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.

Nigel Eaton KC

Nigel Eaton KC regularly accepts arbitration appointments with experience of both domestic and international arbitration.  He has a broad-based Counsel practice in domestic and international commercial disputes, with a particular focus on shipping, ship construction, international trade & commodities, insurance & reinsurance, energy-related disputes, and related areas. Described as “analytically brilliant and an excellent advocate”, Nigel has over 20 years’ experience before the English Courts, both at first instance (particularly in the Commercial Court) and appellate level, and before domestic and international arbitration tribunals, both ad hoc and institutional, including ICC, LCIA, LMAA, UNCITRAL, and FOSFA/GAFTA. He is ranked as a leading practitioner by professional directories, and rated as “an extraordinarily able black-letter lawyer” who “brings an intellectual rigour to cases” and is “client-friendly in his approach”.

Nigel’s shipping practice includes disputes under bills of lading, contracts of affreightment, time charters, voyage charters, and demise charters, and covers a full range of issues, including seaworthiness, cargo claims, hire and off-hire, unsafe ports, dangerous cargoes, and laytime & demurrage. He has extensive experience of disputes involving a wide range of both dry and liquid bulk cargoes, containerised cargoes, and a variety of vessel types, including bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, LNG carriers, rigs and specialised offshore vessels, ro-ro transporters, and fast ferries. Nigel has also acted in many shipbuilding disputes under SAJ and CMAC and other standard-forms and variants. He has experience of ship sale & purchase disputes under the Norwegian Saleform and other contract forms.

In international trade, Nigel acts in disputes under CIF, FOB and other forms of contract for the sale & purchase of a wide variety of goods, including oil, gas, chemicals, coal, steel, ores, grains and other foodstuffs, and other commodities,. His practice includes disputes about title, quality and rejection, price and price adjustment, frustration, and the impact of sanctions, and covers long-term and instalment contracts as well as one-off sales. Nigel also has considerable experience of disputes about financial instruments used in international trade, including guarantees, performance bonds, and letters of credit.

Nigel’s insurance & reinsurance experience covers both marine and non-marine business in areas including property, liability, P&I, and professional indemnity. He acts in disputes about coverage, construction of policies, avoidance, and causation and loss. Nigel has experience of political risks policies, including disputes relating to investments in a range of projects in Africa, China, South America, and other parts of the world. He was involved in litigation about the LMX spiral and claims brought by Lloyd’s names against underwriters and agents, and has acted in disputes about both proportional and non-proportional reinsurance.

In energy, Nigel’s experience includes disputes involving joint ventures, field and operating agreements, pipeline & transportation contracts, gas sale agreements, and electricity supply agreements. He has been involved in a number of cases about long term contracts for the supply of coal to power stations.

Nigel regularly deals with procedural and remedial matters which arise in litigation and arbitration, including jurisdiction challenges, disputes about applicable law and other conflicts of law issues, and injunctions and other interlocutory applications.

Siddharth Dhar

Siddharth regularly sits as arbitrator since 2010 and has experience of all institutional rules and ad-hoc arbitrations.

Siddharth also acts as an advocate and advisor in substantial commercial litigation and arbitration disputes spanning the full breadth of Chambers’ work. In recent years, he has appeared in cases before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, all divisions of the High Court, and in very high value commercial and investment treaty arbitrations operating under a wide variety of institutional rules.

Siddharth is recognised as a leading junior barrister. He was awarded Junior of the Year (across all practice areas) at the Legal 500 UK Bar Awards in 2022.  He is the only junior ranked as a “Star Individual” for International Arbitration by Chambers & Partners; was Chambers & Partners’ International Arbitration Junior of the Year in 2015; and has been nominated for that same award three times (in 2018, 2015 and 2014). In 2018 he was also nominated as Arbitration Junior of the Year at the Legal 500 Awards.

He is regularly instructed as the sole advocate, or as part of a larger counsel team (whether that is with a Silk or leading a more junior barrister). He has been variously described by his clients as “an exceptional barrister” and “exceedingly gifted”; a “simply excellent junior” and as being “always on top of his brief and very client friendly”.

Siddharth’s Counsel practice spans three main areas: (1) commercial litigation (including arbitration-related applications to the Commercial Court); (2) commercial arbitration; and (3) investor/state arbitration. Representative examples of recent cases are given below.

Lucas Bastin KC

With 15 years of litigation and arbitration experience and standing as the current Legal 500 International Arbitration Junior of the Year, Lucas has a versatile practice across an array of practices areas, albeit with most of his work relating to his expertise in public international law, international arbitration and commercial litigation relating thereto.

Lucas previously practised for several years in a global law firm, before carrying across to the Bar a strong full-time practice in these areas.  The strength of his practice has been recognised through the rankings awarded during his first full year of practice at the Bar.  He was ranked as a leading junior in public international law and international arbitration.  He is now routinely ranked as a Tier 1 junior in all the major directories.

