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Clare Ambrose

MA, LLM, FCIArb

Clare Ambrose is a barrister and arbitrator in commercial law specialising in arbitration and international trade, with emphasis  on shipping, commodities, energy, insurance and banking.

She has practised as a commercial barrister at 20 Essex Street since 1993, appearing before the High Court, Court of Appeal and arbitral tribunals including LCIA, LMAA, ICC and UNCITRAL tribunals. She also acts as a Deputy District Judge.

She has established extensive experience as a commercial arbitrator over the past 10 years, having accepted over 100 appointments in international arbitrations and these have progressed to the issue of over 60 awards. She is regularly appointed as a chairman (over 50 cases), panel member and sole arbitrator (over 20 cases) in a wide range of disputes on an ad hoc basis and under the rules of many international arbitral institutions including LCIA, LCIA/DIFC, ICC, LMAA, SIAC, SCMA and UNCITRAL.    

Clare frequently lectures on arbitration issues and has written the leading textbook on shipping arbitration (Ambrose, Maxwell & Collett, London Maritime Arbitration, 4th Ed, 2017). Arbitral appointments have included matters relating to:

  • Aviation
  • Commodities and international sales
  • Competition law
  • Construction  and industrial design
  • Distribution agreements
  • Energy
  • Music promotion
  • Oil trading and supply agreements
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Professional negligence
  • Ship building
  • Shipping: charterparties & bills of lading
  • Ship sale & purchase
  • Share purchase agreements
  • Technical services agreements

 

In addition to being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, she is a a Panel Arbitrator for the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA). She is also a member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association (LMAA Supporting Member).

She was appointed junior counsel to the Crown (B panel) in 2008 and has worked for the UK Government on a number of cases including general commercial cases and also high value claims relating to VAT fraud.

Quotes: 

"Understated, charming, diplomatic and persuasive, with a broad knowledge of commodities." (Legal 500 2016, Commodities)

"Well versed in energy matters, and she excels as an advocate and arbitrator." (Legal 500 2015, Commodities)

"A frequent arbitrator in commodities cases, who excels in oil and gas disputes." (Legal 500 2014, Commodities)

"very responsive and user-friendly" (Legal 500 2013, Commodities)

"...the ‘very effective' Clare Ambrose has ‘an excellent tactical sense'" (Legal 500 2012, Commodities)

"Clare Ambrose is 'very able, gets into the detail of disputes and is very pleasant'" (Legal 500 2011, Commodities)

Specialisations: 

  • Arbitration
  • Banking
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Professional negligence
  • Shipping 
  • Commodities
  • Oil and Gas
  • Carriage of Goods
  • Revenue

Specialisations: 

