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Saturday 15 August


Chris Fyans 1947-2017

As is well known London is a world leader in maritime dispute resolution and Chris Fyans who died suddenly on 14 December 2017 was one of London’s most highly respected maritime arbitrators.

He became a Full Member of the LMAA in 1999.  He was enthusiastic in his work, as well as able and popular. Before he became a full time arbitrator, Chris had followed a long and successful career in as a Master Mariner and Naval Architect, In 1982 he was a founder of the well known firm of Ferryman, Fyans and Hudson.  Many of those present will have known his other partners. Chris was sadly the last of the founders of the firm.

Chris had, to an unusual degree, all the attributes required of a successful international maritime arbitrator, namely:

  • exceptional technical, commercial and practical experience;
  • good judgment and common sense;
  • thoroughness and a determination to reach the right result without fear or favour and
  • an excellent rapport with other colleagues who had the highest respect for him.

Chris made an invaluable contribution to the direction of London maritime arbitration as a member of the Committee of the LMAA over many years and as President from 2011 to 2014.

As in his work as an arbitrator, Chris always brought to the Committee discussions sound judgment and good sense.

He was a very successful President of the Association at a very busy time following the crisis of 2009. As President, he was involved in the establishment of the Asia Pacific supporting members Liaison Committee, a vital means by which the Association maintains contact with its increasing membership in jurisdictions such as mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, as well as Malaysia and Singapore. He realized the importance of these territories to the future of London maritime arbitration as much shipbuilding, shipowning and chartering activity has moved to this region. I had the opportunity to take part with Chris in seminars, which we organized in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore as well as the International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators in Hong Kong. He gave up his time to take part in these activities with his characteristic enthusiasm and understated charm and made many friends among the LMAA’s overseas supporters.

Chris was, as well as a first class arbitrator, a very good friend to the arbitrators and lawyers who are here today. He was a very sociable person and excellent company with his bonhomie, his dry wit and good sense. He was very popular with both colleagues and the wider maritime dispute resolution community. It is still astonishing to me that several of us here today met Chris and Valerie at a wonderfully sociable committee dinner at the Garrick Club only 6 days before we received notice that Chris had been taken from us. We can thought be confident that Chris enjoyed life to the last.

We are all inevitably shocked and saddened by Chris’ death.  There is though a huge amount to celebrate in Chris’ career. Those who were privileged to know Chris and work with him, and a future generation of arbitrators, can draw inspiration from his example. The legacy of his work in the LMAA will continue long after our current cohort of arbitrators have retired. We should all feel proud to have known him.

Donations may be made to Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation or Heart Research UK.

Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation:


Heart Research UK:


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