Christopher Harris QC is an experienced advocate specialising in complex commercial disputes under English and international law across a range industry sectors from banking and finance, through energy and natural resources, to infrastructure projects and corporate finance. Christopher’s practice focuses on advising and appearing as counsel in disputes before courts and arbitral tribunals in England and internationally.
Christopher is usually retained as the lead advocate, often leading substantial teams, and has substantial experience of court and arbitration advocacy in London, the DIFC and the Virgin Islands, as well as multiple appearances before appellate courts. He is particularly sought after for his “razor-sharp mind and great oral advocacy” and his “highly effective” cross-examinations, as well as being “extremely good with clients”. Christopher has been instructed in a number of the largest cases to come before the English courts in recent years including: Yukos v. Russia, Cherney v. Deripaska, the Ablyazov dispute, the Liverpool FC litigation, and the Algosaibi litigation, as well as arbitrations worth billions of dollars.
Christopher is ranked by the directories as a leading silk across five areas of practice: banking and finance; commercial litigation, energy and natural resources, international arbitration; and public international law. The international nature of his practice is reflected in his rankings in the Global and Asia Pacific directories and as one of the small group of barristers in the Who’s Who of Global International Arbitration practitioners.
Christopher has been identified by the market for many years as a leading expert in commercial and investment arbitration. Since 2018, he has been identified by Who’s Who UK Bar guide as one of the five most highly regarded individuals practising in arbitration at the UK Bar. Before taking silk, Christopher won the arbitration awards of both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, and was runner up in commercial dispute resolution. He was ranked by Chambers & Partners alone as “Star Individual” for international arbitration for several years.
Christopher focuses a substantial part of his practice on arbitration-related applications before the English courts, in particular the enforcement of and challenges to arbitration awards. He has market-leading experience of complex multi-jurisdictional enforcement proceedings, including the Yukos v. Russia, Stati v. Kazakhstan and Gold Reserve v. Venezuela matters. He is one of the few barristers to have acted in ICSID enforcement proceedings before the English courts.
Christopher is also recommended as a leading arbitrator and has been appointed in over 40 cases as co-arbitrator, sole and presiding arbitrator in disputes under the ICSID (both tribunal and ad hoc committee), SCAI, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, SCC and SIAC Rules, amongst others (further details of which can be found in the drop-down below). He is often chosen as an arbitrator where the parties or the co-arbitrators are from a mix of jurisdictions and desire someone who understands both the civil and common law perspective.
In 2020, Christopher was designated by the British Government to the ICSID Panels of Arbitrators and Conciliators and in 2021 he was appointed the UK member on the ICC Court of Arbitration.
Christopher speaks French and German and studied French and Swiss law during his academic training.
What Others Say
Christopher was recognised as one of the top 100 junior barristers across all areas of law by the inaugural Chambers 100 directory in 2014, and described as follows:
“Christopher Harris is a very well respected figure in the international arbitration world who is especially well known for his public international law expertise. Many of the major US and UK firms beat a path to his door including the likes of Clyde & Co, White & Case and Hogan Lovells, and he has been involved in cases worth many millions of pounds. By way of illustration he was junior counsel for the former owners of Liverpool Football Club in RBS v Hicks & Gillett, a matter valued in excess of £100 million. ‘He has great strategic and commercial awareness, and never allows legal argument to become the master rather than the servant. He pursues his client’s objectives with energy, charm and wit.’”
One recent client, the litigation funder Vannin Capital described its case as having been “impressively pleaded by Christopher Harris”. The lead partner from White & Case praised Christopher’s ability in “doing an excellent job, cross-examining in a highly effective way” in an interview with CDR, which also included a comment from the chairman of another international law firm that Christopher is “extremely bright and knowledgeable, and also a real team player”.
Christopher has also been ranked by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading junior in the following practice areas for a number of years:
- Commercial Dispute Resolution
- International Arbitration
- Banking and Finance
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Public International Law
Recent quotations from Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners include:
– “He’s very robust, commercially minded and very good in front of a client. He provides a tailored approach and has the ability to prioritise the commercial imperatives of the client.”
– “He’s very smart, a very good oral advocate and someone with a very impressive practice.”
– “His advocacy is very well presented, sleek and convincing.”
– “Someone who is definitely going places.”
