People

Jonathan Hirst QC

Year of Call: 1975 Silk: 1990

Clerk: Julian Hawes julian.hawes@brickcourt.co.uk

Jonathan Hirst QC

Year of Call: 1975 Silk: 1990

Clerk: Julian Hawes   julian.hawes@brickcourt.co.uk

“Absolutely at the top end of the scale”
- Chambers & Partners 2012

“He justifies his reputation as a leading senior silk at the Bar. He is great with clients and has real presence.”
- Chambers & Partners 2014

Overview

Jonathan Hirst's career at the bar spans 41 years, the last 26 of those in silk, having been appointed QC at the age of 36.  He was Joint Head of Brick Court Chambers for 11 years until his retirement in 2016.

Within that time, he has served as the Chairman of the Bar and appeared in all the High Court divisions including the House of Lords and Privy Council on a regular basis. He is first and foremost an advocate, regarded by his peers and clients alike as robust and “devastatingly effective” in Court and someone who is always prepared to roll up his sleeves and work hard to obtain a satisfactory result for his clients.

Jonathan Hirst's practice covers a breadth of areas in General Commercial Litigation that includes Banking, Insurance and Reinsurance, Shipping, EU and Competition Law and Arbitration. Cases include cross-examining for 47 days in the year long “Sphere Drake” Commercial Court trial, being heavily involved in various substantial arbitrations following hurricanes Katrina and Rita and more recently advising in one of the first “credit-crunch” actions in a $2bn claim as well as seeking to challenge a $100 million London arbitration award in New York.

Jonathan Hirst is regularly appointed in Arbitration disputes as an Arbitrator through the main arbitral bodies and is a deputy High Court Judge in the Commercial Court, a Recorder, and is on the panel of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration.

practice areas

General commercial including insurance/reinsurance, shipping and banking; professional indemnity (especially accountants); entertainment; defamation.
Commercial and maritime arbitrator; supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators' Association; member of the LCIA and of the Baltic Exchange.

Commercial

General commercial/International

  • Assuranceforeningen Gard Gjensidig v. The International Oil Pollution Fund No 2. [2014] EWHC 3369 (Comm) (Hamblen J.)
  • QOGT Inc v. International Oil and Gas Technology Limited [2014] EWHC 1628 (Comm) (Popplewell J.)
  • Assuranceforeningen Gard Gjensidig v. The International Oil Pollution Fund [2014] EWHC 1394 (Comm) [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 219 (Hamblen J.)
  • Wuhan Guoyu Logistics Group Co Ltd v. Emporiki Bank of Greece SA No. 1 [2012] EWHC 1715 (Comm); [2012] EWCA Civ 1629 (Christopher Clarke J); [2012] EWCA Civ 1629; [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 266 (Court of Appeal);
  • Wuhan Guoyu Logistics Group Co Ltd v. Emporiki Bank of Greece SA No. 2 [2013] EWCA Civ 1679 [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 273 (Court of Appeal)
  • Arsanovia Ltd & Ors v Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings [2012] EWHC 3702 (Comm); [2013] 1 Lloyds Rep 235; [2013] EWCA Civ 1512 (Gloster LJ)
  • La Générale des Carrières et des Mines SARL ("Gécamines") v. F.G. Hemisphere Associates LLC [2012] UKPC 27; [2013] 1 All ER 409; [2012] 2 Lloyd's Rep 443 (Privy Council)
  • Hess Corporation v. Stena [2011] EWHC 1340 (Comm); [2011] All ER (D) 30 (Jun) (Burton J.) [2012] EWCA Civ 522 (Court of Appeal)
  • Chantiers De L'Atlantique SA v Gaztransport & Technigaz SAS [2011] EWHC 3383 (Comm)
  • Excalibur Ventures LLC v. Texas Keystone Inc and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited [2011] EWHC 1624 (Comm); [2011] 2 Lloyd's Rep 289 (Gloster J.)
  • Secretary of State for Transport v. Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited [2010] 1 Lloyd's Law Reps 175; [2009] EWHC 2431 (Comm);
  • Lion Apparel v. Firebuy [2007] EWHC (Ch) 2179 (Morgan J.)
  • C v. D [2007] EWHC (Comm) 1541; [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep 367 (Cooke J.) CA [2007] EWCA Civ 1282 [[2008] Bus LR 843; [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep 239
  • Masri v. Consolidated Contractors International Company SAL [2007} EWCA Civ 688 (CA)
  • Balcombe v. London Development Agency [2007] EWHC 106 (QB) (Jack J.)
  • Cable & Wireless v. Valentine & ors (2004-2006) Gloster J.)
  • Re: Enron Direct [2003] All ER (D) 254 (May) - (Chan)
  • Koch v. Richards Butler (CA) [2002] 2 All ER (Comm) 957 (CA);
  • Heaton v. Axa (Laddie J.) The Times 19.7.99; (C.A.) [2001] Ch 173; (H.L.) [2002] 2 AC 329;
  • Barclays Bank v. Villiers [2001] Lloyd's Rep IR 162
  • Kenburgh Investments (Northern) Ltd (in liq) v. Minton (CA) [2000] All ER (D) 885 [2000] CPLR 549 The Times 11 July 2000
  • JH Rayner v. Cafenorte SA Importadara e Exportara SA and Federative Republic of Brazil (Moore-Bick J.) [1999] 1 All ER (Comm) 120; (CA) [1999] 2 Lloyds Rep 750
  • Shell International Petroleum v. Coral Oil Co. Ltd [1999] 2 Lloyd's Rep 606
  • Maas (Frans) Logistics (UK) Ltd v. CDR Trucking BV (Colman J.) [1999] 2 Lloyds Rep 179

