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David Morriss



Friary Court
65 Crutched Friars
London EC3N 2AE
United Kingdom

Office Telephone: +44 (0)20 7264 8000
Office Fax: +44 (0)20 7264 8888

Direct Dial (London): +44 (0)20 7264 8142

Mobile: +44 (0)7957 375309 Download VCard

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David advises on shipping, offshore, and trade related issues. His clients are for the most part Indian, and he visits clients in India three or four times each year. David has an in depth understanding of the Indian market.

David regularly speaks at conferences on subjects including force majeure, hedging and damages, and Indian crude oil demand and production. In early November 2018 David gave a paper on the 2020 sulphur regulations at the BIMCO conference in Mumbai.

David's recent cases include,

  1. An arbitration under a sale contract with claims and counterclaims in the total sum of US$4.3 million. The tribunal was chaired by Sir Bernard Eder, and the client was entirely successful.
  2. A complex application for an anti suit injunction in which the client was successful both in the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal. These are reported judgments (Caresse Navigation v Office National de l'Electricite [2014] EWCA Civ 1366).
  3. Nawany v Bank of Baroda [2017] 2 All ER (Comm) 763. This reported case concerned a claim for US$16 million under a suite of loan facility agreements. The hearing before the Commercial Court in London was of the client's application that the English proceedings be stayed in favour of proceedings in India. The main issue concerned the effect, under the jurisdiction clause in the loan agreements, of the fact that the bank had commenced a recovery process under the Indian SARFAESI Act.
  4. A London arbitration in which the client was an operator who claimed US$1.4 million freight and demurrage from a shipper in India. The first phase of the case concerned the hearing of the shipper's jurisdiction challenge. The shipper raised various complex legal points, key amongst which was whether a FOB seller concludes a contract of carriage as principal or only as agent for the FOB buyer. In its award the tribunal, which included a silk, accepted the client's case on this and all other legal issues. The second phase dealt with the client's substantive claims and we succeeded in persuading the tribunal that the charterparty demurrage regime was incorporated into the bill of lading despite the House of Lords' judgment in The Miramar stating that such incorporation was contrary to commercial sense. The tribunal awarded the client the US$1.4 million it claimed plus interest and costs.
  5. Emeraldian v Wellmix[2010] EWHC 1411. This reported case concerned the client's successful claim for US$5 million demurrage. The judgment is an important authority on the construction of force majeure clauses, and on the enforceability of performance guarantees.

David is recommended for shipping by the two leading independent legal directories – the Legal 500 2017, and Chambers & Partners.

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The London office is the firm's largest, with over 250 lawyers.

It offers the full range of services that HFW provides globally, with partners from the London office working closely with all the other HFW offices, as well as in many jurisdictions around the world. HFW moved to its current premises in September 2008, having previously been in nearby Lloyds Avenue for almost 100 years.

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