Stephen Kenny QC acts as an advocate in commercial litigation and arbitration, and advises on all stages of the conduct of such proceedings. He also has a significant advisory practice, particularly in relation to insurance matters. He is ranked as a leading silk for Shipping and Commodities by Chambers and Partners (2022); and for Commodities, Insurance and Reinsurance; and Shipping by The Legal 500 (2022).
Stephen’s practice covers many areas within Chambers’ general expertise.
From the outset of his career he has acted in all manner of shipping and marine insurance matters. He has appeared in numerous shipping arbitrations and court hearings. He has particular experience of “scuttling” cases, having represented insurers in The Captain Panagos DP, The Ikarian Reefer, and The Brillante Virtuoso. He has acquired a rare understanding of the law of general average, acting for owners in The Maersk Neuchatel; and recently leading for owners in their successful appeal to the Supreme Court in The Longchamp.
He also has long practice in non-marine insurance and reinsurance cases, including claims against brokers and other professional advisers. He has acted for the Corporation of Lloyd’s, both in civil disputes and in relation to disciplinary proceedings.
More recently, he has extended his experience to aviation insurance; acted in credit-hire cases; advised in relation to a long-term gas supply contract, appeared in ship-building-related arbitrations, and acted for English buyers of Cypriot holiday homes bought “off-plan”. He has advised in relation to an insurance of the risk of losing an appeal; on the insurance aspects of an internet lottery; on whether invoice discounters were subject to insurance regulation; and on various aspects of trade credit insurance and travel insurance cover.
He has particular experience of acting in large-scale and multi-jurisdictional disputes (and thus has a detailed understanding of conflicts of law issues). He is a team player who enjoys and has wide experience of working with technical experts, with foreign lawyers and with foreign clients.
Over the years, Stephen has advised and acted in a very large number of arbitrations and court hearings concerning shipping and carriage of goods by sea. A small selection of these cases are mentioned below.
The sale of goods is a staple of commercial practice, and Stephen has been involved in various cases concerning the sale of goods, often in a specialized context. For example, he has acted for the buyer of a brand-new private jet; advised a major gas trader in relation to quality disputes arising from its long-term “take-or-pay” gas supply contract; acted for a leading bunker supplier in its claim alleging delivery of contaminated fuel oil to its mother ships off the West Coast of Africa; and has also acted or advised in relation to a number of ship sale or ship-building disputes.
Since the outset of his career Stephen has been instructed in a number of significant marine insurance cases. He has also been involved, over the years, in numerous insurance and reinsurance arbitrations.
Although fraud and corruption are present as a sub-text in many cases, in the following cases in which Stephen acted, allegations of fraud or corruption were central to the case:
Stephen has been involved in a number of cases concerning energy and natural resources, often in a specialized context. For example, he has recently advised a major gas trader in relation to quality disputes arising from its long-term “take-or-pay” gas supply contract; and acted for a leading bunker supplier in its claim alleging delivery of contaminated fuel oil to its mother ships off the West Coast of Africa.
Stephen has advised in many cases and in various contexts on the liability of professionals; but particularly in relation to the business of insurance at Lloyd’s. He has advised the Corporation of Lloyds, Lloyd’s syndicates, integrated Lloyd’s vehicles and individual liquidators concerning the potential liability of accountants, actuaries, managing agents and brokers.
Asset financing and the financial arrangements underpinning international trade form the background to many commercial disputes, although only rarely are they the direct subject of litigation. Stephen acted in the following cases where they were:
The following cases do not fall easily into any of the more specialized areas of practice referred to above; and might therefore be considered as general “commercial litigation”:
Much of Stephen’s practice is concerned with arbitrations, and he is therefore familiar with the law relating to arbitration, including the mechanisms for challenging jurisdiction and the procedures for challenging, and resisting challenges to, arbitration awards.
This is an area of notorious difficulty and complexity. Stephen has acted in a number of cases involving the interaction of the jurisdiction rules in the Jurisdiction Regulation (EC) 44/2001, the Lugano Convention, the Brussels Convention, and the CMR, as well as the common law rules.
Stephen accepts appointment as an arbitrator. Please refer to his clerks.
The River Countess: Admiralty Court confirms pure economic loss is recoverable under Italian law
Richard Sarll – co-editor, Lowndes & Rudolf, 15th Edition
The m.v. Longchamp: Stephen Kenny QC and Richard Sarll succeed in the Supreme Court
7KBW members speak at the CDR Spring Arbitration Symposium 2017
“Gaz Energy” Hyundai Merchant Marine Company Limited v Trafigura Beheer B.V.
The Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
The London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA)
The British Insurance Law Association (BILA)
Stephen read jurisprudence at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he took a first in the BCL in 1986. He joined 7KBW in 1988, following the completion of his pupillage, and he has since practiced in these Chambers across a wide spectrum of commercial law. In 2001 “The Lawyer” magazine identified him as one of its top ten juniors at the commercial bar. He took silk in 2006.