Frederick Alliott

Practice Profile


Fred has built up a busy practice in all areas of commercial law, with a particular emphasis on civil fraud, insurance and reinsurance, international trade and carriage of goods, professional negligence and shipping disputes. He is regularly instructed in a wide range of heavy commercial litigation and international arbitration. He is used to appearing on his own (including in the High Court) as well as working as part of a multi-counsel team.

Recent led work has included four separate multi-million pound civil fraud actions, two of which resulted in lengthy commercial court trials; a 5-day high-value insurance arbitration; a section 68/69 shipping appeal under the Arbitration Act 1996; and a series of hearings relating to a worldwide freezing order. Alongside his practice, Fred has also completed a number of secondments in the litigation departments of prominent City law firms, giving him widespread experience and insight into how commercial litigation is conducted on a day-to-day basis. These have ranged from a large shipping and commodities department to a firm specialising in complex commercial fraud.

Fred is delighted to accept instructions in any type of commercial dispute, whether alone or being led.

Commercial litigation, including arbitration, is the mainstay of Fred’s practice. He has experience in a wide variety of disputes, from smaller and medium sized cases (where he is regularly instructed on his own) to substantial high-value international litigation. Recent cases include the following:

  • Yukos Finance & Ors v Lynch & Ors (2017-9). Instructed in this case concerning significant losses alleged to have been suffered in connection with deliberate tortious wrongdoing relating to a bankruptcy auction in Russia, and featuring disputes as to the meaning and effect of Russian law (led by Dominic Kendrick QC and Jawdat Khurshid QC).
  • Simetra Global Assets Ltd & Or v IKON Finance Ltd & Ors (2017-9). Assisted lead and junior counsel for certain of the defendants in this multi-party Commercial Court claim centring on an alleged Ponzi investment scheme leading to multi-million dollar losses.
  • Accident Exchange Ltd v Colin Mclean and others (2017-9). Instructed to assist on various matters in this claim for conspiracy, fraud and perverting the course of justice against the former directors of Autofocus (a company specialising in providing evidence of car hire rates to defendants in credit hire disputes) and against three firms of solicitors by which Autofocus were regularly instructed.
  • Slater and Gordon (UK) Ltd v Watchstone Group PLC (2017-8). Instructed to assist on matters relating to privilege, amongst other things, in this claim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of warranty and breach of contract in connection with the Claimant’s multi-million pound acquisition of the professional services division of the Defendant.
  • Libyan Investment Authority v Société Générale S.A. and others (2017). Instructed on behalf of the Fifth Defendant in claims brought by Libya’s sovereign wealth fund (LIA) involving allegations of fraud, intimidation and bribery relating to $1.5 billion of structured investments entered into by the LIA under the Gaddafi regime.
  • Aircraft Purchase Fleet Limited v Compagnia Aerea Italiana (2018-9).Instructed as part of a counsel team from 7KBW on behalf of the Defendant, which previously operated the airline Alitalia, in a €300m claim for non-acceptance of thirteen aircraft.
  • SPL Treasury (AT1) IC Ltd & Ors v Koros & Ors. Instructed as sole counsel to represent a judgment debtor at his examination in the High Court, and at an earlier interlocutory hearing, in relation to a multi-million pound judgment debt arising out of fraudulent transactions.

Fred has built up a busy practice in cases involving civil fraud and allegations of dishonesty. His experience has spanned smaller actions, often featuring employees or company directors accused of misappropriating company money, to much heavier international and/or multi-million pound cases in the commercial court. He is familiar with a wide range of different types of fraud claim, from breach of trust and breach of fiduciary, tortious or statutory duties to accessory liability (for example, dishonest assistance and unconscionable receipt). Recent cases have included the following:

