Richard Southern specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, including shipping, energy, commodities and international trade, as well as professional negligence, marine and non-marine insurance, and reinsurance.
As a silk, Richard’s work has included a wide range of litigation and arbitration. Recently Richard has been involved in several significant cases including a lengthy Commercial Court fraud trial (now under appeal), a series of arbitrations arising out of unperformed contracts of affreightments, several oil trading disputes both in court and in arbitration, an international arbitration concerning a drillship, shipbuilding and purchase disputes, and professional negligence claims against insurance brokers. He is ranked by Chambers UK as a leading silk in shipping & commodities and energy (“He is extremely good. He is very thorough, always delivers on time and has a very good instinct for where a case is going to go”) and by the legal 500 as a leading silk in commodities, insurance and reinsurance, and shipping (“an excellent advocate who picks the right points”). His work is principally advocacy and advisory although he also accepts appointments as an arbitrator and as an independent expert.
Banking and Finance is part of many international trade disputes. Richard is familiar with letter of credit issues, ship financing arrangements and mortgages, pre-finance arrangements and the like.
Richard has acted in several cases for an international oil trader and is familiar with most aspects of oil trading (including hedging), as well as shipment of oil cargoes and the UK gas market.
Richard has represented parties in a wide variety of commercial claims, with particular emphasis over the years on commercial fraud, oil related disputes, and mergers and acquisitions disputes.
Richard is currently involved in a claim several (unrelated) fire claims, for the insured and for the insurers, a large material damage and business interruption claim involving a blast furnace, and a number of disputes between insureds and their Errors and Omissions insurers.
About half of Richard’s practice involves confidential arbitrations, some before LMAA or GAFTA arbitrators, others in the LCIA or on UNCITRAL terms, and many on the basis of ad hoc agreements. All are confidential. Richard also accepts appointments as arbitrator.
Jurisdiction and Conflicts of Laws have been one of Richard’s particular specialities over the years, although in recent years few of the disputes in which he has been involved have fought to a conclusion on jurisdiction or conflicts issues specifically.
Richard is currently involved in several brokers’ negligence actions as well as claims against a firm of solicitors arising out of conveyancing transactions, and both architects’ and surveyors’ negligence claims. In 2010 Richard has represented an insurance broker, and the insurers of a structural engineering firm in mediations, both of which have resulted in settlement agreements.
Richard has recently represented an Owner in a string of COA related disputes and a Charterer in a different string of COA related disputes. Other recent cases involve a substantial dispute over the condition of a vessel after a long bareboat charter, a dispute concerning a coal handling contract, numerous time charter and voyage charter disputes
COVID-19: Bulletin 4
COVID-19 & ITS EFFECT ON THE OIL MARKET: Frustration and Force Majeure
COVID-19: Bulletin 3
COVID-19 & THE OIL MARKET: Hedging Losses
7KBW sponsor the 3rd MLAS Maritime Mooting Competition in Singapore
1983-1986 St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge; First Class Honours in Law. 1986-1987 Inns of Court School of Law; First Class, Lord Scarman Scholarship. Called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1987. Silk 2006
Languages: French (Basic knowledge)