Insurance / Reinsurance

  • Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines v. Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep 195 [2010] EWHC 2661 (Comm)
  • ING Re (UK) Ltd v. R+V Versicherung AG [2006] Lloyd's Rep IR 653;
  • Sphere Drake Insurance Ltd v. Euro International Underwriting Limited and Sterling Cooke Brown Reinsurance Brokers Ltd & ors (The PA Spiral Litigation) [2003] Lloyds Rep IR 525; [2003] EWHC 1636 (Comm)
  • North Atlantic Insurance Co. Ltd v. Nationwide General Insurance Co. Ltd [2003] EWHC 449 (Comm)
  • Mercandian Continent  (CA) [2001] Lloyd=s Rep 563
  • Groupama Navigation et Transports v. Catatumbo CA Seguros (CA) [2001] Lloyds Rep IR 141.
  • Callahan and Hedges v. Thompson [2000] Lloyd's Rep IR 125.
  • Brown v. GIO Insurance Ltd. (CA) [1998] Lloyd's Rep IR 201.
  • Berriman v. Rose Thomson Young [1996] Lloyd's Reinsurance Law Reports 426
  • Axa Reinsuance (UK) v. Field (HL) [1996] 2 Lloyd's Rep 233
  • National Oil Well (UK) Ltd v. Davy Offshore (CA) (on appeal from [1993] 2 Lloyd's Rep 582)
  • Würtemburgische Feuerversicherung AG v. Home Insurance Company [1992] 2 Re LR 253 (Evans J.); [1994] 3 Re LR 188 (CA); [1997] LRLR 86 (Waller J.), [1999] Lloyd's Rep IR 397.