  • Yukos Finance & Ors v Lynch & Ors (2017-8, ongoing). Instructed in this case concerning significant losses alleged to have been suffered in connection with deliberate tortious wrongdoing relating to a bankruptcy auction in Russia, and featuring disputes as to the meaning and effect of Russian law (led by Dominic Kendrick QC and Jawdat Khurshid QC).
  • Simetra Global Assets Ltd & Or v IKON Finance Ltd & Ors (2017-8, ongoing). Assisted lead and junior counsel for certain of the defendants in this multi-party Commercial Court claim centring on an alleged Ponzi investment scheme leading to multi-million dollar losses.
  • Accident Exchange Ltd v Colin Mclean and others (2017-8, ongoing). Instructed to assist on various matters in this claim for conspiracy, fraud and perverting the course of justice against the former directors of Autofocus (a company specialising in providing evidence of car hire rates to defendants in credit hire disputes) and against three firms of solicitors by which Autofocus were regularly instructed.
  • Slater and Gordon (UK) Ltd v Watchstone Group PLC (2017-8, ongoing). Instructed to assist on matters relating to privilege, amongst other things, in this claim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of warranty and breach of contract in connection with the Claimant’s multi-million pound acquisition of the professional services division of the Defendant.
  • Libyan Investment Authority v Société Générale S.A. and others (2017). Instructed on behalf of the Fifth Defendant in claims brought by Libya’s sovereign wealth fund (LIA) involving allegations of fraud, intimidation and bribery relating to $1.5 billion of structured investments entered into by the LIA under the Gaddafi regime.
  • SPL Treasury (AT1) IC Ltd & Ors v Koros & Ors (2017). Instructed as sole counsel to represent a judgment debtor at his examination in the High Court, and at an earlier interlocutory hearing, in relation to a multi-million pound judgment debt arising out of fraudulent transactions.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a dispute featuring claims for unjust enrichment and knowing receipt relating to commission payments purportedly due to a company director following the sale of a hotel and resort complex in Barbados.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a case concerning the misappropriation of company funds by a fraudulent director, which involved a multitude of claims in deceit, conversion, breach of trust and fiduciary duty, and breach of statutory duty.
  • Instructed as sole counsel to appear at several interlocutory hearings in a claim relating to an alleged large-scale fraud by property agents, which featured issues such as the validity of so-called secret commissions, false accounting and/or failure to account, and other misappropriation of monies.

Fred has acted in a substantial number of insurance and reinsurance cases, both on his own and being led. These have included coverage disputes, issues of non-disclosure and misrepresentation, issues of aggregation and other questions of policy construction, proper law and jurisdiction, and issues related to the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930 & 2010, as well as the Insurance Act 2015. Recent cases have included the following:

  • Instructed as sole junior to Peter MacDonald Eggers QC in an LCIA arbitration involving claims for indemnity under D&O and PI policies in the context of, inter alia, an avoidance defence.
  • Instructed to advise a charitable entity on whether a particular contractual scheme constituted the provision of insurance, and related questions concerning regulation and authorisation.
  • Instructed to advise Insurers on a variety of issues relating to, inter alia, obligations of confidentiality to assureds, inter-firm duties of disclosure, and the applicability and operation of the Insurance Act 2015.
  • Instructed to advise a contractor insured under a ‘Construction All Risks’ policy in relation to several high-value claims regarding the construction of a railway system in Hong Kong.
  • Instructed to advise on an ongoing basis on the adequacy and applicability of various contractual undertakings (including issues relating to the Insurance Act 2015) in relation to contracts between brokers and insureds.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a claim against insurers under a travel insurance policy, featuring multiple issues of construction and policy wording interpretation.
  • Instructed to advise insurers on (amongst other things) the scope of coverage afforded by a professional indemnity insurance policy, where claims had been made concerning a number of serious structural and design defects within a large construction project.

Fred has extensive experience in cases concerning shipping (both wet and dry) and the international carriage of goods. He has acted in numerous charterparty and bill of lading disputes, including performance claims, cargo damage, shipbuilding and construction, demurrage claims, stevedore damage, force majeure, and issues surrounding unseaworthiness. He is used to working in cases conducted under different arbitral rules, including LCIA, LMAA, GAFTA and ICC, as well as ad hoc arbitrations. A selection of recent cases include:

