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James Watthey is an experienced commercial barrister handling heavyweight international arbitration and litigation.
In addition to LMAA, LCIA, SIAC, ICC and other institutional and ad hoc arbitrations all around the world, he also frequently handles disputes in the Commercial Court, Circuit Commercial Court and the Admiralty Court, as well as other divisions of the High Court. He has particular experience of international actions involving jurisdictional disputes.
He is a busy and in-demand Arbitrator and expert in English law in foreign proceedings. His arbitration practice includes both substantive proceedings and challenges under the Arbitration Act 1996, on grounds such as want of jurisdiction, apparent bias, serious irregularity and errors of law.
As a member of the Attorney-General’s “A” Panel, he is appointed to advise and act in some of the Government’s most sensitive and complex legal disputes.
James has a broad commercial practice, with particular specialist expertise in:
James is recommended as a leading junior in the Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and Legal Experts.
James regularly acts in charterparty and bill of lading disputes, contentious sale and purchase, shipbuilding contracts, piracy, forward freight agreements (FFAs), claims arising out of carriage of goods by rail, air and road, and commodity sale and purchase agreements, and crew/passenger claims. He also has experience of Admiralty matters such as arrests, collisions, groundings and ship mortgage claims, and in marine insurance and superyacht claims. He also has expertise in aviation matters. For marine insurance cases, see the “Insurance” section.
James’s work has a particular emphasis on shipbuilding and repair, construction of dock facilities, oil and gas rig / pipeline work and energy distribution, and other large scale engineering projects. He has considerable experience of most of the common type of dispute (such as delay, extension of time, termination), the technical aspects of ship design, repair and construction, and of enforcement of refund guarantees.
James advises the international commercial community in relation to the sale of goods, services and physical commodities (for derivatives, see Banking section).
James has a leading marine and non-marine insurance practice, acting for and against members of the London Market, P&I Clubs and the international insurance and reinsurance community. Before coming to the Bar, he worked as a member of the Insurance and Reinsurance Disputes team at what is now Hogan Lovells.
He deals with the full range of coverage disputes: non-disclosure, misrepresentation, fraud / scuttling, breaches of warranty / condition precedent, and policy construction.
James has vast experience in professional liability actions involving a wide range of industry sectors and professions, including: solicitors, engineers, architects and other construction professionals, barristers, insurance brokers, chartered surveyors, and marine surveyors.
James deals with the financing side of shipping, construction and trade, as well as practising banking law as a separate specialism. Expertise includes derivatives agreements based on the ISDA 1992 and 2002 master agreements, documentary credits, asset finance (including ship mortgages and aircraft finance), together with all manner of retail and commercial banking disputes such as dishonoured cheques and recovery of mistaken payments.
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