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.

Recent arbitration experience

Instructed in LCIA arbitration concerning a JV dispute between Russian investors and American digital gaming company.

Instructed by Norwegian start-up manufacturing 3D printed titanium aerospace parts in dispute with American funding agency, in High Court proceedings and on appeal (settled) (led by Andreas Gledhill KC): Clark Street Associates LLC v Norsk Titanium AS [2020] EWHC 1038 (Comm).

Instructed by law firm in Beirut to advise in relation to dispute concerning differing interpretations of Shari’a and their effect upon the interpretation of local  competition law, in a high value technology arbitration pertaining to the Gulf region.

Instructed on behalf of Isle of Man SPV in dispute with Swiss holding company, defending allegations of breach by former directors of fiduciary duties under Swiss law and claims for associated restitutionary remedies.

Instructed by law firm in Beirut to advise in relation to ICC arbitration in Paris in dispute under Qatari and Sharia law concerning construction of Hamad Airport (Doha).

Instructed by law firm in Beirut to act in ICC arbitration in London in dispute under UNIDROIT PICC concerning construction of petrochemical plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Acted for oil major in relation to dispute concerning pricing mechanism in SPA, and binding effect of expert determination of volumes of hydrocarbon assets in Papua New Guinea.

Acted for international courier company to obtain injunctions against former  employees, restraining proceedings in Senegal brought in breach of exclusive jurisdiction agreement. Also obtained damages for breach of the exclusive jurisdiction agreement, in the amount of the liability incurred in the foreign proceedings.

Acted for successful Respondent in UNCITRAL arbitration defending a claim arising from an alleged partnership agreement concerning rights in French château and associated wine business. The substantive dispute was governed by UNIDROIT PICC.

Advised GAFTA award debtors responding to proceedings for contempt of court in London and associated prospect of imprisonment.

Acted for Chinese property development consortium in dispute with middle eastern lenders, in proceedings in Singapore relating to development of real estate in China.

Acted for French investment bank in Singapore arbitration relating to structured finance transaction with Indonesian conglomerate, and call on associated parent company guarantee.

Acted for manufacturer of toy dolls in multi-jurisdictional dispute relating to distribution of dolls in UK, involving claims before the English courts and arbitration in New York.

Acted for Indian coal trader in claim for non-delivery brought in arbitration with Australian coal supplier.

Directory Rankings

Legal 500 2022, Shipping:
‘Very easy and enjoyable to work with. Neil appreciates the commercial and costs issues facing clients and tailors the legal advice provided accordingly.’

Legal 500 2021, Shipping:
‘He is a very astute advocate.’

Who’s Who Legal 2017, International Trade & Commodities:
‘Supremely effective.’
‘Not one to be underestimated.’


1998 Inns of Court School of Law
1997 Diploma in Law (Commendation), City University, London
1996 Diploma in Mandarin Chinese, Fudan University, Shanghai
1994 BA Modern Languages (Congratulatory First Class Honours), Magdalen College, Oxford University
1990 King William’s College, Isle of Man