Joe Gosden is a partner in our London office with a broad commercial practice in the shipping, trade finance and commodities sectors.

An experienced lawyer with significant litigation, arbitration and advocacy experience, Joe acts for interests across the commodities, shipping and insurance worlds. He acts as a trusted advisor to traders, shipowners, insurers and Clubs alike.

Qualifying first as a solicitor and later as a barrister, Joe has full rights of audience in England & Wales. He advises clients on complex cross-border litigation, transactions and international arbitration.  He has particular expertise in oil trading and trade finance matters in addition to classic shipping and commodities instructions relating to sale contracts, charterparties and bills of lading.

Adept at handling local interests and managing foreign proceedings, Joe has significant experience in running matters across multiple jurisdictions.  Joe is often instructed as a trouble-shooter on transactions and is brought in to negotiate restructurings, distressed assets/loans and find solutions to disputed deliveries.

Joe frequently advises on and drafts lending structures, bespoke terms & conditions, sale contracts and letters of credit across the commodities, trade finance and shipping world.

Highlights of Joe’s work include the following:

  • Assisting an American cruise ship operator in a USD100m+ dispute with a Chinese state-owned shipyard, including running Commercial Court proceedings arising out of alleged loan defaults, disputed deliveries and failure to construct cruise ships on time, or at all.
  • Advising a leading UK bank on enforcement of a superyacht lending structure across multiple European jurisdictions.
  • Assisting an IGP&I Club in handling direct liabilities, limitation and the defence of pollution, clean-up and crew claims arising out of a 2018 collision between an oil tanker and a bulk carrier in disputed Chinese waters, including managing local claims and handling negotiations with other insurance interests.
  • Acting for a Middle Eastern shipowner on charterparty termination, bunker supply and ship arrest issues arising out of a Port State Control failure.
  • Advising an IGP&I Club on the consequences of the self sustaining decomposition on a bulk carrier and managing local proceedings.
  • Providing bespoke trading and subscription terms for a UK fertiliser price indexer.
  • Negotiating a USD5m structured trade finance facility for an African commodities trader.
  • Assisting a Korean shipowner in relation to long term LNG chartering problems across multiple vessels in its fleet.
  • Advising a Venezuelan oil major on a series of London Arbitrations relating to distressed cargo sales, charterparty terminations and handling ancillary local proceedings in the Dutch Antilles (The “Moscow Stars” [2017] EWHC 2130 Comm).
  • Advising a London market insurer on a coverage dispute relating to the collapse of an oil rig during decommissioning and dismantling in the Middle East.
  • Representing a US sulphur trader in relation to dangerous cargo allegations in London Arbitration.
  • Advising a leading Italian superyacht manufacturer on warranty and settlement issues relating to the construction of one of the world’s largest superyachts.
  • Acting for a UK crewing agency in relation on a personal injury dispute arising out of alleged defective offshore operations in the North Sea.
  • Drafting bespoke contractual, charterparty and central agency terms for an Australian superyacht brokerage.
  • Seeking a quia timet injunction on behalf of an Australian cruise ship charterer in relation to rights under quiet enjoyment letters in a Chinese lending structure.
  • Advising a Chinese leasing company in relation to a contentious fleet sale of chartered and un-chartered tonnage.
  • Assisting a London market insurer in a coverage dispute relating to the towage and recycling of an FPSO in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Advising an African commodities trader on the purchase of an FPSO and negotiating lending and contractual deployment structures.
  • Defending an application for an anti-suit injunction seeking to restrain a Nigerian cargo claim following the grounding of an LNG carrier (The “Magellan Spirit”) [2016] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 1) and subsequent resolution of underlying claims.
  • Advising an American lender on the enforcement of a lending structure and cargo abandonment in relation to a bulk carrier in African waters.

Interested in specific aspects of Joe’s recent work? Contact [email protected] for further reference cases.

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Floyd Zadkovich LLP, London/UK (since 2022)
  • Senior Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP, London/UK (2018-2022)
  • Pupil Barrister, Crown Office Chambers, London/UK (2017-2018)
  • Senior Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP, London/UK (2017)
  • Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP, London/UK (2012-2017)
  • Trainee, Stephenson Harwood LLP, London/UK (2010-2012)


  • Bar Transfer Test (2017)
  • Legal Practice Course, Distinction (2010)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, Distinction (2009)
  • MA Cantab, History (2008)
  • Arbitration Bulletin | Spring Edition 2023
  • A bill is born | Case by Case (Ep. 29)

    A bill is born | Case by Case (Ep. 29)

    In this episode, Joe Gosden, ZFZ partner, joins Luke to discuss a fascinating topic in shipping law.

    A bill of lading in the hands of a charterer is a mere receipt of goods. It is not yet a contract of carriage between bill holder and carrier. When that bill is endorsed, it becomes a contract of carriage in the hands of the non-charterer endorsee.

    But what happens if the shipper/charterer holding the bill as a receipt novates away the charterparty. Is the bill operable in the hands of that shipper (and no longer the charterer)?

    We study the status of the bill – is it only “suspended” when in the hands of the charterer, or does it “spring to life” on endorsement? A birth, so to speak.

    There is also an interesting causation argument on whether the bank would have insisted upon presentation of original bills in any event. If not, then did the failure to present OBLs cause any loss?

    Joe and Luke also discuss some of the complications for trade finance banks/companies in protecting their position with adequate security and a few war stories they’ve experienced along the way.

  • Don’t Stop Me Now: English Letters of Credit and Foreign Law Interference | ZFZ Postcard Cases

    Don’t Stop Me Now: English Letters of Credit and Foreign Law Interference | ZFZ Postcard Cases

    Every now and then a commodities trade goes horribly wrong, the parties fall out and someone rings their lawyer to ask: ‘can we stop the letter of credit?’. Injunctions to stop letters of credit are rare as hens teeth in England or the US but more common in other jurisdictions, where civil law systems allow greater latitude.

    The Commercial Court’s decision in Macquarie Bank Limited v Banque Cantonale Vaudoise [2024] EWHC 114 (Comm) sets out in crystal clear terms the English law view on attempts to do so and the enduring liability of the issuing bank.

  • ZFZ New York Lunch & Seminars 2023

    ZFZ New York Lunch & Seminars 2023

    We had a remarkable time at our New York client event last week!

  • Disputes for Breakfast | Commodities & Trade

    Disputes for Breakfast | Commodities & Trade

    The war in Ukraine will have a significant impact on international commodities trade. We will focus on several likely scenarios commodity traders may face as a consequence of this war, including: Price fluctuations | Failure to make delivery | Failure to make payment.

    Speakers: Joseph Gosden (London), Alfred Siwy (Vienna), Philip Vagin (London, New York)

    Tuesday, 29 March 2022
    08:30 GMT | 09:30 CET