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John Xavier Butler

Senior Associate

Lau, Horton & Wise LLP, in Association with CMS Hasche Sigle, Hong Kong LLP
8th Floor, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central,
Hong Kong
Languages English, German, Mandarin, Japanese

John is a senior associate in the litigation and arbitration practice area in the CMS affiliate in Hong Kong, Lau, Horton & Wise LLP in association with CMS Hasche Sigle, Hong Kong.

John is a dual-qualified lawyer (England & Wales and Hong Kong) who specializes in international arbitration and Hong Kong litigation with a particular focus on shipping and international trade disputes (including disputes under charterparties, bills of lading, letters of credit and contracts of affreightment). He has experience of complex commercial litigation in London and Hong Kong as well as extensive experience in arbitrations under LMAA, SIAC, LCIA and HKIAC terms.

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"John Butler is [a] name to note".

Legal 500, 2019

John is “recommended for international arbitration and complex commercial disputes in the shipping arena”.

Legal 500, 2020

Relevant experience

  • A Singaporean company in successfully opposing an application for restoration of a Hong Kong company (Re Trade Treasure Ltd [2019] HKCFI 2976)
  • A Chinese SOE in multiple shareholder and directors’ duties disputes in HKIAC and Hong Kong Court proceedings.
  • A German company and their trade credit insurers in obtaining emergency Norwich Pharmacal and other injunctive relief.
  • Hong Kong clients in an appeal from an arbitration Award in London Court proceedings.
  • A Singaporean trading company in a dispute concerning the restoration of a dissolved Hong Kong company to the companies register.
  • A Singaporean listed company in LIAC proceedings concerning a commodities dispute.
  • Japanese shipowners in LMAA proceedings concerning oil major approvals.
  • Clients in SIAC proceedings relating to a charterparty dispute.
  • A Danish bank in several arbitrations related to the collapse of OW Bunkers.
  • Creditors to wind up a Hong Kong company in an involuntary liquidation.
  • Successful cargo interests to defend an application for security for costs in the case of Dunham-Bush Industry Sdn Bhd v Kln Container Line Ltd HCAJ 60/2015.
  • Ranked as a ‘next generation lawyer’ in Shipping by Legal500 Hong Kong every year since 2016.
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Memberships & Roles

Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb, 2019)

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Lectures list

  • Back to the future - Post contractual events and the assessment of damages for breach of contract
  • Settlement offers and their effect in London arbitration
  • The carrier’s dilemma: dangerous cargo, inherent vice and the carrier’s options
  • London Maritime arbitration – A Beginner’s Guide
  • Insolvency in the Shipping Sector - Immediate ‘self-help’ remedies
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2008 – MA (Hons) Modern Languages, Worcester College, Oxford

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