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David McKie

David McKie

Partner

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
London
EC4N 6AF
United Kingdom
Languages English
Insurance & Reinsurance Disputes

David has 25 years’ experience handling UK and international direct and reinsurance property and casualty coverage disputes, defence and recoveries, policy drafting and claims audits across all marine insurance business lines, as well as aviation, offshore energy, political violence, trade credit.  His marine expertise covers cargo and goods in transit, hull and machinery, mortgagees’ interest, charterers’ liability, freight liability, marine trades, P&I, ports and terminals, war risks, yachts and marine cyber. David acts for Lloyd’s, London and international insurers and reinsurers and maritime sector clients, who value his technical knowledge and ability to find quick, commercial and practical solutions to complex cases. 

David also handles a wide range of maritime and international trade disputes for sector clients including banks, shipowners, charterers, traders, port authorities and terminal operators, marine professional service providers, contractors and shipyards. He advises on claims involving collisions, groundings, LOF salvage, General Average and wreck removal. On the dry shipping side, David helps clients resolve disputes through litigation, arbitration and mediation involving off-hire, unsafe port and berth claims, pollution, liquefaction and dangerous cargo claims, loss and damage of cargo under contracts of carriage by sea, road, air and rail.

 David has been involved with claims arising out of several major shipping casualties including PRESTIGE and MOL COMFORT. He also deals with ship arrest, jurisdiction disputes, enforcement, drafting of contract terms and conditions, shipbuilding and offshore construction matters.  

He is a regular contributor of articles to the shipping and insurance press and has authored distance learning modules on aspects of time and voyage charterparties. 

David joined CMS from Kennedys in September 2020. He trained and qualified with Elborne Mitchell where he was made partner in 2001. 

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“David has an encyclopaedic knowledge of marine insurance and shipping law."

Legal 500

"Always available and gives the best advice."

Legal 500

“Excellent…his input has been invaluable…His strengths and qualities, in addition to his extensive knowledge in the marine field, include his ability to grasp the concept, analyse the issues and provide appropriate and considered advice."

Lloyd’s marine underwriter

Relevant experience

  • Lloyd’s and London market hull and IV insurers in the successful defence of High Court litigation involving a claim for the constructive total loss of a bulk carrier allegedly caused by engine room flooding – the claimants abandoning their claim shortly before trial.
  • Lloyd’s and London market insurers in connection with coverage and collision liability claims arising out of a three-way ship collision and allision with port facilities in South America
  • Providing coverage advice and litigation defence services to MII insurers in connection with a USD 85 million claim in relation to detention of the insured vessel in South America following discovery of cocaine on board.
  • Several NVOCCs and freight forwarders, and their liability insurers, in connection with the defence and filing of limitation fund claims following a fire, salvage, towage and subsequent total loss of a containership in the Indian Ocean
  • Successfully resolving through mediation prior to litigation USD 15 million policy claims against war risks insurers following the detention of the insured vessel in the CIS in connection with international sanctions.
  • US cargo insurers in connection with defence of substantial claims in General Average following the grounding of a bulk carrier in the Middle East on the basis of actionable fault under Rule D of the York-Antwerp rules in relation to lack of proper passage planning.
  • Middle East cargo insurers of a parcel tanker on successful defence of claims in General Average and recovery of LOF salvage contributions following the loss of the vessel’s rudder on the basis that the vessel was unseaworthy. 
  • Marine professional service providers and their liability insurers in connection with successful defence of USD 1 billion recourse claims for pollution following the sinking of a laden oil tanker.
  • Middle East terminal operators and their liability insurers in connection with successful USD 10 million recourse claims against tanker operators and their liability insurers involving issues in relation to limitation of liability. 
  • Charterers and liability insurers in defence of numerous unsafe port/berth claims, including USD 35 million dollar claims following the grounding of an oil tanker, in relation to ice damage to vessels, and reported arbitration LMLN 2/2006 where the claim was defeated on the basis that the purchasers of a vessel under charter who had paid for repairs had no title to sue in contract or tort. 
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Education

  • 1993 - Legal Practice Course (Commendation) and Law Society Finals, University of the West of England.
  • 1989 - BA (Joint Hons) – History and Ancient History, University of Nottingham.
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Memberships

  • Supporting Member, London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association (LMAA).
  • Member, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
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International Arbitration

David has over 25 years’ experience of helping clients resolve international commercial disputes through arbitration and mediation, particularly in the maritime and offshore energy sectors, involving ICC, LCIA, LMAA, commodity trade and ad hoc arbitration. 

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Relevant experience

  • A successful claimant in ad hoc arbitration resulting in a USD 75 million damages award following cancellation of a port concession in West Africa.
  • Respondent bank in successful fraud defence of USD 29 million claims under a refund guarantee in relation to cancelled shipbuilding contracts with a Chinese shipyard.
  • Respondent offshore contractor and its liability insurers in USD 25 million claims in London arbitration arising out of hydrocarbon releases on an offshore oil and gas production platform, involving complex issues of construction of contractual exclusion clauses for consequential loss.
  • An offshore service provider and subrogated trade credit insurers in connection with marine aspects of an ICC arbitration in Paris of a USD 200 million dispute in relation to construction and delivery of a FSU.
  • German buyers on USD 200 million LMAA arbitration dispute with Russian shipyard involving delay to delivery of 8 tankers.
  • A successful engineering contractor claimant in LCIA arbitration against a sub-contractor for an indemnity in connection with claims arising from an offshore construction project in Asia.
  • Respondents in LMAA arbitration of USD 30 million claims against time charterers of an LNG vessel following an explosion on board the chartered vessel during loading.
  • ICC arbitration of disputes arising following a mine attack on a ship during loading of cargo in Sri Lanka.
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Education

  • 1993 - Legal Practice Course (Commendation) and Law Society Finals, University of the West of England.
  •  1989 - BA (Joint Hons) – History and Ancient History, University of Nottingham.
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Memberships

  • Supporting Member, London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association (LMAA).
  • Member, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
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