Stuart Cribb

Stuart specialises in international commercial litigation and arbitration. As an advocate, he has argued at all levels of the English judicial system, including before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. In arbitration, he has advised and acted in disputes seated in various jurisdictions, and has experience of cases under the ICC, UNCITRAL, LCIA, LMAA, CIARB, SIAC and CIETAC rules.

Stuart has a particular interest in arbitrations with a connection to:

  • The Caribbean (where he is called to the bar of the British Virgin Islands, and has acted in disputes connected with the BVI, Nevis, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago);
  • Africa (where he has acted in disputes connected with Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Egypt); and
  • The Middle East (where he has acted in disputes connected with Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Iran).

Stuart has substantial experience of litigation and arbitration, with a key focused on energy and natural resources. His cases have spanned issues of force majeure relating to interruptions in supply under long-term gas sale contracts, gas pricing, production sharing agreements, and litigation arising out of catastrophic oil spills. Energy disputes in which Stuart is involved typically involve difficult technical issues of expert evidence, including in relation to the extraction, marketing and behaviour of hydrocarbons or other natural resources.

Stuart also appeared as counsel in the leading English case on challenges to arbitration awards for serious irregularity under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996, Therapy Beach Club Incorporated v RAV Bahamas Limited & Bimini Resort Management Limited [2006] 1 A.C. 221.

Matthieu Gregoire

Matthieu graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2008, completed his masters at Sciences Po Paris in 2010 and his LLM at Georgetown, D.C in 2010.  He was called to the New York Bar in 2011 during his time at an international law firm in Paris before being called to the Bar in England and Wales in 2013.  Since 2015, he has been Adjunct Professor of International Commercial Arbitration at Pepperdine University and appointed to the Attorney General’s PIL C Panel in 2017 whilst studying for the Paris Bar.

Matthieu specialises in commercial litigation, international commercial arbitration, and investor-state arbitrations.  He is recommended in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading junior  in international arbitration, public international law, commercial litigation and was a nominee in the Legal 500 Bar Awards for International Arbitration Junior of the Year 2022.

Matthieu’s has acted for governments, corporations and individuals in oil and gas, renewable energy, mining, manufacturing and finance disputes.  Many of which have included issues of civil fraud. Matthieu has recently acted in the following arbitrations:

  • Acted and/or advised in matters before all levels of English courts, in commercial and international disputes.
  • Acted and/or advised in numerous investment treaty arbitrations pursuant to a wide array of investment treaties with issues relating to most major legal sectors.  With exceptional experience of ICSID, SCC, UNCITRAL and ad hoc rules.  Matthieu’s recent experience also includes disputes under the OIC Investment Agreement and intra-EU BITs.
  • Acted and/or advised in numerous commercial arbitrations, with experience of  ad-hoc and institutional rules (ICC, LCIA, SCC, UNCITRAL), across a range of sectors and industries.  Many of which included issues relating to  a variety of international governing laws.
  • Advised States, non-governmental organisations, private commercial entities and private individuals on a diversity of commercial, arbitration and public international law issues, including treaty interpretation, WTO/Trade law, and implications of Brexit.

Helen Morton

Helen is an experienced lawyer with an established practice spanning the full range of commercial disputes. She acts as both sole and junior counsel and regularly appears in the Business and Property Courts and in arbitration.

Helen is particularly experienced in heavy commercial litigation, civil fraud, private international law, shipping, insurance and data protection. She acts in both the advisory and contentious contexts at all stages of the dispute resolution process, from initial advice to trial and enforcement actions.

She is currently acting in the notable s.69 arbitration appeal, Fimbank Plc v KCH Shipping Co, in which the Commercial Court determined in September 2022 that the Article III Rule 6 time-bar in the Hague-Visby Rules applies to misdelivery of cargo post-discharge. The position was previously undecided with debate in the caselaw, commentaries and international community going both ways. As the point arises frequently across the industry, the decision has considerable commercial significance and is currently being appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Other recent work highlights include acting:

  • For the defendants in US$ 2 billion fraud proceedings (Suppipat & Ors v Nop Narongdej & Ors), a multi-party conspiracy claim concerning the shares of Thailand’s largest renewable energy company;
  • For the claimant in one of the high-profile proceedings against the SFO (ENRC v The Director of the SFO, Gibson & Puddick) which includes claims for breach of confidence, misfeasance in public office and unlawful means conspiracy;
  • For the claimant in a major class action in relation to largescale data breaches by a global social media platform (SMO (A child) v TikTok); and
  • On behalf of the UK Government in a long running multi-billion pound damages dispute (Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury) in which the Court of Appeal issued an important judgment on disclosure where there is an alleged risk of foreign prosecution.

Helen is co-author of the forthcoming edition of ‘The Common Law Jurisprudence of the Conflict of Laws, Hart’ which is due to be published in May 2023. Her chapter, ‘The Mixed Blessing of Vita Food Products: The Impact and Influence of the Privy Council’s Decision’, addresses issues in the conflict of laws and shipping.

