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Michael Collett QC

BA (Hons), Dip. Law, MCIArb

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Clerks' direct contact:
+44 (0)20 7842 1200
Clerks [at] 20essexst [dot] com

Michael Collett QC is a barrister specialising in commercial law.  His areas of practice include general commercial disputes, shipping (including charterparty, contract of affreightment, bill of lading, shipbuilding, and ship sale and purchase disputes), carriage of goods by road, international trade, commodities, conflicts of laws, insurance (including marine insurance and P&I cover), reinsurance, banking and shareholder disputes. He appears both in Court and before a variety of arbitration tribunals.  Recent experience includes several arbitrations under HKIAC Rules in Hong Kong, many cases arising out of the worldwide economic downturn, disputes about the scope of arbitration clauses, insurance and reinsurance disputes (including avoidance and coverage issues), giving expert evidence of English law in foreign proceedings, and a substantial dispute between shareholders in a mineral company.  He accepts appointments as an arbitrator and has recently been involved in a number of references under various regimes (including LCIA, LMAA, UNCITRAL Rules and ad hoc).  He is a member of the Baltic Exchange.

Specialisations: 

  • Shipping
  • Commodities & Sale of Goods
  • Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Arbitration
  • Private International Law
  • Banking & Financial Contracts
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Shareholder & Joint Venture disputes
  • Agency

Principal Cases: 

Commodities & Sale of Goods

PEC Limited v Asia Golden Rice Co Ltd [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 82 - Disputed contract for sale of Thai rice - GAFTA 125 Arbitration Rules - Section 70(2) of the Arbitration Act 1996 - Whether time for challenging the ruling of a GAFTA first tier tribunal that it has jurisdiction runs from the date of the first tier award or the date of completion of any non-jurisdictional appeal to the GAFTA Board of Appeal - meaning of "available arbitral process of appeal or review" considered

Wilmar Oleo Pte Ltd v Vinmar Chemicals and Polymers BV [2011] EWHC 2067 (Comm) - Sale of goods - FOB sale of biofuel (fatty acid methyl ester) - whether contract incorporated a certificate final provision - whether the water content of the product was within the contractual specification - repeatability and reproducibility of standard test methods

Pacific Inter Link SDN BHD v Efko Food Ingredients Ltd [2011] EWHC 923 (Comm) - Arbitration - Sale of goods - CFR sale of palm oil (rbd olein) - whether binding contract concluded - whether FOSFA arbitration clause agreed - whether there was an ad hoc submission to FOSFA arbitration

SOS Corporacion Alimentaria SA (formerly SOS Cuetara SA) v Inerco Trade SA [2010] EWHC 162 (Comm); [2010] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 345; [2010] 1 C.L.C. 85 - Arbitration - sale of goods - CIF sales of Ukrainian sunflower seed oil - contracts incorporating FOSFA 54 including its arbitration clause - claims became time-barred under the FOSFA Rules - FOSFA Board of Appeal refused to extend time in the exercise of its absolute discretion - applications for permission to appeal under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and for an extension of time under section 12 of the Arbitration Act 1996 - circumstances in which an appeal on a point of law permissible where tribunal has exercised an absolute discretion - factors relevant to an application to extend time under section 12 - rejection of Aspen Trader

Petroplus Marketing AG v Shell Trading International Ltd (The "Ninae") [2009] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 611 - Sale of goods - FOB sale of high sulphur fuel oil - pricing by reference to bill of lading date - whether buyers entitled to withhold payment on the basis that the price had been increased by delay in shipment

UR Power GmbH v Kuok Oils and Grains Pte Ltd [2009] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 495 - Arbitration - Sale of goods - CIF sale of crude palm oil - challenges to FOSFA award - dispute whether parties entered into binding agreement - whether tribunal had jurisdiction to determine that issue - whether right to challenge jurisdiction lost - whether arbitration agreement binding even if underlying contract did not come into existence - time limit for challenging FOSFA Board of Appeal award

Shipping

Cosmotrade v Kairos Shipping Ltd (The "Atlantik Confidence") [2013] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 535 - Loss of bulk carrier - Limitation action - Whether Limitation Fund can be constituted by provision of a P&I Club letter guarantee - Merchant Shipping Act 1995 - Freezing injunction - Risk of dissipation - One ship company

