Tim has been practising as a commercial barrister since 1997 and specializes in a wide range of commercial disputes.
He acts in cases of all shapes and sizes, but has particular expertise in large-scale commercial litigation and is regularly instructed by major City law firms in high-value, high-profile cases. The main focus of Tim’s practice in recent years has been on insurance, reinsurance =energy, civil fraud and arbitration, but he also has experience in a number of other areas of commercial law, including shipping, professional negligence, conflicts of laws and general contractual disputes. Many of the cases in which he has been involved combine a number of these areas, and the skills Tim has developed through his frequent involvement in complex, big-ticket commercial cases are readily transferrable to other areas of commercial litigation. Tim is happy to act either on his own or as part of a team, and his ability to work well with others (both solicitors and barristers) is often cited by clients and solicitors as one of his greatest strengths. He also has first-hand experience of working as a solicitor, having spent 18 months working in Barlow Lyde & Gilbert’s Reinsurance and International Risk team. He is happy to travel abroad for hearings or meetings, and regularly does so when working for clients based outside the UK. Tim is also a CEDR-accredited mediator and has participated in numerous mediations as an assistant mediator and client representative. He has a thorough knowledge of the mediation process, which he is able to bring to bear to assist his clients to resolve their disputes through mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes.
It is relatively common for allegations of fraud or deceit to be made in commercial disputes, and many of the cases in which Tim has acted have involved fraud allegations, including some very substantial and high-profile fraud cases. For example, Tim is currently acting for two of the Defendants in the Autofocus/Accident Exchange litigation in the Commercial Court, in which the Claimants allege that there was a widespread conspiracy between a number of firms of solicitors and an expert evidence provider to defraud them and the rest of the credit hire industry by deploying false evidence in thousands of credit hire disputes. Another example of a case in which Tim has recently acted involving allegations of large-scale fraud is an insurance arbitration in which Tim was heavily involved in 2014 and 2015 involving claims for losses suffered by a major UK mortgage lender on about 1,000 allegedly fraudulent mortgages taken out by members of several sophisticated mortgage fraud rings. Many of Tim’s other cases have also involved allegations of fraud:
Tim has specialized in commercial litigation for almost 20 years, during which time he has developed particular expertise in large-scale commercial disputes, both in Court and in arbitration. He has been involved in a number of the largest cases to be litigated in the Commercial Court in recent years, as well as numerous very substantial commercial arbitrations. His practice has spanned a variety of different specialist areas within the broad sphere of commercial litigation, as discussed in more detail in his other practice profiles. The practical skills and commercial awareness which he has acquired through his experience in those specialized fields are readily transferrable.
In 2012/2013, Tim was involved in one of the largest Commercial Court trials in the energy and natural resources sectors to have taken place in recent years, Excalibur v Texas Keystone (see below). Since then, his practice in these areas has continued to develop, and cases involving the energy and natural resources sectors now form a significant part of Tim’s workload. He has advised on and acted in numerous cases in these fields involving a wide range of different issues, including joint venture disputes, energy-related insurance claims, a dispute over the sale of a client’s interest in an off-shore oil field in Nigeria, disputes under gas supply contracts, a claim based on the rule in Rylands v Fletcher for damage to an oil-driven power station, and a contractual dispute concerning an ‘intelligent pig’ which became lodged in a North Sea gas pipeline.
Insurance and reinsurance litigation has been a major focus of Tim’s practice for many years, and he has been involved in a huge number of disputes in this area of all shapes and sizes. His experience in this field includes an 18-month stint working for the award-winning Reinsurance and International Risk Team at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.
A great deal of Tim’s practice is arbitral and he has experience of representing clients in numerous forms of arbitration, both domestic and international, including Bermuda Form arbitrations, LCIA arbitrations, CDP arbitrations, LMAA arbitrations, IBA arbitrations and ad hoc arbitrations. He also has experience of arbitration applications and applications for anti-suit injunctions in favour of arbitrations in the Commercial Court.
Tim has been instructed in several substantial professional negligence disputes involving insurance and reinsurance brokers and also has experience of professional negligence claims in other areas. He was also one of the original authors of the auditors’ negligence chapter of LLP’s loose-leaf “Professional Liability: Law and Practice”, one of the leading practitioner texts in this area.
Like most members of 7KBW, Tim has been involved in numerous shipping and ship building disputes throughout his time in Chambers. The cases in which he has acted span the entire spectrum of dry shipping and ship-building disputes, from small shipping arbitrations to large-scale multi-party Commercial Court cases and arbitrations in which he has acted as junior counsel alongside more senior members of Chambers. Since rejoining Chambers in 2007 after his 18-month stint at BLG, Tim has been instructed in a number of ship-building arbitrations, and has also acted for the former owners of a luxury cruise liner in an arbitration involving a US$15m claim by the vessel’s operators arising from the early termination of a long-term charter. He has also been instructed in a wide range of dry shipping cases throughout his career, including charterparty disputes, cargo claims, demurrage claims, claims against cargo surveyors and so forth.
Carillion v KPMG: 7KBW teams act in pre-action disclosure application
Five members of 7KBW instructed in Carillion/KPMG litigation
7KBW features in The Lawyer’s Top Appeals of 2020
The Chambers UK Bar Awards 2017
MAN A.G and ERF -v- Freightliner Ltd and Ernst & Young
St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge: MA in law, first class (1995). During his time at Cambridge, Tim was awarded a number of law scholarships and prizes by the University and St Catharine’s College: the Sweet & Maxwell prize for the top first in the University law examinations (1992); the ECS Wade prize for best performance in Constitutional Law (1992); the Rebecca Flower law scholarship (1992); St. Catharine’s College Hobbes scholarship and Adderley law prize (1992); St Catherine’s College Gostlin scholarship. Poitiers University, France: Diplôme de Droit Francais, first class (1994) Gray’s Inn/Inns of Court School of Law, London (1996) – Tim was awarded a Gray’s Inn Prince of Wales scholarship in 1995 and a Gray’s Inn Reid senior scholarship in 1996. Languages: French: Tim has a good working knowledge of French and has acted on several occasions for French-speaking clients, or in cases requiring a good knowledge of French. Interests: Windsurfing; golfing; and messing around in and on the water.