Colleen is a recommended leading junior in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.
She specialises in commercial litigation with a particular focus on shipping, commodities and international arbitration. Colleen appears regularly before the Commercial Court and international arbitration tribunals in disputes involving complex commercial sale contracts, charterparty construction, cargo claims and jurisdictional issues. She has particular expertise in challenging arbitration awards under the Arbitration Act and in obtaining anti-suit injunctions. Colleen has also acted for some of the world’s largest commodity traders in sale of goods disputes and has specific expertise in oil and gas sale disputes. She has also advised in superyacht disputes.
Early in her career, Colleen worked in-house at the Nordisk Shipowners’ Defence Club in Oslo and has a unique understanding of the day to-day legal issues arising for shipowners. She regularly advises and acts for a variety of shipowners’ defence clubs and is happy to accept direct instructions.
In addition to her main commercial litigation practice, Colleen has expertise in UK and European competition law. From 2008 to 2009 she was the Principal Legal Adviser at Ofgem with responsibility for all competition law matters, as well as advising on public and regulatory law issues. As a Pegasus Scholar, Colleen worked in-house in the anti-trust department of the Washington DC office of Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP and as a Visiting Fellow on Capitol Hill during which she was seconded to the staff teams of a prominent US senator and well-known congressman.
Colleen was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2017. She also has full rights of audience to appear before the AIFC, in Astana Kazakhstan.
Colleen sits regularly as an arbitrator both for the LCIA and in LMAA disputes. She is a supporting member of the LMAA, a member of the LCIA and of Arbitration Ireland. She has chaired several tribunal panels and has acted many times as both a sole and a co-arbitrator.
In June 2022 Colleen was officially appointed by the European Commission to the panel of arbitrators eligible for appointment in bilateral disputes under trade agreements with third countries (https://policy.trade.ec.europa.eu/enforcement-and-protection/dispute-settlement_en).
Commercial law and arbitration
In a very recent Commercial Court trial , Colleen acted for the successful owners of a very large ore carrier vessel in an MOA force majeure sale dispute arising out of the imposition of Covid 19 lockdown restrictions in India (NKD Maritime Ltd v Bart Maritime No.2  EWHC 1615 Comm).
Separately in another recent Commercial Court appearance Colleen successfully obtained an anti-suit injunction against the Chinese insurers of cargo-receivers on both a ﬁnal and an interim basis. She has also acted recently (unled) in a substantial LMAA arbitration for a large Scandinavian based ship-owner in a claim against Nigerian-based charterers. Colleen also acted (unled) for international clients in a substantial ICC arbitration claim brought against one of the largest global oil trading companies. She has also successfully obtained judgment in the Commercial Court against a well-known West African oil company on behalf of a Swiss based trader.
Colleen regularly prepares and acts in applications involving s. 67/68/69 of the Arbitration Act, freezing orders and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.
Signiﬁcant recent cases include:
- NKD Maritime v Bart Maritime No. 2  EWHC 1615 Comm. Acted for the successful ship-owner and seller in a force majeure dispute arising out of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in India (led by Timothy Young QC).
- Acting (unled) for a substantial UK based transport manufacturer in a significant commercial dispute involving parallel claims in both the High Court and ICC arbitration.
- Currently advising several international commodity traders in ongoing sale.
- Acted for a Singapore based energy trader in a large SIAC dispute against a Chinese based entity.
- Acted in a major ship-building arbitration dispute concerning assets worth over US$200 million.
Competition and European Law
Signiﬁcant cases include:
- Advised in the Scottish Milk cartel investigation and in the separate Dairy Milk Price Initiative cartel investigation.
- Inntrepreneur Pub Company and others v Crehan  UKHL 38 (acted as junior counsel for Visa International Services Association in an intervening application before the House of Lords).
- Acted as the main Legal Adviser to the Sportech/Vernons Football Pools merger inquiry referred to the (then) Competition Commission (Final Report published 11 October 2007).
- Acted as junior counsel for Visa International Services Association in the OFT’s Competition Act investigation of Mastercard’s interchange arrangements before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal.
- Morgan Stanley v Visa International Service Association – Junior counsel advising Visa.
Human rights and pro bono
- Acted for the Commonwealth Lawyers Association in A and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Secretary  UKHL 71 (overturning Court of Appeal decision of Laws LLJ and Pill LLJ).
- Seconded to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva for several weeks assisting the Secretariat to the Basel Convention.