Navig8 Pte Ltd v. Al-Riyadh Co For Vegetable Oil Industry [2013] EWHC 1565 (Comm) - Bills of Lading - Cargo Claim - Dispute as to identity of contractual carrier - Whether signature on behalf of Master of preponderant importance - Relevance of reference to sub-charterers as ‘owners' in clause incorporating charterparty terms - Whether grant of negative declarations would serve a useful purpose where the Defendants had not acknowledged service and were prosecuting a claim in Jordan

Navig8 Pte Ltd v. Al-Riyadh Co For Vegetable Oil Industry [2013] EWHC 328 (Comm), [2013] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 104 - Bills of Lading - Cargo Claim - Dispute as to identity of contractual carrier - competing proceedings in Jordan - CPR 11 - whether permission to serve claims for anti-suit injunction, negative declarations and damages should be granted - whether claim for an anti-suit injunction "in respect of" the bill of lading contracts - whether England the proper place to hear the claims for negative declaratory relief - whether declarations served a useful and legitimate purpose - whether anti-suit relief might be granted ancillary to the declarations

Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals Ltd India Steamship v Trafigura Maritime Ventures Ltd (The "Ratna Shradha") (2012, Court of Appeal) - Voyage Charterparty - Letter of Indemnity - Judicial sale of goods under CPR 25.1(1)(c)(v) - Power of Court to vary an order under CPR3.1(7) - whether a second Judge had power to require charterers to provide a Letter of Indemnity after discharge pursuant to the order of the first Judge had been completed (and the Letter of Indemnity provided in  accordance with the order of the first Judge had expired)

YM Mars Tankers Ltd v Shield Petroleum Co (Nigeria) Ltd (2012) 844, [2012] EWHC 2652 (Comm) LMLN 2a - Bill of lading - whether "Law and Litigation Clause" of time charter incorporated into bill of lading - whether the defendants were bound to refer disputes to arbitration - whether anti-suit injunction restraining the defendants from continuing proceedings in Nigeria should be discharged

The Kildare (Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd v Fortescue Metals Group Ltd) [2010] EWHC 903 (Comm); [2011] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 360 - Long term consecutive voyage charter for carriage of iron ore - whether charter repudiated - whether was an available market for an equivalent charter at the date of termination - whether a subsequent available market was relevant to the assessment of damages - whether the vessel's actual substitute earnings were to be taken into account - the appropriate discount rate to reflect (i) advanced receipt of damages and (ii) contingencies which might have affected performance of the charter had it continued

The Darius (Berezovsky v Edmiston & Co Ltd) [2010] EWHC 1883 (Comm); [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 419; [2010] 2 C.L.C. 126 - Sale of superyacht - claim for broker's commission - whether broker the effective cause of the transaction - appropriate rate of commission - quantum meruit

Sotrade Denizcilik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS v Amadou Lo and Ors (The "Duden")  [2009] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 145 (sister case to The "Kallang" (No.2)) -  Shipping - Arbitration - Bill of lading - London arbitration agreement -  arrest in Senegal - whether in breach of arbitration agreement - whether  insurers induced breach of arbitration agreement by cargo interests -  damages - final anti-suit injunction  

London Arbitration 11/08 (2008) 749 LMLN - Shipping - Voyage  Charterparty - whether party liable as charterer or guarantor - whether  Statute of Frauds satisfied - whether charterers liable for deadfreight  and demurrage - scope of exclusion for lockout - validity of Notice of  Readiness - costs of exercising lien  

Starlight Shipping v Tai Ping Insurance Co (The "Alexandros T") [2008] 1  Lloyd's Rep. 230 - Private International Law - Arbitration - Shipping -  Bill of lading - London arbitration agreement - whether Chinese  proceedings in breach of arbitration agreement - whether Court should  grant anti-suit injunction notwithstanding tribunal constituted - whether  non-party to arbitration agreement could obtain permission to serve out  under CPR6.20(5)(c)  

Bandwidth Shipping Corporation v Intaari (The "Magdalena  Oldendorff") [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 7 (Court of Appeal) - Arbitration -  Shipping - Time Charterparty - whether point raised for first time in  reply in oral closing - whether tribunal failed to give applicant a  reasonable opportunity of putting its case or dealing fairly with that of  its opponent - whether serious irregularity under s.68 Arbitration Act  1996   London Arbitration 3/07 (2007) 713 LMLN 3 - Shipping - Time Charterparty -  whether vessel redelivered late - whether charterers in breach of  redelivery notice obligations - whether damages recoverable for loss of  follow-on business or too remote - scope of exception for "all dangers  and accidents of the seas"