Arbitration Appointments LCIA/DIFC/LCIA
  • Numerous appointments under contracts for supply of oil, gas, coal, steel and other metals and metal ores (acting as party appointed tribunal member, and also as LCIA appointed tribunal member, sole arbitrator or tribunal chairman).
  • Party-appointed tribunal member: dispute between parties to a long term supply contract for cocoa and coffee beans from Cote d’Ivoire.
  • LCIA appointed tribunal member under share sale agreement for shares in a Russian energy company.
  • Sole arbitrator appointed by LCIA under services agreement for ship management and investment advice.
  • Sole arbitrator appointed by LCIA under contract for design and supply of a chemical plant constructed in the UAE.
  • Sole arbitrator appointed by LCIA under contract for an opera singer to give a televised concert.
  • Sole arbitrator appointed by LCIA under long term airport services agreement between budget airline and airport operator under which airline claimed damages for abuse of a dominant market position.
  • Sole arbitrator appointed by LCIA in 3 related references under 3 international credit insurance policies.
  • Party appointed tribunal member in dispute under a sale of a private jet involving concurrent proceedings in the French courts.
  • LCIA appointed tribunal chairman under contract for repair and renovation of floating semi-submersible platform used as off-shore accommodation for oil rig crew.
  • Appointed by DIFC/LCIA as sole arbitrator in trading dispute and made the first award ever issued by DIFC/LCIA. Its enforcement by the Dubai Court of Cassation in Appeal No 132/2012, Airmech Dubai LLC v Macsteel International LLC [2012] was a landmark development for Dubai’s role as an arbitration centre.
  • Party appointed arbitrator under DIFC/LCIA rules under contract for sale of galvanised steel.
  • LCIA/DIFC appointed tribunal member in technical management dispute between Emirates company and owners of liquefied gas tanker.
Arbitration Appointments ICC
  • ICC appointed tribunal chairman under services agreement for oil and gas plants in Libya.
  • Party nominated tribunal member under trading contract for sale of coal.
  • Party nominated tribunal member under dispute between pharmaceutical companies relating to distribution of contact lens products.
  • ICC nominated sole arbitrator under dispute between two banks relating to an international money transfer system.
  • ICC nominated sole arbitrator under dispute between luxury car manufacturer and distributor relating to exclusive distribution in Turkey.
LMAA Arbitration Appointments
  • Numerous appointments under charterparties, bills of lading, contracts of affreightment and shipbuilding contracts (acting usually as party appointed tribunal member or as chairman).
  • Party appointed tribunal member in dispute between a European yard and the buyer involving a $20 million luxury motor yacht.
  • Appointed to chair dispute under long term contract of affreightment for Australian iron ore trade between Northern Territories and China.
  • Appointed to chair US$20 million shipbuilding dispute between Chinese yard and German shipping group for purchase and construction of 4 vessels.
  • Appointed to chair dispute relating to super yacht chartering agreement.
  • Party appointed tribunal member in dispute under joint venture for exclusive distribution of super yachts.
Arbitration Appointments/Ad Hoc and Other Institutions
  • Numerous appointments arising out of international sales, including sales of oil, coal, cement and steel.
  • Sole arbitrator in claim against surveying partnership for  professional negligence.
  • Tribunal chairman in dispute under distribution agreement between Russian pharmaceutical company and English manufacturer.
  • Tribunal chairman in €40 million claim under a shipbuilding contract to build a vessel for a Scandinavian buyer.
  • Party appointed arbitrator under DIAC rules under contract for building of semi-submersible rigs for Dubai state entity.
  • Tribunal chairman in US$9 million claim arising out of explosion on tanker.
  • Tribunal chairman in US$35 million claim arising out of loss of bulk carrier vessel and lives of 18 crew members.

 

Principal Cases: 

Arbitration

Transgrain Shipping BV v Deuilemar Shipping SPA (The “Eleni P”) [2014] EWHC 4202 (Comm), [2015] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 12 (arbitrators’ appointment; challenge to jurisdiction; s67 Arbitration Act 1996; estoppel);

MRI Trading AG v Erdenet Mining Corp LLC [2013] EWCA Civ 156, [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep 638 (remission of awards following appeal under s69 Arbitration Act 1996);

MRI Trading AG v Erdenet Mining Corp LLC [2012] EWHC 1988 (Comm), [2012] 2 Lloyd's Rep 465 (further reasons and interpretation of awards, remission of awards following appeal under s69 Arbitration Act 1996);

Louis Dreyfus Commodities Kenya Ltd V Bolster Shipping Co Ltd (The "Giorgis Carras”) [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep.455 (anti-suit injunction, bills of lading, arbitration clause);

Koch Shipping Co v Richards Butler [2002] 2 All ER (Comm) 957 (solicitors' duties of confidentiality, conflict of interest);

Fletamentos Maritimos v Effjohn [1997] 2 Lloyd's Rep 302 (arbitrators and bias);

The Voltaz [1997] 1 Lloyd's Rep 35 (arbitration clauses and time bars).

Banking

Czarnikow-Rionda Sugar Trading Inc v Standard Bank London [1999] 2 Lloyd's Rep 187 (letters of credit, pre-trial injunction).

Charities

Attorney General v Trustees of the British Museum [2005] Ch 397 (power of British Museum to make restitution on moral grounds).