  • Instructed in a multi-vessel demurrage dispute featuring a number of issues relating to the status of contractual negotiations, time bar, pumping warranties, and the validity of nominations, ETAs and NORs.
  • Instructed as sole counsel representing subrogated insurers in a dispute over the loss of cargo due to refrigeration failure during shipment.
  • Instructed in relation to a cargo misdelivery claim under bills of lading held by a bank, including an application to extend time for the commencement of arbitration proceedings under section 12 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (led by Robert Bright QC).
  • Instructed to advise head shipowners on the prospects of recovering losses arising out of a collision of a vessel at port under either a port safety warranty or an implied indemnity under a voyage charterparty.
  • Instructed in an action arising out of an explosion on board a vessel, and losses arising therefrom, after the allegedly negligent fumigation of cargo (led by Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC).
  • Instructed in an application responding to an attempt to appeal an arbitration award under s.68 and s.69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (led by Stephen Hofmeyr QC).
  • Instructed in an arbitration concerning allegedly wrongful accounting by charterers of a vessel in relation to a profit and loss sharing agreement (led by Stephen Hofmeyr QC).
  • Instructed as sole counsel in an LMAA arbitration concerning a charterparty claim for costs relating to the hiring of armed security contractors for the passage of a vessel into Nigeria.
  • Instructed to represent a client in the middle of a charterparty chain in a case featuring a number of complex issues that were not ‘back-to-back’, including relating to hull damage, loss of earnings, hull fouling, off-hire and detention and demurrage. This case included the preparation of a lengthy and detailed mediation position paper.
  • Instructed to represent the claimant in a series of hearings relating to a multi-million pound worldwide freezing order (‘WFO’), in particular applying for further sums to be added to the order (and other amendments thereto) in respect of substantial unpaid demurrage accruing monthly on a vessel detained in Venezuela (led by Stephen Hofmeyr QC).
  • Instructed as sole counsel in an LMAA arbitration in a claim by owners against charterers for losses suffered as a result of their vessel being struck and damaged by a floating dock vessel during loading operations in Indonesia.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in an arbitration arising out of a dispute as to the suitability of a vessel’s holds to load grain, including a preliminary issue on time bar under the Hague-Visby Rules.
  • Instructed in a demurrage claim concerning both the status of contractual warranties as to the rate of discharging operations and multiple factual issues (primarily relating to causation) regarding a lower rate of discharge.
  • Instructed in a case concerning stevedore damage, featuring a number of defences featuring issues relating to unseaworthiness, causation and notification requirements under the charterparty.
  • Instructed in an application to convert an arbitration award into a judgment under s.66 of the Arbitration Act 1996, featuring complicating aspects relating to limitation.
  • Instructed in a dispute concerning the validity of a contractual lien over cargo in respect of a demurrage claim under a contract of affreightment, featuring a number of points of contractual construction in relation to laytime and notification provisions.
  • Instructed to represent the owners in a trip time charterparty dispute, involving complex legal issues as to (amongst other things) the nature of a charter ‘trip’ in circumstances where charterers had called at allegedly illegitimate and/or extra loading and discharge ports.
  • Instructed in a case relating to an alleged breach of a memorandum of agreement for the sale of a vessel, featuring a number of issues including the implication of contractual terms and the law on penalty clauses.

Fred has been involved in many cases relating to international trade and the carriage of goods, often though not exclusively by sea. Recent cases have included the following:

  • Instructed as sole counsel to represent the sellers of a consignment of steel, where the issues were mainly focused on the status of contractual terms relating to the issuance of a letter of credit and whether the contract itself was void for uncertainty.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a GAFTA arbitration (and, subsequently, a GAFTA appeal) between a buyer and seller of cargo under an FOB contract as to the commencement of laytime thereunder, featuring a number of issues concerning the validity of notices of readiness in the context of multiple shippers of cargo.
  • Instructed to advise the buyers of a consignment of sugar under a CIF sale contract, in a case featuring the customs seizure of the cargo in Algeria and the concomitant impact on contractual exclusions relating to ‘government interferences’.
  • Instructed in multiple small claims disputes relating to the misdelivery of goods, and claims arising therefrom in both breach of contract and negligence.
  • 2014-2015: BPTC, City Law School, London (Outstanding)
    2013-2014: GDL, City Law School, London (Distinction)
    2009-2012: BA, English Language & Literature, Magdalen College, Oxford (Double First)

    Prizes and Scholarships

    Lord Denning, Hardwicke & Megarry Scholarships; Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn)
    Everard van Heyden Foundation Prize (City University)
    Distinction in Honour Moderations; Demyship (Academic Scholarship) (Oxford)

Portfolio