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Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

20 Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

20 Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

18/11/2019

Success in recent judgment for Natixis

Duncan Matthews QC and Susannah Jones acted for the successful Claimant bank, Natixis S.A. awarded damages of over US$32 million by Mr Justice Simon Bryan in the recent Commercial Court case of Natixis S.A. (“Natixis”) v Marex Financial (“Marex”) and Access World Logistics (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“Access World”).

The judgment has important implications for commodity financing, for the use of warehouse receipts in “repo” transactions and for the contractual limitation of liability of warehouse owners.

Natixis’ claim was brought against Marex Financial, the leading ring dealer of the LME. Marex had supplied Natixis with forged warehouse receipts under contracts for the sale and conditional repurchase of nickel. In its Defence, Marex blamed the warehouse, Access World, and issued Part 20 claims against Access World and against Marex’s insurers.

The Judge found Marex liable to Natixis for the whole of its US$32 million claim. In turn, the Judge found that Access World had been negligent when it inspected some of the fake warehouse receipts, but that its liability was limited to €100,000 per receipt.

The Judgment is interesting for its analysis of:

  • The doctrines of common mistake and estoppel. Estoppel is personal to the parties and cannot be a basis on which to order delivery of goods belonging to a third party (so that it could not give rise to a defence to the claim by Natixis against Marex).
  • The legal status of warehouse receipts. The judgment provides a helpful overview of the use and nature of transferable warehouse receipts. The court dismissed Marex’s arguments that a genuine warehouse receipt would give rise to a unilateral contract between its holder and the warehouse and dismissed the argument that a collateral contract had arisen between the warehouse and Marex.
  • The operation of limitation of liability clauses in a warehouse owner’s terms and conditions. In this case, even though there was no contract between Marex and Access World, the contractual limitation of liability was effective.

Duncan Matthews QC and Susannah Jones were instructed by Edward Davis, Jonathan Spearing and Jeremy Livingston of Stephenson Harwood LLP.

Relevant members
Duncan Matthews QC Susannah Jones
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