– He wins acclaim for his “conversational advocacy style” and intelligence, and is experienced on both the technical side of oil and gas disputes and in financing issues.
– ‘He has unrivalled experience of BIT arbitrations and is often better than silks in this area. (Legal 500 Arbitration)
– ‘He is very incisive in his analysis and strong on his feet in the courtroom’. (Legal 500 Banking & Finance)
– [Christopher Harris is] “Recognised for his wealth of knowledge in both commercial and investment treaty arbitration. “He is a leading junior in the field, with a very bright future.”” (Chambers & Partners 2016)
– “He is a pleasure to deal with and an effective operator. He cross-examines very effectively and is not frightened to make difficult submissions.” “He is incredibly bright, great with clients and very accessible.” (Chambers & Partners 2016)
– [Christopher Harris is] “Experienced at offering advice to energy clients and is recognised for his strong arbitration practice. Advises clients on oil and gas disputes as well as on the financing disputes surrounding them. “He is very solid and a real safe pair of hands.” “He just does a lot of arbitration and is very hot on the procedural side of things.”” (Chambers & Partners 2016)
– ‘He is very bright, has excellent analytical skills and is extremely good with clients.’ (Legal 500 2015)
– ‘A team player who is clever, user-friendly and straightforward.’ (Legal 500 2015)
– ‘Real expertise in the public international law side of energy-related investment disputes.’ (Legal 500 2015)
– “A leading international arbitration junior whose stock is rising when it comes to energy cases. He is known for the calibre of his legal arguments and for his stunning oral advocacy. Expertise: ‘He is a very safe pair of hands. He’s solid and very responsive.’” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
– “Well versed in all aspects of international arbitration, he regularly tackles high-value disputes unled against more senior counsel. His expertise in investment treaty disputes is particularly highlighted by commentators. Expertise: ‘He is an excellent junior, who is enthusiastic and devoted to this area. He’s a ‘go-to’ junior for investor-state arbitration work.’” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
– “A growing force in the investment treaty arbitration world. He also has a good command of sanctions-related matters and state succession. Expertise: ‘One of the up-and-coming young barristers in the field of investment treaty disputes.’ ‘He is enthusiastic and devoted to the area. He also drafts very well.’ ‘An effective team player.’ ‘He’s cool and calm and displays his intelligence at the right moments.’ (Chambers & Partners 2014)
– “He is recognised for his handling of a broad range of commercial litigation, including matters concerning banking and finance law and the energy sector. Expertise: ‘Excellent on his feet and exceptionally user-friendly. Especially good with clients.’” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
– “Impressed solicitors say Christopher Harris is ‘brilliant’ and applaud him for his ‘ability to out-think’ his opponent ‘at every point.’ They particularly highlight his strength on jurisdictional points.” (Chambers & Partners 2013)
Christopher has gained particular renown for his work in the arbitration field, which spans both commercial and investment arbitration, as well as arbitration-related court applications. Having been in a narrow cohort of band 1 juniors in the area for many years, more recently Chambers & Partners has elevated him to a band of his own as a “Star Individual”. Featured as a “Thought Leader” in the field in a specialist Who’s Who Legal publication in 2018, he was ranked in their UK Bar Guide 2018 as the third most highly regarded individual practising in arbitration at the UK Bar (after Toby Landau QC and VV Veeder QC). In December 2017 Christopher won International Arbitration Junior of the Year at the Legal 500 Awards, following on from his success in the same category at the Chambers Bar Awards in 2014.
“His multilingualism is a great strength and he is the first port of call for any international case. He has a fantastic manner with clients, a really commercial brain and an attention to detail and willingness to get involved in the case.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)
Christopher is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and, in 2010, was awarded the Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration with Distinction from the School of International Arbitration of the University of London. Christopher also sits as an arbitrator and details of his experience in that regard can be found under the “Arbitral Appointments” drop down section on the front page.
Christopher Harris “outstanding intellectual ability, rock-solid judgement and a compelling and highly persuasive advocacy style” (The Legal 500 2021). Christopher’s familiarity with the cultures and practices of international arbitration mark him out as one of the leading counsel in this area, with his services in demand from both major city law firms and international clients. Christopher’s arbitration cases cover a spectrum of business areas from oil & gas, through banking and finance, to aircraft leasing and major infrastructure projects. His language and comparative law studies also make him a natural choice for disputes with a non-English governing law, and Christopher has argued cases inter alia under Swiss, Austrian, French and Kazakh laws.
