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Christopher Pratts

Partner

People

Christopher Pratts

Christopher Pratts

Partner

People

Christopher Pratts

Christopher Pratts

Partner

Full Profile

Christopher started his career in the London Market in November 1995 working as a Marine Claims Adjuster for Commercial Union (later CGU, CGNU and lastly Resolute Management) handling a variety of classes of business, both marine (Hull & Machinery, Cargo, Liability and Excess of Loss Reinsurance) and non-marine (Directors & Officers, Bankers Blanket Bonds and Professional Indemnity).

For the last 15 years or so, Christopher has handled a large variety of marine insurance and reinsurance cases, advising on coverage, policy drafting, defence and recovery/subrogation matters. In addition, Christopher handles Goods in Transit disputes as well as Cargo, Hull & Machinery, Liability and Excess of Loss reinsurance matters.

Christopher specialises in marine cargo insurance and reinsurance disputes, principally in the field of policy coverage, defence and recovery/subrogation.

Christopher is however also highly experienced in defending the interests of vessel owners and their H&M/P&I underwriters (conversely property owners) following allisions by vessels against fixed property (such as jetties and dolphins), and in freight liability disputes, advising on policy coverage under freight forwarders liability insurance policies. He has defended the interests of Freight Forwarders/NVOCs in relation to claims for loss of or damage to goods belonging to customers or third parties, as well as container demurrage and claims for unpaid import tax and VAT due to incorrect commodity codes in customs documents.

Christopher's Marine Liability experience includes defending the interests of time and voyage charterers in respect of claims by head owners and/or disponent owners for damage to hull, machinery and her equipment, or loss of or damage to cargo, unsafe ports/berths, unpaid hire and disbursements and/or demurrage, as well as pursuing counterclaims for damages for vessel misdescription and unseaworthiness of vessel.

He is regularly instructed by clients (both Lloyd's Syndicates and IUA Companies) in the London Market. Owing to his fluency in Spanish and being conversant in Portuguese, Chris is regularly instructed by insurance companies and law firms in Spain, Portugal and Central and South American countries.

Experience

Christopher has been involved in a number of court cases namely the following:-

  • MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. v Ocean Express Limited ("MSC ALYSSA") (23 May 2005, unreported) – Christopher represented the successful Defendant (who was a freight forwarder) in resisting an application for summary judgment relating to a claim by the shipping line (MSC) for demurrage for about 106 containers which had been in the Dominican Republic for more than a year.
  • Harper Versicherungs AG v Indemnity  Marine Assurance Company Limited & Ors [2006] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 263 (Tomlinson J.) – Christopher represented the successful Defendant (who was the Reinsured) against 2 retrocessionaires (Harper and Turegum) in a quota share reinsurance treaty dispute involving the issue of misnomer stemming from a Part VII Transfer.
  • Exportadora Valle de Colina S.A. (trading as Exportadora Santa Elena & Ors) v A. P. Moller – Maersk AS (trading as Maersk Line) [2010] EWHC 3224 (Comm) (Flaux J.) – Christopher represented the successful Claimants (who were growers and exporters of table grapes in Chile) against the shipping line (Maersk) in a dispute involving temperature damage to table grapes in 57 containers shipped from Chile to Europe, which also involved allegation of inherent vice, hot stuffing and bad stowage."

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Expertise

Christopher has worked in the London Market for more than 20 years, specialising in both complex and non-complex marine insurance and reinsurance litigation in the fields of cargo, liability and recoveries.

Offices & Regions covered