Stephen Donnelly

Stephen started his arbitrator journey as Tribunal Secretary to many of the worlds most recognised arbitrators. Stephen is versatile with a practice that encompasses commercial and chancery disputes and cases raising issues of public international law in international and domestic courts. He has appeared as sole counsel at all levels, including in the Privy Council, and is regularly instructed in heavy cases before courts and arbitral tribunals. The Legal 500 describes him as, ‘First rate and very hard working. He is also a good team player with the ability to fit in and get on with a wide spread of individuals. Incredible attention to detail, wise beyond his years and an intellectual powerhouse.’  He is also a practising advocate in Scotland, and is a Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government.

In 2020 Stephen was appointed to the Attorney General’s public international law C panel of counsel. In 2021 he was promoted to the London B panel.

Stephen is an author of the forthcoming edition of Company Directors (OUP), has had articles on international law and on human rights published in leading journals, and is an assistant editor of the European Human Rights Reports.

Before coming to the bar, Stephen was judicial assistant to Lord Kerr in the Supreme Court and Privy Council, and taught public international law at the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London. He studied law at Glasgow, Oxford, and Yale (as a Fulbright scholar and board member of the Yale Journal of International Law).

Stephen is fluent in French and has a working knowledge of several other languages.

Sophia Hurst

Sophia’s practice spans a range of commercial and commercial chancery disputes, both in arbitration and litigation.

She has particular expertise in civil fraud and asset recovery and is recommended as a Leading Junior in the directories, where she is described as “incredibly calm, a super clear and succinct drafter, a real team player” and “Incredibly dependable”.  Sophia’s practice also encompasses contractual claims, M&A, joint venture and shareholder disputes, and matters relating to directors/fiduciary duties, banking and finance, and contentious trusts. Examples of her subject-matter expertise are highlighted below. Sophia has experience acting for a broad range of clients across numerous sectors, including major banks, funds, and energy, construction, telecoms and emerging technology companies.

Sophia’s practice often involves disputes with an international or cross-border element and she frequently advises on issues relating to jurisdiction (including applicability of arbitration or jurisdiction clauses) and enforcement of awards and judgments. As well as her London-based practice, she has particular experience in the BVI, where she has been called since undertaking a secondment in 2018, and the Middle East, where she has a substantial practice before locally-seated arbitral tribunals as well as the courts in DIFC and ADGM.

Sophia has published articles, delivered seminars and  appeared on panels on topics related to her practice, including at ICC FraudNet, and the Private Client Global Elite Rising Leaders’ Forum.

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.

Jackie McArthur

Jackie has a diverse practice spanning commercial, public and international law. Her commercial practice includes both litigation and arbitration, and encompasses especially conflict of laws, high-value commercial and contract disputes, shareholder litigation, and general commercial disputes.  Jackie also practices in public law, acting for and advising both private and government clients in judicial review claims, international law, and human rights. She is a member of both the Attorney-General’s London C Panel, and the Attorney General’s Public International Law C Panel. Jackie has acted, as sole and junior counsel, in the Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division, the Administrative Court and the County Court.

Jackie has a particular specialisation in international disputes and advising – encompassing especially investor-state arbitration, public international law, and the conflict of laws. She is described by Legal 500’s public international law rankings for 2022 as “hard working, very clear, very smart and very thorough, as well as being a pleasure to work with.” Jackie has acted in numerous investor-State arbitrations, under the ICSID Convention, and the ICC, SCC, LCIA and UNCITRAL Rules.  She has also acted in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights and specialised United Nations agencies. She has advised numerous governments as well as private clients on international law matters spanning sanctions, the law of the sea, the law of armed conflict, international human rights law, state immunity, treaty interpretation and international administrative law.  She was the co-author of a high profile opinion on issues of international criminal liability and state responsibility for crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uyghur population. Jackie also acted for two years as an Assistant Legal Adviser to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, advising on trade law, and on aspects of treaty law and implementation.  In this capacity, Jackie has developed a particular expertise in the developing legal implications of Brexit.

After graduating first in her year at the University of Western Australia, Jackie was elected as a Rhodes Scholar. She completed the BCL and an MPhil in Law, both with distinction, at the University of Oxford.  She has lectured, and been a course co-ordinator, in transnational litigation and conflict of laws at King’s College London.  Before coming to the bar, Jackie qualified as a lawyer in Australia, and worked in the Western Australian government legal service. Before completing pupillage at Essex Court Chambers, she was Associate to the Hon. Justice Kiefel, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Naomi Hart

Naomi has a diverse practice in international, commercial, public and human rights law. She was identified as one of the Hot 100 by The Lawyer in 2023. She has appeared in the major directories for several years, with listings in Public International Law, International Arbitration, and International Human Rights Law.

