Damian Wilkes


Being something of a frustrated engineer, Damian is particularly adept at, and enjoys handling large technical disputes, with particular focus on shipbuilding and rig construction issues, where he has acted primarily for buyers in numerous cases including delay claims, warranty claims, force majeure issues and failed sea trials. In a series of arbitrations for one of the world’s leading shipowners he secured the return of in excess of US$500 million in prepaid instalments. He has also acted in a variety of ship sale and purchase disputes, including disputes arising from the condition of the vessel and in failure to deliver the vessel.

Damian has been involved in numerous unsafe port claims, including the Ocean Victory (which went to the Supreme Court), bunker quality disputes, dangerous cargo disputes and disputes arising from the redelivery of vessels from bareboat charters.

Away from shipping, Damian has extensive experience of the independent inspection business, having acted for several of the major inspection companies. He also acts for one of the oil majors in respect of their marine lubricant’s business, which has given him a very wide knowledge of arresting vessels worldwide. In addition, he has acted in a variety of more general commercial litigation matters, including such diverse issues as the export of mortar base-plates, data protection and employee fidelity issues.

Although much of Damian’s work involves disputes that are subject to arbitration, he has acted in many proceedings before the English Courts, whether this is urgent interlocutory matters taking the matters through to trial, or by way of appeal from arbitration.

Damian has also been involved in an increasing number of mediations which have proved very useful tool for resolving disputes.

In addition to his litigation work, Damian’s non-contentious work includes ship sale and purchase, the drafting of commercial agreements (including a unique LNG Bunker Supply Contract between two major shipping entities), guarantees and terms of business as well as debt collection.

Outside of the office Damian is somewhat obsessed with anything to do with bicycles, enjoys woodworking and a good night out!

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Damian has been with Winter Scott as a Partner since its inception in 2004

Admitted as a Solicitor: 1998

Called to the Bar: 1994