Shipping

  • Assuranceforeningen Gard Gjensidig v. The International Oil Pollution Fund No 2. [2014] EWHC 3369 (Comm) (Hamblen J.)
  • Assuranceforeningen Gard Gjensidig v. The International Oil Pollution Fund [2014] EWHC 1394 (Comm) [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 219
  • Wuhan Guoyu Logistics Group Co Ltd v. Emporiki Bank of Greece SA No. 1 [2012] EWHC 1715 (Comm); [2012] EWCA Civ 1629 (Christopher Clarke J); [2012] EWCA Civ 1629; [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 266 (Court of Appeal);
  • Wuhan Guoyu Logistics Group Co Ltd v. Emporiki Bank of Greece SA No. 2 [2013] EWCA Civ 1679 [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 273 (Court of Appeal)
  • Hess Corporation v. Stena [2011] EWHC 1340 (Comm); [2011] All ER (D) 30 (Jun) (Burton J.) [2012] EWCA Civ 522 (Court of Appeal)
  • Chantiers De L'Atlantique SA v Gaztransport & Technigaz SAS [2011] EWHC 3383 (Comm)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines v. Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd [2011] 1 Lloyd's Rep 195  [2010] EWHC 2661 (Comm)
  • "Paragon" [2009] 2 Lloyd's Reps 688
  • "Kalma" [1999] 2 Lloyd's Rep 374
  • "Anna H" (CA) [1995] 1 Lloyd's Rep 11
  • "Trident Beauty" (HL) [1994] 1 WLR 161
  • POTL v. Malaysian Shipbuilding Limited (1996-7 shipbuilding arbitration).

Arbitration

  • Editor SIAC Rules: an Annotation (LexisNexis 2014)
  • Arsanovia Ltd & Ors v Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings [2012] EWHC 3702 (Comm) [2013] 1 Lloyds Rep 235; [2013] EWCA Civ 1512 (Gloster LJ)
  • Chantiers De L'Atlantique SA v Gaztransport & Technigaz SAS [2011] EWHC 3383 (Comm)
  • Excalibur Ventures LLC v. Texas Keystone Inc and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited [2011] EWHC 1624 (Comm); [2011] 2 Lloyd's Rep 289 (Gloster J.)
  • Secretary of State for Transport v. Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited [2010] 1 Lloyd's Law Reps 175; [2009] EWHC 2431 (Comm);
  • C v. D [2007] EWHC (Comm) 1541; [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep 367 (Cooke J.) CA [2007] EWCA Civ 1282 [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep 239

Banking

  • Contributor, Paget on Banking (11th ed.), chapter on Money Laundering.
  • Wuhan Guoyu Logistics Group Co Ltd v. Emporiki Bank of Greece SA No. 1 [2012] EWHC 1715 (Comm); [2012] EWCA Civ 1629 (Christopher Clarke J); [2012] EWCA Civ 1629; [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 266 (Court of Appeal);
  • Wuhan Guoyu Logistics Group Co Ltd v. Emporiki Bank of Greece SA No. 2 [2013] EWCA Civ 1679 [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 273 (Court of Appeal)
  • Morris & ors (as Liquidators of BCCI) v. Bank of India [2004] EWHC 528(Ch); [2004] 2 BCLC 279
  • Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland v. ECGD  [1996] 1 Lloyd's Rep 200 (Longmore J.) [1998] 1 Lloyd's Rep 19 (C.A), [1999] 1 Lloyd's Rep 563 (HL).
  • 'Sting' v. Coutts Bank.

Professional Indemnity (Accountants)

  • Overseas Trust Bank v. Coopers & Lybrand (Hong Hong)
  • Many other cases for Coopers & Lybrand, particularly the Maxwell Affair, including the DTI Inquiry (from 1991)
  • Crampton v. KPMG (Medway Ports) (for KPMG 1996)
  • Ernst & Young v. Butte Mining (Rix J. [1996] 1 Lloyd's Rep 104; Robert Walker J. [1996] 2 All ER 623; Lightman J [1997] 1 Lloyd's Rep 313.)

Entertainment/Sport/Intellectual Property

  • Sir Elton John v. PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ferris J.) [2002] 1 WLR 953; The Times 22 Aug 2001
  • Mother Bertha Music [Phil. Spector] v. Bourne Music Ltd. (Ferris J. 1997).
  • Dawnay Day & Co. Ltd. v. Cantor Fitzgerald The Times 26th January 1998
  • Don King Partnership Inc. v. Frank Warren The Times 18th June 1998
  • Philips Electronique Grand Public SA v. British Sky Broadcasting Ltd [1995] EMLR 472
  • Apple v. EMI (CA).  Entertainment Law Reports 30 July 1993

EU/Competition

European Law (including procurement)

  • Montpellier Estates Ltd v Leeds City Council [2010] EWHC 1543 (QB) Eady J.
  • Lion Apparel v. Firebuy [2007] EWHC (Ch) 2179 (Morgan J.)
  • Banks v. Coal Board  (ECJ) C-128/92 [1994] ECR I-1209
  • Selkley Vale v. Milk Marketing Board (low fat milk).