Naomi’s commercial practice encompasses civil fraud, conflict of laws, shipping and general commercial disputes. She acts as junior and sole counsel, having recently appeared in the Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and the King’s Bench Division (including the Administrative Court). She has also been involved in cases before the courts of the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Mauritius, Sweden, Türkiye, Norway, Australia and Malaysia (among others). Her commercial arbitration experience includes proceedings under the DIFC, LCIA, ICC, PCA, SCC, ICSID, UNCITRAL and LMAA Rules.

Naomi has an extensive practice in public international law. She has acted in six cases before the International Court of Justice as well as in proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization. She is routinely involved in cases before English and foreign domestic courts which involve questions of public international law as well as in investor-State disputes. Across this range of cases, she has advised and acted for governments, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and private parties on matters relating to territorial delimitation, self-determination, the law of the sea, occupation of territory, war crimes, genocide, privileges and immunities, climate change, international administrative law, sanctions, international trade law, the act of State doctrine, and inter-State espionage. She also has a wide human rights practice before English, international and foreign domestic courts, much of which is pro bono.

Naomi attained a doctorate from the University of Cambridge on the topic of espionage and public international law, for which she was awarded the Faculty of Law’s Yorke Prize for a thesis “of exceptional quality, which makes a substantial contribution to its relevant field of legal knowledge”. She has published widely on human rights, international refugee law, investor-State arbitration and general international law.

In 2020, Naomi was appointed to both the Public International Law C Panel of Junior Counsel and the Attorney General’s London C Panel of Civil Counsel. She is also a Trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and a member of the Bar Council’s International Committee.

Naomi is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales. At the University of Sydney, she received First Class Honours in her Law degree (ranking second in her year) and the University Medal and First Class Honours in History (ranking first in her year).

Claudia Renton

Claudia has a broad and diverse commercial practice spanning domestic and international commercial litigation and arbitration with particular expertise in media, art and entertainment law and civil fraud. She has been recognized as a leading junior (Tier 1) for Art and Cultural Property Law by the Legal 500 since 2017 where she is described as an “Art fraud and contractual breach expert…A phenomenal junior, unflappable and extremely hard-working” (2021).

Claudia is an experienced advocate. She has appeared unled before arbitral tribunals and in the High Court, County Courts and the Employment Tribunal; and as junior counsel in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, numerous arbitrations (including under the LMAA Terms (2012), LCIA Arbitration Rules, American Arbitration Association Rules, ICC Rules and DIAC) and in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts.

Her recent cases include: Sotheby’s v Mark Weiss Ltd in which Claudia, led by Joe Smouha KC, was instructed on behalf of an art gallery and its owner in a case concerning the sale of an alleged Old Master (said to be by Frans Hals) under a private treaty agreement, which was then alleged to be counterfeit; ICICI Bank UK plc v Assam Oil Co & Ors in which she was instructed, as junior to David Joseph KC, to resist a summary judgment claim for $70 million under a term loan said to be due. Other recent instructions include: acting (led by Ricky Diwan KC) for a foreign state in relation to the attempted enforcement of a $48 million judgment debt raising issues under the State Immunity Act 1978; acting (led by Richard Millett KC) for the Receivers of the shares of Nevis companies said to be worth in excess of $200 million and the Directors of those companies in multi-jurisdictional litigation concerning the disputed ownership of those shares; acting (led by Paul Stanley KC) in an ad hoc arbitration concerning a dispute between limited liability partners in an investment management business.

Claudia is accustomed to working closely with foreign lawyers; and both as sole counsel and part of a larger team. She is uniquely familiar with the DIFC and she has advised the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts on their Arbitration and Court Rules.

Claudia is the author of Those Wild Wyndhams, a biography of the Wyndham sisters (HarperCollins, 2014 (UK and worldwide); Knopf 2018 (US)), which won the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2014. She is also co-author of Heroes (Quercus 2007). In her previous career as an actress she appeared on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the National Theatre, and on television in series for the BBC and ITV.

Neil Hart KC

Neil Hart has a wide-ranging practice in the field of commercial litigation and arbitration, encompassing shipping and shipbuilding (including superyacht construction, sale and charter), insurance (marine and non-marine), commodities, energy, and shareholder / joint venture disputes. He has acted as an advocate in Court (including in arbitration applications) and in UNCITRAL, LCIA, LMAA, ICC, SIAC and ad hoc arbitrations in London, Singapore and Hong Kong. He has considerable experience of advising clients in multijurisdictional disputes involving different systems of law, and related issues involving interlocutory relief and post-award enforcement. Neil is one of the editors of Arnould’s Law of Marine Insurance and Average.

Neil has strong relationships with the commercial law sector in Beirut (where he is a frequent visitor) and has recently been instructed by Lebanese firms in disputes arising in the Gulf region under the laws of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He is currently acting pro bono in proceedings before the High Court in London for victims of the Beirut Port Explosion of 4 August 2020.  Neil also has considerable experience of working with Chinese law firms and of disputes involving (parallel) Chinese court proceedings.  He acted as Counsel to the Gold Inquiry into allegations concerning donors and donations to the Conservative Party.