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Christopher Howitt

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Chris Howitt

Chris has a broad commercial practice encompassing complex commercial disputes, international arbitration, company law, and cross-border insolvency.

Chris joined chambers in July 2020 from Kobre & Kim, where he gained extensive experience of complex and cross-border disputes, with experience in particular of developing and executing global strategies for the enforcement of court judgments and arbitration awards.  In addition to acting as both junior and sole counsel in proceedings before the English Courts, Chris has worked extensively on off-shore representations with jurisdictions including the BVI, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Gibraltar. He has also worked closely with co-counsel in civil law jurisdictions including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Switzerland (Geneva and Zurich), the Republic of Korea, Jamaica, and the Netherlands.

Chris’s international arbitration experience encompasses both commercial and investor state arbitration, with recent experience including representation of Elliott Associates in its ongoing investor state dispute against the Republic of Korea (PCA Case No. 2018-51). Before Kobre & Kim, Chris practised in the arbitration team at Wilmer Hale in London, specialising in international commercial disputes in a wide range of commercial areas, including financial services, oil and gas and aviation disputes. Chris has experience of working as a secretary in international commercial arbitrations under the ICC and LCIA rules.

He is one of the editors of Gore-Browne on Companies. Chris accepts instructions in a range of chambers’ work, with a particular focus on commercial litigation and arbitration, company law, commercial chancery, enforcement of judgments and awards. Chris is admitted in the BVI and also accepts instructions in offshore work.

  • Cases of Interest
    • Elliott Associates L.P. in its investor state dispute against the Republic of Korea, arising out of the State’s alleged misconduct in relation to the 2015 merger between Samsung SC&T and Cheil Industries (PCA Case No. 2018-51).
    • A Spanish real estate holding company in a case in the High Court in London against multiple international corporations involving interest-rate swaps used to finance a property purchase. (See, e.g., Marme Inversiones 2007 SL v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2015] EWHC 173 (Comm)).
    • A US-based oil company in relation to the enforcement of arbitral awards worth US $1 billion+ against a South American state in multiple jurisdictions.
    • An investment firm in a voluntary insolvency proceedings in Spain defending against claims in the High Court in London to accelerate loan repayments due to the insolvency. Acted as junior for Andrew Stafford QC at first instance in the High Court (Edgeworth Capital (Luxembourg) Sarl v Ramblas Investments BV [2015] EWHC 150 (Comm)) and for George Bompas QC on appeal before the Court of Appeal (Edgeworth Capital (Luxembourg) S.Á.R.L, Aabar Block S.Á.R.L v Ramblas Investments B.V. [2016] EWCA Civ 412).
    • Co-counsel representation in a Bahamas-based insolvency, the largest to date in the Caribbean Region. Advice in respect of proposed legal actions against a construction and real estate conglomerate in the English courts.
    • Junior for Vernon Flynn QC in an application to challenge the jurisdiction of the English court on behalf of a Japanese client: Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v K.I. Holdings Co. Ltd & Anor [2014] EWHC 1671 (Comm).
    • U.S. hedge fund administrator in an arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) concerning the alleged overvaluation of assets in the fund’s portfolio.
    • An ICC arbitration between the parties to a joint venture for the extraction of oil and gas in Southern Argentina.
    • Pro bono work, including commencing a claim for damages in the County Court on behalf of a photographer whose artworks were damaged by an art gallery, and the Chancery Bar’s CLIPS scheme.
  • Memberships
    • Bar of England and Wales
    • Supreme Court of Gibraltar (pro hac)
    • High Court of Justice of the British Virgin Islands
    • Lincoln’s Inn
    • International Bar Association
  • Education
    • Bar Professional Training Course, City University
    • Graduate Diploma in Law, City University
    • BA in Literae Humaniores Course 1B (Classics), Wadham College, Oxford University
    • Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
    • Lord Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
    • Lord Haldane Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
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