“From the beginning, he showed an impressive knowledge of the process of international arbitration and the ICC rules. He has extra knowledge of how things work at the ICC, which was very useful to us.” (Chambers & Partners 2015)
Examples of recent work include:
- Hong Kong Co v Chinese Co – Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant in this SIAC arbitration arising out of consultancy services in relation to a major construction project in the Middle East.
- Christopher is lead counsel for the Respondents in an LCIA arbitration arising out of the collapse of a private equity fund, including allegations of shadow directorship and fraud.
- Christopher was sole counsel for the Claimant in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a long-term gold trading relationship.
- Christopher is counsel for a large national oil company defending claims of over US$150m relating to the sale and marketing of base oil products in UNCITRAL proceedings.
- Lead counsel for an oil major in a multi-party UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of the operation of the quality bank procedures in relation to a transnational oil pipeline.
- Acting for a Fortune 50 company in an India-related LCIA arbitration arising out of the collapse of a joint venture.
- Lead counsel for one of Turkey’s largest corporations in an ICC arbitration arising out of a public works contract in the Middle East.
- Lead counsel for a leading Russian businessman in an LCIA arbitration relating to the sale of a Russian bank.
- Lead counsel for a major finance house in respect of an aircraft leasing LCIA claim.
- Lead counsel for a power utility in an Electricity Arbitration Association arbitration concerning the impact of changes in the European carbon regime on a power sharing agreement.
- Lead counsel in a Swiss law, Zurich seat ICC arbitration between two major investment banks relating to trades on an ETF platform and Swiss withholding tax rules.
- Lead counsel for a large Brazilian corporate in defending a claim by a major European company in respect of the breakdown of a technology sharing agreement.
- Lead counsel for an investment firm in a professional negligence claim under ICC Rules against an Austrian lawyer.
- Lead counsel for a Jersey trust company in a ten-party LCIA dispute relating to claims to professional fees by a CIS legal services provider. One important issue was whether or not claims for the assessment of an English solicitor’s fees are arbitrable.
- Lead counsel for a leading international law firm in defending a professional negligence claim in an LCIA arbitration.
- Acted for an investment bank in an LCIA arbitration seeking to recover a debt due under the ISDA Master Agreement’s early termination provisions. Issues included alleged mis-selling, contractual estoppel and allegations that the particular types of structured swap involved were illegal and unenforceable under a foreign exchange control law.
Christopher has been recognised for many years as one of the leading UK-based practitioners in international investment arbitration, with his specialist knowledge of the area commented on regularly by the leading directories. In addition to his advisory practice, Christopher has been instructed as counsel in eleven investment arbitration disputes, making him one of the most experienced barristers practising in this area.
“Has a deep knowledge of investment treaty arbitration jurisprudence and strong legal and strategic instincts.” (The Legal 500 2021)
“Excellent in investment arbitration.” “Provides strong and persuasive written advocacy.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)
“Outstanding intellectual ability, rock-solid judgement and a compelling and highly persuasive advocacy style.” (The Legal 500 2021)
“He’s cool and calm and displays his intelligence at the right moments.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
“‘one of the rising stars of the international arbitration Bar’, and ‘extremely knowledgeable’ on investment treaties.” (Legal 500 2013)
Some recent examples of Christopher’s work in this area include:
- Montrose v Sri Lanka – Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant in this ICSID arbitration relating to the expropriation of a hotel development.
- Italian Company v Eastern European State – Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant in this UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of the expropriation of a retail park. Jurisdictional issues around the proper interpretation of the unusual dispute resolution clause in the treaty.
- Turkish Company v Eastern State – Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant in this ICSID arbitration arising out of the expropriation of construction contracts.
- Chinese Company v African State – Christopher is counsel for the Claimant in this substantial investment arbitration arising from multiple serious treaty breaches in respect of a large and integrated investment project.
- Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant in an ICSID claim arising out of the expropriation of a property in an South Asian country.
- Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant in an investment arbitration arising out of a diamond mining investment in Southern Africa. The case also involves the SADC and its erstwhile tribunal.
- Lead counsel for the Respondent in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of uranium mining concessions where the central jurisdictional issue concerns the international law principles on succession to treaties.