Arbitration

Jonathan Hirst is regularly appointed as arbitrator in international commercial, insurance/reinsurance and maritime disputes. He has chaired a number of arbitral tribunals, and acted regularly as a sole arbitrator.

Reported Cases

Earlier Reported Cases

  • Lively Limited v. City of Munich (No. 1) [1977] I Lloyd’s Rep 41
  • Union of India v. Narang (HL) [1978] AC 247
  • Walek v. Chapman and Ball (International) Ltd. [1980] 2 Lloyd's Rep 279
  • Budden v. BP Oil Ltd (CA) The Times 9th May 1980
  • Grieg v. Insole ('Packer' cricket case) [1978] 1 WLR 302
  • Apple v. EMI (1979; Peter Gibson J.)
  • Stewart Chartering v. C & O Managements S.A. [1980] 1 WLR 460
  • Antaios [1981] 2 Lloyd's Rep 284
  • Herbage v. Times Newspapers The Times 1st May 1981
  • AVX Ltd v. EGM Solders Ltd The Times 7th July 1982
  • Chamberlain v. Boodle & King [1982] 1 WLR 1443
  • Vrontados [1982] 2 Lloyd's Rep 241
  • Angelina the Great (CA) [1983] 1 Lloyd's Rep 591
  • X AG and ors v. A Bank.[1983] 2 AER 464.
  • Sanders Lead Inc. v. Entores [1984] 1 WLR 452
  • Marques de Bolarque [1984] 1Lloyd's Rep 652
  • Caroline P. [1985] 1 WLR 553
  • Captain Panagos DP [1985] 1 Lloyd's Rep 625
  • Silber v. Islander Trucking [1985] 2 Lloyd's Rep 243
  • George Moundreas v. Navimpex Centrala Navala [1985] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 515
  • United Trading Corp S.A. v. Allied Arab Bank Ltd. [1985] 2 Lloyd's Rep 554
  • Polly Peck (Holdings) Ltd v. Threlford (CA) [1986] QB 1000
  • Mackinnon v. Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Securities Corpn [1986] Ch 482
  • Shearson Lehman Brothers Ltd. v. Maclaine Watson & Co. Ltd [1987] 1 WLR 480
  • Leegas [1987] 1 Lloyd's Rep 471
  • Notos (HL) [1987] 1 Lloyd's Rep 503
  • Oiinnoussian Friendship [1987] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 258
  • Erechthion [1987] 2 Lloyd's Rep 180
  • Plakoura [1987] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 258
  • Texaco v. Eurogulf [1987] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 541
  • Ferrarini S.p.A. v. Magnol Shipping Co. Inc. “Sky One” [1988] 1 Lloyd's Rep 238
  • Sirina [1988] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 613
  • Delfini [1988] 2 Lloyd's Rep 599
  • Amazona and Yayamaria (CA) [1989] 2 Lloyd's Rep 130
  • Federal Bulker [1989] 1 Lloyd's Rep 103
  • J H Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd. v. DTI  [Tin Litigation] (HL) [1990] 2 AC 418; (CA) [1989] Ch 72.
  • Felicie [1990] 2 Lloyd's Rep 21
  • Fanti (HL) [1991] 2 AC 1
  • Midland Bank plc v. Brown Shipley & Co. Ltd [1991] 1 Lloyd's Rep 576
  • Hitchens (Hatfield) v. Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd [1991] 2 Lloyd's Rep 580
  • Hong Kong Borneo Services v. Pilcher [1992] 2 Lloyd's Rep 593
  • Interdesco SA v. Nullifire Ltd. [1992] 1 Lloyd's Rep 180
  • National Bank of Sharjah v. Dellborg [1993] Banking LR 109
  • Mangistaumunaigaz Oil Production v. United World Trade Inc. [1995] 1 Lloyd's Rep 617

