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Lawrence Akka QC

BA (Oxon), MBCS

 

Lawrence Akka’s practice encompasses high value technically complex commercial and contractual disputes particularly those involving new technologies, media and telecommunications, frequently with an international element. He has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and Privy Council as well as in numerous confidential IT, shipping, commodity, and commercial arbitrations and mediations, in the UK and abroad.

His technology practice covers software and hardware procurement disputes, outsourcing, development, e-commerce, broadcasting, Internet and telecommunications law, data protection and database rights. He has been instructed in numerous IT cases relating to subjects as diverse as satellite provisioning, telephone tapping and internet gambling.  As a junior, he was shortlisted for Chambers and Partners IT Junior of the Year in 2009, and is consistently highly rated for IT work by the legal directories. He is the vice-chairman (civil) of the Bar Council IT Panel.

He has been involved with Information Technology for over 25 years, and has a thorough grasp of the technical and other issues involved in the industry. He has written a number of domestic and business software applications, and is fluent in several computer programming languages.

Lawrence also specialises in shipping, commodities and commercial law, principally in the following areas: carriage by sea and road, charterparty and MOA disputes, international and domestic sale of goods, commodity trading and futures, international trade, agency and licensing, conflict of laws and jurisdiction, maritime, commodity and other domestic and international arbitration.

He accepts appointments to sit as arbitrator and has been appointed in both IT and shipping references.

Specialisations: 

  • Information Technology
  • Internet Law
  • Outsourcing
  • Software Development Contracts
  • Telecommunications and Broadcasting
  • International Trade
  • Commodities
  • Oil and Gas
  • Shipping
  • Shipbuilding
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Commercial Law
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Derivatives
  • Private International Law and Jurisdictional Disputes

Principal Cases: 

‚ÄčIn addition to many confidential matters, some of Lawrence's recent cases are:

Nokia Corp v HTC Corp [2012] EWHC 3199 (Pat) Application for a stay under s.9(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996 in multi-jurisdictional mobile telephone patent litigation

TARBS Europe SA v Macedonia [2012] Commercial Court claims for over €60m concerning the provision of satellite segment space and broadcasting facilities

Novasen SA v Alimenta SA [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep 390. Jurisdictional challenge under s.67 of the Arbitration Act 1996 arising from a FOSFA commodity arbitration - agency - undisclosed principal - separability of arbitration agreements

JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2010] EWHC 1779 (Comm),[2010] EWCA Civ 1141, etc, Commercial Court and Court of Appeal. Multi-billion dollar banking fraud in Kazakhstan - Freezing injunctions - receivership - ordinary course of business proviso - tracing - breach of fiduciary duty

Fiona Trust v Privalov [2010] Commercial Court shipping fraud claims for over $800m

Novologistics SARL v Five Ocean Corp - "The Merida" [2009] EWHC 3046. LMAA arbitration appeal to Commercial Court - demurrage - responsibility for delay at Chinese port - port or berth charterparty

Skype Technologies SA v Joltid Limited (Chancery Division) [2009]. Acting for Skype / eBay in a multinational software licencing and copyright dispute concerning the use of the P2P technology at the core of the Skype VOIP application

Farenco Shipping Co Ltd v Daebo Shipping Co Ltd - The "Bremen Max" [2009] 1 Lloyd's Rep 81. Delivery without bills of lading - misdelivery - validity of security and standard form charterparty letters of indemnity

Gulf Agri Trade FZCO v Aston Agro Industrial AG [2008] 2 Lloyd's Rep 376. Arbitration appeal from GAFTA award - default clause and notice - anticipatory breach of contract

Serena Navigation Ltd v Dera Commercial Establishment - "The Limnos" [2008] 2 Lloyd's Rep 166. Package or unit limitation under the Hague and Hague Visby Rules Art IV rule 5(a) - Economic loss - meaning of "goods lost or damaged"

Gold Coast Ltd v Naval Gijon SA - "Hull 553" [2006] 2 Lloyd's Rep 400. Long running shipbuilding dispute concerning delay in the construction of a chemical tanker for US$38m - seven arbitration awards - Arbitration Act section 57 - correct test for granting extensions of time

ATOS Consulting Ltd v AVIS Europe plc [2005] EWHC 982 (TCC) 16 May 2005. Multi million pound pan-European ERP software project - application to strike out 60 page Particulars of Claim under CPR 3.4 - exercise of Court's jurisdiction and discretion - termination of a master services agreement relating to ERP software and Shared Service Centre (9 week trial in TCC which settled during hearing).

Peregrine Systems v Steria [2004] EWHC 275 (TCC); [2004] All ER (D) 447 (TCC and Court of Appeal) Helpdesk outsourcing - software development and implementation contract - termination clause and common law termination - misrepresentation - meaning of remediable breach - documentation and training requirements - ITIL compliance - reasonable time for performance of IT contracts

Education and Career: 

  • St Catherine's College, Oxford: First Class BA (Hons) in Law, and a Martin Wronker Prize winner.
  • Hardwicke Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn)
  • Cassell Scholarship (Lincoln's Inn)
  • Everard ver Hayden Foundation Prize for Advocacy (CLE)

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS)
  • Society for Computers and Law
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Member of the Admiralty & Commercial Court Users Committee
  • Supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association

Lectures and Teaching: 

He has lectured widely in the IT and shipping fields.

Quotes: 

'Lawrence Akka QC is best recognised for his strong IT practice, but also turns his "incredible brain" to shipping, commodities and insurance disputes ... solicitors praise his "ability to always come up with an incredibly powerful legal analysis".' (Chambers UK 2013)

'He's not only "a great black letter lawyer, but he also really understands the technical aspects of cases, which is something that comes across very well in court".' (Chambers UK 2013)

an 'excellent grasp of complex matters' (Legal 500 2012)

noted for "his impressive clarity of thought, his industrious nature, easy grasp of the technical aspects of a case and excellent contract law knowledge." (Chambers & Partners 2012)

'very strong' and 'well-respected' (Legal 500 2011)

a "very sound and straightforward" lawyer (Chambers 2011)

"fantastically thorough and concise style that brings home the bacon time after time" (Chambers UK 2010)

"a major player on the scene" (Chambers UK 2010)

"a great cross-examiner with a real understanding of IT" (Legal 500 2010)

"a very good contract lawyer but understands the technology as well" (Chambers UK 2010)