- Lead counsel for the Respondent in an ICSID arbitration relating to allegations of judicial expropriation of oil industry assets.
- Acting for the Claimant investor in a multi-billion dollar ICSID claim relating to the gas sector in an eastern European State.
- KT Asia v. Republic of Kazakhstan Acted for Kazakhstan in successfully defeating at the jurisdictional stage the claims brought by Mukhtar Ablyazov through his KT Asia shell –, Decision on Jurisdiction dated 17 October 2013.
- Liman Caspian Oil v Republic of Kazakhstan Acted for Kazakhstan in successfully defending claims in relation to the oil industry brought by an Oil company. Award dated 22 June 2010
- Rumeli & Telsim v. Republic of Kazakhstan Acted for Kazakhstan in seeking the annulment of an award:, Decision of the Ad Hoc Committee dated 25 March 2010
Alongside his practice as counsel in arbitrations, Christopher is also well versed in the court applications which often accompany arbitrations, ranging from s.9 stays and anti-suit injunctions, through to challenges to awards. Christopher was counsel for the successful party in three important recent decisions: A v B  EWHC 1870 (Comm) the first reported case addressing what is required for exhaustion of the second instance in commodity arbitrations under s.70(2) of the Arbitration Act as a precursor to bringing a challenge to the award; Ascom v. Kazakhstan  EWHC 2542 (Comm) on the approach to security where the court of its own motion orders a stay of enforcement proceedings pending the outcome of foreign set aside proceedings; and X v Y a decision on the test to be adopted on an application for security for the award under s.70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996 where a challenge under s.68 has been brought.
Christopher also has significant experience of the enforcement of awards, both in the strategy and applications necessary to an enforcement, and also to opposing enforcement. Christopher has particular experience of the specialist area of enforcement of investment arbitration awards and has authored the chapter covering England & Wales in the leading publication addressing this area. Recent instructions include:
- Christopher is instructed (led by Jonathan Gaisman Q.C.) to defend enforcement of the Yukos v Russia ECT awards, the largest arbitration awards ever made which, following the conclusion of 10 years of proceedings, resulted in an order for payment of US$50 billion.
- Christopher is also counsel (together with Ali Malek Q.C.) for the Republic of Kazakhstan in defending the enforcement of a $500 million SCC Award made under the ECT on the grounds that it was procured by fraud. Trial of that issue is listed for autumn 2018.
- Christopher was instructed to represent Venezuela (led by Graham Dunning Q.C.) in opposing enforcement of an ICSID Additional Facility Award for over US$750 million. The case is now a leading authority on the approach to service and sovereign immunity in the context of applications to enforce arbitral awards against States.  1 WLR 2829  EWHC 153 (Comm).
Banking & Finance
Christopher’s banking practice encompasses the full range of banking and financial services disputes including trade finance (letters of credit, demand bonds and related instruments), derivatives and structured financial products, corporate and personal lending and guarantees. Christopher’s practice focuses principally on investment banking and he has particular expertise in dealing with swaps, CDOs and repos and with the banking practices and instruments that underlie them. Christopher has significant experience of disputes arising under the ISDA Master Agreement and Loan Market Association standard terms.
Christopher has been counsel for the successful party in a number of law-making cases in the area including Explora Group v. Lloyd’s Bank Christopher was sole counsel for the successful appellant in the first treatment by the Court of Appeal of the restitution doctrine of incidental benefit; Habibsons v. Standard Chartered Bank  EWCA Civ 1335 an important decision of the Court of Appeal on the construction of the Loan Market Association terms for the sale of subordinated debt and on the duties of the syndicate agent under a syndicated facility where Christopher was sole advocate for the successful respondent; and BNP Paribas v. Wockhardt  EWHC 3116 (Comm) a key analysis of the ISDA close out mechanism in the context of the law on penalties (led by Ewan McQuater Q.C.).
‘He is very bright, has excellent analytical skills and is extremely good with clients.’ (Legal 500 2015)
‘Able to distil complex legal and factual issues into a comprehensive and persuasive format.’ (Legal 500 2014)
“Legal analysis is first rate” (Legal 500 2013)
Recent instructions include:
Vannin Capital v RBS Action Group & Ors – Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant funder in this claim arising in relation to the substantial RBS rights litigation.
Fir Tree v. LBIE, LBF and LBSF Christopher was instructed (led by Richard Salter Q.C.) to represent one of the Lehman Brothers entities in a US$140 million claim to enforce loan notes under a complex structure.
Royal Bank of Scotland v. Hicks, Gillett & Ors. Christopher acted (led by Ali Malek Q.C.) for the former owners of Liverpool FC in a dispute with the club’s bankers surrounding the circumstances in which the sale to the new owners was carried out.
A Bank v. A Bank. Christopher was sole advocate for an investment bank in this Swiss law, Zurich seat ICC Arbitration. The claim arose out of complex trades in respect of an ETF between two large investment banks.
A Company v. A Company: Christopher was sole advocate for a leading North Sea oil company in an UNCITRAL Rules arbitration with its primary lender, a private equity fund. The claim centred around the proper construction of the private equity financing agreement in question.
HG v. Barclays: Christopher acted (with Andrew Onslow QC) for the claimant in this dispute relating to a declaration of breach of Net Asset Value in respect of an ABS Fund under a repo facility.
Fortis v. Arianrhod. Christopher acted for the claimant bank seeking to recover sums due on the close out of interest rate swap transactions under an ISDA Master Agreement. The cases also raised jurisdictional issues relating to declaratory proceedings on foot in another EU State.
A Creditor v. Lehman Bros. Christopher acted for a prime brokerage client with an open short position as at the date of the insolvency of Lehman Bros, but which subsequently sought to close out that position as to which is the relevant date for valuation of the position for the purposes of proving.
BNP Paribas v. Wockhardt EU. Acted for the claimant investment bank seeking to recover a debt due under the ISDA Master Agreement’s early termination provisions in the Commercial Court. Issues raised by the defendant include that the close-out provisions constitute a penalty and that the swaps were highly sophisticated and mis-sold, raising the issue of contractual estoppel.
Habibsons v. Standard Chartered Bank  EWCA Civ 1335;  EWHC 702 (Comm). After obtaining summary judgment (twice) for the defendant in a Commercial Court claim brought by another bank pursuant to the LMA standard terms for par trade transactions in relation to the sale of a participation in a syndicated loan, Christopher then successfully resisted an appeal before the Court of Appeal following a full day hearing. Numerous issues of construction of the LMA terms were raised, as well as the application of the rule in Pigot’s Case.
Christopher also maintains a substantial financial services practice, including acting as standing external counsel to the Swiss Stock Exchange for many years.
Recent instructions include:
- Christopher advised a PPI mis-selling claims manager on the evolving regulatory position applicable to the area and on recovery of client compensation.
- Garnet Investments v. Customs, Excise, Immigration & Nationality Service: Christopher acted (led by Ali Malek Q.C.) in an appeal from the Guernsey Court of Appeal to the Privy Council in relation to the scope of the Guernsey money-laundering regime and the restraint order regime in particular.
- Christopher advised a high net worth individual on the regulatory regime applicable to his proposal to offer mortgages to a number of his key employees in the UK. without breach the regulatory regime.
- Advising a large company on the regulatory implications of its plan to launch a pre-paid card for the purchase of a commodity and designing a structure which would meet all regulatory requirements with minimum commercial impact.
- Advising on available options to those with outstanding unsettled trades with counterparties in insolvency procedures. Issues advised on include LSE Default Rules, agent to agent contracts, Euroclear and other transactions.
- Advising on and appearing for several financial institutions in relation to issues arising from calls on credit default swaps in the post-Lehman market conditions.
- Advised on issues relating to hedge funds and other entities in insolvency procedures and restricting the ability of investors to access their funds. In particular, advising on challenges to postponement of payment and payment in specie.
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Christopher has a busy practice across a wide range of commercial litigation, including significant trial and appellate advocacy experience. The strength of his practice was reflected in his nomination for the Commercial Litigation Junior of the Year award at the 2016 Chambers Bar Awards, where he was runner-up. Much of Christopher’s work involves acting for corporates in disputes with trading partners across the banking and finance, and energy sectors, but Christopher also regularly acts for entities affected by fraud. A substantial amount of his work has an international element and he has considerable expertise in conflict of law issues.