Lucas’ law firm experience in handling large and complex disputes and advices, makes him well suited to this area of practice, and to understanding and answering the pressures teams face when handling such matters.  Lucas also accepts arbitral appointments under all arbitral rules.

Professor Dan Sarooshi KC

Dan Sarooshi QC is an experienced advocate with a track record of success in high profile cases. He is a specialist in public international law, investment treaty arbitration, and constitutional and public law. He also has considerable experience in high value commercial litigation. He is a veteran of many cases in international courts (International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, WTO, UN Tribunals); investment arbitrations (ICSID, ICSID AF, ECT, PCA, NAFTA, ICC, UNCITRAL, and LCIA); and the highest domestic courts in the UK, Hong Kong, and Bahamas as well as in domestic employment tribunals. In the area of international law alone he has argued 20 cases in the past three years as advocate and counsel for States, international organisations, and corporations.

His clients include 18 States (e.g. UK and USA), 15 international organizations, and corporations (e.g. BAT, Hitachi, Roche, and Tesco). Before taking Silk, he was a member of both the UK Attorney General (AG) Panel of Counsel for Public International Law cases and the AG Panel of Counsel for Constitutional and Commercial Law cases.

The independent legal directories – Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 – and client quotes say he “has the well-earned reputation to be counted among the finest in London”, is “as good as they come”, “a precious commodity” “at the top of his game”, “combines immense intelligence” with “a wealth of experience of appearing before international and domestic courts, including the ICJ and the English High Court”. “His written and oral advocacy is exemplary. It was superb and won the day. He is a natural and easy leader of a team. Clients trust him with bet-the-country/company cases.” He has “superior skill and creativity as an elite advocate in the field of public law.” He is “clearly one of the leaders at the Bar for public international law”, an “extremely bright advocate with a keen sense of strategy and excellent litigation instincts”, and is “a dream to work with”. “He has an excellent record of representing governments, international organisations and FTSE 100 companies”. His “articulation of public international law is second to none” and as “a resourceful advocate, he offered answers and avenues of recourse in situations where other UK counsel could offer none”.

His standing in the field of international arbitration was recognised by his appointment by the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee in Dec. 2020 to serve on the list of arbitrators to hear Brexit-related disputes arising from the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. In the area of international trade, he was in 2006 appointed as a Member of the WTO Dispute Settlement list of Panellists (jointly nominated by the UK and EU).

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).

 

James Willan KC

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of James Willan to become one of the new Queen’s Counsel in March 2021.

James’ Barrister practice extends across the full range of commercial, banking and finance, fraud, conflict of laws, commercial chancery and offshore disputes.  He holds nine top-tier (band 1) rankings across legal directories which include commercial litigation, banking and international arbitration.  James is also singled out by Chambers & Partners as a “Star Individual” for civil fraud.

Before taking silk, James was recognised as one of the leading juniors at the commercial bar.  He is the only junior barrister to have been identified by Chambers & Partners as one of its “Stars at the Bar”, who have proved their excellence across a range of practice areas which is supported by the following editorial:

There are sources who say that James Willan of Essex Court Chambers is “destined for huge things”; one might say, taking his considerable achievements and our researchers’ findings in the round, that he has well and truly arrived. A junior of 16 years call at the publication of the 2021 rankings, Willan is star-rated for his civil fraud practice and is also considered one of the leading barristers in banking and finance, commercial litigation, international arbitration, offshore and commercial chancery cases working in London today. Indeed, he has become a “senior junior of choice for complex, cross-border disputes.” Sources note that he regularly appears unled against KCs and “holds his own,” and that he is “an excellent barrister at his level who will no doubt be a superstar further down the line,” declaring themselves “extremely impressed with his written submissions as well as his oral advocacy.” Others are unabashedly fulsome in their praise, with one describing him as “remarkably brilliant – an absolute superstar who is spectacular on his feet, even completely by himself.” Alongside Willan’s clear mastery of his craft, it is reflections on his intellectual acuity that resonate most. Source after source remarks on his ability to “grasp complex, detailed points very quickly” and his “wonderful way of pursuing the complicated points.” …

James’ standing across his broad range of practices is further reflected by being awarded “Junior of the Year” in three fields: Banking (Chambers Bar Awards, 2020), Commercial Litigation (Legal 500, 2017) and International Arbitration (Chambers Bar Awards, 2016).  He also appeared in The Lawyer’s “Hot 100”, which described him as “one of the big names at the bar in civil fraud and banking and finance litigation”.

James wins praise from his clients for combining strong analytical skills (“a brain the size of a planet”, “one of the most intellectually brilliant counsel you could come across”, “the brightest junior at the Bar”) with powerful advocacy (“simply astonishing in full flow, definitely a future super-silk”, “a brilliantly analytical and fast-thinking advocate”, “spectacular on his feet”, “an exceptional barrister who can read the courts and judges well”).

