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Quick, commercially focused advice on soft commodities trading transactions and disputes

Our soft commodities team is experienced in a wide range of commodities including grains, sugar, rice, nuts, soya, coffee, oils and seeds. We have one of the largest international soft commodity legal teams and our clients include some of the world's major commodities trading houses, financiers and insurers.

From production through to sales and distribution, we guide our clients through the contractual and financial complexities of the market, from structuring existing and new investments, to setting up supply and production agreements, to shipment and supply chain management. We also advise on issues concerning fertilisers.

We have significant experience in resolving soft commodity disputes including a large number of substantial arbitrations through the main arbitral centres and the trade association arbitration rules, such as GAFTA, FOSFA, IGPA and the Refined Sugar Association.

Our Soft Commodities Work

  • Americas
  • Asia Pacific
  • UK & Europe
  • Advising on a Brazilian commodities finance facility

    Advising a Brazilian trading company on a USD 85 million structured commodities finance facility (sugar and coffee) in Brazil

    Brazil

    Restructuring Cuban sugar debt

    Advising insurers regarding the restructuring of a Cuban sugar related debt during a time of considerable political uncertainty and government restructuring

    Cuba
  • Wheat Exports Australia Audit

    Conducting, on the instruction of Wheat Exports Australia, an audit of one year’s worth of the commodity trading and chartering practices of a major Australian exporter of wheat, relating to export accreditation restrictions

    Australia
  • Buying a coffee trading house

    Advising an Italian coffee trading house on the acquisition of a coffee trading business. The transaction needed to be structured so as to preserve confidentiality

    Italy

    Precedent setting FOSFA sale of goods arbitration

    Successfully acting on this high profile FOSFA arbitration concerning a soft commodity agreement and time limits for the commencement of the arbitration. The judgment was widely reported, having implications on the timing of all future soft commodity cases

    Switzerland

    Swiss grain traders and Israeli allegations of contaminated cargo

    Representing Swiss grain traders in GAFTA arbitration proceedings in respect of claims against non-paying Israeli buyers and successfully defending buyers’ counterclaim for alleged contamination of cargo with T2 mycotoxin on appeal

    Switzerland

    Buying a sugar trading business

    Advising a leading sugar trader in acquiring a sugar trading business in Brazil and Switzerland. The transaction needed to be structured in a manner to ring fence the seller’s Brazilian tax and trading liabilities and mitigate anti-trust issues

    Switzerland

    Ukrainian sunflower and mineral oil recall

    Handling FOSFA arbitration on a dispute arising from the contamination of Ukrainian origin sunflower oil with mineral oil which resulted in a Europe-wide recall with the Award granted in favour of our client.

    Ukraine

    Appealing the Refined Sugar Associations Arbitration Award

    Acting for the world’s largest sugar trader in defending an application to appeal before the Commercial Court in respect of an Arbitration Award from the Refined Sugar Association. Issues considered included: duties of FOB seller and right to choose place of loading; Thai ports; damages, and...

    United Kingdom

Our Soft Commodities team

Michael Swangard
Michael Swangard

Partner

Eurof Lloyd-Lewis
Eurof Lloyd-Lewis

Partner

John Whittaker
John Whittaker

Partner

Robert Lawrence
Robert Lawrence

Partner

Maurice Thompson
Maurice Thompson

Partner

Rebecca Armstrong
Rebecca Armstrong

Partner

Leon Alexander
Leon Alexander

Partner

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