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Julia Dias QC


Year of Call: 1982
Year of Silk: 2008

email: jdias@7kbw.co.uk


Practice Profile



Julia Dias joined 7KBW in 1985, having already worked for a year as an Assistante Associée at the Institute of Comparative Law in Paris.  After taking a career break from 1998-2000, she worked for three years as a part-time Legal Consultant and in-house barrister with leading City solicitors, Eversheds, attached to the insurance group of their Litigation Department.  Whilst at Eversheds, she carried out advisory and advocacy work on a range of matters (mainly but not exclusively in the insurance and reinsurance field), including film finance cases, aggregation issues in relation to pensions mis-selling and the WTC attacks, brokers’ duties and a wide variety of coverage disputes.  She returned to private practice in April 2003 and took silk in 2008 having been retained in a number of long-running arbitrations and High Court litigation in both the insurance/reinsurance and shipping fields.

Julia’s principal areas of practice are in the fields of insurance and reinsurance, arbitration, shipping and professional negligence (mainly insurance brokers and solicitors).

In addition she has wide experience of commercial disputes generally and over the years has built up considerable expertise in many other areas of commercial law such as agency, aviation, conflicts of laws, guarantees and letters of credit, injunctions, international trade, jurisdiction issues, road transport (domestic and international), sale of goods and shipbuilding.  She has also been instructed in construction and oil and gas disputes.

Julia is a member of the Gibraltar Bar, to which she was called in 1994. 

She is an accredited mediator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has successfully mediated in her fields of practice.  She is a member of the London and Common Law Bar Association, COMBAR, BILA and the London Shipping Law Centre, and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association.

Julia was elected a Governing Bencher of the Inner Temple in July 2012 and serves as Junior Bench Auditor on the Inn's Finance and Executive Committees. She has also served as a Disciplinary Tribunal Chairman for the Council of the Inns of Court since 2009 and was re-appointed for a further term of office in 2012.

If you are interested in instructing Julia on any particular matter, please contact our clerks to discuss the requirements of the case and her availability.


General Information



Trinity Hall, Cambridge:     BA in law (1st)

Julia was awarded a scholarship to Trinity Hall where she gained a first in all three years of the law tripos, and won number of law scholarships and prizes from the University and her college, including the George Long Prize for Roman Law (1980); Squire Scholarships for performance in the Law Tripos (1979, 1980); Trinity Hall Henry Bond Prize for Law (1980) and a Trinity Hall Studentship (1981)

While studying for the first year of her degree course she also gained a Certificate of Competent Knowledge in Russian in 1979 with distinction in the oral examination.

Inner Temple/Inns of Court School of Law, London (1981-2)

Julia was awarded an Inner Temple Major Scholarship and the Hughes Parry Prize for Equity in 1982.

Institut de Droit Comparé, Paris, France:     Assistante Associée de langue anglaise (1982-3)

Following her Bar Finals, Julia worked at the Institute of Comparative Law in Paris for a year where she taught a course of basic English law and terminology (in French) and became a competent French speaker.  She also contributed to the Institute’s then current research project which was subsequently published in June 1989 as La Détermination du Prix dans les Contrats.

 

Other Information

In 1985, Julia was invited to serve on the Rawlinson Committee on the Constitution of the Senate of the Inns of Court and the Bar which led to wholesale reform of the governance of the profession and of the relationship between the Inns and the Bar.  She was substantially responsible for the drafting of the report which was published in April 1986.

Julia is an accredited mediator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is regularly approached to conduct mediations.

She is a member of the London and Common Law Bar Association, COMBAR (serving on the Equality and Diversity Committee from 2005-2010), BILA and the London Shipping Law Centre, and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association. 

She frequently lectures on legal topics for the CPD Foundation and firms of solicitors amongst others.

She was elected a Governing Bencher of the Inner Temple in July 2012 and is currently Junior Bench Auditor of the Inn, in which capacity she serves on the Inn’s Executive and Finance Committees.


Languages:

 French (good), Russian (working knowledge), Italian (working knowledge), German (basic) 


Areas of Practice


Julia Dias QC specialises in the following areas:


Insurance & Reinsurance


Selected cases:

