Christopher Smith QC

Chris Smith has a broad based practice covering all aspects of domestic and international commercial work, with particular emphasis on wet and dry shipping, professional negligence and related areas such as marine and non marine insurance and reinsurance. Chris’ practice involves advisory work, mediation, arbitration in England and Wales and abroad, and litigation in the Court of Appeal and all divisions of the High Court. He also has extensive experience of acting as co Counsel in disputes involving litigation in more than one jurisdiction. Chris is a CEDR accredited mediator and also accepts appointments as arbitrator both on LMAA and ad hoc terms. He is also a member of the SCMA and the Baltic Exchange.

Chris has been one of the editors of Scrutton on Charterparties and Bills of Lading since 2008.


As Counsel Chris has extensive experience of arbitration both in England and Wales and in other jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Dubai and Norway. He has been involved in numerous cases that have been referred to arbitration, and also in many cases involving points of arbitration practice and procedure as well as disputes relating to jurisdiction as well as substantive claims.

Chris also accepts appointments to act as arbitrator (both as sole arbitrator and as a member of a panel of three) and his experience includes dealing with costs issues and disputes as to jurisdiction. His appointments include:

  • Sole arbitrator in a yacht collision claim.
  • Sole arbitrator in a dispute concerning the refitting of a classic sailing yacht.
  • Arbitrator in a ship construction dispute.
  • Sole arbitrator in various charterparty disputes.
  • Arbitrator in various charterparty disputes.
  • Arbitrator in a dispute concerning the purchase and management of a yacht.


  • LOF 90 and the New Salvage Convention (LLP, 1991, with Gerald Darling QC)
  • Seafarer’s Rights (Contributor) (OUP 2005)
  • Scrutton on Charterparties and Bills of Lading (Co-Editor) (Thomson Sweet and Maxwell 2015)


  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • London Maritime Arbitrators Association (Supporting Member)
  • CEDR Exchange
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • The Baltic Exchange


French (working knowledge), German (working knowledge)


1987: LLB (First Class Hons), Southampton University


1988: Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship