Brick Court Chambers

HH Nicholas Chambers KC

HH Nicholas Chambers KC

YEAR OF CALL: 1966    YEAR OF SILK: 1985

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Since retiring from the Bench in 2012, His Honour Nicholas Chambers KC has developed his practice as an Arbitrator and Mediator. He has sat regularly as a single arbitrator, third arbitrator or panel member in a wide variety of disputes including claims in respect of joint enterprises, shipping, shipbuilding and television broadcasting rights. He has also acted as a mediator in commercial disputes of all kinds including banking, shipping, aviation and IP.

He is a former Mercantile Judge for Wales and sat in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division, Technology and Construction Court and Queen's Bench Division. He was authorised to sit in the Admiralty Court.

CEDR accredited as a mediator in 1999 and a Civil Mediation Council registered mediator.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

A member of the CIArb Presidential Property Dispute Service Panel.

A member of the LCIA, the Baltic Exchange, the ICC, the IBA, the Civil Mediation Council and a supporting member of the LMAA.

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  • Arbitration & Mediation M

    His Honour Nicholas Chambers KC accepts appointments as an Arbitrator and as a Mediator.

    Experience at the Bar

    Commercial Law

    Was involved in a wide variety of important commercial cases including as leading counsel in the Kuwait Airways Corporation litigation. Acted for most of the clearing banks as well as other major banks and was leading counsel for BZW in the Hammersmith swaps litigation. Acted for the International Tin Council in the litigation following its collapse.


    Acted in numerous shipping cases both in arbitrations and the Commercial Court including construction, ship sale, charterparties and carriage of goods.


    Was involved with many types of commodities including acting as leading counsel in the International Tin Council litigation and in the Derby v Weldon litigation.


    Acted in respect of a significant number of regulatory authorities including FIMBRA, IMRO, PIA, Lloyd’s, London Stock Exchange and the ICA.


    Acted for a number of television companies

    Construction and similar work

    Cases included ICC arbitrations, work for British Coal and major international arbitration concerning the Italian power generating industry.

    Personal Injury

    Acted for British Coal in Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease litigation and in respect of claims for noise induced hearing loss.

    Some Cases

    Sarrio v Kuwait Investment Authority [1999] 1 AC 32 (Brussels Convention); Kuwait Airways Corp v Iraqi Airways Co [1995] 1 WLR 1147 HL (State immunity, non-justiciability, service on foreign corporation, service on foreign State); Little v Courage Ltd [1995] CLC 164 (implied terms in unilateral contracts); Seaconsar Far East Ltd v Bank Markazi [1994] 1 AC 438 (principles governing common law service out of the jurisdiction); The Vistafjord [1988] 2 Ll. Rep. 343 (estoppel by convention); Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale v Lee Kui Jak [1987] AC 871 (principles governing restraint of foreign proceedings); Dallal v Bank Mellat [1986] QB 441 (estoppel per rem judicatum, issue estoppel); Dow Banking Corp v Mahnak Spinning & Weaving Corp [1983] 2 Ll. Rep 561 (waiver); The Selene G [1981] 2 Ll. Rep 180 (construction of Norwegian Saleform)

    Experience on the Bench

    HH Nicholas Chambers KC sat in a great variety of cases of all kinds of complexity and value including banking, insurance, reinsurance, shipping, sale of goods, breach of warranty, professional negligence, construction, property disputes, intellectual property, equitable relief, inheritance, insolvency and challenges to jurisdiction.

  • Qualifications & Further Information M

    Hertford College, Oxford; B.A. (Hons) Jurisprudence: 1962 – 1965; M.A.

    Meeke Scholar

    Lee Essay prize

    Holker Senior Exhibition

    Called to Bar, Gray's Inn: 1966

    CEDR Accredited Mediator: 1999

    Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrators: 2012

    Civil Mediation Council registered mediator: 2015

    Member of the CIArb Presidential Property Dispute Service Panel.


    Common law then commercial practice in London (Brick Court Chambers) until appointment as a judge in 1999.

    Counsel and arbitrator in International Chamber of Commerce and other arbitrations.

    Silk: 1985

    Recorder: 1987 - 1999

    Bencher: 1994

    Deputy High Court Judge: 1994 -1999

    Appointed as specialist judge in 1999

    First Mercantile Judge* for Wales and Chester then Mercantile Judge for Wales: 1999 - 2012 (*Business Judge)

    Sat regularly in Commercial Court, Chancery Division, Technology and Construction Court and Queen's Bench Division and was authorised to sit in the Admiralty Court

    Door tenant Brick Court Chambers - arbitrator and mediator: 2012 -

    Member of:


    Baltic Exchange

    Civil Mediation Council



    Supporting Member of the LMAA


    Member of Civil Procedure Rule Committee: 1997-1999 (period when Woolf reforms were drafted and enacted)

    Judicial Studies Board Course Director for Senior Judiciary Seminars on Competition Law: 2004 and 2006

    First Judicial Studies Board Course Director for Specialist Civil Continuation Seminars: 2002 - 2008

    Chairman of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (the ICLR) which publishes The Law Reports, The Weekly Law Reports and other series.

    During this period had overall responsibility for all aspects of the ICLR's business including the negotiation of licence agreements with major publishers, the transition to direct online selling, employment matters, marketing and the appointment of senior personnel.

    Vice – President GEMME – UK (“Groupement Européen des Magistrats pour la Médiation”): 2015 -

    Vice – President GEMME Europe: 2016 - 2018

    (GEMME is a forum for judges and retired judges in Europe who wish to contribute to the development of mediation, conciliation and methods of resolving disputes by all reasonable means consistent with the nature of the membership. There are about 500 members and associate members and 18 national sections.)

    Other Activities

    Panel Member – Financial Institution Litigation conference; C5 London, 2012

    Guest speaker London International Commercial Arbitration for West Africa, 2013 and 2014

    Judge at 9th ICC International Mediation Competition in Paris, 2014

    Delivered University College London seminar “Trade and the State”, 2014

    Guest speaker 10th anniversary Paris seminar of GEMME, 2014

    Panel Member – CIArb/SMCA seminar, 2015  

    Chair GEMME – UK seminar “ADR in the Courts and Tribunals”, 2016

    Guest speaker CIArb London Branch mediation seminar, 2016

    Guest speaker GEMME – Ireland mediation seminar, 2016

    Chair of GEMME – UK seminar “Conciliation:Mediation – Lessons from the Family Side”, 2017

    Judge WILLEM C. VIS mooting competition, Vienna, 2017

    Guest speaker London International Commercial Arbitration for West Africa, 2017 

    Guest speaker EU Intellectual Property Office IP Mediation Conference, 2019

    Talks on case handling to COMBAR and firms of solicitors


    French (working knowledge)

  • Publications M

    Editorial Board Handbook of International Trade - Macmillan Publishers Ltd 1988

    Contributing Editor (jurisdiction) to the White Book on civil procedure: 1998 - 2009; also Advisory Editor.

    Missed Moments in Legal History Oblong Creative 2012 - texts and illustrations from the book are on permanent display in the Rolls Building.

    Case Handling – An Illustrated View from the Bench Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing 2014.