There is no shortage of cargo claims arising out of the carriage of grain cargoes, particularly in relation to soybeans carried from South America to China. The temperamental chemical properties of this cargo combined with a typically long sea voyage with dramatic temperature changes means that there is a chance that, even if the cargo is otherwise carried carefully, it will arrive at destination with signs of mould and overheating resulting in a cargo claim and arrest at the discharge port.

These claims can give rise to a number of interesting legal issues – both under the bill of lading and when it comes to recovering losses down the charterparty chain under the ICA.

Join speakers from 4 Pump Court and Penningtons Manches Cooper during London International Shipping Week 2023, where they will consider some of these issues, in conjunction with recent case law and arbitration awards.

Please register here

Monday 11th September
08:30 registration and breakfast
09:00 – 10:00 panel discussion
Penningtons Manches Cooper, 125 Wood Street London , EC2V 7AW
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James Leabeater KC, Barrister, 4 Pump Court

James is a commercial silk at 4 Pump Court barristers chambers. He specialises in shipping, shipbuilding and offshore construction, construction and engineering, energy, professional negligence and insurance and reinsurance.  He works on all sorts of charterparty and bill of lading disputes and has specialist knowledge and experience of shipbuilding disputes, from standard commercial vessels to highly specialist offshore energy vessels.

James has a significant international practice, and he is regularly instructed in arbitrations around the world, particularly London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. He has appeared in numerous LMAA arbitrations in London and elsewhere, and in many ICC, other institutional and ad hoc international arbitrations.


Tom Steward, Barrister, 4 Pump Court

Tom is a junior barrister at 4 Pump Court.  His practice encompasses all areas of international arbitration and commercial litigation, with a particular focus on shipping and international trade.  For several years now he has been ranked in the legal directories for Shipping, including the current edition of The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.  Tom’s experience covers arbitrations under LMAA, LCIA, SIAC, SCMA, and ICC Rules, as well as related applications for the enforcement and challenges to arbitration awards.  He is also regularly instructed in the High Court for urgent applications for injunctions and related relief in the High Court.


Heather Maxwell, Senior Associate, Penningtons Manches Cooper

Heather is a senior associate in the shipping team at Penningtons Manches Cooper. She has experience in all aspects of dry shipping litigation and regularly advises and represents shipowners, charterers and their respective P&I clubs on a broad range of issues in both the High Court and in LMAA arbitration. Additionally, Heather has experience in wet matters and has worked on several major casualties including a container ship fire, a wreck removal and collision cases. She has also acted for shipowners in disputes under financing arrangements.

After qualifying as a solicitor, she worked for an International Group P&I club for three years before returning to private practice. She has also spent time working for shipowners in London and Hamburg on secondments.

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