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Henry Byam-Cook

BA (Oxon) and Diploma in Law (City University)

Henry Byam-Cook practises in a range of commercial disputes including arbitration, shipping and international trade, energy and natural resources, information technology, private international law and insurance. Since joining Chambers in 2001, he has appeared in the House of Lords/Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and High Court and has represented clients in a variety of international and trade arbitrations (including ICC, LCIA, LMAA, GAFTA, and FOSFA).

He is recommended by "Chambers UK" and "The Legal 500" as a leading junior in the fields of Commercial Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration, Shipping and Commodities, and has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including The "Golden Victory", a leading case on the assessment of damages for breach of contract, and The "Kos", the Supreme Court's decision on an owner's right to recover for time lost after the withdrawal of a vessel from a time charter. His recent cases include Navios v Sangamon (the first decision on the Court's power to order further reasons under Arbitration Act 1996 s.70(4)) and Caresse Navigation v Office Nationale de l'Electricite (incorporation of a jurisdiction clause into a bill of lading).

Specialisations: 

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Arbitration
  • Shipping and International Trade
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Private International Law
  • Information Technology
  • Banking
  • Insurance

Principal Cases: 

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Nippon Yusen Kubishika Kaisha v Golden Strait Corp (The "Golden Victory") [2007] 2 AC 353 - assessment of damages for repudiatory breach by charterer of long term time charter - claim based on market rate for vessel at date of breach - entitlement of court to look at events occurring between date of breach and trial as part of its assessment (Commercial Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords).

WS Tankship II BV v The Kwangju Bank Ltd and others [2011] EWHC 3103 (Comm) - 2 week trial in Commercial Court determining whether defendant banks were liable under a series of refund guarantees issued in connection with a shipbuilding contract. Considered questions of rectification, estoppel, non-disclosure and variation. Also whether SWIFT confirmation amounted to signature for purposes of Statute of Frauds.

Mirador International LLC v MF Global UK Limited [2012] EWCA Civ 1662 - decision on the scope of the obligation to pay commission under an introducing broker agreement in respect of F/X, CFD and futures and options trading (Court of Appeal).

The "Laemthong Glory" (No. 2) [2005] 1 Lloyd's Rep 688 - preliminary issue concerning a shipowner's right to enforce a letter of indemnity granted to the charterer by a cargo receiver via The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 (Commercial Court and Court of Appeal). This is the leading case on this statute.

Aerospace Publishing Ltd v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2007] Bus LR 726 - addresses the circumstances in which a claimant may recover damages assessed by reference to the cost of reinstating damaged chattels when that amount is higher than the diminution in their sale value and, in particular, what a claimant must prove in such circumstances. In addition, the judgment considers the period in respect of which interest should be awarded in such cases and the recoverability of staff costs (Court of Appeal).

ICC arbitration - claim for post termination indemnity by a commercial agent under the Commercial Agents Directive.

Arbitration

Navios International Inc v Sangamon Transportation Group [2012] 1 Lloyd's Rep 493 - First case to consider the scope of the Court's jurisdiction to order a tribunal to give further reasons under the Arbitration Act 1996 s.70(4). Hamblen J held that it was not appropriate for the court to exercise its discretion to order an arbitral tribunal to state the reasons for its award for the purposes of an appeal where what the applicant sought was the opportunity to present further evidence and seek further findings from the tribunal, which evidence and findings were not considered necessary at the time of the arbitration

LCIA-DIFC arbitration - successfully acted for buyers in a dispute arising out of their termination of contracts for the construction of two oil drilling platforms.

ICC arbitration - acted for sellers in relation to alleged repudiation of long term contract for the supply of cement clinker.

ICC arbitration – acted for buyers of components for an industrial plant in face of allegations by sellers that contract was unenforceable on the basis of illegality (accusations that the plant sought to exploit technology obtained by industrial espionage).

 

Shipping and International Trade

Nippon Yusen Kubishika Kaisha v Golden Strait Corp (The "Golden Victory") [2007] 2 AC 353 - assessment of damages for repudiatory breach by charterer of long term time charter - claim based on market rate for vessel at date of breach - entitlement of court to look at events occurring between date of breach and trial as part of its assessment (Commercial Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords).

ENE Kos 1 v Petroleo Brasileiro SA (The "Kos") [2012] 2 Lloyd's Rep 292 - owner's claim for remuneration for period after vessel withdrawn for non-payment of hire and recoverability of the costs of putting up security for a claim as legal costs in a subsequent court action (Commercial Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court).

CMA CGM SA v Classica Shipping Co Ltd (The "CMA Djakarta") [2004] 1 Lloyd's Rep 460 - Limitation of Liability - Shipowners claiming against time-charterers for damages and an indemnity in respect of an explosion and fire on a vessel caused by time-charterers' breach of charter in shipping dangerous cargo - whether time-charterers entitled under the 1976 Limitation Convention to limit their liability to shipowners in principle and, if so, in respect of which liabilities.

National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia v BP Oil Supply Company (The "Abqaiq") [2012] 1 Lloyd's Rep 18 - two day hearing before Court of Appeal on whether demurrage claim was  precluded by reason of a settlement agreement or a contractual time bar in the BPVoy form.

Caresse Navigation v Office Nationale de l'Electricite [2015] 1 Lloyd's Rep 256 - jurisdictional challenge which focused on whether or not a jurisdiction clause had been incorporated into a bill of lading from a voyage charter (Court of Appeal).

Navios International Inc v Sangamon Transportation Group (No. 2) [2012] 2 Lloyd's Rep 354 - section 69 arbitration appeal considering the meaning and effect of the BIMCO standard clause dealing with US Gross Transportation Tax, a tax levied by the US Government on hire and freight earned by owners and disponent owners on voyages to and from the USA.

