Shawn Kirby


About Shawn Kirby

Shawn Kirby is an energy, shipping and construction lawyer with a particular focus on the construction and operation of offshore units and ships. He assists owners, charterers, shipyards, buyers, EPCI and EPC contractors, oil companies, insurers, P&I clubs, designers and equipment suppliers in both a contentious and advisory capacity.

Shawn is dual-qualified as an English solicitor and as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand. His contentious work has included acting in ICC, LCIA, SIAC, LMAA, UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitrations, as well as in English court proceedings and in an advisory capacity in relation to court proceedings in many other jurisdictions.

His non-contentious work involves assisting clients in the negotiation and drafting of energy, construction and shipbuilding contracts as well as conducting due diligence investigations into target companies.

Shawn led the WR team which won "Deal of the Year: Disputes" in the Latin Lawyer Awards 2021 and he was recognised in the 2020 and 2021 Legal 500 rankings in each of the Shipping; Oil and Gas Projects; and Construction Disputes categories.

Work experience
  • 2018 -

    Partner, Wikborg Rein, London

  • 2016 - 2017

    Senior Lawyer, Wikborg Rein, London

  • 2008 - 2016

    Associate/Senior Associate/Managing Associate, Ince & Co, London

  • 2004 - 2007

    Lawyer, DLA Piper, Wellington

  • 2004

    LLB (Hons) BCom (Hons), University of Otago

Selected projects
  • Lead counsel for an oil company in an UNCITRAL arbitration subject to Brazilian law in relation to disputes between members of a consortium arising under a Joint Operating Agreement, including responsibility for delay, the right of forfeiture and compensation due in such circumstances.

  • National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine v Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom [2019] 2 Lloyd's Rep 20: Acting for Naftogaz seeking to enforce an arbitration award of US$2.6 billion against Gazprom in England. Successfully obtaining a freezing injunction over Gazprom's assets and security.

  • Acting for a Chinese shipyard in a US$200 million dispute in relation to the termination of a contract for the construction of a drilling unit, including successfully seeking an ex parte injunction to prevent a call on refund guarantees issued.

  • Acting in LCIA arbitration for the designer and builder of a FPSO topside module to resolve disputes with its client as to delay and outstanding fees.

  • Acting for the buyer of a series of chemical tankers in multiple LMAA arbitrations to recover damages in respect of the condition of tankers which had been delivered and refund of instalments for undelivered vessels.

  • LexisNexis PSL Arbitration - Contributing Author LMAA Arbitration

Honor awards
  • 2021

    Recommended, Legal 500 - Shipping

  • 2021

    Recommended, Legal 500 - Contentious Construction

  • 2021

    Deal of the Year Winner: Disputes, Latin Lawyer