Christopher’s profile in this area has been recognised for several years by the directories:
- ‘A team player who is clever, user-friendly and straightforward.’ (Legal 500 2015)
- “Maintains a robust domestic and international practice, and has particular experience in commercial contracts disputes, energy cases and arbitration” (Chambers & Partners 2015)
- “Excellent on his feet and exceptionally user-friendly. Especially good with clients.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)
- “a polished, fresh-sounding advocate who will certainly go far.” (Chambers & Partners 2012)
Cash Bases v Hobday & Ors – Christopher is lead counsel for the Defendants in this Commercial Court claim arising out of an SPA and derivatives entered into by the former directors.
Forum v OOS – Christopher is counsel for the Claimant in this Commercial Court claim arising out of a representation agreement in the oil and gas industry.
Vannin Capital v RBS Action Group & Ors – Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimant funder in this claim arising in relation to the substantial RBS rights litigation.
Sir Owen Glenn v Watson – Christopher is lead counsel for one of the Defendants in this major dispute in the Chancery Division arising out of a joint investment project and raising allegations of dishonesty. Complex issues of conflict of laws and trusts.
Christopher is counsel (together with Ali Malek Q.C.) for the Republic of Kazakhstan in defending the enforcement of a $500 million SCC Award made under the ECT on the grounds that it was procured by fraud. Trial of that issue is listed for autumn 2018 in the Commercial Court.
Christopher was instructed to represent Venezuela (led by Graham Dunning Q.C.) in opposing enforcement of an ICSID Additional Facility Award for over US$750 million. The case is now a leading authority on the approach to service and sovereign immunity in the context of applications to enforce arbitral awards against States.  1 WLR 2829  EWHC 153 (Comm).
BP Gas Marketing v Sonatrach  EWHC 2461 – Christopher was lead counsel for the trial of this claim concerning the proper construction of the formula for costs allocation between co-shippers at the UK’s first LNG importation terminal (leading Georges Chalfoun).
In re Yukos – Christopher is part of the team defending enforcement of the US$50 billion Yukos arbitration awards in various jurisdictions around the world.
Celestial Aviation v Villa Air – Christopher acts for the Claimant aircraft leasing company in its claim arising out of the termination of an aircraft lease.
VTB & Ors v RBS – Christopher is lead counsel for the Claimants in these interpleader proceedings in the Chancery Division relating to the operation of an escrow facility in respect of a substantial corporate re-organisation.
Hart v Bolton – Christopher was lead counsel for the Claimant is this claim arising out of an investment in a London nightclub business. Settled before trial.
Gul Bottlers v. Nichols plc: Christopher was sole advocate for the claimant in its claim relating to the termination of its licence to produce Vimto in Pakistan. After a three-week trial in which Christopher’s cross-examination received firm praise, the claimant was awarded almost £8.5m, 100% of its claim.
Ithaca Energy v. North Sea Energy: Christopher was instructed (with Charles Graham QC) to act for the Defendant in this Commercial Court dispute arising out of a Joint Operating Agreement in respect of drilling works in a North Sea oilfield. Trial listed for April 2012.
Broughton v. Hicks, Gillett & Ors. Acted (led by Ali Malek Q.C.) for the former owners of Liverpool FC in a dispute with the club’s former chairman and other directors in relation to the circumstances in which the sale to the new owners was carried out.
Cherney v. Deripaska. Acted (with Ali Malek Q.C.) for Oleg Deripaska in a $multi-billion claim in relation to the world’s largest aluminium company.
Cherney v. Deripaska  EWCA Civ 849. Acted (led by Ali Malek Q.C. and Joe Smouha Q.C.) for Oleg Deripaska on his appeal against an order for permission to serve out of the jurisdiction granted on the basis that, although the natural forum, Russia could not provide a fair trial. The case involved a wide-ranging review of the authorities and of the factors underlying decisions on the exercise of jurisdiction by the English courts and was the first time the issue had arisen before the Court of Appeal.
Sibir Energy v. Tchigirinski & Ors  EWHC 1844 QB: Christopher acted (with Andrew Onslow Q.C.) in this US$400 million fraud claim for a person who Sibir attempted to make a party to otherwise stalled proceedings using Article 6(1) of the Lugano Convention. The key issue was whether or not a claimant had to be proceeding against an anchor defendant in order to be able to invoke Article 6(1) to join additional defendants. .
