Spotlight on new Silks: Neil Hart QC

21 March, 2022

Neil Hart QC’s practice covers a hugely diverse range of commercial disputes, in UNCITRAL, ICC, SIAC, LCIA and LMAA arbitration, and hard-fought litigation in the Commercial Court and on appeal.  He is currently acting for a US based internet gaming company in a high-value dispute with Russian investors over the development of, and intellectual property in, a suite of role playing games. He has extensive experience of working with law firms in the Middle East, recently acting for Lebanese subcontractors in the Doha airport litigation and for Saudi owners against Indian contractors in relation to the construction of a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia; he spends several months each year in Beirut and has extensive relationships with law firms in Lebanon. In the domain of directors’ and shareholders’ disputes, he has recently acted for the director of a bloodstock company in relation to credit advanced to a customer for the purchase of racehorses, and is currently instructed by the owner of a nightclub in Mayfair in proceedings in the Commercial Court relating to bitterly contested co-ownership rights asserted by a director.

Before taking silk, Neil was known as one of the most experienced and user-friendly shipping juniors at the London bar, noted as a “very astute” advocate while remaining “a great team player” and “very easy and enjoyable to work with”. Regularly instructed by P&I clubs and English or overseas law firms, Neil is known for his technical expertise (notably marine engineering, naval architecture and fuel chemistry) and wide sector knowledge in the maritime field, particularly with regard to disputes concerning charterparties, shipbuilding and shiprepair (of both carriers and superyachts), general average and ship sale and purchase. He was junior counsel for the successful shipowners in the Supreme Court in the leading case on constructive total loss, The Renos (2019), and is one of the editors of Arnould’s Law of Marine Insurance and Average. He is currently instructed in a CTL dispute with underwriters following the armed seizure and confiscation of a vessel by a militia purporting to be the Libyan coastguard, and for an oil company in a claim against Belgian insurers in relation to the theft of a consignment of oil from the DCT terminal in Trieste, following the mafia infiltration which came to light in December 2020. He is rated as “supremely effective” in the field of trade and commodities.

Neil acted as Counsel to the Gold Inquiry concerning donors and donations to the Conservative Party. He has a substantial pro bono practice, with a particular focus on the vulnerable or elderly; he has been an AGE UK volunteer and weekly visitor since 2011. Neil is currently instructed by Dechert LLP to act pro bono for the Lebanese Bar Association and the victims of the Beirut Port Blast in Commercial Court proceedings in London.

View Neil’s full profile here.