Chris Owen

Partner

London

T +44 20 7825 4118
chris.owen@simmons-simmons.com

General Experience

Chris is a partner in the London Commercial Litigation team, specialising in competition litigation and mass tort claims.

His competition litigation practice involves both bringing and defending civil damages actions for clients across all of the firm’s sectors, with a particular focus on TMT and Financial Institution clients.

Chris’ mass tort practice focuses on defending clients against claims involving mass harm, typically for environmental pollution, breaches of health and safety or alleged violations of human rights. He advises on claims in the English Court and is also experienced working in collaboration with local counsel to defend proceedings abroad, particularly in Africa. Chris’ mass tort practice is focussed on clients in the energy, mining and TMT sectors.

Chris also advises on minimising litigation risk and is a specialist in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (particularly supply chain due diligence and operational grievance mechanisms) and the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.

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Recent Work
Competition litigation
  • Defending LG Electronics in three separate claims in relation to the cartel in CRT components used in computer monitors and television screens.
  • Defending SK hynix (one of South Korea’s largest semi-conductor manufacturers) in two separate claims in relation to the cartel in computer (DRAM) memory chips.
  • Representing BP as claimant against both Visa and Mastercard for damages arising from the level of multilateral interchange fees charged to BP.
  • Defending a major international bank in injunctive proceedings and subsequent competition damages litigation in respect of a claim that the bank was abusing a dominant position by closing UK accounts of international money remitter clients.
  • Defending a large energy company in arbitration proceedings in a claim arising from alleged breaches of competition law warranties in the disposal of a business in Southern Africa.
Mass tort claims
  • Defending Gemfields, an international mining corporation, in English proceedings for damages arising from alleged violations of human rights standards at a mine in Mozambique.
  • Defending an oil major in a large scale environmental mass tort claim arising out of alleged pollution occurring over many years in Zambia.
  • Advising a large infrastructure client on a claim in respect of bore hole pollution and a claim concerning the level of damages due under a complex long-term PPP contract for conduct arising from an alleged breach of health and safety law.
Background

Chris joined Simmons & Simmons in 2010 from the Litigation and International Arbitration department of a magic circle firm, where he trained as a solicitor and practiced for several years.

He handles large scale, complex and high-profile disputes, frequently with a cross border element, with specialisms in competition litigation and mass tort claims. He has recently succeeded in a three-week High Court trial which was noted as one of the Lawyers’ Top 20 cases of 2018.

In his competition litigation practice, Chris is experienced in bringing and defending follow-on damages actions, in addition to standalone and hybrid claims. He has experience in using third party litigation funding to finance claims.

Chris also has a keen interested in the latest developments in class actions, including the new UK opt out action regime for competition damages. He works closely with colleagues from across the firm’s international network, as part of the cross-border competition litigation team.

Chris’ mass tort practice is at the forefront of this developing area of litigation in the UK. He has a particular interest in jurisdiction disputes, parent company liability and business and human rights, issues which frequently arise in mass tort claims.

Chris regularly delivers client training on his specialist areas, has published many podcasts and journal articles and is a regular conference speaker.

He recently spent six months on client secondment to the disputes team at BP where he advised on high court litigation, arbitration and expert determination. He has previously also spent time on secondment to the Court of Appeal, working as a judicial assistant.

Chris is a member of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA), the Law Society Competition Section and the Competition Litigators Network. He is also a qualified solicitor advocate in England & Wales for all civil courts.

Chris has an MA degree in English law and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in international law, both from Cambridge University (Downing College).

Pro-bono

Outside of his fee-earning work, Chris undertakes a number of pro-bono matters and has become a specialist in both business and human rights and international land rights. He also sits as a member of the Alliance of Lawyers at Risk

In addition to his own pro bono work, Chris acts as the commercial litigation department’s pro bono coordinator.

He is also the co-chair of the firm’s Allies Network.