The "Laemthong Glory" (No2) [2005] 1 Lloyd's Rep 688 - preliminary issue concerning a shipowner's right to enforce a letter of indemnity granted to the charterer by a cargo receiver via The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 (Commercial Court and Court of Appeal).

 

Energy and Natural Resources

LCIA-DIFC arbitration - successfully acted for buyers in a dispute arising out of their termination of contracts for the construction of two oil drilling platforms.                                          

ICC arbitration - acted for sellers in relation to alleged repudiation of long term contract for the supply of cement clinker.

London arbitration - acted for owners of LNG carrier after engine breakdown which disrupted the trading schedule of the major energy company which had chartered the vessel for carriage of parcels under its LNG purchase contracts.

ICC arbitration – acted for buyers of components for an industrial plant in face of allegations by sellers that contract was unenforceable on the basis of illegality (accusations that the plant sought to exploit technology obtained by industrial espionage).

RG Grain Trade v Feed Factors [2011] 2 Lloyd's Rep 432 - section 69 appeal on questions of law arising from an award of the GAFTA Board of Appeal. The points for the Court focused on a provision in the contract addressing which inspection certificate was to be final as between the parties and a standard form clause in GAFTA contract 119 (a clause not considered in any previous decision). Hamblen J's judgment casts light on the provisions of the GAFTA sampling rules (Form 124) and also GAFTA 119 - two contract forms in wide use in the commodities market.

Gulf Agri Trade FZCO v Aston Agro Industrial AG [2008] 2 Lloyd's Rep 376 - section 69 arbitration appeal considering whether or not the premature service by a party of a notice of "default" under the GAFTA default clause mechanism amounted to a repudiatory breach / renunciation of the sale contract (Commercial Court).

 

Private International Law

Caresse Navigation v Office Nationale de l'Electricite [2015] 1 Lloyd's Rep 256 - jurisdictional challenge which focused on whether or not a jurisdiction clause had been incorporated into a bill of lading from a voyage charter (Court of Appeal).

Ace Insurance SA - NV (formerly Cigna) v Zurich Insurance Company - appeal to the House of Lords - Brussels and Lugano Conventions - section 49 of the CJJA 1982 - compatibility of the discretionary power of forum non conveniens with the Conventions.

Polskie Ratownictwo Okretowe v Rallo Vito & C. SNC [2010] 1 Lloyd's Rep 384 - jurisdictional challenge dealing with Article 23 of the Brussels Regulation and issues over the incorporation of a standard form contract into a fixture recap (Commercial Court).

Information Technology

Atos Consulting Ltd v Avis Europe Plc - dispute over the termination of a master services agreement for the pan European implementation of an ERP financial software package and Shared Service Centre. Case raised issues of fraudulent misrepresentation and expert points relating to repudiation (9 week trial in TCC which settled during hearing).

Peregrine Systems Ltd v Steria Ltd [2004] All ER (D) 447 (Feb) - helpdesk outsourcing - software development and implementation contract - termination clause and common law termination - misrepresentation - meaning of "remediable" breach - documentation and training requirements - ITIL compliance - construction of Claimant's Part 36 offer letter (8 day trial in Technology and Construction Court and 2 day appeal in Court of Appeal).

Insurance

Navigators Insurance Company v Marwan Shipping and Trading Company LLC - case concerning a Protection & Indemnity insurance policy - insurers seeking to avoid liability relying on grounds of breach of warranty, misrepresentation and non-disclosure (Commercial Court).

Education and Career: 

1994/1998 read Classics at Lincoln College, Oxford and was awarded the Old Members' Scholarship.

1998/1999 attended City University, London where he won the Inner Temple/City University Scholarship and was awarded a Diploma in Law.

1999/2000 Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law, London and received the Everard Ver Heyden Foundation prize.

Called to the Bar in October 2000.

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Supporting Member of the LMAA
  • Member of ICC YAF
  • Member of the Young International Arbitration Group of the LCIA
  • COMBAR
  • The Society for Computers & Law
  • LCLCBA
  • Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA)

Quotes: 

"Charming, affable and loved by clients. He is very good and very dependable." (Chambers UK Bar 2017)

"A pleasure to deal with, he consistently produces excellent work." (Legal 500 UK & Asia Pacific 2016) 

"He is a very good advocate." (Chambers UK Bar 2016 and Chambers Global 2015)

"He is fantastic. A very good lawyer, and very thorough." (Chambers UK Bar 2016 and Chambers Global 2015)

"He is going to do very well indeed. He is alert and he knows what he is about." (Chambers UK Bar 2015 and Chambers Global 2014)

 "He is very thoughtful and hard-working." "He is succinct and to the point." (Chambers UK Bar 2015 and Chambers Global 2014)

"Very fair and works to an excellent standard." "Great analytical mind" (Legal 500 2014)

"He is extremely good with complex cases, has a great analytical mind, is extremely thorough and has great drafting skills." "He pays great attention to detail." "In addition to having exceptional technical skills and intellect, he is commercially aware, user-friendly and a pleasure to work with." (Chambers UK Bar 2014)

excellent', ‘extremely good with complex cases', and ‘possesses great drafting skills' (Legal 500 2013)

"Henry Byam-Cook is 'excellent and very responsive'." (Legal 500 2012)

"Henry Byam-Cook is 'very thorough in his analysis and preparation, with a good eye for detail'." (Legal 500 2011)

"clever and calm" (Legal 500 2009)

"highly promising junior" (Chambers & Partners 2008)

"his expertise runs the full gamut of commercial litigation" (Chambers & Partners 2008)

"making ripples in the market place" and "extremely able" (Chambers & Partners 2007)

"firm in cross-examination and always stands up for his client" (Chambers & Partners 2006)