked on cases based in, and involving the laws of, Gibraltar and Bermuda.

Professional negligence

During pupillage, Sebastian was exposed to various professional negligence matters. Examples include:

  • Assisting a Member of Chambers with advice on the merits of potential claims in negligence and misrepresentation against a bank arising out an alleged advisory duty.
  • Assisting a Member of Chambers in respect of an appeal against a Bermuda judgment involving claims in negligence and fraud against a bank.

He also drafted statements of case in a claim involving allegations of negligence on the part of legal advisors.

Public international law

Sebastian has an interest in public international law, including international investment law. His current instructions include an arbitration claim brought under a bilateral investment treaty.

Public international law featured strongly in Sebastian’s academic training. At the University of Oxford, he studied the international law of the sea and the use of force. He competed in the Telders International Law Moot in The Hague, where his team ranked second place for the applicant.

Shipping & admiralty

In line with Chambers’ areas of work, Sebastian’s commercial work has involved shipping matters. Sebastian accepts instructions in this area.

Sport, Media, Art & Entertainment

During pupillage, Sebastian assisted a Member of Chambers with advice in respect of the scope of the regulatory powers of a sports governing body.

Unjust enrichment & restitution claims

In line with Chambers’ areas of work, Sebastian’s commercial work has involved unjust enrichment and restitution issues. He studied the law of unjust enrichment as part of his Cambridge degree.