UCL Faculty of Laws


Commercial maritime law

31 May 2016–01 June 2016, 9:00 am–6:00 pm

Maritime Law

Event Information

Open to



Dr Melis Özdel, UCL Laws


BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1

Organised by Dr Melis Özdel, UCL Laws

About the conference

The title “Commercial Maritime Law” is a misnomer. There is a patchwork of different commercial maritime laws around the world. However, the title is a true reflection of what many legal scholars and practitioners in the field have long desired: a common framework of commercial maritime law. This two-­day colloquium unravels the complexities of bridging the gap between common law and civil law in commercial maritime law and will discuss whether the title “Commercial Maritime Law” will remain a misnomer despite the countless attempts at harmonization. The conference brings together internationally renowned scholars to discuss:

  • the areas in which the common law and civil law are divided;
  • the impact of these differences on the drafting and ratification of international conventions;
  • the search for a common framework; and
  • the procedural aspects of the common law and civil law divide in commercial maritime law.


This conference is accredited with 10.5 CPD hours by the Bar Standards Board.

The programme - day 1 (31 May 2016)

12:30Registration and light lunch
Dr Melis Özdel (UCL)Keynote Speakers include
Sir Anthony Evans, former Chief Justice of the Dubai Financial Centre Court, former Lord Justice of Appeal
Clive Aston, President of the LMAA (London Maritime Arbitrators Association)
 Chair: Mr. Godofredo Mendes Vianna, Partner at Kincaid Mendes Vianna Advogados, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14:00The common law “action in rem” and the suit against the master “qualitate qua” in continental law: Are these two ways of proceedings really “twin brothers”
Emeritus Professor Marc Huybrechts, University of Antwerp, Belgium
14:45Parallel proceedings for limitation of liability and insolvency: Issues and a few possible solutions 
Professor Martin Davies, Tulane University, Tulane Maritime Law Centre, USA
15:30Coffee Break
16:00Chair: Mr. Godofredo Mendes Vianna, Partner at Kincaid Mendes Vianna Advogados, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
 Bridging the gap between the common law and civil law in maritime arbitration: The recognition of arbitration awards under the New York Convention 1958
Dr Melis Özdel, UCL, UK
16:45Towards a convergence of the principles of European, maritime and common contract lawProfessor Erik Røsæg, University of Oslo, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, Norway
17:30Coffee Break
18:00Evening Session
Chair: Jeffrey Gruder QC, Essex Court Chambers
 Singapore: common law relevance in a civil law Asia
Lawrence Teh, Partner, Dentons, Rodyk Davidson, LLP, Singapore
18:45The common law and civil law traditions of contract interpretation in the context of maritime law
Sir Bernard Rix, 20 Essex Street, International Judge of the Singapore Commercial Court
19:30Reception and Conference Dinner

The programme - day 2 (1 June 2016)

12:30Conference Lunch
 Chair: Ravi Aswani, Stone Chambers, UK
14:00Actual carriers at civil law
Professor Dr Dieter Schwampe, Partner, Dabelstein & Passehl Rechtsanwalte, Hamburg
14:45Actual carriers at common law 
Emeritus Professor Francis Reynolds, Oxford University
 15:30Coffee Break
 Chair: Paul Dean, Partner, Holman Fenwick Willan, UK
16:00Insurance and Disclosure: Common Law and Civil Law Perspectives
Peter Macdonald-Eggers QC, 7 King’s Bench Walk, UK
16:45Conflict or tension between the Brussels I Regulation and the maritime and transport law conventions?
Professor Frank Smeele, Erasmus University, Rotterdam Institute for Shipping and Transport Law, The Netherlands
17:30Coffee Break
 Evening Sessions:
Chair: Charlotte Winter, Partner, Norton Rose, UK
18:00PST Energy 7 Shipping LLC and Another v. OW Bunker Malta Ltd and Another (The Res Cogitans)
Jans v. Mathiasen, Gorrissen Federspiel, Copenhagen
18:45PST Energy 7 Shipping LLC and Another v. OW Bunker Malta Ltd and Another (The Res Cogitans)
Stephen Cogley QC, Quadrant Chambers
20:15Conference Ends

