Over more than 20 years, John Rollason has built up extensive experience of representing trading companies and banks, both in an advisory role and in numerous disputes concerning grains, oil (crude and products) and coal, petcoke and sugar, as well as other commodities in arbitration and in court.

John’s work has a particular emphasis on soft commodities in both GAFTA and FOSFA arbitrations and related court proceedings (for both enforcement of arbitration awards and appeals/challenges against them), as well as matters before the commercial court in London.

He also has considerable experience of shipping disputes under charterparties and bills of lading in LMAA arbitration in London and courts in various jurisdictions.

In the past 15 years, John has lectured regularly to industry parties on commodities legal issues in locations ranging from Dubai to Chicago, Melbourne, Tripoli and Singapore.

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  • Acted for a successful trader in a coal dispute regarding an agent and undisclosed principal in SIAC arbitration, valued at US$50 million.
  • Acted in an appeal in commercial court from a GAFTA award regarding FOB vessel nomination/substitution in GAFTA standard terms (Rambers v Agrifert, 2015).
  • Advised on a dispute in commercial court regarding contracts for the sale of furniture from Malaysia to the UK (settled in mediation).
  • Acted in ad hoc arbitrations in London regarding the sales of petcoke among parties in the US, India and the Middle East.
  • Acted in a large number of Paranagua detention cases well known in grain industry, in both GAFTA and FOSFA arbitration and recently acted for a Japanese trading house in defeating an appeal to the commercial court in London against an award on these issues.
  • Advised in a dispute regarding oil sale certificate final issues before ad hoc arbitration in London.
  • Successfully acted for a Middle East trader against Chinese buyers in a six-day GAFTA arbitration involving letter of credit issues.
  • Acted in the successful enforcement of several London arbitration awards through London court asset disclosure orders, worldwide freezing orders and contempt of court/committal orders.


  • College of Law, L.S.F., 1992
  • College of Law, C.P.E., 1991
  • University of Cambridge, M.A., 1990
  • University of Cambridge, B.A. Hons, 1989


  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, 1994


  • English
  • French

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