Dominic Kendrick QC has decided to step back from acting as counsel in large trials to focus more on sitting as an arbitrator, but continues to advise clients in consultation and in writing and will act as counsel in short cases. In this capacity, he is currently (June 2020) engaged in Business Interruption and Event Cancellation insurance claims and aggregation issues, arising out of Covid 19 as well as oil and gas and long term shipping contracts, also affected  by the downturn due to Covid 19.

Dominic already has an established practice as an arbitrator, and is regularly appointed as sole arbitrator, party-appointed arbitrator or as the third arbitrator in a wide range of commercial disputes, mainly in ad hoc, LCIA, ICC, LMAA and  Bermuda Form disputes. His appointments cannot be described in any great detail in view of the confidential nature of the process. However they have ranged from disputes about a superyacht to the alleged illicit plundering of title to prestigious Moscow real estate, although more typically they concern shipping, insurance, commodity contracts, alleged fraud and ship building.

He has a wealth of experience to call upon having acted in many of the large commercial disputes which have occurred over the last 25 years. These include: the turmoil at Lloyd’s in the nineties; the Eastern European political risk/marine risk cases after the fall of the Soviet Bloc; the Exxon Valdez disaster; the invasion of Kuwait; the Personal Accident spiral and rigged reinsurance market; pension mis-selling; the aggregation of losses after 9/11; large losses and frauds uncovered by the 08 crash including the Madoff affair, besides a steady stream of heavy cases in shipping, sale of goods, insurance, general commercial disputes and commercial fraud.

As counsel, he has appeared regularly in arbitration, in the Commercial Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Many of these cases have involved long trials.  Examples over recent years are: Government of Djibouti v Boreh [2016] EWHC 405 (Comm)  (alleged corruption and fraud in Africa); the Ocean Victory [2017] UKSC 35 where he succeeded in the Supreme Court (shipping- safe port and marine insurance), a large Bermuda Form arbitration in 2018,  and  Yukos v Lynch [2019] EWHC 2621 (Comm)  (alleged rigging of a major auction of oil and gas assets in Russia).

Republic of Djibouti v Boreh (Commercial Court) [2016] EWHC 405 (Comm). Dominic was lead counsel in a team of 4 barristers, including another QC acting for the Defendant. This was a 12 week trial in which grave charges of fraud and corruption were raised by each side against the other concerning major commercial projects in Djibouti, Africa. Dominic was successful on all issues and the corruption, (and dishonesty in answers in cross examination) was found to lie on the Claimants’ side only.

Gard Marine v China National (“The Ocean Victory”)  [2015] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 894. This case arose out of the total loss of a large modern ship in appalling weather in Kashima Japan. It raises important points in shipping law (on the safe port promise in charterparties) and in insurance law (on the effect of underlying contracts on rights of subrogation). Dominic led the team of three including another QC and senior junior and was successful on both points in the Court of Appeal. The case is now going to the Supreme Court.

Boreh v Republic of Djibouti, Gibson Dunn, and Gray [2015] 3 All E.R. 577. This case was much commented upon in the legal press. After cross examination lasting 2-3 days, Dominic established that a partner in a well-known firm of solicitors had knowingly deceived the Commercial Court in obtaining a freezing injunction and subsequently tried to conceal the dishonesty.  Dominic led a team of four counsel including another QC.

Rathbone Brothers Plc v Novae Corporate Underwriting Ltd [2015] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 95. Dominic led a team of three barristers in this large claim on professional indemnity insurers concerning offshore trust investment advice. Dominic succeeded on all issues in the Court of Appeal including important issues on the rights of insurers in subrogation.

Beside court actions, he has also  been working on issues raised by the Madoff frauds, a large rig claim in the North Sea, and as counsel for the Law Society on aggregation under its recommended insurance terms.