Robert Parson is a partner based in the London office and specialising in commodities and shipping.

Robert’s practice includes financing arrangements across the commodity and trade industry. He represents banks and non-bank financiers, funds, large and medium-sized commodity traders, producers, credit insurers and other participants in financing and monetising the international production, storage, movement and distribution of both raw materials and manufactured goods.

Robert advises regularly on structured trade and inventory finance and the use of financial instruments such as letters of credit, bills of exchange, promissory notes and other secure payment arrangements in international trade, as well as has expertise in related disputes.

Robert has an established reputation in the increasingly important field of digital trade, working on the establishment of digital platforms and the use and enforceability of electronic trade documents and payment instruments. He is also a regular speaker and writer on both digital trade and commodity and trade finance, and is the editor of the legal journal Finance and Credit Law.

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Commodity Finance

  • Representing a major Asian state-owned oil and gas company in long-term prepayment agreements for crude oil and natural gas.
  • Documenting pre-export finance for the export of sugar by a South American producer.
  • Acting for borrowers in relation to a US$100 million Indonesian coal prepayment financing.
  • Advising financiers on the issuance of a facility for the financing of margin for hedging products for an agricultural risk management brokerage.
  • Structuring a US$85 million prepayment facility for manganese exports by a West African producer.
  • Drafting and documenting a multimillion-dollar prepayment agreement for Indian petroleum products and limited recourse refinancing arrangements.
  • Acting for a major steel producer and trader in the financing of raw materials and finished products.
  • Advising a major trade finance bank in the repo inventory financing of crude oil supplies for various refineries.

Structured Trade and Inventory

  • Advising an international grain trader on the structuring of trades and off balance sheet transactions.
  • Documenting structured trade flows for a major Asian commodity trader.
  • Acting for a major international trader in the intermediated sale and purchase of crude oil and LNG.
  • Advising various banks on risk and compliance issued in structured trade finance.
  • Advising a major US-based commodity trader on structured trades involving established trade flows and associated international legal due diligence.
  • Acting for a US-based bank in the inventory financing of crude oil and petroleum stocks on land and in international waters.
  • Acting in relation to the inventory financing of commodities in warehouse in various Asian jurisdictions and associated legal due diligence.

Digital Trade

  • Advising banks and traders on the use and validity of electronic trade documents on various electronic platforms and associated changes in legislation.
  • Advising a major US bank on its automated receivables finance platform.
  • Acting for an international shipping company in the establishment of digital trade finance products and an associated online platform.
  • Structuring and documenting digital products for the sale and financing of cocoa by electronic warrant.
  • Advising a Germany-based online platform for the sale and financing of agricultural products.
  • Advising a new online platform for the sale of merchandise and finance and discounting of receivables.
  • Acting for a London-based metals trader in the financing of its metals operations, including the granting of security over electronically held warrants.
  • Representing the provider of an international secured platform for guarantee and letter of credit issuance.

Trade Finance

  • Acting for a London-based bank in the review and updating of its suite of standard trade finance documents.
  • Advising on the drafting of discounting agreements for letters of credit.
  • Representing London-based banks in the review of negotiation, silent confirmation and other ancillary trade finance documentation.
  • Drafting and completing letter of credit issuance facilities for a number of London-based banks.
  • Advising on the structuring of letter of credit and standby credit backed financing arrangements.
  • Representing a major trading organisation in the review of its trade credit arrangements and credit risk support documentation.
  • Advising a non-bank lender on its receivables-based lending programme secured against bills of exchange and credit insurance.
  • Advising credit insurers in relation to the drafting of capital relief products.
  • Advising banks and traders on the presentation of documents under letters of credit and providing support and expertise in related disputes.


  • The College of Law, Chester, Legal Practice Course, 1983
  • University of Sheffield, LL.B. (Hons.), 1982


  • England and Wales, 1986

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • ICC Banking Commission Legal Committee


  • Italian
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