Michael Collins Q.C.
Michael Collins was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1971. Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1988, he practised commercial law from Essex Court Chambers in London, England, for 30 years, until moving to the United States of America in 2002. He served as a Recorder of the Crown Court between 1994 – 2001. From 2002 – 2006 he spent 4 years as a Special Legal Consultant with the international arbitration practice of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, based in Washington DC. Since 2006 he has been associated with Hanscom & Collins PA, in Rockland, Maine, from where he practises as an international arbitrator and mediator, primarily based out of his homes in Florida and Maine, while also retaining his association with his Chambers in London, England.
Mr. Collins’ principal areas of specialisation at the English Bar included international and domestic arbitration, shipping (including shipbuilding disputes, ship sale and purchase, bill of lading and charterparty disputes, cargo claims, and limitation actions), insurance (marine & non-marine) and reinsurance, oil & gas, banking, construction, information technology, aviation and a wide variety of other contractual and tortious disputes of a technical or commercial nature.
In addition to his frequent appearances in the English trial and appellate courts, Mr. Collins has appeared as an advocate in the appellate courts of Hong Kong, Singapore and Bermuda, and in the trial courts in Singapore, arguing insurance, shipping, arbitration and other matters. Cases in those courts include: Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania v. Grand Union Insurance Co. & Lowndes Lambert Construction Ltd.  1 LLR 208 (Hong Kong Court of Appeal – insurance/reinsurance); Lombard Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Kin Yuen Co. Pte. Ltd. (the “Pab”) (1995) (Singapore Court of Appeal – marine insurance); Associated Electric and Gas Insurance Services Ltd. v. European Reinsurance Co. of Zurich (2001) (Bermuda Court of Appeal – privacy/confidentiality in commercial arbitration).
Mr. Collins has 40 years’ experience of acting as a counsel in international and domestic arbitrations. Cases in which he acted as counsel include a major shipping arbitration concerning the long-term supply, shipment and delivery of LNG into the United States and the producability and valuation of unextracted gas reserves; two separate LCIA arbitrations concerning (i) operation of the credit card business; and (ii) the sale and distribution of digital satellite television services to the Middle East; and a dispute concerning the transportation of crude oil through a common pipeline, and the operation of a quality bank related to such transportation.
Mr. Collins has acted as chair or as a tribunal member in numerous ICC, LCIA, LMAA, SIAC, AAA (ICDR), ARIAS, UNCITRAL, ICSID and other institutional and ad hoc arbitrations over the past 35 years, regularly sitting in jurisdictions such as London, Paris, Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Bermuda, Canada and the United States.
Mr. Collins is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and a member of the American Arbitration Association ICDR International Arbitration Panel. He is also a CEDR-accredited mediator and has acted as a mediator in a variety of insurance, reinsurance and technical disputes in London, Sydney, Bermuda, New York and Washington D.C.
- Chairman of the panel in a Bermuda Form insurance arbitration arising out of a major inland oil spill and consequential clean-up operations (New York law; London seat).
- Chairman in consolidated AAA/ICDR arbitrations concerning allegations of fraud, misappropriation, conspiracy, defamation, breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract (disputed proper law; London seat).
- Chairman in an LCIA arbitration concerning a partnership dispute relating to a private investment fund (English law; London seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in a HKIAC arbitration concerning the sale of equipment for use in the manufacture of solar cells (CISG; Hong Kong seat).
- Chairman of the panel in an ICC arbitration concerning a joint venture to manufacture and market television sets (PRC law; Hong Kong seat).
- Chairman in an LCIA arbitration concerning the premature termination of a contract for the hire of a semi-submersible oil rig (English law; London seat).
- Chairman of the panel in a Bermuda Form insurance arbitration arising out of allegations of medical malpractice; issues of aggregation, misrepresentation and non-disclosure (New York law; Bermuda seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ad hoc arbitration under a long-term gas sales contract; issues relating to a renewal option; gas availability; lost profits and lost production efficiency (Trinidad & Tobago law; Washington DC seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ad hoc Bermuda Form insurance arbitration arising out of a chemical spill (New York law; London seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning gas pricing under a price revision clause in a long-term gas supply agreement (Swedish law; Stockholm seat).
