Socrates’s practice encompasses a wide range of commercial matters including sale of goods, banking and derivatives, letters of credit, guarantees, insurance, conflict of laws and jurisdictional disputes. He also has experience of heavy commercial cases. His principal cases are set out below:
Standard Chartered Bank v. Dorchester LNG
 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 97 (Court of Appeal)
 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 338 (Commercial Court)
The case concerned a claim by a confirming bank against the carrier of a cargo of gasoil for misdelivery, in circumstances where the bank initially rejected the presentation under the letter of credit and only paid the seller upon being sued, after the seller had ordered the discharge of the cargo. The case addresses the important question of whether a claim for dishonour of a letter of credit sounds in debt or in damages, and consequently whether arguments about causation, mitigation and remoteness can be raised in defence to such a claim.
Great Elephant Corporation v. Trafigura and others, "The Crudesky"
 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 1 (Court of Appeal)
 2 Lloyd's Rep. 503 (Commercial Court)
The case concerned the irregular loading of a vessel at the Akpo Oil Terminal in Nigeria, and the consequent detention on of the vessel by the Nigerian authorities. The buyers of the cargo at the top of the chain of sale contracts incurred significant losses as a result of the delay which they sought to pass down the chain of contracts. The judgments address important aspects of the law of force majeure, delegated performance, the Sale of Goods Act implied terms of right to sell and quiet possession, and whether a disproportionate response by state authorities amounts to a novus actus interveniens.
Nakanishi Marine v. Gora and others
 EWHC 3383 (Comm) (Commercial Court)
Dispute concerning the proper construction of various clauses of a deed of subordination between prior and subsequent lenders to a shipowning company, including the meaning of a clause providing that the subordinated lender must not take "any steps to enforce any of its rights" while the senior indebtedness remains outstanding.
Rainy Sky and Others v Kookmin Bank
 1 Lloyd's Rep. 233 (Court of Appeal)
 1 All ER (Comm) 823 (Commercial Court)
Claim by buyers of vessels under 6 shipbuilding contracts for a refund of instalments totalling USD 46 million against the guarantor bank under a number of Advance Payment Bonds. The case considered whether as a matter of construction the Bonds amounted to demand guarantees, obliging the bank to pay regardless of any underlying dispute under the shipbuilding contracts, and regardless of whether the shipbuilding contracts had actually been terminated. The case is the leading authority on how the tension between purposive and textual considerations in the interpretation of commercial contracts is to be resolved.
Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (In Administration)
 EWHC 2094 (Chancery Division)
 EWHC 3044 (Chancery Division - Costs)
This was one of the most significant cases of 2010 and was a dispute between the principal London based Lehman entity ("LBIE") and various Lehman affiliates worldwide as to the ownership of USD 1.5 billion of securities which were subject to a continuous process of inter-company repurchases and stock loans for regulatory capital reasons (known as the "RASCALS" process). In deciding whether, after initial acquisition, securities held in LBIE's unsegregated house depots were held on trust for the affiliates, Briggs J reviewed the law on certainty of trusts, ultimately applying the much debated decision of the Court of Appeal in Hunter v. Moss  1 WLR 452.
Schweppe v Harper
 All ER (D) 311 (Court of Appeal)
Claim by agent for success fee in respect of securing finance for the Defendant for the purpose of annulling the Defendant’s bankruptcy. In a wide ranging judgment the Court of Appeal considered a number of important issues of principle relating to unilateral offers, contingent conditions precedent, certainty of contractual terms, the validity of an agreement to negotiate in good faith, the existence of implied terms of co-operation and non-prevention of performance, and assessment of damages for loss of a chance.
Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co Ltd v Wiseman - The "Seaward Quest"
 2 Lloyd's Rep. 308 (Commercial Court)
Jurisdictional challenge in respect of claim by insurance company in England against the crew of a vessel domiciled in Scotland for recovery of insurance monies, on the basis that the insured vessel had been scuttled by the crew. The case considered whether under Schedule 4 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982, England was "the place where the harmful event occurred", and if it was, whether the doctrine of forum non conveniens applies between England and Scotland.
Uniworth International v. Plover Investments
 EWHC 1163 (Ch) (Chancery Division)
Case concerning the disputed sale of a textile business and related premises, and in particular whether the sale was duly authorised by the owner, whether the agent who effected the sale had ostensible authority to do so, and whether an injunction prohibiting the on-sale of the premises should be discharged.
Harsco Track Technologies v Euro Trans International Inc.
2003 (Commercial Court)
Jurisdictional dispute in which the carrier and the freight forwarder each issued separate contracts of carriage containing different jurisdiction clauses. The issue was whether the freight forwarder had actual or apparent authority to issue the bill of lading, and which of the two conflicting jurisdiction clauses prevailed.