It has been a decade since the Law School's Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law (IISTL) launched its annual international colloquia with a view to providing a forum for discussing contemporary and controversial aspects of shipping, trade and commercial law.

From modest and experimental beginnings in 2005, since then these colloquia have grown exponentially and established themselves as a key event in the commercial maritime law calendar. Today they attract not only the best academics in the area from the UK, Europe and elsewhere, but also large numbers of leading lawyers, judges and executives from shipbroking, P & I, banking and other businesses.

This year’s event, the eleventh in the series, was held on 10-11 September at Swansea and was devoted to international sale contracts and related issues such as carriage issues, documentary credits and cargo insurance. It was fully embraced by the international shipping and trade community, attracting 72 delegates from 11 jurisdictions. In addition to academics, lawyers, arbitrators and P & I interests were represented; from the commercial judiciary we were delighted to welcome the Hon. Mr Justice Males (Presiding Judge of the North Eastern Circuit), who enthusiastically participated in the debates and chaired one of the sessions.

Rainey-Males (11th Colloquium)

From left to right: Dr Frank Stevens (Roosendaal Kezer Advocaten, Antwerp), Professor Michael Sturley (University of Texas, Austin), Mr Justice Males (Presiding Judge of the North Eastern Circuit) and Simon Rainey QC (Quadrant Chambers and IISTL).

 Apart from academics from the IISTL, namely Professors Baughen, Soyer, Tettenborn and Williams and Associate Professor Theodora Nikaki, the following academics and practitioners presented papers at the event:

Professor Olivier Cachard (University of Lorraine, France); Professor Jason Chuah (Head of Department, The City Law School, City University London); Sara Cockerill QC (Essex Court Chambers); Dr Miriam Goldby (Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London); Damian Honey (Partner, Holman Fenwick Willan LLP); Ruth Hosking (Quadrant Chambers); Peter MacDonald-Eggers QC (7 King’s Bench Walk and IISTL); Simon Rainey QC (Quadrant Chambers and IISTL); Stuart Shepherd (Partner, Ince & Co LLP); Professor Michael Sturley (University of Texas, Austin); and Dr Frank Stevens (Roosendaal Kezer Advocaten, Antwerp).

Nikaki (11th Colloquium)

From left to right: Dr Miriam Goldby (Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London), Professor Bülent Sözer and Associate Professor Theodora Nikaki (IISTL, Swansea)

The Colloquium dinner, most generously sponsored by leading commercial law publisher Informa Law and entertainingly hosted by Head of College Professor Elwen Evans QC, was held at Sketty Hall. Informa (to whom, as ever, the IISTL remains enormously grateful) has also agreed to publish the papers presented at the Colloquium in book format in 2016, thus continuing another excellent traditional.

Talking after the event, Professor Soyer, Director of the IISTL, commented:

“The fact that this year’s Colloquium attracted record numbers of delegates from all around the world, including the US and China, is a clear sign that this event has been taken to heart by the shipping and trade community and is a permanent fixture. I would like to thank all those who helped: delegates, speakers and chairpersons, and also my colleagues at the IISTL who provided their unstinting support. I am leading a talented group of individuals here at the IISTL, who have enormous respect for each other and the sector that we aim to serve. They exemplify everything that is good about diversity and co-operation, and this becomes ever more obvious during events like this!

A number of events are planned for 2016, and the IISTL will continue to work towards achieving one of its key missions: namely bridging the gap between academia and practice.”

Audience (11th Colloquium)

Delegates attending the colloquium