- Chairman in an LCIA arbitration in a dispute between shareholders under a shareholders’ agreement and deposit arrangement (Zambian law; London seat).
- Chairman of an ad hoc tribunal in a Bermuda Form insurance dispute concerning occurrence integration of underlying claims, allocation, and allegations of bad faith in claims handling (New York law, Bermuda seat)
- Chairman of an ICC tribunal in a dispute concerning the development and certification of the propulsion system for a regional jet aircraft (New York law and seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC case concerning a dispute under a distribution agreement (Eygptian law, Paris seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ad hoc insurance dispute arising out of the wrongful termination of an employment contract (New York law, London seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in a SIAC arbitration governed by the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in a claim under a credit insurance policy in respect of the non-payment of trade debts arising under underlying sales contracts (Singapore law + seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC case concerning the construction and development of a hotel in Ethiopia (English law, London seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning technical disputes and disputed payments related to the drilling of oil wells under a drilling contract (Iraqi law, Dubai seat).
- Chair of an ARIAS tribunal in a dispute arising under two excess D&O policies concerning an underlying class action related to the automobile industry (Dutch law, London seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC case concerning gas pricing under price revision clauses in two long-term sales agreements (English law, London seat).
- Chairman of an ICC tribunal in a dispute concerning delays in the development and construction of a power plant in Argentina (English law, Paris seat).
- Party-appointed arbitrator in a AAA dispute concerning the financing of a project relating to the development of a liquefaction train at an LNG export facility (Texas law, Houston seat)
- Chair of an ICSID tribunal in a case concerning investments in renewable energy, raising questions under Chapter III, Article 10 of the Energy Charter Treaty.
- Chair of an AAA/ICDR tribunal in a dispute concerning a political risks insurance policy (New York law + seat).
Recent Arbitration Appointments
- Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration concerning a dispute between the parties to a limited partnership agreement (Bermuda law; Tokyo seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ICC arbitration concerning interruptions in the supply of natural gas under long term supply agreements (New York law + seat)
- Chairman of the panel in insurance coverage disputes arising out of Hurricane Katrina (New York law; London seat) and Rita (English law; London seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ad hoc arbitration concerning a software licensing agreement (Ontario law; Toronto seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ad hoc arbitration concerning a hotel and leisure complex on the Red Sea (English law; Geneva seat)
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an insurance dispute arising under several employment practice liability policies (New York law; London seat)
- Sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration arising out of a livestock custodian agreement (English law; London seat)
- Sole arbitrator in six closely related UNCITRAL arbitrations concerning coverage disputes between a captive insurer and several of its reinsurers in relation to drug-related product liability losses (Bermuda law + seat)
- Member of the panel in an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning disputes arising under a settlement agreement relating to the production and development of certain oil fields (Alberta law; Calgary seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ARIAS-US reinsurance case concerning the aggregation of claims settled pursuant to an ADR award under the Wellington Agreement (Massachussetts law, Boston seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ICC arbitration concerning the alleged breach of a joint venture and operating agreement relating to the sale and distribution of licensed telecommunications products into North, Central and South America and the Caribbean (Delaware law, New York seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ad hoc insurance dispute between a large manufacturing conglomerate and one of its excess loss insurers arising out of a class action in Alabama (New York law, London seat)
- Member of the panel in an LCIA arbitration arising out of the sale and purchase of stable gas condensate (English law + seat)
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration arising out of an alleged agreement relating to the sale and purchase of bulk shipments of coal (Singapore law + seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ICC arbitration concerning the payment of royalties and claims to the use of certain patents under a licensing and distribution agreement between two companies in the telecommunications industry (New York law + seat)