  • Dunlop Haywards (DHL) Ltd v Erinaceous Insurance Services Ltd, [2010] Lloyd’s Rep. IR 149 (Rectification of insurance policy; claim in contract and tort by broker against sub-broker)
  • Dunlop Haywards (DHL) Ltd v Erinaceous Insurance Services Ltd, [2009] Lloyd's Rep. IR 464 (CA); [2008] Lloyd’s Rep. IR 676 (Successful appeal following an unsuccessful application to join insurers into an action brought by an insured against its brokers)
  • 2005 -2006: Reinsurance arbitration (Successfully represented Colombian insurers of the Colombian Central Bank against London reinsurers in a claim involving a potential liability of US$300m. Principal issue concerned avoidance of original insurance policy for non-disclosure/breach of warranty by Bank under Colombian law.  Subsidiary issues included construction of the reinsurance, failure of insurers to act in good faith/prudently in handling claims, and estoppel.)
  • 2005: Instructed by D&O insurers in an arbitration claim concerning avoidance of D&O policies covering a major oil company and its directors on grounds of fraudulent misrepresentation and/or non-disclosure relating to alleged systematic tax evasion in Russia.
  • Canelhas v Wooldridge ,(CA) [2005] 1 All ER (Comm) 43 (Construction of hold-up / robbery limit in jeweller's block policy)
  • 2004-2005: Reinsurance arbitration (Instructed to defend a claim for c. US$4m under pool excess of loss reinsurance involving a complex question of title and raising issues of trusteeship, agency, assignment, equitable assignment and the mandatory insolvency set-off.  Other main issues included burden of proof, allocation of payments, offset, aggregation.  Defended substantially similar claim for c.US$1m in 2005.)
  • 2004: Insurance arbitration (£10m claim by contractor under insurance policy relating to a large redevelopment in Birmingham.  Main issues included: (1) coverage for losses/delay caused by structural engineer’s faulty design; (2) waiver by insurers of requirement for consent to remedial costs; (3) application of policy provision requiring prior checking of the engineer’s work.)

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Shipping


Selected cases:

  • 2010: Currently instructed in a shipping arbitration raising the validity of service of an arbitration notice
  • 2010: Currently instructed in an arbitration involving allocation of the costs of anti-piracy measures
  • 2010: Successfully acted for charterers in an arbitration claim for off-hire and damages following a wrongful suspension of service by owners.
  • 2009: Instructed in a number of disputes involving forward freight agreements
  • 2008: Instructed in ongoing arbitration concerning validity of the assignment of the benefit of a time charter.  Authority of signatory and issues of foreign law involved.
  • 2008: Assisted owners to achieve a highly advantageous settlement of a tri-partitie arbitration claim concerning allegedly off-specification bunkers and involving complex issues of hydrocarbon chemistry and marine engineering
  • 2006: Shipping arbitration (Claim by owners for outstanding charter hire; counterclaim by charterers for over US$4m for alleged wrongful withdrawal.  Issues included variation of contract/waiver/estoppel, deductions from hire, jurisdiction of arbitrators, rectification, validity of withdrawal notice, repudiation of charter, fraud/bad faith, misrepresentation.)
  • Ameropa GmbH/Agroko AG v. Flag Zannis Shipping Ltd  [2004] (Cargo damage and short delivery claim. Critical issue was whether damage was due to the excessive moisture content of the cargo on loading or bad stowage/negligent overheating during voyage.)
  • Ignazio Messina & Co v. Polskie Linie Oceaniczne, [1995] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.566  (Claim for breach of ship sale contracts.)
  • Apioil Ltd v. Kuwait Petroleum Italia SpA, [1995] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.124  (Trial of preliminary issues in oil quality dispute concerning conclusive evidence clause.  Clients ultimately successful after full trial.)

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Professional Negligence


Selected cases:

  • Dunlop Haywards (DHL) Ltd v Erinaceous Insurance Services Ltd, [2009] EWHC 2900 (Comm) (Rectification of insurance policy; claim in contract and tort by broker against sub-broker)
  • Dunlop Haywards (DHL) Ltd v Erinaceous Insurance Services Ltd, [2009] Lloyd's Rep. IR 464 (CA); [2008] Lloyd’s Rep. IR 676  (Successful appeal following unsuccessful application to join insurers)

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Construction


Selected cases:

  • Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd v Mott MacDonald Limited [2008] EWHC 1570 (TCC) (Whether duty of care owed by structural engineer to design and build contractor; whether duty breached)

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General Commercial Disputes


Selected cases:

  • Dumford v OAO Atlantrybflot, (CA) [2005] EWCA Civ 24 (Misdescription of guarantor; extent to which extrinsic evidence admissible or misnomer principle applicable)
  • 2005: Arbitration (Defending claim for wrongful termination of agency agreement.  Main issue was whether respondent company was responsible in law for the acts and omissions of an individual who was neither a director nor a shareholder, and the appropriate measure of damages.)
  • XL v Zenith, [2004] EWHC 1182 (Comm) (Pre - action disclosure)
  • C Inc plc. v. L, [2001] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.459  (Established for the first time in English law that in certain circumstances a freezing order could be obtained against a third party against whom the claimant had no direct cause of action.)
  • Petrotrade Inc v. Smith [1999] 1 W.L.R.457  (Date at which domicile to be determined for the purposes of service under Art.6 of the Lugano Convention.)

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La determination du prix dans les contrats de longue durée

Carver on Charterparties 1st edition (Sweet & Maxell):  Julia is currently working as co-author with other members of chambers on this new work which is intended for publication in 2013