International arbitration

Monckton Chambers boasts considerable experience conducting arbitrations with the major arbitral institutions and rules (including ICC, LCIA, CIArb, LMAA, HKIAC, SCC, SIAC and ICAC (Russia) Rules).

Chambers has been particularly involved, both as counsel and arbitrators, in investment treaty arbitrations, arbitrations regarding utility and telecoms regulation and arbitrations involving Indian, Russian and CIS law.

We are uniquely well placed to deal with arbitrations which raise regulatory, economic and competition law issues. In addition, Chambers’ arbitration practice also reflects its broader Commercial Dispute Resolution expertise, with Members acting in arbitrations involving aviation, banking, civil fraud, shareholder disputes, energy and natural resources, shipping, commodities and sport.

Members act in arbitration-connected proceedings in the English courts such as applications for interim relief, challenges to arbitral awards and enforcement proceedings.

Barristers at Monckton Chambers are also qualified members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and are members or sit on the panels of several leading arbitration institutions, including LCIA, HKIAC, AIAC, AIFC-IAC (Kazakhstan), and ICC.

Professional negligence

Monckton Chambers specialises in disputes arising over loss suffered as a result of negligent advice given by professionals. There is particular expertise in claims arising from failed investment schemes, particularly those which have a tax and financial services dimension, and members have been instructed in several such claims against IFAs and solicitors.

Public international law, WTO & investment treaties

Public international law

This is a fast growing area of practice within Monckton Chambers.

As an indication of this, there are now three members of Monckton Chambers on the Attorney General’s Public International Law Panel:

Public International Law A Panel: Thomas Sebastian.
Public International Law C Panel: Nikolaus Grubeck.

Members’ practice focus on the issues arising out of Brexit as well as human rights, EU and public law cases. International economic law, consisting of WTO law, sanctions issues, and bilateral investment treaty arbitrations is also a core part of Monckton’s public international law practice. Members of Chambers have also served as members of ICSID tribunals, WTO dispute resolution panels and the WTO’s Appellate Body.

WTO law

Effective WTO advocacy requires, in addition to a comprehensive knowledge of WTO law, an understanding of the multilateral institutional context in which WTO dispute settlement occurs, the ability to devise effective strategies within a system that does not allow for monetary or retrospective remedies, and the capacity to present arguments in a manner which WTO adjudicators (who are drawn from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and legal cultures) will find convincing.

Our members can offer this combination of expertise.

Members of Chambers have acted in numerous WTO disputes for a broad range of government and corporate clients. We often work directly with inter-agency teams created by our government clients as well as with representatives of industry.

We can advise on and act in every type of WTO case, including those involving:

  • General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) commitments;
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues and Technical Barriers to the Trade (TBT) issues;
  • Subsidies; and
  • Trade remedies (anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguards).

Investment protection treaties

We regularly advise on and act in disputes arising under bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and multilateral investment treaties (such as the Energy Charter Treaty and NAFTA).

We offer a combination of:

  • high-quality advocacy;
  • assured handling of the procedural and evidentiary issues which arise in ICSID and ad-hoc arbitrations; and
  • a strong understanding of public international law standards relating to the treatment of foreign investment.

We are also able to draw on our expertise in related areas such as EU law, international human rights law and (domestic) public law relating to economic regulation to develop sophisticated arguments and case strategies for our clients.

Public procurement

Members of Monckton Chambers provide suppliers, contracting authorities and utilities with a full range of services, from non-contentious advice during the tender process to representation in highly complex litigation and, where appropriate, mediation.

Monckton Chambers has 34 practitioners specialising in procurement law, dealing with hundreds of sets of procurement instructions each year. We believe our range of procurement experience and expertise surpasses that of any other chambers.

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Aspects requiring detailed knowledge of EC law
  • Commercial disputes arising from performance of government contracts such as benchmarking, market testing and performance issues
  • Concessions and part B contracts
  • Health service procurement
  • Procurement by EU institutions and outside the EU
  • Project finance and PFI/PPP matters
  • Regeneration schemes
  • Social housing
  • State aid and procurement
  • Utilities procurement

Members of Monckton Chambers have appeared in procurement matters in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and in the European Court of Justice, as well as the courts of Northern Ireland. Members have also been involved in procurement matters in Scotland, where members experienced in public procurement have also been called to the Scottish Bar, and in procurement cases concerning countries outside the EU.

Professional Organisations

Members of Chambers are actively involved with the Procurement Law Association, the ICC Public Procurement Task Force, and are included in the editorial board of the Public Procurement Law Review. Members contribute articles to journals and speak frequently at conferences, including in the US and Europe. Monckton Chambers is also an active partner with Whitepaper Conferences in the production of their annual procurement conference in London, and associated Brussels conferences.

Shipping & commodities

Members of Monckton Chambers have extensive experience in shipping (wet and dry) and international trade including in relation to charterparty disputes, bills of lading, COAs, general average, shipbuilding, collision and salvage, and international sale of goods.

Steven Gee QC has acted in some of the most significant shipping cases in the modern law, including Fulton Shipping v Globalia Business Travel (The New Flamenco) [2017] UKSC 43; Starlight Shipping v Allianz Marine (The Alexandros T) [2013] UKSC 70; The Starsin [2003] UKHL 12; and The Fjord Wind [2002] 2 All ER (Comm) 108. Will Hooper likewise acted, led by Steven Gee QC, in The New Flamenco in the Supreme Court, and now acts as the matter returns to arbitration.