London Arbitration 3/07 (2007) 713 LMLN 3 - Charterparty - claim for damages for late redelivery - claim for breach of redelivery notice obligations - whether notice to be given by particular date - whether notice to be given in good faith alone, or in good faith and on reasonable grounds - whether defence of dangers and/or accidents of the sea

More Og Romsdal Fylkesbatar AS v The Demise Charterers  of the Ship "Jotunheim" [2005] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 181 - Bareboat  charterparty - charterers failed to pay hire - owners sought to withdraw  and repossess the vessel - whether owners' rights waived - whether Court  should grant relief from forfeiture

The Vinson (Quark Ltd v Chiquita Unifrutti Japan Ltd and Ors) (2005) 677 LMLN 1 - Arbitration - bills of lading - whether bills of lading incorporated charterparty containing a London arbitration clause - whether intermediate time charterparty incorporated into bills of lading - challenge to the tribunal's jurisdiction under s.67 Arbitration Act 1996

Arbitration

 

 

 

 

PEC Limited v Asia Golden Rice Co Ltd  [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 82, [2012] EWHC 846 (Comm) - Disputed contract for sale of Thai rice - GAFTA 125 Arbitration Rules - Section 70(2) of the Arbitration Act 1996 - Whether time for challenging the ruling of a GAFTA first tier tribunal that it has jurisdiction runs from the date of the first tier award or the date of completion of any non-jurisdictional appeal to the GAFTA Board of Appeal - meaning of "available arbitral process of appeal or review" considered

Lombard North Central Plc v GATX Corp [2012] EWHC 1067 (Comm); [2012] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 662 - Arbitration agreement incorporating LCIA Rules - application for a stay of Court proceedings - section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996 - inherent jurisdiction to stay proceedings - article 23.4 of the LCIA Rules - whether the Court proceedings were "in respect of" a referred matter - whether arbitration agreement "null and void, inoperative, or incapable of being performed"  

A v B [2010] EWHC 3302 (Comm); [2011] Bus. L.R. 1020; [2011] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 935; [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 363; [2010] 2 C.L.C. 944 - Arbitration - sale of goods - alleged DAF sales of Kazakh rapeseeds - contracts said to incorporate FOSFA 28 including its arbitration clause - awards made by FOSFA Board of Appeals - challenges brought under sections 67 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 - defendants applied for security for the sums awarded under section 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996 - factors relevant to the grant of security under section 70(7) - Peterson Farms followed and Tajik Aluminium doubted

Pacific Inter Link SDN BHD v Efko Food Ingredients Ltd [2011] EWHC 923 (Comm) - Arbitration - Sale of goods - CFR sale of palm oil (rbd olein) - whether binding contract concluded - whether FOSFA arbitration clause agreed - whether there was an ad hoc submission to FOSFA arbitration

SOS Corporacion Alimentaria SA (formerly SOS Cuetara SA) v Inerco Trade SA [2010] EWHC 162 (Comm); [2010] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 345; [2010] 1 C.L.C. 85 - Arbitration - sale of goods - CIF sales of Ukrainian sunflower seed oil - contracts incorporating FOSFA 54 including its arbitration clause - claims became time-barred under the FOSFA Rules - FOSFA Board of Appeal refused to extend time in the exercise of its absolute discretion - applications for permission to appeal under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and for an extension of time under section 12 of the Arbitration Act 1996 - circumstances in which an appeal on a point of law permissible where tribunal has exercised an absolute discretion - factors relevant to an application to extend time under section 12 - rejection of Aspen Trader

UR Power GmbH v Kuok Oils and Grains Pte Ltd [2009] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 495 - Arbitration - Sale of goods - CIF sale of crude palm oil - challenges to FOSFA award - dispute whether parties entered into binding agreement - whether tribunal had jurisdiction to determine that issue - whether right to challenge jurisdiction lost - whether arbitration agreement binding even if underlying contract did not come into existence - time limit for challenging FOSFA Board of Appeal award

Sotrade Denizcilik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS v Amadou Lo and Ors (The "Duden") [2009] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 145 (sister case to The "Kallang" (No.2)) - Shipping - Arbitration - Bill of lading - London arbitration agreement - arrest in Senegal - whether in breach of arbitration agreement - whether insurers induced breach of arbitration agreement by cargo interests - damages - final anti-suit injunction

Starlight Shipping v Tai Ping Insurance Co (The "Alexandros T") [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 230 - Private International Law - Arbitration - Shipping - Bill of lading - London arbitration agreement - whether Chinese proceedings in breach of arbitration agreement - whether Court should grant anti-suit injunction notwithstanding tribunal constituted - whether non-party to arbitration agreement could obtain permission to serve out under CPR6.20(5)(c)

