Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs

Call: 2018

Practice Profile


Rebecca has a broad commercial practice, with a particular emphasis on insurance and reinsurance, international arbitration, shipping, conflicts of laws, and general commercial disputes.  She has been instructed in matters spanning Chambers’ practice areas, on her own and as junior, in court and in arbitration. She has appeared as sole counsel in the High Court (Commercial Court and Queen’s Bench Division).

Current and recent instructions include appearing as junior in a high value LCIA trade credit insurance arbitration; obtaining (as sole counsel) a Norwich Pharmacal Order in the High Court on behalf of a multinational pharmaceutical company; acting for the successful respondents in a 60-million-pound contractors’ all risks insurance arbitration; acting (as sole counsel) for the successful freight forwarder in a dispute concerning alleged breaches of various contracts under the BIFA terms; a multi-million pound dispute involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of a property regeneration scheme; and various LMAA matters.

Many of Rebecca’s cases involve an international element. She has a particular interest in private international law and has worked on a number of cases involving jurisdictional and choice of law issues.

Rebecca accepts instructions, led or unled, in any commercial dispute.

Rebecca has been instructed in a wide range of insurance and reinsurance disputes, including trade credit, liability, construction all risks, business interruption and marine insurance. She has appeared as junior in several high value insurance arbitrations and regularly advises as sole counsel in smaller matters. Highlights include:

  • Appeared (led by Sioban Healy QC) for the respondents in a multi-million-pound trade credit insurance arbitration under the LCIA rules, raising issues of coverage and breach of warranty.
  • Appeared (led by Gavin Kealey QC) for the successful respondents in a 60-million-pound construction all risks LCIA arbitration concerning defective construction work at a major deep-water port.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) to advise various businesses (including a gallery and an outdoor tourist attraction) on claims under business interruption policies for losses arising out of Covid-19.
  • Instructed as junior to advise on coverage in a very high value dispute under an offshore construction policy concerning alleged damage to a section of a subsea gas pipeline.
  • Advised (as sole counsel) a legal services company on a claim under a professional indemnity policy arising out of misappropriated funds, with a particular focus on the application of a dishonesty exclusion.
  • Instructed to assist in an insurance arbitration concerning coverage for mass tort claims arising out of the use of medical equipment.
  • Assisted in advising on Bermuda Form coverage for claims arising out of the sale of prescription drugs. Advice covered a range of issues, including the application of various exclusions, notification and aggregation.
  • Assisted in a trial in the Circuit Commercial Court concerning the scope of cover under a legal expenses insurance policy (as a pupil).
  • Assisted with a Commercial Court claim under a marine cargo insurance policy arising out of the misappropriation of sugar consignments exported to Ghana (as a pupil).
  • Assisted with a liability reinsurance claim, raising issues of the construction and alleged breach of claims co-operation and notification provisions (as a pupil).
  • Experience of a wide range of other insurance matters, include hull and war risks, aviation, and liability insurance.
  • Obtained (as sole counsel) a Norwich Pharmacal Order in the High Court on behalf of a multinational pharmaceutical company.
  • Acting (led by S.J Phillips QC) in a multi-million-dollar Commercial Court dispute arising out of a geotechnical survey of a jack-up rig drill site in Cameroon. Rebecca represented the defendants unled at the first CMC against a QC.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) on behalf of a Ghanaian music producer in claims against a recording and music publishing company for misrepresentation and breach of contract.
  • Instructed in a 2.5-million-dollar ad hoc international arbitration concerning alleged breaches of a collateral management agreement.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) for a construction company in a claim in the Circuit Commercial Court arising out of allegations of overcharging and breach of contract in relation to 1.5-million-pounds of unpaid invoices.
  • Successfully set aside default judgment under CPR Part 13 (as sole counsel), and subsequently drafted a defence, in a Euro 300,000 claim against two German companies for allegedly unpaid recruitment commission, involving issues of rectification and authority under English and German law.
  • Acting in a dispute concerning allegations of misrepresentation and fraudulent breach of duty in the context of investment in a 140-million-pound property regeneration scheme.
  • Advised in a dispute concerning whether binding agreement had been reached for purchase by a bank of identity verification services, raising issues of incomplete agreement and unilateral mistake.
  • Successfully resisted summary judgment in a claim under a bank guarantee, running a defence of undue influence (pro bono via Advocate).
  • Drafted a letter before action in a claim against an ex-director for alleged breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Instructed to draft particulars in a claim for restitution of funds paid into the wrong account as a result of a man-in the-middle fraud.
  • Assisted with a successful application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in a claim for deceit and dishonest assistance in relation to a Ponzi scheme (as a pupil).
  • Assisted with giving advice in a dispute arising out of a contract for the supply and installation of a biogas plant (as a pupil).

