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Hong Kong > Shipping > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Shipping
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • John Butler - RPC
    • Joyce Cheung - Reed Smith Richards Butler

Who Represents Who

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A ‘long-established presence in the shipping landscape’, HFW handles work across the gamut of wet and dry shipping for P&I clubs, shipowners and charterers, and is well positioned to handle multi-jurisdictional mandates by virtue of the firm’s presence in all the major international maritime jurisdictions including London, Shanghai, Piraeus and Singapore. The ‘exceptionally knowledgeablePatrick Yeung is particularly active handling disputes concerning shipping-related personal injury and accidents, as well as charterparty, shipbuilding and bills of lading matters. Yeung continues to represent Hong Kong-based conglomerate Shun Tak as respondent in various criminal and civil actions brought against it by injured passengers and crew following three recent separate passenger vessel incidents. The ‘very client-focusedPeter Murphy has ‘excellent legal knowledge’ of pure shipping disputes (including those relating to bills of lading and charterparties), as well as commodities and maritime trade matters. George Lamplough is particularly active handling wet shipping matters and was recently involved in a long-running and very sensitive matter on behalf of the crew of Oman-registered fishing vessel NAHAM 3, who were the victims of a hijacking by Somali pirates. Team head Christopher Chan’s broad disputes work spans cargo, charterparty and bills of lading matters, as well as salvage and collision incidents. Other recommended practitioners include Paul Hatzer, whose vast experience in the region encompasses dispute resolution arising from the arrest of ships, the maritime carriage of goods and marine casualties; Henry Dunlop, who specialises in London arbitration arising in the shipping and international trade spheres; Henry Fung and Patrick Cheung, for corporate shipping matters; and ‘knowledgeable, hardworking and client-focused’ senior associate Catherine Smith.

Ince & Co provides an ‘excellent and knowledgeable service’ across the panoply of transactional and litigation matters impacting the shipping sector on behalf of shipping companies (such as OOCL and COSCO Shipping) and P&I clubs (such as Gard and Swedish Club). Senior partner David Beaves has vast experience in the sector and is also a pivotal presence in relation to the firm’s continued development and expansion in Greater China. On the admiralty front, the team handles the full spectrum of work including maritime casualty investigations, collisions, groundings and pollution cases, and benefits from the expertise of two master mariners among its ranks – Richard Oakley, who is based in Hong Kong, and Harry Hirst, who splits his time between Hong Kong and Singapore. The ‘very commercialRosita Lau has an excellent reputation among clients in Hong Kong and mainland China across both wet and dry shipping matters and has developed a particularly strong track record representing clients in Hong Kong and London arbitrations concerning claims arising from non-performance of contracts, misrepresentation, and heavy machinery and container terminal casualties. Other recommended partners include ‘master tacticianMax Cross, who has ‘in-depth knowledge of the local arbitrators and local Bar’; Su Yin Anand, for dry shipping and logistics litigation; Rory Macfarlane, for his litigation and regulatory expertise, often in the context of Taiwan and Japan-related matters; and Gary Wong, who excels at commercial shipping work.

Reed Smith Richards Butler is ‘particularly strong at handling wet shipping work’, where it benefits from the expertise of master mariner Ron Clark and ‘superb’ of counsel Terry Floyd. Both Clark and Floyd are advising Korea Line Corporation and its insurers on a major collision off Iran between its bulk carrier Global Frontier and the Iranian containership Abyan. The firm’s excellent reputation for admiralty work should not however detract from its very solid offering across dry shipping matters including charterparty and bills of lading disputes. In this respect, Lianjun Li has vast experience in the market across a range of disputes and recently represented China National Chartering in a landmark case, which ended up before the Supreme Court in the UK, relating to the issue of unsafe ports and safe port warranties. Qualified as the only solicitor advocate in Hong Kong dealing with shipping claims, Jason Toms is regularly involved in complex and high-profile shipping disputes, as exemplified by his longstanding representation, alongside associate Joyce Cheung, of Hong Kong Electric Company in civil and criminal court proceedings arising out of Hong Kong’s worst-ever maritime disaster in history (the LAMMA IV collision). Li Min is also recommended and alongside Li is leading the team advising COSCO Petroleum on several matters arising out of the OW Bunker collapse.

Clyde & Co LLP provides a ‘high-quality, responsive and practical service’ to shipowners, shipyards, P&I Clubs, charterers and operators. The ‘technically strong’ Matthew Lam is ‘able to handle complex matters and identify key issues in a succinct manner’, and is particularly accomplished at handling cargo disputes and marine insurance matters. Anthony Woo handles a diverse array of dry shipping matters for a client base that includes a significant number of Chinese entities. ‘Responsive’ associate Rita Hung ‘has a tremendous understanding of shipping law’. Clients include CNOOC, Dalian Shipyard and People’s Insurance Company of China.