About the speakers

Stephen Cogley QC, Quadrant Chambers
Stephen is a barrister at Quadrant Chambers. Stephen is a particularly versatile advocate, having crossed over from pure modern chancery and insolvency to commercial and shipping work. He is often instructed in large disputes that involve both chancery/insolvency and commercial issues. Many of his cases involve international aspects and he frequently works with teams of lawyers from other jurisdictions in cases that typically commence with anti-suit injunctions, freezing injunctions and other forms of interim relief. He is recognised and recommended in these areas. Stephen regularly appears in the Court of Appeal, Commercial Court and Chancery Division as well as undertaking arbitrations. Stephen’s international practice includes involvement in a number of oil and gas arbitrations for and against large multi-nationals and State entities in various jurisdictions. High profile cases he has recently been or is currently engaged in include acting for Sudan in its oil ownership/pipeline transit fee disputes with South Sudan; the commissioners of Oil field pumping stations in a USD 1 billion arbitration; Alexander Vik in his dispute with Deutsche Bank, Nob Su in various disputes various cross- border insolvency disputes arising out of the collapse of KLC in Korea and SANKO in Japan (numerous cases in various jurisdictions) and OW Bunkers; on behalf of P and I insurers and others in respect of the recent Iranian Sanctions; the builders of the biggest Cargo vessel ever constructed which foundered on its maiden voyage; NITC  in its recent well publicised USD 1.5 billion insurance / Iranian sanctions / re-financing dispute; office holders seeking recovery against the insolvent’s indemnity insurers; shareholders in a multi-million 944 Petition involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty; a solicitor allegedly involved in a major city fraud.

Professor Martin Davies, Tulane University, Tulane Maritime Law Centre, USA
Martin Davies is Admiralty Law Institute Professor of Maritime Law at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Director of the Tulane Maritime Law Center, and Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School, Australia.

He holds the degrees of M.A. and B.C.L. from Oxford University, England, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.   Before joining Tulane, he was Harrison Moore Professor of Law at The University of Melbourne in Australia and before that he taught at Monash University, The University of Western Australia and Nottingham University.   He has also been a visiting professor at universities in Italy and Singapore.

He is author (or co-author) of books on maritime law, international trade law, conflict of laws, and the law of torts.  He has also published many journal articles on these topics. He also has extensive practical experience as a consultant in maritime matters and general international litigation and arbitration, in Australia, Singapore, and the USA. He has advised on cargo claims, arrest and admiralty matters, drafting bills of lading, sea waybills and charterparties, collisions and limitation of liability, oil pollution, salvage, marine insurance, maritime arbitrations and international sale of goods.

Emeritus Professor Francis Reynolds, Oxford University
Francis Reynolds DCL, QC (Hon) is an Emeritus Professor in the University of Oxford; a barrister and Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple and a Fellow of the British Academy, a Titulary Member of the CMI and Honorary Professor in the International Maritime Law Institute of the IMO, Malta. He is one of the writers of Carver on Bills of Lading.

Emeritus Professor Marc Huybrechts, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Marc A. Huybrechts is emeritus Professor of Transport Law at the University of Leuven and at  the Antwerp University and visiting Professor at Dalian Maritime University.

He is an advocate at the Bar of Antwerp and emeritus auxiliary justice at the Antwerp Appeals Court.

He is member of the  Law  Commission on the reform of Belgian Maritime Law. Till 2015 he was editor of the section Transport law of the International Encyclopdia of Laws.

Peter Macdonald-Eggers QC, 7 King’s Bench Walk, UK
Peter MacDonald Eggers QC is a barrister practising at 7 King’s Bench Walk, specialising in commercial law, including insurance and reinsurance, shipping, energy, commodities, international trade and arbitration. Peter is co-author of Good Faith and Insurance Contracts, author of Deceit: The Lie of the Law, and a Contributing Editor of Chitty on Contracts. He is a Visiting Professor at University College, London.

Peter has appeared in numerous commercial cases, including recently in The Cape Bari (Limitation Convention), Suez Fortune Investments Ltd v Talbot Underwriting Ltd (CTL and sue and labour), Rathbone Brothers plc v Novae Corporate Underwriting (subrogation), The Princess of the Stars (reinsurance and typhoon warranty), Sea Glory Maritime Co v Al Sagr National Insurance Co (good faith and ISM), Arash Shipping v Groupama (Iranian sanctions and fleet policy), Masefield v Amlin (ATL and piracy), The WD Fairway (CTL and abandonment), and Limit v AXA (good faith and reinsurance).

Jens v. Mathiasen, Gorrissen Federspiel, Copenhagen
Jens V. Mathiasen, born 1971, is a partner of Gorrissen Federspiel. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Copenhagen in 1996. In 1997 he became Master of Laws (LL.M.) at University of Southampton and worked as an attorney at Gorrissen Federspiel until
2001. In 2001 he was admitted to the Norwegian Bar, and in 2001-2003 he worked at Wiersholm, Mellbye & Bech, Norway. In 2003 he returned to Denmark and was admitted to the Danish High Court in 2005. For several years he has been a lecturer in and head of maritime law at the A.P. Møller Shipping School. He works with all aspects of shipping and ship finance. Co-author of the Danish annotated “Merchant Shipping Act”, 2012, and contributor to a number of other publications. He is a member of Comité Maritime International (CMI), Danish Branch and The Danish Association of Banking and Finance Law.

Dr Melis Özdel, UCL, UK
Melis Özdel joined UCL in August 2012 from the University of Southampton, where she was a lecturer in Maritime Law from 2010–12. She has taught academic and professional courses and has published in various areas of Maritime and International Trade Law.