Rebecca has a particular interest in disputes raising conflict of laws issues and has advised on issues of jurisdiction and choice of law in a range of commercial contexts. Highlights include:

  • Advised on jurisdiction (under the Brussels Recast and Collision Jurisdiction Regulation) in a multi-million-euro claim arising out of a collision between a passenger vessel and a cruise ship on the Danube river in Romania.
  • Instructed to draft a reply addressing the jurisdiction of the English Court to hear a direct-action claim (arising out of an accident in Spain) pursuant to the insurance provisions of the Brussels Recast Regulation.
  • Assisted with giving advice on jurisdiction under the Brussels and common law regimes in a professional negligence claim against multiple potential defendants.
  • Conducted research into the English private international law rules on the proper law governing the payment of interest (as a pupil).
  • Assisted with giving advice on jurisdiction and choice of law under the EU regulations in a subrogated claim by marine hull insurers (as a pupil).

Rebecca has appeared as junior counsel in several very high value LCIA arbitrations and is currently instructed (as sole counsel and as junior) in a number of LMAA matters. She also has experience of ad hoc arbitration. Highlights include:

  • Appeared (led by Sioban Healy QC) for the respondents in a multi-million-pound trade credit insurance arbitration under the LCIA rules.
  • Appeared (led by Gavin Kealey QC) for the successful respondents in a 60-million-pound contractors’ all risks LCIA arbitration concerning defective construction work at a major deep-water port.
  • Currently instructed (led by Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC) on behalf of owners in an LMAA arbitration arising out of the breakdown and towage of a vessel, raising issues of the construction of various charter party clauses.
  • Advised and drafted pleadings as sole counsel in various LMAA matters, include in a charterparty dispute raising Iranian sanctions issues.
  • Drafted (as sole counsel) an application to dismiss a claim for inordinate delay under s.41(3) Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Drafted an application concerning the scope of disclosure in a 2.5-million-dollar ad hoc arbitration arising out of a collateral management agreement.
  • Instructed to assist in a liability insurance arbitration concerning coverage for mass tort claims arising out of the use of medical equipment.

Rebecca has acted in a wide range of disputes concerning shipping and commodities, in particular matters arising out of charterparties and bills of lading. She also has experience of Admiralty Court work. Highlights include:

  • Acted (as sole counsel) for the successful defendant in a claim for alleged breaches of various freight forwarding agreements under the BIFA terms and conditions.
  • Instructed (led by Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC) on behalf of Owners in an LMAA arbitration under a time charterparty arising out of the breakdown and towage of a vessel, raising various issues of charterparty construction.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) in a collision claim in the Admiralty Court arising out of a collision which occurred when vessels were moored during heavy weather. The dispute has been submitted to early neutral evaluation.
  • Instructed to advise (as sole counsel) on time bar and package limitation in a high value cargo damage and short delivery claim where cargo had been transhipped following an explosion.
  • Instructed to advise on the construction of a laytime exception under a tanker voyage charter. The exception is one which appears frequently in certain standard forms but on which there is no legal authority. Rebecca has since advised on the application of a similar clause to different facts.
  • Advised in various demurrage disputes, particularly in claims under the Asbatankvoy Charterparty.
  • Instructed in a claim for apportionment of a settlement paid to cargo interests under the Inter-Club Agreement in a sub charter.
  • Instructed (led by Stephen Kenny QC) in a Commercial Court dispute concerning the construction and validity of a settlement agreement arising out of a grounding of a vessel, raising issues of rectification and unilateral mistake.
  • Drafted pleadings in a claim for demurrage under a CFR sales contract arising out of shipments of steel to Algeria.
  • Instructed to advise on the compliance of documents presented under a letter of credit in respect of consignments of clothes exported from Bangladesh.
  • Instructed as junior in a two-million-dollar Admiralty Court claim concerning the quantum of damages payable as a result of a collision.
  • Assisted with a dispute involving a claim against insurance brokers in the context of obtaining cover and notifying claims (as a pupil).
  • Assisted in a dispute involving negligence claims brought against insurance brokers and solicitors, in the context of a clause providing additional cover in a cargo insurance policy (as a pupil).
  • Acting in a multi-million-dollar Commercial Court dispute arising out of a contract to perform a geotechnical survey of a jack-up rig drill site in Cameroon. Rebecca represented the Defendants unled at the first CMC.
  • Instructed in a dispute concerning coverage under an offshore construction insurance policy for alleged damage to a subsea gas pipeline.
  • Assisted with giving advice in a dispute arising out of a contract for the supply and installation of a biogas plant (as a pupil).
  • Assisted in a dispute concerning the construction of an oil rig (as a pupil).
  • City University London: BPTC, Very Competent (2018)

    City University London: GDL, Distinction (2017)

    University of Cambridge: MPhil Renaissance Literature (2015)

    Pembroke College Cambridge: BA English, Double First (2013)

    Awards and Prizes

    Foundation Scholarship (Pembroke College)

    Foundress Prize (awarded for a very strong first-class performance)

    College Prize (Pembroke College)

    Winner, Maitland Advocacy Prize

    Finalist, Lincoln’s Inn Internal Mooting Competition

    Lord Bowen Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)

    Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)

    Levitt Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)

    Additional Information

    As a student, Rebecca volunteered for the Company Insolvency Pro Bono Scheme, which offers advice and representation to litigants in person in the Winding Up Court. She represented City University at the XXIV Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna.

    Rebecca has written book reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, amongst other publications.