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Simon Milnes

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

Simon's practice is primarily in the field of international commercial arbitration and litigation. He is regularly instructed both alone and as junior counsel in commercial disputes, especially commodities, shipping, shipbuilding (and off-shore installation construction), insurance, banking and finance, and derivatives. Since September 2010, Simon has practised from 20 Essex Street's Singapore annex at Maxwell Chambers, Singapore. Simon is ranked as a leading arbitration junior by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2015 under its 'Singapore: the English Bar' section.

Simon is a co-editor of the forthcoming 12th Edition of MacGillivray on Insurance Law (having also contributed to the two supplements to the 11th Edition).

Simon is also a member of the Bar of the British Virgin Islands.


  • Arbitration
  • Commodities (international sale of goods)
  • EU and competition law
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Shipping (bills of lading, charterparties, long term contracts of affreightment)
  • Derivatives (including forward freight agreements)
  • Private international law
  • General commercial

Principal Cases: 


Republic of Serbia v. ImageSat International N. V. [2010] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 324

ICC arbitration against a sovereign state concerning a contract for the supply of intelligence equipment (claim of over 44 million euros), which proceeded to the final award stage (led by David Owen QC).

ICC arbitration arising out of a co-investment in a Bulgarian bank (claim of over 30 million euros), which also proceeded to the final award stage (led by Duncan Matthews QC).

ICC arbitration relating to a long term electricity supply contract between German and Romanian entities (claim of c. 50 million euros) (led by Andrew Baker QC).


Various arbitrations concerning sales of coal from Indonesia

Ad hoc arbitration concerning contracts for sale and export by river of oil from Russia.

EU & competition law

Easyjet Airline Co. Ltd v Liverpool Airport PLC, 2006 Folio 1019 (complex competition law dispute), instructed as second junior to Stephen Morris QC and Thomas Raphael of 20 Essex Street.


Munich Re Capital and others v Mareb Yemen Insurance Co. 2009 Folio 703 - claim for declaration of non-liability under a reinsurance contract.


Isabella Shipowner SA v Shagang Shipping Co Ltd [2012] EWHC 1077 (Comm)

Relax Limited and ors v Metvale Ltd, the "MSC Napoli" Group Litigation [2008] Folio 85

Van Rees BV v Maersk Line UK Ltd 2007 Folio 1056 - claim arising from alleged contamination of cargo of Kenya tea. MSC Napoli Group Litigation 2008 Folio 85 - claim arising from catastrophic hull failure of container vessel leading to intentional grounding and demolition.


Cello Electronics UK Ltd v Bank Leumi UK plc 2008 Folio 1397 - dispute concerning application of the UCP 600 terms and the requirements for individual letter of credit terms to vary or override the UCP 600.


Marine Trade SA v Pioneer Freight Futures Co Ltd 2009 Folio 368, a high value dispute concerning forward freight derivative contracts on the ISDA 1992 form (led by Guy Morpuss QC).

Deiulemar Shipping SpA v Pioneer Freight Futures Co Ltd 2009 Folio 336 - dispute concerning concerning forward freight derivative contracts on the ISDA 1992 form.

Education and Career: 

Simon was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford (BA, History, First Class) and the London School of Economics (MSc, International Relations, Distinction) before being awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in Law from City University London.

He was awarded the David Karmel Scholarship (2004) and the Bedingfield Scholarship (2005) by Grays Inn.

Before being called to the Bar, Simon spent two years in the UK civil service, as a policy adviser and later as speechwriter to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury.

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA)


"His Mandarin skills are useful when dealing with cases involving Chinese parties." Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016, Shipping

"Extremely intelligent and simply brilliant." Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016, Energy

"He punches above his weight; his written work is just terrific and he has a very nice way of putting things in pleadings." "He is good on his feet, thinks off-the-cuff very well, speaks confidently without notes and is dogged and determined in pursuit of the case." Chambers Asia Pacific 2015, Singapore: Arbitration: The English Bar

"simply outstanding, a very bright, very sensible and very commercial junior counsel who's years beyond his call." Chambers Asia Pacific 2014, Singapore: Arbitration: The English Bar