Melis holds a Ph.D degree from the University of Southampton. She wrote her Ph.D thesis on incorporation of charterparty clauses into bills of lading under English and US law. Before her Ph.D studies, Melis qualified at the Turkish Bar Association and she then practised as an advocate in Turkey for two years in the areas of construction, media and carriage of goods by air. She received her LLB degree from Ankara University and LLM degree in Maritime Law from the University of Southampton. Melis is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Turkey Bar Association and European Maritime Law Organisation. She is also a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association.

Melis’s research interests lie in Carriage of Goods by Sea, International Trade Law, Maritime Conflict of Laws and Jurisdiction and Arbitration. She is particularly interested in the interrelation between these areas.

Sir Bernard Rix, 20 Essex Street, International Judge of the Singapore Commercial Court
Sir Bernard Rix is Professor of International Commercial Law at Queen Mary University of London. He retired as Lord Justice of Appeal in 2013 after 20 years in the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal. He is an arbitrator and mediator and has been appointed to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal and Singapore International Commercial Court.

He was educated at New College Oxford, of which he is an honorary fellow, and at Harvard Law School, where he was a Kennedy Scholar. He is a member of the Advisory Council of BIICL (British Institute of International and Comparative Law), former Chairman of the Advisory Council of CCLS and former director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

At Queen Mary, he lectures on insurance, shipping, arbitration and commercial law and is convening a new module next year entitled Transnational Problems in Commercial Contracts.

Professor Erik Røsæg, University of Oslo, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, Norway
Erik Røsæg  was born in 1958, and have mainly been employed by the University of Oslo since 1982. He became Master of Laws 1986 and Doctor of Laws 1992; both degrees from University of Oslo. He is now a professor at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, and works with general commercial law, maritime law and law of the sea. He has extensive experience from treaty negotiations and is the chairman of the Norwegian Maritime Law Commission.

Professor Dr Dieter Schwampe, Partner, Dabelstein & Passehl Rechtsanwalte, Hamburg
Dr. Dieter Schwampe, born 1957,. studied jurisprudence and Japanology at the Universities of Constance, Bonn and Hamburg and obtained his first state exam in 1981. From 1981 to 1982 he was an Assistant at the Institute for Private International and Foreign Law at Hamburg University.. During that year he also completed his law doctorate with a thesis on Charterers’ Liability Insurance.  Dieter Schwampe qualified as a German lawyer in 1985 and started his career in the Hamburg law firm Dabelstein & Passehl in 1985. He became a partner in 1988 and swerved as Managing Partner of his firm form 2001 to 2013.

Dieter Schwampe is a member of the Hamburg Bar Association, the German Lawyers Association, the U.S. Maritime Law Association (MLAUS) and the International Bar Association IBA). Is President of the German Maritime Law Association (DVIS) and Board Member of the Hamburg Association of Insurance Science. He is also an Executive Council Member of Comité Maritime International (CMI) and a member in CMI’s International Working Groups on Marine Insurance (of which was he Chairman from 2009 to 2013) and CMI’s International Working Group on Unmanned Ships: He also is Vice-Chairman of the Working Party on Marine Insurance of Association International de Droit des Assurance (AIDA) and a member of the Legal an Liability Committee of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI). As a member of the German Maritime Arbitration Association (GMAA) he is an active arbitrator and as also served on international panels of other arbitration associations. Since 2013 he is Professor of Law at Hamburg University, where he teaches shipping law, transport law and marine insurance law since 2007. He is regularly invited to speak on national and international seminars and conferences, and he is the author of numerous books and articles on various aspects of shipping and marine insurance law.

Focus of Practice: The special areas of practice of Dieter Schwampe are insurance law as well as shipping law.. In insurance law he is a specialist in hull as well as P&I insurance, cargo insurance, re-insurance and commercial specialties. Beside company and supervisory law of insurance companies he also intensively works in the insurance broker’s liability area. In shipping law he specializes in Bills of Lading, charter parties, collisions, salvage and general average.

Professor Frank Smeele, Erasmus University, Rotterdam Institute for Shipping and Transport Law, The Netherlands
Biography to come

Lawrence Teh, Partner, Dentons Rodyk Davidson, LLP, Singapore
Lawrence Teh is a partner in Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP’s Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group. Lawrence advises clients and acts as an advocate in all areas of commercial law and appears regularly as leading counsel in the Singapore Courts, in arbitration and in other forms of dispute resolution. He is also appointed regularly as an arbitrator in international disputes. He has particular experience in international trade and commodities, maritime and aviation, banking and financial services, onshore and offshore construction, mergers acquisitions joint ventures and other
investments, and insurance in related fields.

Lawrence is currently the Chairman of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee at The Law Society of Singapore. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, and a panel arbitrator at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He chaired the committee that drafted the Law Society Arbitration Rules and is a panel arbitrator of the Law Society Arbitration Scheme. Recently, he was appointed the Administrator of the Comite Maritime International (CMI) in 2013, and Chairman of the Promotion Committee of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA). He is also a Council Member of the Legal Practice Division in the International Bar Association (IBA).