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36 Stone

36 Stone are The 36 Group’s Shipping and International Trade team. 

The team is formed of barristers with industry-recognised expertise and market knowledge; delivering advocacy, advisory and arbitration services for shipping and commercial clients from all over the world in a wide variety of shipping (wet and dry) and international trade matters, both contentious and non-contentious.  Many of these members are acknowledged by the legal directories as leaders in their fields, the latest of which can be viewed on the following pages.

Working in partnership with our clients, we aim to exceed expectations and are confident  in our ability to provide a truly exceptional service.

The membership of 36 Stone is characterised by its breadth of experience and by the endorsement of its work in the legal directories.  The reputation of 36 Stone in the shipping market in this country and abroad is extremely high, as is shown both the quality and number of their instructions as counsel and appointment as arbitrators and by the frequency with which they are invited to speak at conferences in London and abroad.

36 Stone aims to be of service whether the demands of a particular piece of work call for the instruction of leading counsel with vast experience in the field or an up and coming junior practitioner with an affinity and interest in this field of work.

Areas of Expertise

  • Shipping, Wet and Dry
  • International Trade, Commodities and Trade Finance
  • Road, Rail & Air Transport
  • Insurance and Re-Insurance
  • International Arbitration
  • Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing
  • Private International Law

Shipping, wet and dry

‘a great pedigree’ and is a ‘highly rated set’ for shipping law. It houses ‘very experienced silks’ as well as ‘strong juniors‘. - Legal 500

The team have a leading practice in shipping and international trade. We are recommended as a leading shipping set in The Legal 500, Chambers and Partners UK Bar and Chambers & Partners Global Guide. Chambers & Partners UK Bar recognised that tthe team is a "genuine specialist shipping set" that provides "excellent value to its clients." Our barristers have expertise and experience in all aspects of shipping law, both 'wet' and 'dry'.

The barristers have extensive experience relating to shipping contractual documents including bills of lading, charterparties, contracts of affreightment, and shipbuilding and ship sale and purchase contracts. In addition we are also familiar with the issues which arise in practice relating to offshore and energy matters, regulatory matters such as marine environmental / pollution and port state control, collisions, salvage and wreck removal, and also competition, employment and commodities issues arising in shipping contexts.

Our barristers advise and represent parties in all types of cases relating to shipping and offshore activities in the civil and criminal courts, arbitrations, inquiries and other tribunals in the UK and other countries. Several barristers have been instructed by the Treasury Solicitor in Admiralty matters. Senior members sit as arbitrators in commercial maritime, collision and salvage disputes and have chaired public inquiries.

Elizabeth Blackburn QC and Vasanti Selvaratnam QC are first instance arbitrators on the Lloyd's Open Form arbitration panel.

A number of  barristers are members of the British Maritime Law Association and supporting members of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association. We are often invited to speak at events organised by the London Shipping Law Centre.

Chambers and Partners and/or Legal 500 recommend Elizabeth Blackburn QC, Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, Charles Debattista, Dominic Happe, Rachel Toney, Mark Jones, Ravi Aswani, Thomas Steward, James Shirley and John Reeder QC as leading barristers for shipping law.

International Trade, Commodities and Trade Finance

Our barristers have extensive experience with all types of international sale contract including CIF, FOB, EXW, CIP and FAS. We also have experience of a broad and diverse variety of types of commodity and their special characteristics, including metals, petroleum products, grain and foodstuffs.  Members of the set also have extensive experience of letter of credit work.

Both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 recommends Stone as a leading set for commodities work, with Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, Charles Debattista, Dominic Happe, Mark Jones and Ravi Aswani recommended as leading barristers in the Legal 500.

Within shipping and commodities in Chambers & Partners we have Elizabeth Blackburn QC, Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, Charles Debattista, Rachel Toney, Mark Jones, Ravi Aswani and James Shirley recommended.

Road, Rail & Air Transport

The team act in a wide variety of matters relating to carriage of goods and passengers by road, rail and air, including cases concerning terms of carriage, arrangements with freight forwarders and other transport intermediaries, all aspects of port and depot operation, regulatory and competition issues, environmental matters and safety.

Insurance & Re-insurance

Our barristers deal with all aspects of insurance and reinsurance disputes, including:

  • Policy coverage and interpretation
  • Liability
  • Misrepresentation
  • Fraudulent claims
  • Policy avoidance
  • Non-disclosure
  • Jurisdiction
  • Commercial and domestic
  • Double insurance
  • Under-insurance
  • Negligence, including brokers and advisers
  • All risks
  • Marine and aviation
  • Cargo insurance
  • Hull insurance
  • Piracy
  • Political risk
  • War risk

Corporation of Lloyd's, Lloyd's underwriters, insurers and re-insurers, Lloyd's names, Protection and Indemnity Clubs, brokers and other intermediaries, and private individuals.

International Arbitration

The barristers at 36 Stone regularly act as counsel before both ad hoc and institutional tribunals including LCIA, ICC, HKIAC, SIAC, SCC, SCMA and LMAA.

A number of members also sit as arbitrators, whether under ad hoc references or under the auspices of any of the above arbitral institutions.

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC and Ravi Aswani are recommended for International Arbitration by Chambers and Partners UK Bar and Legal 500.

Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing

The Team draws upon the specialist knowledge and experience that its members have built up throughout the vast range of work in which such allegations are made. Its core work involves breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, restitution, misrepresentation and transactions entered into at an undervalue in order to put assets beyond the reach of creditors. Its members are regularly involved in cases in which interim remedies are sought, often on an urgent basis.

Private International Law

Does the English Court have jurisdiction? If so, should the English Court exercise jurisdiction? Does English law apply? If not, what law governs the dispute? Will the Court grant an injunction to restrain actual or threatened foreign proceedings? These are questions which often arise in disputes which cross borders. So too questions of procedure: How does a party obtain / resist permission to serve out? When is permission required? What rules govern service? And if a judgment has been obtained here or abroad, questions of enforcement may arise: Can it be enforced against assets in London? Does the foreign judgment give rise to an issue estoppel or res judicata? How does a party challenge recognition and enforcement in England of a foreign judgment?

Barristers within 36 Stone are well-qualified to advise on the myriad of questions that arise when questions of jurisdiction and choice of law arise. Our barristers have appeared in many of the leading cases in this field. They are frequently asked to lecture, comment, and write about this often difficult, confusing and complicated area of law.