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”.
In shipping – where he is regarded as “one of the leading KCs in the field” – Nigel’s practice includes disputes under bills of lading, contracts of affreightment, time charters, voyage
charters, and demise charters, and covers a full spectrum of legal, commercial, and technical 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 as well as containerised cargoes, and a variety of
commercial vessel types, including bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, LNG carriers, rigs, floating storage and other specialised offshore vessels, ro-ro transporters, cruise and
passenger ships, and fast ferries. Nigel has also acted (for both builders and buyers) in numerous shipbuilding arbitrations under SAJ and CMAC and other standard-forms and
variants, including delay and cancellation disputes, actions about compliance with contractual description and quality, and refund and guarantee claims. He has experience of ship sale &
purchase disputes under the Norwegian Saleform and other contract forms. Alongside this experience of disputes involving commercial vessels, Nigel has frequently been involved in
cases relating to the chartering, construction, and sale and purchase of luxury yachts.
A “go to silk” for international trade cases, Nigel regularly acts in disputes under CIF, FOB and other forms of contract for the sale & purchase of a wide variety of goods and commodities,
including mineral oil, gas, coal, chemicals and fertilisers, steel, ores, vegetable oils, and grains and other foodstuffs. His practice includes disputes about title, quality and rejection, payment,
price and price adjustment, frustration, and the impact of sanctions, and covers long-term and instalment contracts as well as one-off sales. He also has extensive experience of legal issues
relating to 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, policy construction, avoidance, and causation and loss. Nigel has experience of political risks policies, including disputes relating to investments in a range of commercial and
infrastructure 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 nonproportional 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.