David Steward

David is an arbitrator and mediator. For over thirty years, he practised as a solicitor with an international firm in the City of London. David ceased practising as a solicitor in April 2011 and since then has been wholly independent. He now sits as a sole arbitrator or as a member of a tribunal on a range of commercial disputes, with a particular focus on maritime cases, including shipbuilding, and offshore energy contracts. He has experience of arbitrations under the terms of, among others, the ICC, the LCIA and the LMAA.

e: david.steward@arb10fs.com

t: +44 (0)20 7583 4444


David was in private practice as a lawyer for over thirty years. He handled a range of commercial work, with a particular – but not exclusive – focus on the following areas. This experience is reflected in his work as an arbitrator.

Energy and construction

  • Offshore procurement, design, fabrication, engineering, construction, consultancy and decommissioning
  • The building, operation, repair and refit of ships and drilling units (including semi-submersible and jack-up rigs and drillships), FPSOs and vessels engaged in the processing, storage or carriage of LNG and other energy services, including renewables
  • Charterparties (including Supplytime), new building, drilling and offshore service contracts, including knock-for-knock indemnities
  • Accidents to offshore units
  • Coverage and claims under marine and energy insurance policies, including Builders’ Risks and CAR

Dry shipping

  • Shipbuilding and repair
  • Charterparties for conventional and specialised ships
  • All aspects of carriage of goods by sea
  • Marine insurance
  • Ship sale and purchase
  • Yachts

As a solicitor, David’s clients included:

  • Shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, underwriters and cargo interests, yacht owners and insurers
  • Builders, buyers or insurers of conventional ships, cruise ships, military vessels (including frigates and submarines), drilling rigs, floating production units and other specialist vessels
  • Leading offshore drilling and other oil & gas service contractors and consultants, operators and other oil & gas companies
  • Employers, clients and consultants in the construction sector

His practice had a particular focus on Europe, the US Gulf, the Asia Pacific region (including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia and Japan) and the Middle East.


David’s approach towards mediation draws on both his experience as a solicitor in private practice, when he was involved in numerous mediations as a party representative, and his expertise as a business coach. Being both a CEDR-accredited mediator and a graduate of the Meyler Campbell Business Coach Programme (as accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority), he can use his coaching skills to assist in understanding the parties’ positions and working with them to promote settlement

Examples of Recent Cases as Arbitrator

  • Purported rejection of a luxury motor yacht by reason of alleged defects in construction and materials. (Sole arbitrator.)
  • Purported termination of a Supplytime charterparty for an accommodation support barge in offshore construction and maintenance projects. (Tribunal of three.)
  • LCIA arbitration in relation to alleged breaches of a well services contract in the offshore oil & gas industry. (Tribunal of three.)
  • ICC arbitration between a contractor and sub-contractor, in relation to VORs and various alleged breaches, in connection with the design, engineering and construction of an FPU. (Tribunal of three.)
  • Multi-party disputes under a charterparty and bills of lading arising from fire in a cargo. (Tribunal of three.)
  • Disputes as to the existence and validity of an MoA for the sale of a vessel, jurisdiction of the arbitrators and quantum of damages. (Tribunal of three.)
  • Multi-party disputes in relation to the chartering of a heavy lift vessel for transportation of a power plant barge. (Tribunal of three.)
  • Alleged frustration of a charterparty by reason of the COVID 19 pandemic. (Sole arbitrator.)
  • Alleged illegality of contracts for the building of four ships. (Tribunal of three.)


  • London Maritime Arbitrators Association, Full Member, Appointed President in May 2021
  • Baltic Exchange, London: Member
  • The Energy Arbitration Club, London
  • The Energy Institute
  • LCIA European Users’ Council, Member
  • The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators, Liveryman
  • KCAB (Korean Commercial Arbitration Board) International: member of Panel of International Arbitrators.
  • International Bar Association member (Oil and Gas Law Committee, Maritime and Transport Law Committee, Arbitration Committee).

Related News & Events

  • 20/05/21
    David Steward appointed President of the LMAA
    read more
  • Related News & Events

    • 22/05/20
      David Steward appointed to the LMAA Committee
      read more