Ciaran Keller

Ciaran acts in international arbitrations across a wide range of commercial and chancery disputes under various institutional rules (LCIA, SIAC, UNCITRAL, DIFC-LCIA) as well ad hoc arbitrations. Ciaran also has expertise in claims to enforce or resist enforcement of foreign awards (including against states and state entities) in England and multi-jurisdictional litigation to enforce English awards overseas. He has also acted in a number of claims for and against states and state entities (for which he has been described as “the foremost junior on questions of sovereign immunity at the Bar”).

Ciaran’s practice encompasses the full range of commercial and commercial chancery disputes and has exceptional knowledge and ability to navigate disputes involving: civil fraud, banking and financial services related litigation, company, partnership and insolvency matters, energy and minerals, fiduciaries and professional negligence. He is regularly instructed in complex, large-scale international disputes (including enforcing and challenging arbitral awards, international debt recovery and obtaining and resisting freezing orders) and cases involving questions as to the appropriate choice of law or jurisdiction.

Before being called to the Bar (2004), Ciaran was a HM Fast-Stream Diplomatic, serving at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London and overseas at the United Nations in New York and the British Embassy in Lisbon (1998-2002). Ciaran was called to the bar in British Virgin Island in 2013 and regularly appears.  He is referred to within directories as “assertive in a charming and diplomatic way. He is also enormously intelligent” “Ciaran shows great judgement and self-possession” and “absolutely phenomenal and has excellent judgement” (Chambers & Partners 2024).  He was also awarded Commercial Dispute Resolution Junior of the Year in 2023 by Chambers and Partners.

Languages: Portuguese (Proficient); French (Proficient)

Freddie Onslow

Freddie has a broad commercial practice and is developing expertise in shipping and employment disputes.

She has appeared unled in the High Court (QBD and Chancery Division) seeking urgent injunctive relief; in applications in the Chancery Division; in week-long trials in the employment tribunal; in an LCIA arbitration and in applications in the Circuit Commercial Court.

As part of a team of counsel, she has appeared in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division, arbitrations (LMAA and LCIA), including in lengthy trials. Her recent work includes:

  • Representing the Man Group in Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait v Man Group, featured in The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases of 2020”, concerning allegations of large-scale bribery.
  • Acting in a multi-phase LMAA arbitration claim for damages of c. US$250m following the shipment of a dangerous cargo.
  • Acting on behalf of an insurer defending claims relating to the alleged detention of aircraft in Russia.
  • Acting in a 2-week LCIA arbitration arising out of the decommissioning of oil wells.
  • Representing a global consulting firm in an ongoing LCIA arbitration against a former employee.
  • Krishna v Gowrie and others – a 6-week trial, in which Freddie acted for the petitioners / claimants in an unfair prejudice petition involving allegations of asset stripping from a joint venture.
  • Acting for the respondent in a multi-week employment tribunal hearing, successfully defending allegations of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and perceived disability.

Freddie has a particular interest in scientific and technical disputes given her background in materials science.

Freddie is a co-author of The Encyclopaedia of International Commercial Litigation, Anthony Coleman & Simon Bryan (Ed) and has contributed to Supperstone, Goudie and Walker (ed), Judicial Review (6th edition, 2018), Chapter 15: European Union Law.

Anna Dilnot KC

Anna actively accepts arbitration appointments and has over 20 years commercial litigation experience.  Anna qualified as a commercial litigation solicitor in 2002, becoming a solicitor advocate before being called to the Bar in 2008, and taking silk in 2021.

Who’s Who 2023 notes that Anna draws widespread recommendations for her asset recovery expertise, with commentators endorsing her as “an absolutely excellent silk”. Anna was also recognised as an expert (global and national leader) in Who’s Who Legal Asset Recovery 2018 – 2022, she is described as having a “super sharp mind”, being both a “persuasive advocate” and “very impressive on her feet in complex proceedings”. For 2023, Anna is also recognised as a leading silk for commercial dispute resolution and asset recovery in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

Anna has a broad commercial and commercial chancery practice, with specialisms in conflicts of laws and civil fraud. She is experienced as an advocate in both court proceedings and international arbitration (ad hoc, LCIA, ICC, GAFTA and SIAC). Anna is also accustomed to applying laws other than English law, with recent experience in the laws of Thailand, Russia, Kazakhstan, BVI, France and Spain.

