Chris Chatfield

Chris Chatfield

Partner London, United Kingdom

Qualification

  • Qualified in England and Wales, 1997

Chris is a London based partner who specialises in marine insurance. He qualified in 1997.

Chris handles goods in transit work (primarily road and ocean carriage), policy disputes, insurance litigation and the drafting of commercial contracts. His goods in transit work includes both recoveries and liability work. He also specialises in warehouse claims, defending and pursuing claims in relation to damage and loss to cargo arising from theft, floods, fires and other such causes. Chris’s work regarding carriage of goods includes both claims and liability matters involving domestic and international carriage.

He has represented stevedores, and freight and port terminals in regard to claims by cargo interests, equipment claims and general liability issues. Chris specialises in cargo and freight liability policies and has been responsible for drafting policies in this area for many leading insurers. He has recently been heavily involved in advising a number of carriers, cargo interests and freight organisations on losses and liabilities arising in relation to loss and damage to temperature sensitive cargoes. This includes the issue of fear of loss claims and issues arising from the access of containers by clandestine entrants. He has also been instructed by a number of major insurers to draft their marine cargo and marine liability insurance policies.

In addition, Chris drafts commercial contracts and has drafted the standard trading conditions of inter alia, NVOCs, shipping lines, freight forwarders, road hauliers, courier companies, warehouse keepers, container terminals and cargo owners. He has also been responsible for advising clients on, and the negotiation of, multi-million pound freight distribution agreements and similar supply chain agreements. Chris regularly drafts contracts for cargo interests including multinational car manufacturers, satellite and aircraft manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and electronics manufacturers. He has been consulted by trade groups with regard to the drafting of some of their commonly used forms.

He is a member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, and holds a Master’s degree in International Commercial Law from the University of Nottingham.

Since 2002, Chris has been consistently listed in Chambers UK as a 'Leading Lawyer' in the field of transport law. 

Market recognition

  • Notable practitioner (Band 1) for 'Transport (UK-wide)'
    Chambers UK 2019
  • Included in the The Best Lawyersin the United Kingdom 2019  for Transport Law (London)

Work highlights

  • Instructed to represent cargo and cargo liability insurers in a large warehouse fire concerning a cargo of animal feed which self-combusted, destroying the warehouse and closing the port. He successfully pursued a recovery and defended the liability claim.
  • Brinks v Igrox Ltd [2010] Represented the successful forwarder when seeking to recover their outlay arising from the theft of a consignment of silver from a port terminal by an employee of a fumigator employed by the port. The case raised issues concerning the vicarious liability of employers in cases of criminal acts by employees and was successfully pursued to the Court of Appeal.
  • Negotiated and drafted freight forwarding contracts for both forwarders and cargo owners. This has included contracts concerning the movement of pharmaceuticals, satellites and high end electronics. Chris has also negotiated and drafted contracts for specific projects including the logistics for gas and oil plants.
Market recognition
  • 2017 - The Legal 500 - UK_leading_individual (low res).png (1)

    Leading Individual

    The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017

  • 2017 - The Legal 500 - UK_recommended_lawyer (low res).png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017