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Judith Prior


Judith has over 30 years' experience in commodities and international trade. Before joining HFW in 2008, she spent 25 years at a magic circle law firm in London.

More about Judith

Judith has over 30 years' experience in commodities and international trade. Before joining HFW in 2008, she spent 25 years at a magic circle law firm in London.

Her clients include refiners, traders, financing banks, Exchanges, trade associations, government agencies and intergovernmental organisations.

She advises on all aspects of commodities trading and transportation, including physical sale contract terms, amendments to widely used GTCs, physical deliveries on exchange-traded futures markets, issues relating to documentary credits and pricing structures, shipping, environmental and regulatory issues and the resolution of disputes, whether by international institutional (e.g. LCIA, UNCITRAL) or trade arbitration (e.g. RSA, SAL, GAFTA) or in the English court.

She has particular experience of oil trading terms and disputes and oil pollution liability under international conventions including CLC, Fund Convention, Bunkers Convention and HNS.

Judith is a market leader in sugar trading contracts and disputes, regularly advising on sugar physicals and futures contracts and issues arising under the Sugar Charterparty and acting as legal adviser to arbitration tribunals appointed by both the raw and refined sugar associations. She has also advised on cocoa and coffee futures and physicals.

Judith has also advised clients in relation to a range of biofuels issues, particularly sustainability and certification requirements arising out of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the Recast RED II and Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) and the UK's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), aimed at increasing the use of fuel from renewable sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Most recently, she has worked with clients in relation to trading bioethanol and biodiesel derived from a variety of feedstocks, particularly wastes and residues, and advised on the EU, ISCC/Nabisy and UK approach to certification and double-counting.

Judith has lectured on various aspects of oil and sugar trading, both in the UK and overseas. She has also sat as an LCIA arbitrator.

She has been ranked as a leading individual for several years by both Legal 500 and Chambers, with Legal 500 2021 describing her as "queen of the sugar market."

Client comments include:

"She is extremely pragmatic, very user-friendly and she understands our business very well… Her advice is delivered in a commercial and timely manner."

"She is technically excellent as both an adviser to arbitration tribunals and in contract drafting. She is incredibly hard-working and diligent, and values her clients and their businesses."

"She is really good at giving commercial advice based on how markets work. She is a go-to for big commodities work."


8 Bishopsgate
London EC2N 4BQ
United Kingdom

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

Direct Dial (London): +44 (0)20 7264 8531

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