Professional practice

Simon Crookenden has an engineering background having studied Mechanical Sciences at Cambridge. He started his career in aircraft engineering and then worked in commercial management with Unilever plc and Express Dairies Ltd between 1969 and 1974. Following his transfer to the bar his early career drew on his engineering expertise. He was involved with a number of shipbuilding and ship casualty cases as well as more general shipping work involving charterparty, bill of lading and sale of goods disputes.

Simon’s practice developed to cover a wide range of commercial disputes including banking, insurance, construction and intellectual property though shipping disputes remained at the heart of his practice.

The majority of Simon’s cases as counsel were references to arbitration and it was appropriate that Simon started to accept appointments as arbitrator. He now spends most of his time acting as arbitrator though still appears as counsel from time to time.

Simon has been appointed in arbitrations under ICC, LCIA and LMAA rules and ad hoc. He also acts as a mediator.


What others say

Recommended under “Energy and Natural Resources” in the 2008 edition of a Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession (at p.1589):

“A deep thinker”, Simon Crookenden KC is particularly skilled in arbitration and mediation and is praised for his “ability to bring order and clarity to rambling cases, culling bad arguments and developing effective ones” … “Good at taking sensible strategic decisions that give you the best chance of winning”.

Examples of notable cases

Counsel for semi-public Indian oil exploration and production company in an arbitration dispute with joint venture partners regarding exploitation of off-shore Indian oil fields.

Counsel for US based investors in a dispute arbitrated in London with Russian owned companies registered in UK and Cyprus.

Counsel for control system company Hitec (now National Oil Corporation) defending a court claim arising out of an accident to deep water drill ship.

Counsel for Indian interests in London arbitration arising out of non-performance of a contract for the dismantling, removal and shipping of a power station.

Counsel for major UK based energy company in arbitration arising out of major generator failures.

Arbitration & related court applications

Appointed arbitrator under rules of LMAA, ICC, LCIA, Lloyd’s arbitration scheme and ad hoc. Notable and recent appointments include:

Sole arbitrator (in succession to Lord Alexander of Weedon) in a dispute concerning the misappropriation of shares in Gazprom by officers of a Russian registered subsidiary of an Austrian bank.

One of three LCIA arbitrators in a dispute between Norsk Hydro and Tajikistan aluminium smelter over long term barter contract.

One of three LCIA arbitrators in dispute between Dutch trading company and Bulgarian smelter over long term supply contract.

Member of an LMAA tribunal that resolved a claim arising out of the breakdown of a vessel’s main engine. The award was upheld on appeal. This case raised the issue of whether a 1993 Saleform contract incorporated the terms as to quality and fitness for purpose implied by the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This issue, although arising many times in London arbitrations, had not previously been the subject of a definitive ruling by the High Court (The “Union Power” [2012] EWHC 3537).

Chairman of an LCIA tribunal appointed to determine disputes under a contract for the construction of a major extension to a Dubai refinery.

Sole arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration involving claims under a seismic survey contract.

President of an ICC tribunal appointed to determine claims under a consultancy agreement relating to the cement business in the UAE.

Member of an LCIA tribunal appointed to resolve claims arising out of a contract for the construction of a large wood pellet plant built in Russia to supply renewable fuel to power stations.

Chairman or co-arbitrator in a number of disputes under ship-building contracts. Such disputes included failure to pay instalments when due, delay in construction and technical objections to the construction or testing of the vessel.

Member of the tribunal in a number of arbitrations under contracts for the long term supply of coal and other commodities.

Appointed by the LCIA under its expedited formation of tribunal rules as sole arbitrator in a dispute between partners in a water pipeline construction venture.


Energy & natural resources

Refinery and tanker disaster claims; disputes under oil field joint venture, long term supply and survey contracts; co-Counsel on power station construction arbitration.

Insurance & reinsurance

Coverage and avoidance issues in marine and non-marine policies; proportional and excess of loss involving both Lloyds of London and the company market.


Trained mediator at Regents College and on a course run by ADR Chambers. Acted as mediator in many fields including shipping, insurance and commodity disputes. The great majority of mediations conducted have resulted in settlements.

Shipping & admiralty

Charterparty and bills of lading disputes; cargo claims; ship sales and purchases; arbitrations under LMAA and other rules.

Major oil-rig and ship construction, modification and repair disputes.


1999      Accredited Mediator

1998      Recorder

1997      Approved ICC Arbitrator

1996      Silk

1976      Essex Court Chambers

1975      Call: Gray’s Inn (Bencher)


1975    BVC, Inns of Court School of Law

1972    MA (Mechanical Sciences), Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge

1968    BA Mechanical Sciences), Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge