Sir Jack Beatson

After retiring from the Bench, Sir Jack returned to Chambers and now accepts appointments as arbitrator or mediator; and as an expert on English Law.

Sir Jack Beatson FBA studied law at Brasenose College Oxford and obtained first class degrees (BA and BCL). Called to the bar (Inner Temple) in 1973, he became a bencher in 1994 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998. In 2000 he was awarded a higher doctorate (DCL) by the University of Oxford for distinction by original contribution to the advancement of the study of law.

He was until February 2018 a member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Between 2003 and 2012, he was a Judge of the High Court, primarily sitting in the Commercial Court and the Administrative Court. He had previously combined academic and public roles with a mixed commercial and public law practice at what is now Essex Court Chambers (which he joined in 1983). He was the Rouse Ball Professor of English Law at Cambridge University and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge between1994 and 2003, a member of what is now the United Kingdom’s Competition Commission between 1995 and 2001, a Law Commissioner for England and Wales between 1989 and 1994, and before that had been a Fellow of Merton College Oxford and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford.

His commercial litigation and arbitration practice included shipping, insurance, banking and finance, sales and energy law, and issues of construction and jurisdiction. His public law practice included economic regulation, trade union law and judicial review of decisions about the terms and conditions of public employees such as police officers. He led the Law Commission’s work on contract and commercial law, civil evidence, damages, administrative law, and financial services. At the Competition Commission the inquiries he served on included those into London Airports, the supply and pricing of milk, Northern Ireland electricity, and the provision of services such as chemotherapy at the homes of seriously ill patients. His arbitration experience included acting as counsel in an ICC arbitration about a claim for some £500 million under a contract of sale.

In the Court of Appeal and Commercial Court, Sir Jack’s judgments in the field of international arbitration included AmTrust Europe Ltd v Trust Risk Group SpA [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 154 (scope of arbitration clause in insurance contracts framework agreements), Yegiazaryan v Smagin [2016] EWCA Civ 1290 (challenge to arbitrators’ jurisdiction), and Republic of Serbia v Imagesat International NV [2010] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 324 (arbitrability, public international law, state succession, estoppel).

Sir Jack was one of the founding editors of Arbitration International, serving between 1985 and 1989 when he had to resign on joining the Law Commission. He has authored and edited leading legal texts including Anson’s Law of Contract (27th – 31st eds.), Chitty on Contract, co-editor (25th – 28th eds.), Good Faith and Fault in Contract Law (author & joint editor OUP 1995).

A more detailed CV is available upon request.

Recent Arbitrations and Expert Opinions

Recent arbitrations have included:

  • Presiding arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration relating to alleged breaches under a Lease Agreement with claims in excess of €2 million;
  • Co-arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration relating to alleged breaches of a medical equipment distribution agreement with claims in excess of €3 million;
  • Presiding arbitrator in a gas pricing dispute under the ICC rules with a claim of US$ 1.5 billion relating to the Sale and Purchase of LNG;
  • Co-arbitrator in an ad-hoc arbitration with a claim of over $1 billion under a telecoms licensing agreement;
  • Co-arbitrator in an UNCITRAL arbitration administered by the LCIA regarding unfair prejudice pursuant to sections 994 and 996 of the Companies Act 2006;
  • Presiding arbitrator in an LMAA arbitration relating to a shipbuilding contract for the construction and sale of a crude tanker;
  • Presiding arbitrator in an ICC arbitration concerning the alleged failure to deliver the minimum quantity and quality of iron-ore pellet feed under a Sale and Purchase Agreement.

Recent Expert Opinions include:

  • Enforceability of a guarantee of a loan facility when the guarantor failed to pay sums due;
  • Main elements of a contract under English law;
  • Opinion in relation to Eurobonds under English law.

Current Appointments and Memberships

  • Justice of Appeal of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal
  • Judge of the Astana International Financial Centre Court in the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Member of the London Court of International Arbitration
  • Member of the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration
  • Panel of Recognised International Market Experts in Finance (P.R.I.M.E.)

Academic Appointments

  • Rouse Ball Professor of English Law, University of Cambridge (1994-2003); Chairman, Faculty of Law (2001-2003)
  • Founding Director, Centre for Public Law, University of Cambridge (1997-2001)
  • Fellow in Law, Merton College; University Lecturer, University of Oxford (1973‑1993)
  • Lecturer in Law, University of Bristol (1972‑1973)
  • Visiting Professor of Law, University of Virginia Law School 1980, 1983, 2016 and 2019
  • Professorial Fellow, Law School, Melbourne University 2018 -2020
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Toronto (2000)
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Western Australia Law School (1988)
  • Visiting Senior Teaching Fellow, National University of Singapore (1987)
  • Visiting Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Canada (1979)
  • Visiting Professor, University of Oxford (2019 -2021)

Cayman Islands Court of Appeal

His judgments in the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal include the decisions of the Court in:

Primeo Fund (in Official Liquidation) v Bank of Bermuda (Cayman) and HSBC Securities Services (Luxembourg) S.A., 13 June 2019;

Palladyne International Asset Management v Upper Brook & others 18 November 2019; and

Roulstone v Attorney General and Governor 2 July 2020

Judgments on Arbitration

Court of Appeal:

Yegiazaryan v Smagin [2016] EWCA Civ 1290 (section 67 challenge to arbitrators’ jurisdiction)

AmTrust Europe Ltd v Trust Risk Group SpA [2015] EWCA Civ. 437, [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 154 (scope of arbitration clause in insurance contracts framework agreements, allocation of jurisdiction)

Seagrain v Glencore Grain [2013] EWCA Civ. 1627, [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 598 (arbitration appeal; GAFTA prohibition of export clause)