Commodities

MRI Trading AG v Erdenet Mining Corp LLC [2012] EWHC 1988 (Comm), [2012] 2 Lloyd's Rep 465; [2013] EWCA Civ 156, [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep 638 (effect of long term copper ore trading agreement);

Louis Dreyfus Trading v Reliance Trading [2004] 2 Lloyd's Rep 243 (sale of goods, damages);

Bem Dis a Turk Ticaret v International Agri Trade Co Ltd [1998] 1 Lloyd's Rep 416 (sale of goods, GAFTA default clause).

Conflict of Laws

Louis Dreyfus Commodities Kenya Ltd V Bolster Shipping Co Ltd (The "Giorgis Carras") [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep 455 (anti-suit injunction, - bills of lading, - arbitration clause);

Bouygues Offshore SA v Caspian Shipping Co (No.2) and (No.3) [1997] 2 Lloyd's Rep 485 and [1997] 2 Lloyd's Rep 493 [1998] 2 Lloyd's Rep 461 (anti-suit injunctions, jurisdiction clauses and himalaya clauses, service of third party notices out of the jurisdiction);

Ultisol Transport Co v Bouygues Offshore SA (No.1) and (No.5) [1996] 2 Lloyd's Rep 140 and [1997] 2 Lloyd's Rep 533, (anti-suit injunctions, jurisdiction clauses).

Shipping/Admiralty

Transgrain Shipping BV v Deuilemar Shipping SPA (The “Eleni P”) [2014] EWHC 4202 (Comm), [2015] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 12 (charterparty, arbitrators’ appointment; challenge to jurisdiction; s67 Arbitration Act 1996; estoppel);

Louis Dreyfus Commodities Kenya Ltd V Bolster Shipping Co Ltd (The "Giorgis Carras”) [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep 455 (anti-suit injunction, bills of lading, arbitration clause);

Glencore Grain Ltd v Flacker Shipping Inc, (The “Mass Glory”) [2002] 2 Lloyd's Rep 144 (voyage charter, commencement of laytime);

Whistler v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd,The Hill Harmony [1998] 2 Lloyd's Rep 367 (employment and navigation of a ship under time charterparties);

The Yuta Bondarovskaya [1998] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 357 (time charterers' authority to contract on behalf of owners).

EU/Public Law

Headshore Holdings Ltd v HMRC; Warefine Solutions Ltd v HMRC; Rigcharm Ltd v HMRC - Appeals before the First Tier Tax Tribunal regarding Missing Trader Intra Community VAT fraud.

Education and Career: 

Following school Clare spent a year at the Université François Rabelais in Tours, becoming fluent in French. She went on to obtain a first class degree in Jurisprudence at Oxford (Somerville College, scholar) and also a first class LLM at Cambridge (Queens' College, Foundation scholar) before being called to the Bar in 1992.

Between 1999 and 2002 she was senior tutor in law at Somerville College in Oxford and lectured in International Trade for the Law Faculty of Oxford University. She continued to give lectures for Oxford University until 2005. In 2002 she was a visiting fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, when she published articles on anti-suit injunctions and the application of European Union jurisdictional rules to arbitration. Clare now frequently gives talks and seminars, mainly in the area of arbitration.

Publications: 

London Maritime Arbitration (4th Edition, Informa, 2017, co-written with Karen Maxwell and Michael Collett).

Articles include:

  • "Arbitration Review 2008" LMCLQ Maritime and Commercial Law Yearbook 2009
  • "Arbitration Review 2007" LMCLQ Maritime and Commercial Law Yearbook 2008
  • "Force Majeure in International Contracts" [2003] Business Law International 234
  • "Arbitration and the Free Movement of Judgments" [2003] vol 19 Arbitration International 3
  • "Can Anti-suit Injunctions Survive European Community Law" [2003] 52 ICLQ 401
  • "When can a third party enforce an arbitration clause?" [2001] JBL 415
  • "English Arbitration Law 2000" [2001] LMCLQ 476
  • "Arbitration and the Human Rights Act" [2000] LMCLQ 468

 

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Co-founder of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group
  • LMAA Supporting Member
  • LCLCBA
  • COMBAR
  • Baltic Exchange member
  • SCMA panel member
  • SIAC panel member
  • HKIAC panel member
  • EMAC (Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre) panel member
  • KLRCA panel member