Charles has extensive experience of all aspects of shipping law and the international carriage of goods. He has acted in numerous charterparty and bill of lading disputes and disputes under long-term COAs, covering such issues as unseaworthiness, cargoworthiness, dangerous cargoes, unsafe ports, stevedore damage, off-hire, laytime and demurrage and speed and consumption. Charles also has substantial experience of ship construction or ship repair/modification disputes, and has acted in disputes arising under ship management agreements. He has provided expert opinions on English shipping law for use in foreign legal proceedings.
Examples of cases in which he has been involved include the following:
- Charles assisted Peter MacDonald Eggers QC in acting for the owners of a refinery and the suppliers of a pilot in a $22m claim against shipowners in respect of damage caused to the refinery’s berth. The matter settled shortly before its February 2018 hearing date. It raised important issues concerning the respective responsibilities of a vessel’s master and a maritime pilot.
- Acted with Julia Dias QC in a successful application by a mortgagee bank to vary a freezing injunction to permit the sale of a vessel where the claimant alleged that the bank had wrongfully repudiated a concluded agreement to sell the vessel to the claimant.
- Saga Cruises BDF Ltd & Anr v Fincantieri SPA  EWHC 1875 (Comm); 167 Con LR 29. Leading Stephen Du, Charles acted for the owners of a cruise ship against an Italian shipyard in a £4m claim under a refit agreement. The case involved complex issues of fact and law and is an important authority on issues of concurrent causes of delay in a claim for liquidated damages for delay in completion.
- Glory Wealth Shipping PTE Ltd v Flame S.A.  EWHC 293 (Comm);  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 571. Charles acted with Robert Bright QC for Flame SA, both in the underlying arbitration and on appeal, in a dispute concerning non-performance of a COA. The appeal concerned whether loss had been suffered by a disponent owner in circumstances where the revenue from the non-performed fixture would have been diverted to an offshore company.
- Acted with Peter MacDonald Eggers QC for the successful shipowner in a $60million arbitration for the return of instalments paid under a shipbuilding contract, following the disputed cancellation of the contract. This involved a number of legal and technical issues, not only on the cancellation issue but also arising from the insolvency of one of the Respondents.
- Central Trading & Exports v Fioralba Shipping Co (The “KALISTI”)  2 Lloyd’s Rep. 449. Represented a shipowner, with Robert Bright QC, in successfully resisting an application to adduce further evidence on a section 67 appeal from an arbitration award. This is believed to be the first case in which a court has declined to permit further evidence on such an appeal, and it meant that the appeal would necessarily fail.
- Acted as Counsel with Stephen Hofmeyr QC for a Chinese shipyard in a series of three arbitrations raising legal and highly technical issues concerning the construction of nine 16,500 dwt product oil/chemical IMO II tankers.
- Guangzhou Dockyards Co Ltd v ENE Aegiali I  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 30. Charles acted for a Chinese shipyard, both in the underlying arbitration and on this appeal, in a dispute concerning the termination of a ship conversion contract following the vessel’s inability to proceed upriver to the shipyard. The appeal concerned whether the parties to an arbitration agreement could confer jurisdiction on the Court to hear appeals on issues of fact.
- Omak Maritime Ltd v Mamola Challenger Shipping Co & Ors  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 47. Charles acted for the shipowner, both in the arbitration and (with Tim Brenton QC) on this appeal, in a dispute concerning whether a long term charterparty had been concluded. The appeal concerned the recovery of damages on the reliance basis in circumstances where profits under the replacement fixture exceeded the profits that would have been earned under the repudiated fixture.
- Trafigura Beheer BV v Mediterranean Shipping Company SA (“MSC Amsterdam”)  Lloyd’s Rep. 622 Charles acted for the cargo owner (with Dominic Kendrick QC) in the Court of Appeal in this claim under a Bill of Lading for delivery up or damages in respect of cargo mis-delivered to fraudsters. The case involved issues of construction, the Hague Rules and the date at which damages for conversion should be assessed.
- Sabo S.A. v United Arab Shipping Company (SAG)  EWHC 307 (Comm). Charles acted for the shipper in a claim against a shipping line in respect of alleged misrepresentations in a Bill of Lading concerning the absence of transhipment.
- The “Ruta”  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 359;  1 WLR 2068 (Admiralty, relative priority of maritime liens).