John specialises in commercial law, in particular in the following areas: General Commercial Disputes, Insurance/Reinsurance, International Trade, Sale of Goods, Shipping, Carriage of Goods, Arbitration, Agency, Fraud, Professional Negligence (not medical). He has extensive experience of disputes concerning a wide range of commercial contracts. In the context of those disputes, he has dealt with a wide range of ancillary issues, including the jurisdiction of the court or arbitral tribunal, and various forms of injunctive relief. He has appeared as an advocate in the Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court, the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions, in the Abu Dhabi Global Markets Court, and in arbitration.
In relation to the practice of which a précis is given below, John has carried out tasks including: advising on merits, advising on evidence, drafting correspondence, drafting statements of case, drafting case management documentation, drafting witness statements, preparation of expert reports, review of disclosure and supervision of disclosure review teams, advice on disclosure (such as scope of searches, specific disclosure etc), identification of documentation for hearing bundles, drafting of skeleton arguments, appearing as advocate (both at interlocutory and final hearings), advising in relation to appeals from awards and judgments, drafting appeal documentation, appearing as advocate at appeal hearings, and advising on enforcement.
John has substantial experience in shipping and the international carriage of goods. He has been involved in numerous charterparty disputes involving issues of seaworthiness, cargoworthiness, cargo management, dangerous cargoes, refrigeration systems, speed and consumption claims, unsafe ports, withdrawal for non-payment of hire, off-hire clauses, force majeure, piracy, quarantine, off-specification bunkers, deadfreight, questions of laytime and demurrage, stowaways, stevedore damage and General Average, as well as claims by cargo interests under bills of lading and disputes relating to management agreements. He has very substantial experience in disputes relating to vessel construction, including construction of cargo vessels, yachts/superyachts and oil production platforms.
He also has considerable experience of the involvement of the Commercial Court in arbitration references. He has made a number of freezing injunction applications, both pre-reference and post-award. He has also made applications for anti-suit injunctions, Vasso orders, the enforcement of peremptory orders and the delivery up of documents by third parties, as well as appeals from arbitration awards.
Examples of cases in which he has been instructed include:
John has considerable experience of advising in relation to questions of construction of insurance and reinsurance contracts, such as follow settlements clauses, coverage disputes, issues of nondisclosure and misrepresentation, questions of proper law and jurisdiction, issues particular to marine insurance contracts, Bermuda Form arbitrations, contribution claims among insurers, the principles and practice associated with the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Acts 1930 and 2010 and cases involving the professional negligence of brokers and underwriting agents. This experience covers a wide range of insurance contracts, including, for example D&O and professional indemnity policies, hull, war risk and other marine cover, aviation, casualty insurance, income protection insurance, kidnap and ransom insurance, political risk insurance, protection and indemnity insurance, builders’ risk insurance, and treaty and proportional reinsurances.
Examples of cases in which he has been instructed include:
Many of the cases in which John has been involved have involved issues of conflicts of laws.
John has extensive experience of a wide range of commercial disputes. Examples include:
John has extensive experience of a wide range of commercial arbitrations and related proceedings in court. This includes applications for a stay of court proceedings in favour of arbitration under s9 of the Arbitration Act 1996, applications under s44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (including applications for anti-suit injunctions in favour of London arbitrations), and appeals under sections 67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
David Allen QC and John Bignall win in the Commercial Court for IMS S.A. and others v. Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd.
Martrade Shipping & Transport GmbH v United Enterprises Corporation
Braspetro Oil Services Co AndAnother -v- FPSO Construction Inc And Another
Assicurazioni Generali -v- CGU
March-Dec 2016: Waterson Hicks, Ibex House, 42-47 Minories, London EC3N 1DY (boutique shipping law practice)
April 2015-Jan 2016: Weingut Rueff-Röchling, Weingasse 7, 56850 Enkirch, Germany
1996-2015: Barrister in private practice at 7 King’s Bench Walk, Temple, London EC4Y 7DS, specialising in commercial law, in particular in the following areas: General Commercial Disputes, Insurance/Reinsurance, International Trade, Sale of Goods, Shipping, Carriage of Goods, Arbitration, Agency, Fraud, Professional Negligence (not medical). Appeared as an advocate in the Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court, the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions and in arbitration.
1992-1994: Royal Air Force (Musician)
1990-1991: Absolute Computing, Leavesden Road, Watford (sales/dispatch; part time)
1989-1990: Crosslee plc, Hipperholme, Halifax (management trainee)
IOLET Diploma in Translation (German to English; 2015; Distinction in Business paper)
Bar Vocational Course – Inns of Court School of Law (1995-1996) – (Outstanding, Everard ver Heyden Foundation Prize for Advocacy); Hardwicke and Droop Scholarships (Lincoln’s Inn); Sir Thomas More Bursary (Lincoln’s Inn). Called to the Bar in November 1996.
Diploma in Law – City University (1994-1995) – (Commendation)
BA Hons – Corpus Christi College Cambridge (1986-1989) – English (First) – Scholarship
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys, Elstree (1979-1986) – 11 ‘O’ Levels; 3 ‘A’ Levels (English A, German A, History A); 1 ‘S’ Level (English, Merit).
German (fluent), French (working knowledge)