Gerald Cooke

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Gerald Cooke, co-founder and former member of Cooke, Young & Keidan. He specialises in international and domestic commercial litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution.

Gerald has acted on a wide variety of commercial and corporate disputes as well as insurance, contract, trade, maritime and tort disputes. He has acted for over 40 years for a diverse range of major commercial entities, Plcs, insurers and State entities. His expertise is in disputes ranging from insurance coverage (particularly political risk, contract frustration and trade credit), the sale, purchase and carriage of a broad range of commodities, maritime and trade disputes, ship-building and derivative disputes involving metals and freight futures to company, general commercial and shareholder disputes. He has acted on and managed a variety of cases relating to sovereign debt trading. He recently has acted in a number of high-profile cases involving high net worth individuals and derivatives trading.


Gerald graduated from the Universities of Natal (BA) and Witwatersrand (LLB). He qualified in South Africa in 1975 and in England and Wales in 1980. He became a partner specialising in maritime law at Hill Dickinson & Co and thereafter joined Baker & McKenzie where he was a partner for 18 years. He founded Masseys in 2004 and co-founded Cooke, Young & Keidan at the beginning of 2009. He retired as a member of Cooke, Young & Keidan at the end of September 2017 although remains as a consultant to the firm.


Gerald has been recommended by ‘The Legal 500’ in both the commercial litigation and commodities disputes categories.


• Gerald has represented insurers in the London market especially in the area of political risk and trade credit. He has acted in reinsurance disputes for ceding underwriters on marine cargo and bankers blanket bond policies.

• He has acted (and continues to act) in a variety of high-value LCIA, ICC, LMAA and other arbitrations, ranging from disputed insurance claims to disputes between traders, carriers and manufacturers in relation to the export and import of commodities, bulk components and in acting in arbitrations under trade organization terms (e.g. GAFTA) and cargo claims.

• Gerald has had a variety of non-contentious maritime assignments. He drafted the first fixed premium rules for a P&I and Defence insurer in the London market. He advised on the establishment of a new maritime code for a CIS republic and on a variety of issues relating to the transformation and privatisation of the former state fleet of that country.