Paul Downes QC
+44 (0)20 7822 1200
"An outstanding and confident advocate"Chambers UK 2017
"Hugely impressive in many respects; he is tenacious and has a fantastic analytical mind."Legal 500 2016
"...very tactically astute and communicates in a no-nonsense, clear way"Chambers UK 2017
"Evidently a good commercial lawyer, and a skillful advocate and tactician"Legal 500 2017
"A strong cross-examiner, who makes mincemeat of witnesses."Legal 500 2017
Paul specialises in commercial law, and has specific expertise in banking and finance-related matters.
After taking Silk in 2010, his reputation as a tough, commercially-minded barrister has continued to grow.
Before coming to the Bar, Paul worked for Barclays Bank and was an assistant examiner for the Chartered Institute of Bankers. A direct understanding of the commercial and financial worlds means clients benefit from a practical and user-friendly approach. Paul has also acted as an expert witness overseas in relation to banking regulation in the UK, and is lead contributor to Butterworths LexisNexis Encyclopedia on Forms and Precedents.
Paul also handles general commercial litigation, international trade, media and entertainment, and professional negligence. He acts as an arbitrator in LMAA shipping disputes, commercial disputes and insurance disputes.
Paul Downes QC has been appointed as an arbitrator in several insurance, and shipping arbitrations. His recent appointments include several insurance arbitrations concerning claims arising from Hurricane Ike in Houston, Texas and LMAA arbitrations concerning charterparty disputes. As an advocate he has considerable experience in arbitrations and court applications related to arbitrations.
Previous cases include:
- Brocket Hall v Palmerstone (2016) (injunction in support of an arbitration);
- A v AB Finance (2013-15) – injunction in support of LCIA arbitration;
- TRG v Trust Risk Group (2014-2016) – €50m dispute as to misappropriation of insurance premiums –bribery of arbitration panel in Italy – anti-arbitration injunction;
- S v B (2010) – LCIA arbitration over technology products;
- PP v SI (2009) – dispute concerning construction of arbitration clause in a deed of accession;
- AA v BE (2006) – UNCITRAL arbitration re oil exploitation rights in Azerbaijan;
- T v O (2006) arbitration over consultancy agreement between former partner and professional services firm;
- Re R (2005) – claim against arbitrator for excess fees paid;
- Tradigrain v SBI – Appeal from GAFTA arbitration;
- K v SBI (2004) – arbitration re installation of computer systems and licensing agreement;
- M v IBS (2004) – technology arbitration;
- M v Morgan (2004) – technology arbitration;
- Northern P v Open Joint Stock (2005) – UNCITRAL $29m arbitration re breach of oil JV agreement;
- C v S (2002) – RSA arbitration re sugar supply;
- H v S (2002) – RSA arbitration re sugar supply.