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a Put Option Agreement and Deed of Warranty & Indemnity (English law + seat)
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ICDR (AAA) dispute arising under a Master Professional Services Agreement relating to the supply of internet services (Virginia law; Richmond, VA seat)
- Member of the panel in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a consulting agreement in relation to the creation of a film finance and production company (English law + seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an arbitration concerning the expansion of telecommunications networks into China / distribution and licensing issues (New York law + seat)
- Chairman in a SIAC arbitration concerning a contract for the provision of dredging services at a port in India (Indian law; Singapore seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ad hoc claim under a quota share treaty covering North American casualty excess business (English law + seat)
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC case concerning an oil refinery expansion project (English law + seat)
- Chair of an ICC panel in a case concerning a dispute under a share purchase and other related agreements (English law; Bulgarian seat)
- Chairman of the panel in an ad hoc reinsurance arbitration under an excess liability policy covering railroad and transit operations (New York law; Bermuda seat)
- Chairman of the panel in a SIAC arbitration concerning a dispute arising out of contracts for the hire of offshore drilling rigs (English law; Singapore seat)
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration concerning a claim under crime and civil liability insurance policies in respect of fraudulent loan applications (English law + seat)
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an LMAA arbitration concerning the cancellation of a shipbuilding contract (English law + seat)
- Sole arbitrator in an ICC case concerning claims for the payment of commission and/or damages arising out of an Aircraft Marketing Assistance and Support Agreement (Connecticut law; London seat)
- Early Neutral Evaluator in a case concerning the sale and leaseback of several thousand freehold and long-lease properties under a Master Property Agreement, and the determination of any compensation payable in the event of the early disposal of any such properties (English law + seat).
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration
- London Court of International Arbitration
- American Arbitration Association: ICDR international arbitration panelist
- London Maritime Arbitrators Association (supporting member)
- Singapore International Arbitration Centre: Panel Member; Emergency Arbitrator
- Singapore Maritime Arbitrators’ Association
- Lloyds Arbitration Scheme
- British Insurance Law Association
- British Maritime Law Association
- American Bar Association (associate member)
- International Bar Association
- Commercial Bar Association
- CEDR Accredited Mediator
Selected Articles, Lectures and Talks
Mr. Collins has authored several articles and frequently lectures at international seminars and programmes. For over 20 years he has served as a judge in National and International Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, being awarded the Pamela Young Award for outstanding volunteer service jointly with his wife, Bonnie G. Bird, in 2010. He also regularly serves as an arbitrator at the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot and at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.
- What’s New in Insurance Law? Agents’ Duties – Where will the Ripples End? (1995 IBC Insurance Seminar)
- Privacy & Confidentiality in Arbitration Proceedings: (1995) Texas International Law Journal, Vol. 30/1, p. 121; Arbitration International, Vol. 11/3, p. 321
- Misrepresentation and Non-disclosure in Insurance and Reinsurance Contracts (1996 Combar Seminar)
- Repudiating Invalid Claims: Defenses – Warranties and Policy Conditions (1997 IBC Insurance Seminar)
- The Role of the Leading Underwriter (1999: British Insurance Law Association Annual Conference)
- The Remission of an Arbitration Award under English Law (2000: Oslo University)
- Ascertaining the Intention of Parties to a Contract (2000: Lecture to Norwegian Shipowners’ Association)
- Do International Arbitral Tribunals have any Obligations to Encourage Settlement of the Disputes Before Them? (2003) Arbitration International Vol 19/3, p. 333.
Recent Speaking Engagements
- Selecting the Arbitral Tribunal: A Commentary on the ICC Rules and Practice regarding the Appointment and Removal of Arbitrators: Charlottesville, Virginia (June 2005)
- Enforcement of Arbitral Awards under the New York Convention: Washington College of Law, American University, DC (October 2007)
- The Legal Architecture Underpinning International Arbitration – A Common Law Perspective: Four Round Tables in Times Square, New York (June 2011)
- 1956 – 1960: Eagle School, Umtali, Southern Rhodesia
- 1961 – 1966: Peterhouse, Marandellas, Southern Rhodesia
- 1967 – 1970: University of Exeter, Devon, England. LLB. (Hons) 1st Class
- 1970 – 1971: Council of Legal Education (Bar Finals)