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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Clyde & Co LLP’s practice is largely centred on insurance and industrial risk matters, but the team also assists with commercial contracts and maritime incidents. Managing partner Gildas Rostain is a key name for litigation and Rozenn Lopin has expertise in enforcement mandates and risk management. The group has a strong international footprint, and handles a number of instruction relating to francophone African countries.

HFW’s team has expertise in wet and dry shipping, handling collisions, salvages and general groundings, as well as matters related to bills of lading, charter parties, cargo claims, wreck removals and matters pertaining to passenger carriage. The key contacts are practice head Guillaume Brajeux, Stanislas Lequette, Stéphanie Schweitzer and Timothy Clemens-Jones. Recent work includes representing RTE as owners of electric cables connecting France and England in bringing a claim following damage to the cables. Another highlight saw the department defending the owners and underwriters of a vessel that was grounded in France and had to discharge part of its cargo prior to going to the repair yard against salvage claims made by tug owners. Other clients include Cap Marine, Helvetia and AXA Corporate Solutions.

Ince & Co France SCP handles contentious and non-contentious matters, ranging from casualty instructions to transactional work, including chartering, and sale and purchase, and regulatory advice on fishing regulations, maritime employment law and customs and excise. The firm has the largest team in the French shipping market, with seven partners operating across the firm’s offices in Paris, Le Havre and Marseille. Managing partner Jérôme de Sentenac heads the team, which also includes Alexandre Besnard, Mathieu Croix, Freddy Desplanques and Vy-Loan Huynh-Olivieri. Laurianne Ribes, who joined from her own independent firm, and Fabien d’Haussy, who was a new arrival from ECD Avocats, are the key names in the firm’s newly opened office in Marseille. The department advises owners, charterers and freight handlers, yards and marine insurers and is the French member of Green Lane, an alliance of European customs and trade firms. Clients include CMA CGM, CGG and ferry operator DFDS France. Gilles Gautier retired in September 2017.

Lewis & Co AARPI is highly regarded and is regularly involved in casualty instructions and commercial dispute work. Areas of expertise include shipping and international trade, insurance-related matters, cargo claims and charter party disputes, but the team also handles personal injury claims, pollution litigation and international arbitration matters. Managing partner Lars Lewis and Peter Iglikowski, who are dual qualified in the UK and France, together with LeĂŻla Esnard, have in-depth expertise of handling Anglo-French cases. Guillaume de Bascher is also noted.

Reed Smith’s strengths lie in commercial litigation and arbitration where the group has experience in vessel arrests, pollution matters, conservation and enforcement measures, and international trade law. Practice head Ana Atallah and counsels Emmanuelle Faivre, Luc Grellet, who has knowledge of dry shipping and insurance law, and Andrew Tetley, who sits in the International Court of Arbitration in Paris, are the key names.

Richemont Nicolas & Associés specialises in marine incidents, cargo insurance claims, arbitration matters and vessel arrests and handles domestic and cross-border matters. Co-directors Christophe Nicolas and Henri de Richemont, who has a strong casualty practice, have a core focus on French-speaking Africa. Recent work includes advising a Moroccan client on a partnership agreement with a Swedish shipping company and assisting a number of shipowners with the release of their seized vessels.

Villeneau Rohart Simon is an established player with a core focus on litigation, though it also handles advisory work. The team advises on marine casualties and disputes following the carriage of goods, charter party disputes, international arbitration, pollution matters and mandates pertaining to admiralty issues. The group also has notable experience advising on matters pertaining to mega yachts, in particular the sale and purchase of vessels, charter party agreements and construction agreements. Jean-Serge Rohart, Patrick Simon, Benoît Pincemin, Bertrand Coste and Sébastien Lootgieter are the names to note.

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