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Clare Ambrose

MA, LLM, FCIArb

Clare Ambrose practises as a barrister and arbitrator in commercial law with particular emphasis on international trade, embracing shipping, commodities, energy, insurance and banking.

She took a first in law from Oxford University and then a first in the LLM from Cambridge University, and was called to the bar in 1992. Since then she has practised at 20 Essex Street. She has appeared before the High Court, Court of Appeal and arbitral tribunals including LMAA, LCIA, ICC and UNCITRAL tribunals. In 2007 she was appointed a Deputy District Judge.

In recent years Clare has acquired extensive experience as a commercial arbitrator, with more than 90 appointments. Clare has frequently been appointed as a chairman and sole arbitrator as well as panel member.  She has issued more than 50 awards, usually having done the main drafting.  Her appointments have been made under a variety of arbitral rules, including those of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) and the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association (LMAA). She has also been appointed in numerous ad hoc arbitrations.

Arbitral appointments have included matters relating to:

  • Commodities and international sales
  • Construction contracts and industrial design
  • Coal and iron trading
  • Distribution agreements
  • Music promotion
  • Oil trading and suppli agreements
  • Professional negligence
  • Shipping: charterparties & bills of lading
  • Ship building
  • Ship sale & purchase
  • Share purchase agreements
  • Technical services agreements

In addition to being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, she is a Member of the London Court of International Arbitration; the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association (Supporting Member), and a Panel Arbitrator for the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration. Her book, “London Maritime Arbitration”, was published in its third edition in 2009 and she widely lectures on arbitration issues. 

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

Specialisations: 

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

Principal Cases: 

Arbitration

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

MRI Trading AG v Erdenet Mining Corp LLC [2013] EWHC Civ 156

MRI Trading AG v Erdenet Mining Corp LLC [2012] EWHC 1988 (Comm)

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 [2013] EWHC Civ 156

MRI Trading AG v Erdenet Mining Corp LLC [2012] EWHC 1988 (Comm)

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.

Arbitration Appointments LCIA

Numerous appointments under contracts for sale of oil, 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

Arbitration Appointments ICC

ICC appointed tribunal chairman under services agreement for oil and gas plants in Libya

Party nominated tribunal member under contract for sale of coal

Party nominated tribunal member under dispute between pharmaceutical companies

ICC nominated sole member under dispute between two banks relating to an international money transfer system

LMAA arbitration appointments

Numerous appointments under charterparties, bills of lading and contracts of affreightment (acting usually as party appointed tribunal member or as third arbitrator).

Party appointed tribunal member in dispute between a European yard and the buyer involving a $20 million luxury motor yacht

Arbitration appointments/ Ad hoc and other institutions

Several appointments arising out of international sales, including sales of oil, coal, cement and steel

Sole arbitrator in dispute between surveyor and client involving allegations of 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 DIFC/LCIA rules under contract for sale of galvanised steel

Party appointed arbitrator under DIAC rules under contract for building of semi-submersible rigs for Dubai state entity

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.

Publications: 

London Maritime Arbitration (3rd Edition, Informa, 2009, co-written with Karen Maxwell and Angharad Parry).

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
  • Panel member of KLRCA

Lectures and Teaching: 

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 Community jurisdictional rules to arbitration. Clare now frequently gives talks and seminars, mainly in the area of arbitration.

Quotes: 

"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)