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.