Directory Quotes

  • Ranked in Chambers Global 2015 in Dispute Resolution.
  • “Sources name him as a "heavyweight" who "truly understands appellate courts."” (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • "A leader in his field. Gives very clear advice and instils real confidence in the client." "He's excellent in every way." (Chambers & Partners 2015)
  • “Jonathan Hirst QC is joint head of the chambers and is frequently appointed as an arbitrator in proceedings arising out of international commercial, insurance and maritime disputes.” (Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2015)
  • “Jonathan Hirst QC is a leading senior silk at the bar and “cuts an imposing figure in court”. His experience and character has earned him the greatest respect in this market.” (Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2015)
  • “Jonathan Hirst QC, a specialist in arbitration and insurance and reinsurance, is a “great advocate” and the “first choice” for many clients.” (Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2015)
  • "Excellent in every regard." (The Legal 500 2014)
  • "Rolls his sleeves up and turns around clear and commercial advice in short order." (The Legal 500 2014)
  • "Commercial and user friendly." (The Legal 500 2014)
  • "Very good with detail." (The Legal 500 2014)
  • “An extraordinarily experienced practitioner who is widely admired in the market.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • “Brings a wealth of experience to cases. For a senior silk he is highly personable and always makes himself available when required. Clients are impressed by the gravitas he brings to a case.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • “He is excellent: user-friendly, and very efficient.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • “He is commended by sources for his astute and tenacious advocacy.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • “He justifies his reputation as a leading senior silk at the Bar. He is great with clients and has real presence.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
  • “Jonathan Hirst QC is commended for his ‘consistently excellent strategic decisions’ in music and broadcasting disputes.” (Legal 500 2013)
  • “a masterful member of the English Bar. He is widely experienced in the commercial dispute resolution arena, and is increasingly appointed as arbitrator in a range of proceedings.” (Chambers & Partners 2013)
  • “Jonathan Hirst QC ‘oozes authority’” (Legal 500 2012)
  • “ ‘Absolutely at the top end of the scale,’ the ‘highly skilled and pragmatic’ Jonathan Hirst QC wins praise for his ‘unshakeable and engaging nature,’ as well as his ‘total dedication to clients.’ He wins plaudits from clients” (Chambers & Partners 2012)
  • “oozes authority in and out of court and is extremely decisive, which inspires confidence in clients.” (Legal 500 2011)
  • “a terrific manner with clients, who trust him implicitly.” (Legal 500 2011)
  • “brings ‘gravitas and a larger-than-life presence’ to his courtroom appearances. Instructing solicitors are particularly enamoured of his ‘willingness to really put the work in and add value to a case, even though he's such an esteemed silk.’ ” (Chambers & Partners 2011)
  • “a hugely likeable advocate who is great for litigation or arbitration.” (Legal 500 2010)
  • “has a nose for the killer point in a case” (Chambers & Partners 2009)

Education and Qualifications

  • Called 1975 Inner Temple (Bencher)
  • QC 1990
  • Treasurer of the Inner Temple (2012)
  • Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales for 2000
  • Joint Head of Brick Court Chambers (2005-)

Education

Eton College, Windsor, Berks 1966-71
Trinity College, Cambridge (MA Law) 1971-4
Bar Finals 1975

Professional Appointments

Deputy High Court Judge (2002)
Recorder (1997)
Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration Panellist (2015)

Service to the profession

Member General Council of the Bar (1987-2000)

     Vice-Chairman of the Bar 1999

     Chairman of the Professional Standards Committee 1996-1998

     Chairman of the Law Reform Committee 1992-4

Member of the Executive of the Commercial Bar Association (2003-2005)
Committee Member of the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (1985-1997)
Bencher, Inner Temple. Member of Executive Committee (2001-2003; 2006-2012)

Other Appointments

Chairman of the Board and Governor of Goodenough College, Mecklenburg Square, London WC1 (2008- )
Chairman of the Trinity Law Association (2006-2011)
Member of the Baltic Exchange (2014-)

Personal

Married (1974) Fiona Hirst
2 sons (one dec'd)


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