Matthew Plaistowe

Senior Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 5224
United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 5224
Matthew Plaistowe

Matthew Plaistowe



Matthew Plaistowe is a litigation and dispute resolution lawyer based in London.

Matthew has extensive experience acting on a wide range of institutional and ad hoc international arbitrations (LCIA, ICC, LMAA and UNCITRAL) and English High Court claims across a range of industries, with a particular focus on transport and asset finance, but also energy, trade finance, mining and commodities.

Matthew also regularly advises clients on non-contentious matters such arbitration clauses, charterparties, shipbuilding contracts and contracts relating to LNG trading arrangements.

Matthew has a keen interest in legal technology and innovation and has spent time contributing to the firm's global change and innovation programme, NRF Transform. This includes planning and delivering a training program on legal innovation tools for lawyers across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Matthew spent eight months on secondment to Centrica supporting its origination and energy trading team and four months on secondment to ExxonMobil's upstream legal team.

Professional experience

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  • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales

Asset finance disputes and problem loans

  • Acting for financiers in related multimillion-dollar English Court and LMAA arbitration proceedings following the default of a borrower under cross-collateralised financing arrangements for two tankers.
  • Acted for a syndicate of banks following the default of three Brazilian borrowers in relation to a Facility Agreement which financed a fleet of buses for a Brazilian city's municipal transport system.
  • Acting for a syndicate of banks following the default of a borrower in relation to a Facility Agreement which financed the construction of six vessels and advising on the discharge of security and consensual sale of assets to pay down the debt.
  • Acted for a syndicate of lenders following the default of a borrower under a Facility Agreement which financed the construction of an offshore support vessel. The default was triggered by the termination of a long term charterparty by a charterer, in breach of the charterparty, which caused cash flow issues for the borrower.
  • Acting for a U.S. bank in pre-dispute negotiations relating to a Residual Value Guarantee (RVG), and the entitlement of the U.S. bank to forego the purchase of a vessel from the vessel owner at a fixed price pursuant to the RVG.
  • Advising a syndicate of banks on enforcement strategies in relation to a fleet of LNG carriers, following the default by borrowers under a Facility Agreement.
  • Acting for a Japanese lender in English Court proceedings against a Greek shipowner to recover significant costs incurred in relation to the arrest of a vessel following the default under a Facility Agreement.



  • Acting for a shipping joint venture shareholder in English High Court proceedings. The dispute related to the alleged settlement of an arbitration relating to two tankers without authority and has involved successfully securing a worldwide freezing injunction against another joint venture partner.
  • Advised a major Russian energy company on the negotiation of charterparties and the underlying shipbuilding contracts for a series of newbuild ice class LNG carriers to be used in a large Arctic LNG project.
  • Conducted the due diligence review of a portfolio of LNG time charterparties for a syndicate of banks as part of the refinancing of a fleet of LNG vessels.
  • Advised a US energy company in relation to the negotiation of an LNG time charterparty.
  • Acted for a Japanese shipowner in relation to the negotiation of an LNG time charterparty with a European energy company.
  • Acted for a Greek shipowner in relation to the negotiation of a long term LNG time charterparty as part of the tender for the provision of LNG vessels for a large LNG project.
  • Acting for a UK client on the negotiation of a shipbuilding contract for a highly bespoke buoy tender vessel.
  • Acted for a ship owner in an LMAA arbitration regarding a demurrage claim against a metal trader.
  • Acted for insurers in a dispute regarding the quantum of a claim for damage to a chemical plant caused by the explosion of a shipping container.


Mining, commodities and trade finance

  • Represented an international mining company on a London-seated, multi-million-dollar UNCITRAL arbitration relating to the supply of allegedly defective mining equipment to 15 mine sites around the world.
  • Acting for a major Swiss commodity trader in a dispute regarding the alleged breach of an exclusivity agreement for the provision of financing arrangements to purchase of a refinery.
  • Advised the Interim Judicial Manager of a large ship operator on the operator's potential multi-billion-dollar exposure to claims from creditors under trade finance arrangements, following the collapse of a large oil trading company.
  • Advising a French bank on recovery action under trade finance arrangements following the collapse of a commodity trader into insolvency in 2020.
  • Advised a U.S. bank on the legal position under documentary collection arrangements following the alleged fraudulent issuance, by an agricultural commodity trader, of two sets of bills of lading in relation to a cargo of palm oil.
  • Acted for an energy major in negotiations with a Middle Eastern government for a bespoke crude oil offtake and lifting agreement.
  • Acted for an international oil engineering firm in a dispute with a bank following the bank's failure to honour the demand under a standby letter of credit.


  • Represented a European energy company in an ICC arbitration regarding a dispute under a share purchase agreement. The dispute concerned whether the purchase price of an oil and gas company should be adjusted to reflect non-operative expenses.
  • Advised and acted for an energy company regarding a dispute arising under a JOA with a JOA partner, including disputes concerning running of the JOA and in relation to offtake agreements for sale of oil under the JOA.
  • Represented a European utility in a Commercial Court dispute with a former joint operating partner in relation to the provision of decommissioning security for an offshore asset in the North Sea.
  • Acted for an energy company in a dispute regarding the entitlement to terminate a drilling contract following the alleged underperformance of drilling equipment.
  • Advised a large U.K. energy company on a highly complex set of interrelated contracts linked to a long-term LNG location swap arrangement.


Global: COVID-19 and bill of lading fraud

Publication | November 06, 2020