Louise Hutton KC

Louise’s practice covers commercial and commercial/chancery litigation and arbitration, including banking and finance litigation, fraud, insolvency/restructuring and company law.  Louise has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI) and also sits as arbitrator.

Before taking silk in March 2021, she had been recommended for many years as a Band 1 leading junior in the fields of Commercial Chancery and Civil Fraud by Chambers UK, which says she is “Sought after for her advice and advocacy in major pieces of fraud litigation incorporating the full spectrum of allegations. Many of her cases are banking-related” and describes her as “impressive in court – unflappable, persuasive in her advocacy and can carry the judges to a conclusion that she wants them to reach” and as having “very good knowledge of the law and good commercial judgment”.

She is also recommended in Chambers Global in Commercial Chancery, and by the Legal 500 for Banking & Finance and for Civil Fraud, which says that “Her combination of expertise in insolvency, banking litigation and fraud is invaluable” and that she has “a great instinct for what will and won’t matter when the chips are down”.  She was named in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2019.

In addition to her substantial experience of heavy trials, she has particular experience of applications for freezing orders and other interim injunctions, and for anti-suit injunctions (on various grounds including arbitration agreements; exclusive jurisdiction clauses; and vexation and oppression).

 

Jeffrey Gruder KC

Jeffrey Gruder KC, having graduated at Cambridge with a First Class with Distinction in law, has developed a high-profile arbitration practice both as advocate and arbitrator. He has vast experience of acting as Chairman, Sole and Party Appointed Arbitrator in a large variety of commercial arbitrations including LCIA, ICC, Swiss Chamber, UNCITRAL, SIAC, HKIAC, LMAA and ad hoc arbitrations. He is a sought after and well-regarded arbitrator. Jeffrey Gruder is consistently recommended as a leading arbitrator in both Legal 500 and Chambers Directories. Recent comments include:

Chambers UK Bar Guide

“Distinguished for his expertise in acting as an arbitrator in a number of high-value international disputes.”

Strengths: “Extremely impartial, efficient, on the ball and very well prepared.”

“Leading observers hold Gruder’s talents in the highest esteem, praising his “astounding intellect and great mastery of technical matters.”

“… Extremely able and thorough … with an extraordinary knowledge of the law.

“Very experienced and very bright.”

“”A very able and well-respected arbitrator who is very clever and hard-working.” “Very efficient at dealing with everything and a delight to work with.”

Legal 500

“First Class” “Strong attention to detail; incredibly responsive; collegiate and very easy to deal with

Richard Siberry KC

Prior to becoming a full-time arbitrator Richard Siberry had a broad-based practice in commercial litigation and arbitration in line with Essex Court Chambers’ profile.  In particular: shipping and carriage of goods, international trade and finance, insurance and reinsurance, banking (letters of credit, swaps, derivatives) and financial services, commodities, oil and gas and other contractual disputes, international and domestic arbitration, Brussels Convention/Regulation and other jurisdictional disputes.  He appeared regularly as advocate in the Commercial and other Courts including the House of Lords and Privy Council, and has considerable experience of heavy commercial litigation, having been involved in a number of cases of eight weeks or more duration.  As an advocate he had an extensive international arbitration practice, involving shipping, oil and gas, insurance and reinsurance, commodity and other arbitrations before a variety of tribunals, including ICC, LCIA, LMAA tribunals, and an arbitration panel in Beijing.

He has over 25 years’ experience as an arbitrator, having sat as sole arbitrator and as a member of a tribunal of three (on many occasions as chairman or president), in ICC, LCIA, LMAA, UNCITRAL, and ad hoc arbitrations in the UK and abroad, and as chairman of a Lloyd’s Disciplinary Tribunal.  For examples of recent cases, see the attached arbitration CV.