Members of Chambers also have extensive experience in the major shipping arbitration institutions, including LMAA and SCMA.

Sport

Monckton Chambers has considerable expertise in the field of sports law and has particular strength in the fields of overlap between sports law and all aspects of commercial EU law, most notably competition law, freedom of movement and cross-border trading.

This experience sees members making regular appearances in all manner of specialist sports courts and tribunals. We also have unparalleled experience in sports disputes before the European Court of Justice, the General Court, the European Commission, the Competition and Markets Authority, as well as litigating regularly in the High Court and above.

Monckton Chambers serves a broad range of clients within the sports sector from national sports governing bodies, individual participants, clubs, agents and broadcasters.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Agency
  • Breakaway leagues;
  • Broadcasting and licensing;
  • Contract
  • Corporate governance;
  • Corporate hospitality;
  • Data rights
  • Disciplinary procedures and hearings;
  • Discrimination between participants;
  • Dominance of governing bodies;
  • Doping and sanctions;
  • Funding;
  • Ground and TV advertising;
  • ‘Home Grown’ player requirements;
  • Image rights
  • Kit and equipment rules;
  • Kit supply and markings;
  • New competition entrants;
  • Passing off
  • Regulatory oversight;
  • Sponsorship;
  • State aid;
  • Ticketing; and
  • Transfers.

See individual barristers’ CVs for details of members’ recent and significant cases.

Members of Monckton Chambers belong to the British Association of Sport and the Law (BASL), of which one member is currently Deputy Chairman.

Tax & duties

Monckton Chambers was “Chambers of the Year” and Melanie Hall QC “Silk of the Year” for Tax as recognised by the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2019-2020. She was also “Silk of the Year” for Tax as awarded by Legal 500 UK in 2018-19 who short-listed her as “Silk of the Year” for Tax 2020-2021 and ranked her as a “star individual” in 2021.

Monckton Chambers can lay claim to having the largest team of indirect tax law specialists at the Bar, with an unrivalled breadth of experience and expertise. Chambers routinely acts for both the taxpayer and HMRC and one of our greatest strengths is our ability to put together the right teams for the right cases.

Members combine specialist knowledge of Value Added Tax (VAT) and other indirect taxes with extensive expertise in EU, human rights and public law, which have for many years formed the bedrock of our reputation for excellence.

Monckton Chambers has been a market leader in EU law for decades, the tax team being no exception. They are therefore ideally placed to navigate clients through EU Relations law and the immediate, medium and long-term impact which Brexit will have on VAT and customs duties.

VAT

Members of Monckton Chambers have represented taxpayers and HMRC in dozens of leading cases, many of them in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Justice.

Members have extensive experience of judicial review applications, for which Chambers’ acknowledged expertise in both indirection taxation and public law is invaluable.

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • EU Relations law
  • Assessments and penalties
  • Exemptions and zero-rating
  • Input tax and partial exemption
  • Multiple/single supplies
  • Place of supply
  • Remedies, repayment and restitution of overpaid VAT and compound interest
  • Special schemes
  • Abusive practices
  • VAT-related judicial review
  • Vouchers, customer loyalty schemes
  • MTIC fraud
  • Crypto-currencies
  • VAT Groups
  • Charities
  • Local authorities
  • Property
  • Education
  • Financial services
  • European Court procedure

Customs Duties

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Tariff classification
  • Preferential customs treatment
  • Inward/outward processing
  • Community transit
  • Tariff quota

Excise duties

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Alcoholic liquor
  • Tobacco
  • Hydrocarbon oil
  • Other related matters such as;
    • Production
    • Processing
    • Holding
    • Movement of excise goods
    • Approval and registration of traders, warehouse keepers and tax warehouses.

Environmental & Other Taxes

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Aggregates Levy
  • Air Passenger duty
  • Anti-dumping duty
  • Climate change levy
  • Landfill Tax

Telecommunications

Monckton Chambers has a leading-edge practice in telecommunications and electronic communications generally.  Our barristers regularly appear in the leading telecommunications cases for mobile and fixed line telecommunications companies, broadcasters, content providers and Office of Communications (Ofcom).

In addition to extensive experience of advising on legal issues specific to the communications industry, members of Monckton Chambers are able to draw on their expertise in related areas such as competition law, EU law, and other public and regulatory law.

We are accordingly able to advise on and act in all telecommunications matters, from appeals under the Communications Act, through damages actions and applications for injunctions in the High Court, to judicial review challenges of regulatory decisions and EU legislation in the domestic and Community Courts.

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Mobile networks
  • Broadcasting/telecommunications convergence
  • Bundling of TV/telecoms services
  • Business direct exchange lines services
  • Communications Act
  • Competition Act (including margin squeeze, predatory pricing, price discrimination and anti-competitive agreements)
  • Consumer issues in telecommunications services
  • Contractual issues in telecommunications services
  • EU Communications Directives
  • GSM gateways
  • Internet services
  • Landing of cables
  • Licensing of intellectual property, standards setting and FRAND
  • Local loop unbundling
  • Open access agreements
  • Personal number services
  • Premium rate services
  • Radio base station backhaul circuits
  • Siting of masts
  • Termination charges to fixed and mobile networks
  • VoIP (voice over internet protocol)
  • Wireless Telegraphy Acts