Masood and others v Zahoor and others  EWHC 1034 (Ch),  All ER (D) 170 (May). Lead counsel for the Sixth Defendant in significant Chancery Division litigation relating to the ownership of an international steel company. Five-week trial involving multiple allegations of fraud and document forgery and extensive expert evidence. Issue of what a court should do where it accepts neither party’s version of events. Reversed on appeal:  EWCA Civ 650. Instructed by Stephenson Harwood.
Raiffeisen Zentralbank v. Kahrmann, Finsterwalder & Ors Acted (led by Jeffrey Gruder Q.C.) for the claimant bank in this long-running multi-jurisdictional claim arising out of the collapse of the largest private company in Switzerland. Issues included the proper approach to article 6 jurisdiction in the light of the Reisch Montage and Freeport decisions of the ECJ, and allegations of systematic fraud on financing banks. Instructed by Stephenson Harwood.
Linsen v. Humpuss: Christopher successfully appeared (with Ali Malek Q.C.) before the Court of Appeal on an application to lift a freezing injunction granted under the Chabra jurisdiction.
SCB v. AHAB: Christopher acted for the claimant bank in an attempt to enforce a judgment of the Bahraini courts in England against assets of the Al-Gosaibi group, following the collapse of the large-scale High Court trial.
Dream Brands v. Virgin Drinks: Christopher successfully defeated this claim arising out of a distribution agreement for an energy drink on a summary judgment application.
Quikclot v. Bin Ahmed: Christopher was lead counsel for the claimant in this trial arising from a contract for the provision of medical products to a foreign armed forces.
Alongside his busy practice as arbitration counsel, Christopher Harris has become increasingly in demand as an arbitrator. He has been appointed by many of the leading firms in the area, as well as by the ICC Court and the LCIA Court, as sole arbitrator, chair and party-appointed. His experience as arbitrator spans ICC, LCIA, SCC and UNCITRAL Rules as well as ad hoc arbitrations, and London, Geneva, Stockholm and Johannesburg as seats.
A representative sample of Christopher’s appointments includes the following:
- Appointed by the LCIA Court as sole arbitrator in a substantial unfair prejudice dispute.
- Appointed presiding arbitrator by the co-arbitrators in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of an LNG transaction.
- Appointed presiding arbitrator by the co-arbitrators in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a secured lending transaction.
- Appointed as co-Arbitrator in an LCIA dispute relating to the departure of a senior executive from a large corporate and allegations of serious misconduct. Appointed by Clifford Chance.
- Appointed by the ICC Court as appointing authority as sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL rules London seat, English law arbitration relating to international payment systems.
- Appointed by Proskauer as the Respondent’s party-appointed arbitrator in a London seat, English law arbitration in respect of claims relating to an oil and gas terminal in North Africa.
- Appointed by Debevoise & Plimpton as the Respondent’s party-appointed arbitrator in a Stockholm seat, Cypriot law, SCC Rules arbitration concerning a corporate loan transaction.
- Appointed by Castaldi Mourre as the respondent’s party-appointed arbitrator in an English law, London seat arbitration between Greek and French parties relating to the construction of a sugar refinery.
- Appointed by ICC Court as sole arbitrator in London seat, English law arbitration between two Italian construction companies relating to a joint venture construction project in an Eastern European state.
- Appointed by Allen & Overy as the claimant’s party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC Rules, London seat, English law arbitration arising out of steel sales in relation to an ex-USSR project.
- Appointed by Lalive as the respondent’s party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC Rules, Geneva seat, Delaware law dispute relating to telecommunications services in Asia.
- Appointed by LCIA Court as sole arbitrator in Johannesburg seat, English law arbitration relating to supplies of copper blister from Africa.
- Appointed by a leading Swiss law firm as the claimant’s party-appointed arbitrator in an ad hoc arbitration arising out of a charterparty. English law and London seat.
- Appointed by the LCIA Court as chairman of a 3-person tribunal, LCIA Rules, London seat, in a dispute between Canadian and Kuwaiti parties arising out of a Formula 1 event.
- Appointed by LCIA Court as one of three arbitrators to hear a dispute under LCIA Rules, English law, London seat, arising out of contracts for the supply of marine paint.
- Appointed by LCIA Court as one of three arbitrators to hear a dispute under LCIA Rules, English law, London seat, arising out of contracts for the supply of labour services.
- Appointed by LCIA Court as sole arbitrator to hear a dispute under LCIA Rules, English law, London seat arising out of the supply of data and pricing products and services to financial institutions for modelling purposes.