Practice Profile


Douglas is a commercial barrister specialising in arbitration, insurance, civil fraud, commodities, shipping and general commercial disputes.

Douglas’ recent led work includes Financial Conduct Authority v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd and others [2021] UKSC 1, a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court concerning insurance cover for business interruption losses arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic; a US$30m claim under an offshore CAR insurance policy; and an LCIA arbitration between two Ukrainian businesspeople involving allegations of fraud and forgery.

As sole counsel, Douglas’ recent work includes advising on the effect of US-Iran sanctions on a claim under a marine insurance policy, acting in a multi-million-dollar commodities arbitration, and advising on a breach of warranty claim arising out of the sale of shares in a professional services firm.

Before commencing practice, Douglas spent three months as a Judicial Assistant in the Commercial Court where he worked on Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Azitio Holdings Ltd [2020] EWHC 1844 (Comm), a multi-billion-dollar civil fraud claim concerning the sale of a major Ukrainian corporation.

Douglas has also spent time on secondment at a Magic Circle law firm working on banking and insurance disputes, and in the shipping department of a leading City firm.

Before coming to the Bar, Douglas graduated from the University of Oxford with a First Class degree in Modern Languages. He speaks French, German and Swedish.

Douglas has acted in and advised on a wide range of arbitrations, including under LCIA, LMAA, GAFTA and FOSFA rules. These include:

  • Acting in a hard-fought LCIA arbitration between two Ukrainian businesspeople involving allegations of fraud and forgery, led by Stephen Hofmeyr QC.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a multi-million-dollar commodities arbitration concerning the effect of a certificate final clause.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a multi-million-dollar commodities arbitration involving a dispute as to whether a binding contract had been concluded.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a GAFTA arbitration, including a successful appeal to the GAFTA Board of Appeal.
  • Acting in and advising on a number of LMAA arbitrations, including in relation to charterparty, ship sale and purchase, and superyacht disputes.
  • Acting in a hard-fought LCIA arbitration between two Ukrainian businesspeople involving allegations of fraud and forgery, led by Stephen Hofmeyr QC.
  • Advising on a breach of warranty claim arising out of the sale of shares in a professional services firm.
  • Assisting in drafting the respondent’s notice of objections in an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the enforcement of solicitors’ undertakings and covenants in restraint of trade.
  • Assisting in bringing successful committal proceedings for repeated breaches of a worldwide freezing order.
  • Advising a coverholder on various issues relating to Covid-19 business interruption insurance, with James Brocklebank QC.
  • Acting in Technip Saudi Arabia v Medgulf, a US$30m claim under an offshore CAR insurance policy, led by James Brocklebank QC.
  • Acting in Manchikalapati & Ors v FSCS, an application for judicial review of a decision by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to refuse compensation to a group of policyholders, led by James Drake QC.
  • Acting in Financial Conduct Authority v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd and others [2021] UKSC 1, a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court concerning insurance cover for business interruption losses arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, led by Jonathan Gaisman QC, Adam Fenton QC and Miles Harris.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a £800,000 insurance broker’s negligence claim.
  • Acting as sole counsel for the insured in a £2m property insurance dispute.
  • Advising on the effect of US-Iran sanctions on a claim under a marine insurance policy.
  • Advising in relation to professional indemnity cover for cladding-related claims following the Grenfell Tower disaster.
  • Providing evidence to a foreign court on various aspects of the English law of marine insurance and carriage of goods.
  • Acting in a hard-fought LCIA arbitration between two Ukrainian businesspeople involving allegations of fraud and forgery, led by Stephen Hofmeyr QC.
  • Assisting in the successful appeal from a three-week civil fraud trial in the Commercial Court on the grounds that the judge had failed to give adequate reasons for his decision: Simetra Global Assets Limited v Ikon Finance Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 1413.
  • Acting for the sellers in a claim under a dishonoured letter of credit.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a GAFTA arbitration, including a successful appeal to the GAFTA Board of Appeal.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a multi-million-dollar commodities arbitration concerning the effect of a certificate final clause.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a multi-million-dollar commodities arbitration involving a dispute as to whether a binding contract had been concluded.
  • Advising an EU commodities trader in relation to compliance with global anti-corruption and sanctions regimes.

Douglas has experience of acting in and advising on a wide range of shipping disputes, and has spent six months on secondment at a leading shipping firm. Recent work includes:

  • Acting for the owners in a claim for general average, led by Stephen Kenny QC.
  • Acting in a LMAA arbitration concerning an agreement for the sale and purchase of a ship terminated during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising on the negligent management defence under the Hague-Visby Rules.
  • Advising on a dangerous cargo claim relating to the shipment of Indonesian coal.
  • Acting as sole counsel for the insured in a £800,000 broker’s negligence claim.
  • Acting for the Financial Reporting Council in an investigation into the audits of a FTSE 100 company, led by Noel Casey.
  • Assisting in a claim regarding auditors’ failure to detect fraud by the company’s director.
  • Assisting in advising on a claim against a solicitor for failure to restrain the presentation of a winding-up petition.
  • Assisting in advising on a claim against the trustees of a pension fund.
  • Bar Professional Training Course, City University, London: Very Competent (2018)

    Graduate Diploma in Law, City University, London: Distinction (1st in year) (2017)

    BA Modern Languages, University of Oxford: First Class (2015)

    Scholarships & Awards

    Winner, City University Senior Moot (2018)

    Winner, Lincoln’s Inn Inter-Provider Mooting Competition (2018)

    Winner, European Law Moot Competition (2017)

    Winner, QUB/HSF Corporate Law Moot (2017)

    3 Verulam Buildings Prize for Best Overall Performance on the GDL (2017)

    Jean Monnet Prize for Best Performance in EU Law (shared) (2017)

    Denning, Haldane and Hardwicke Scholarships (Lincoln’s Inn)

    Languages

    French, German, Swedish