Bandwidth Shipping Corporation v Intaari (The "Magdalena Oldendorff") [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 7 (Court of Appeal) - Arbitration - Shipping - Time Charterparty - whether point raised for first time in reply in oral closing - whether tribunal failed to give applicant a reasonable opportunity of putting its case or dealing fairly with that of its opponent - whether serious irregularity under s.68 Arbitration Act 1996

The Vinson (Quark Ltd v Chiquita Unifrutti Japan Ltd and Ors) (2005) 677 LMLN 1 - Arbitration - bills of lading - whether bills of lading incorporated charterparty containing a London arbitration clause - whether intermediate time charterparty incorporated into bills of lading - challenge to the tribunal's jurisdiction under s.67 Arbitration Act 1996

Electrosteel Castings Ltd v Scan-Trans Shipping & Chartering Sdn Bhd [2003] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 190 - Shipping - Arbitration - Booking Note - whether party principal or agent - relationship between booking note and recap telex - evidence admissible on an application under s.67 Arbitration Act 1996

Reinsurance

American International Marine Agency of NewYork Inc v  Dandridge [2005] Lloyd's Rep. IR 643 - Reinsurance - hull and machinery  insurance - total loss - whether, and if so with what effect, follow the  settlements and follow the leader provisions incorporated into  reinsurance - breach of classification warranty

HIH v Axa Corporate Solutions [2003] Lloyd's Rep. IR 1 (Court of Appeal) -  Reinsurance - film finance insurance - breach of warranty - whether  reinsurers had waived breach - waiver by election - promissory estoppel -  estoppel by convention - whether reliance established where neither party  aware of right to be foregone 

HIH v New Hampshire [2001] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 378;  [2001] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 161 (CA) - Reinsurance - film finance insurance -  whether warranty as to number of films - whether slip superseded by  policy - effect of clause excluding right to avoid - effect of  incorporation of such clause into reinsurance

Banking

Czarnikow-Rionda Sugar Trading Inc v Standard Bank  London and Others [1999] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 187 - Banking - Letter of Credit -  Fraud - injunction preventing payment - whether balance of convenience  against granting of injunction - whether failure to make full and frank  disclosure - whether abuse of process

Shareholder and Joint Venture disputes

Confidential LCIA arbitration - Shareholders' agreement - dispute between shareholders of minerals company

Education and Career: 

  • Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1995.
  • Has practised at 20 Essex Street since 1997.
  • Educated St John's College, Oxford (1989-1993) and City University (1993-4).
  • First Class Honour Moderations in Latin Literature with Greek, First Class degree in Literae Humaniores, and Diploma in Law with Distinction.
  • Council of Legal Education Prize for performance in the Diploma in Law. 
  • Awarded a Karmel Entrance Award and Prince of Wales Scholarship by Gray's Inn.

Publications: 

'Maritime Arbitration' chapter in Arbitration in England (2013, Kluwer).

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Arbitration Secretary of the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • Supporting Member of the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association
  • Member of the Civil Mediation Council
  • Member of Combar
  • Member of the British Insurance Law Association
  • Member of the Baltic Exchange
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member of the LCIA European Users' Council
  • Member of the SCMA Panel of Arbitrators
  • Member of the ARIAS Panel of Arbitrators
  • Member of the MOOGAS Panel of International Arbitrators and Mediators

Lectures and Teaching: 

Has lectured to the West of England P&I Club (with Aleka Sheppard) on bills of lading

Quotes: 

"Very responsive, bright and friendly" (The Legal 500 2014)

"He is extremely able and responds well under pressure." "He has a sound grip of legal principles, and is a calm and efficient advocate." "He is extremely well regarded for his brightness and strong analytical skills." (Chambers UK 2014)

'Michael Collett is a "user-friendly and popular junior" whose "clear advice and effective advocacy" prove popular with clients' (Chambers UK 2013)

'Michael Collett is another outstanding junior whose depth of experience prompts a move up the rankings this year. "User-friendly and very able," he has had an incredibly busy year acting in numerous cases and arbitrations in the shipping and commodities field.' (Chambers UK 2012)

Recommended by Legal 500 2012 as 'Leading junior' in Commodities, Shipping, International Arbitration and Insurance and reinsurance:

"Michael Collett is ‘extremely bright and capable, very thorough, clear in his advice and a strong advocate'." (Commodities)

 

"Recommended juniors include Michael Collett, who is ‘strong whether on paper, in conference or at trial'" (Shipping)