Chris is a Director of Simcocks and heads the Isle of Man dispute resolution department and steers the team to adopt a commercially realistic approach to every case.
As a reputable Isle of Man litigation lawyer, he fosters a “can do” philosophy and his energy and drive have helped the group attract some very high calibre recruits. The Legal 500 has described him as “one of the best, if not the best on the Island” and “technically skilled and able to explain things in simple terms”.
Chris thrives on highly confrontational Isle of Man litigation particularly involving judicial review/public law challenges, cross-border disputes and advising those who are the target of, or affected by evidence gathering applications made by foreign states or regulatory bodies.
His reputation generates many referrals and he is able to put together and lead teams who can deal with highly complex matters. Chris has a wide variety of clients both domestic and international. He acts for private individuals, multi-nationals, SMEs, regulators, and NGOs.
Chris has been described as, “an excellent advocate – marked as the star of his generation,” as well as being “punchy and on the ball” managing to be both an “aggressive litigator and defender” and “tremendously supportive” to his clients. Researchers have also said he is an “enthusiastic fighter who works hard and is full of ideas” and is “professional, discreet and reassuring.”
Chris has recently become Mediator accredited by the Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators.
Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public
- Admitted Isle of Man 1993
- Called to the Bar of England and Wales 1990 (and is an unregistered Barrister, not practising in England and Wales)
- Member of the Bar of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court – British Virgin Islands 2012
- Winner of the ‘Litigation and Dispute Resolution – Lawyer of the Year, Isle of Man’ – Lawyer Monthly Private Client Awards 2016 & 2018
- Brunel University (LlB Hons) 1989
- Isle of Man Law Society
- Bar of England and Wales (Grays Inn) (non-practising)
- Human Rights Lawyers Association
- The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Selection of Christopher Arrowsmith’s significant reported decisions
Baltic Highway v Others ORD 2012/78 (2013/14)
Chris Arrowsmith and Peter Taylor were instructed via the London office of Holman Fenwick Willan, who also instructed Simon Rainey QC of the English bar and who was licenced to appear. The Manx Courts in the Isle of Man upheld the right of a ship owner incorporated in the Isle of Man to limit its liability under the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and the 1996 Protocol to the 1976 Convention (the LLMC). The First Deemster’s Judgment of January 7 2014 enabled them to include wreck recovery costs within the limitation fund and to establish that fund by way of a letter of undertaking. An important decision dealing with the LLMC and related forum issues.
Bitel LLC v Kyrgyz Mobil & Others (2013)
Chris Arrowsmith was instructed via the London office of DLA Piper to act for one of the multiple defendants to this complex action. This matter involved two of the biggest telecommunications companies in Russia and an alleged fraudulent conspiracy to misappropriate shares in Bitel LLC. The Isle of Man, after lengthy proceedings including an appeal to the Privy Council, was held to be the appropriate jurisdiction to hear a host of applications and interlocutory appeals in Bitel’s bid to enforce a judgment by the Kyrgyzstan courts against the companies, which were incorporated on the Island.
Adenaike v Paddy Power (2012)
Chris Arrowsmith and Paul Rodgers appeared at the first Manx second tier Appeal hearing from an Employment Tribunal decision. This second tier appeal successfully reinstated the original decision of the Employment Tribunal. The Staff of Government Division held that the Chair of the tribunal had been correct to strike-out the application for unfair dismissal based on the appellant’s “scandalous, vexatious and unreasonable” behaviour during the Tribunal proceedings.
Hafner and Hafner & Hochstrasser (2009), Petition of Brampton International CP (2008), Rivkin & Others CR (2009), Petition of Hafner (2005-06)
These complex proceedings, involving a number of appeals, concerned a criminal case being brought in Australia and the Australian authorities’ request for evidence from parties based in the Isle of Man. Chris Arrowsmith successfully argued for his client to be allowed to inspect documents which were to be transmitted to Australia which would affect their Human Rights under the European Convention.
Brunning v Gladstone (2006)
Chris Arrowsmith acted for defendants in a US matter originating from bankruptcy proceedings, who had assets in the Isle of Man, and who sought, at first instance and at appeal for access to funds to pay legal expenses for another trial based in the US, and protection of those assets until the conclusion of the US proceedings.
Legat v Salvation Army Douglas Citadel and Findel Education (2002) Limited (2005-06)
For the first time in the Manx courts this matter addressed directly the question of when a claim for contribution can be made against a third party in a personal injury case for the purposes of limitation. It concluded the two year period allowed would start to run when a judgment on quantum, not merely liability, is made against the defendant, even if the defendant has agreed to extend their period of liability.
In Re Culverhouse v Graley (2005)
Chris Arrowsmith appeared on the first Manx decision dealing with the Interception of Communications Act 1988 and its interpretation, including the jurisdiction to hear petitions and refer to information which in terms of the Act should have been secret, but used once, is already in the public domain.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria and Abacha & OTR CP (2004)
Chris Arrowsmith acted for a Nigerian national accused of defrauding the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Island’s jurisdiction was disputed, but it was held that Nigeria had not been proved to be the appropriate forum for the proceedings as opposed to any other, so a stay of proceedings was not granted.
Navigator Gas v Cambridge Gas (2004)
Chris Arrowsmith acted in two decisions ultimately determined before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, involving an issue of In Rem/In Personam judgments. Matters involved an appeal and cross-appeal against a decision not to assist the US Bankruptcy Court in transferring and registering shares in a Manx company which was subject to re-structure in a bankruptcy procedure in the US. The appeal was successful and the US’s request for assistance granted, after addressing questions of notice of proceedings and at what point a party submits to the jurisdiction of a court.
Pattni and World Duty Free CP (2003)
The second In Rem/In Personam decision, ultimately being determined before the Privy Council dealing with the interpretation and effect of a judgment arising from a contractual dispute originating from proceedings in Kenya, but involving shares held in a Manx incorporated entity.
Eastern Rich Shipping Limited CP (2003)
An examination of the principles involved to determine the threshold it is necessary to pass for the court to invoke an indemnity costs order.
Malew Parish Commissioners and J Corlett and D Corlett (2001-03)
A doleance (Manx judicial review) claim where Chris Arrowsmith succeeded in having planning approval for development in a Manx Glen quashed due to the unreasonable nature of a Government Minister’s decision in granting planning approval.
In Re West Quay Ltd (2001-03)
Chris Arrowsmith acted for a landlord in a matter focusing upon the requirements of a notice by a tenant for the purposes of a landlord/tenant relationship in a commercial lease.
Christopher Arrowsmith’s clients praise his “first-class contribution” to their cases, and reveal that his level of experience means that he can “predict very accurately how particular judges will react to particular types of cases.” He is head of the firm’s dispute resolution department.
Chambers & Partners, 2017