James most frequently appears as case leader or sole counsel (in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and a wide variety of ad hoc and institutional arbitrations) in addition to acting as a member of larger teams on heavyweight litigation, including some of the largest cases to come before the courts in recent years.  He is equally at home in court as he is in arbitration.

James is also instructed frequently in connection with litigation globally. He has appeared in the BVI Commercial Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, and has been admitted ad hoc and appeared in both the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands.  James was also a member of the Attorney General’s “A Panel” for civil counsel until his appointment was approved as silk.

Benedict Tompkins

Benedict has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. He has particular experience in banking, civil fraud, private international law (including freezing injunctions), public international law (including immunity issues), shipping, and general commercial disputes. He also has an impressive investment arbitration practice, representing both investors and host states.

Benedict has acted in proceedings in the High Court (Commercial Court, Financial List and QBD), Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court, as well as in the County Courts and the Employment Tribunal. In addition to led work, Benedict has appeared as sole advocate in the Commercial Court, and in a number of general commercial County Court trials and applications.

In arbitration, he has appeared in or advised on proceedings under the ICSID, ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, SIAC, LMAA and UNCITRAL Rules, seated both in London and abroad. Benedict also sits as an arbitrator.

Highlights of Benedict’s recent or current work include acting: (i) for the primary defendant in Suppipat v Narongdej (Commercial Court), a $2 billion multi-party fraud claim arising out of the sale of Thailand’s largest renewable energy firm; (ii) for Oceanwood in Cyrus Opportunities Master Fund II, Ltd v Oceanwood Opportunities Master Fund, Financial List proceedings raising issues under the Market Abuse Regulation in relation to the trading of debt securities, (iii) for the Republic of India in Vedanta Resources Ltd v India, a multi-billion dollar claim alleging breaches of an investment treaty by way of a taxation measure, and (iv) as sole counsel for the French Republic in Buttet v Ambassade de France au Royaume-Uni, successfully asserting state immunity in respect of a claim by a former security contractor at the French embassy to the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers Benedict qualified in New Zealand, where he prosecuted serious criminal cases before moving to commercial practice. He has appeared both led and un-led in the New Zealand courts. He tutors in international commercial arbitration at King’s College London.

He graduated first in his year from the Universities of Auckland and Cambridge.

Angeline Welsh

Angeline actively accepts arbitral appointments with substantial experience as sole, co-arbitrator or presiding arbitrator who has been accepting appointments since 2016.

Angeline is currently co-chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee’s ESG Subcommittee which is currently focused on the use of arbitration to resolve business and human rights  disputes.  She  also  serves  on  the  ICC  UK  Selections  Subcommittee  and on  the  Arbitration Committee of the Lagos Court of Arbitration. She regularly speaks and writes on the subject to arbitration law and procedure and is currently editing the 25th Ed of Russell on Arbitration, the leading textbook on English arbitration law.

Angeline Welsh is a well-known and highly regarded arbitration expert having specialised in this field for well over a decade.  In 2020, Angeline was recognised as a Global Leader for Arbitration by Who’s Who Legal, having been recommended for some time as both a Thought Leader and Leading Junior at the English Bar for arbitration. She is  described in  Chambers 2020 (UK and Global) as having an “impressive mastery of the details of the case and of technical legal arguments” as well as “[e]xtremely hands-on, approachable and a real team player.” Angeline was named as a ‘Star at the Bar’ by Legal Week in recognition of her “excellent judgement and leadership qualities” and not being frightened to tackle novel and difficult areas of law, or “to deal head-on with the more complicated aspects of a case”.

Prior to moving to the English Bar at the end of 2015, Angeline was  Counsel and Solicitor Advocate in the International Arbitration Group of a major international law firm, spending more than a decade in their London office, some of which was spent on secondment to the Hong Kong office and the LCIA Secretariat. She has worked with counsel in  a wide range of jurisdictions including India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Belize, Hong Kong, Turks & Caicos Islands, Singapore, United States, Kazakhstan, Rwanda and various European states and on arbitrations (both commercial and investment treaty) under a broad range of institutional rules and on an ad hoc basis.  She is also admitted to the bars of Belize and the British Virgin Islands.

 

Jessica Wells

Jessica regularly sits as arbitrator and has extensive knowledge of all the major institutional rules with an in-depth knowledge of investment treaty disputes.

Jessica Wells has a broad commercial and international practice as Counsel, with a particular interest in public international law, public law, shipping law and international commercial arbitration.  In 2017, she was appointed to the Attorney General’s “A Panel” of Public International Law Counsel.

Jessica is experienced in both advisory work and litigation before the domestic courts (including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court) and international tribunals (including the ICJ,  ICSID, ICC, LCIA and LMAA).