The ‘top-notch’ three-partner marine, trade and energy team at Hill Dickinson Hong Kong provides a ‘high-quality service’ to a diverse array of clients including P&I clubs, charterers and shipowners across both wet and dry shipping disputes. ‘Very approachable’ consultant and master mariner Michael Mallin draws on his ‘invaluable personal experience at sea’ and regularly works alongside practitioners from the firm’s strong admiralty departments in Singapore and London. Mallin is representing hull and machinery underwriters in a dispute relating to non-disclosure and misrepresentation on placing of a risk. The ‘very hardworkingDamien Laracy and Caroline Thomas, who joined in September 2016 from HFW, are the primary points of contact for dry shipping work.

The ‘responsive and commercial’ team at Howse Williams Bowers continues to ‘perform well in the market’ and receives a substantial volume of instructions across traditional shipping and logistics disputes. Recent highlights include representing the P&I Club in all aspects arising from the “St Thomas Aquinas” collision in the Philippines including in relation to the apportionment of liability and the claims settlement process. Team head Chris Howse has vast experience at handling maritime disputes before both the local courts and in international arbitrations throughout Asia. David Coogans, Emma Day and William Leung are also recommended.

The ‘technically strong’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright is ‘exceptionally responsive and very knowledgeable on the shipping market, particularly in China’. Although best known for ship finance, ‘very knowledgeable’ team head Jonathan Silver also regularly advises owners and banks on shipbuilding contracts, and as a qualified notary public is also able to provide notarial services to clients that need to authenticate documents in Hong Kong. ‘Top guyJim James has a strong reputation for shipping disputes and is also a key part of the firm’s Asia Pacific casualty response team, which includes practitioners in other countries such as Australia, South Africa and Japan. The team was also strengthened in August 2017 by the relocation from the London office of master mariner Peter Glover, who will substantially enhance the office’s expertise across both wet and dry matters.

RPC has achieved a significant amount of market penetration since its relatively recent opening in Hong Kong. This has been accelerated by the firm’s longstanding expertise within the insurance market, which – combined with significant shipping knowledge – has ensured the firm has a compelling offering for a range of clients including international underwriters, as well as P&I clubs, shipowners, charterers and trading companies across the gamut of shipping disputes. As well as handling core shipping disputes relating to bills of lading, charterparties and marine insurance policies, Andrew Horton also has a strong pedigree handling enforcement actions involving arrest of ships and injunction orders to obtain security for his clients with regard to such disputes. Steven Wise has expertise representing clients in multi-jurisdictional disputes and is particularly well known in the Korean market, and consultant Simon Baker is also recommended for cases involving a technical or scientific element.

The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Stephenson Harwood handles litigation and transactional work for an eclectic mix of clients including shipowners, P&I clubs and lessors. ‘Very knowledgeable and accessible’ team head Andrew Rigden Green is well versed at handling multi-jurisdictional disputes across the spectrum of issues including charterparty and bills of lading disputes. Rigden Green is regularly involved in difficult claims in North and West Africa and recently represented Michharry and Company Nigeria (a Nigerian provider of onshore and offshore marine vessels to the oil and gas industry) on the successful tracing and recovery of in excess of $300,000 it lost as a result of a sophisticated cyber fraud. Recently promoted partner Roy Chan handles a mix of litigation and transactional/commercial work including assisting on a wide range of joint venture shipping projects. The arrival of ‘very hardworking and capable’ senior associate Elizabeth Sloane in August 2016 from HFW bolsters the team’s offering, particularly on the wet side, as a result of her experience in numerous high-profile casualties, collisions and groundings in the Asia Pacific region.

Aided by a significant presence in Beijing and Shanghai, DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office handles disputes and commercial/transactional work in the Greater China area and beyond. Cantonese and Mandarin speaker Ernest Yang has strong ties with numerous PRC clients and handles a range of shipping disputes, including charterparty and cargo matters, as part of his broader commercial litigation practice. Yang is representing Better Marine, a Chinese brokerage company, in an important case concerning the recovery of commission. Nicholas Mallard is particularly well regarded at handling complex shipbuilding disputes and Kevin Chan is also recommended. Other clients include Pacific Crest and Guangdong Yuexin Ocean Engineering.

Providing ‘value for money’, Tsui & Co is noted for handling maritime disputes. Team head Sam Tsui has ‘rich experience’ in the marine insurance sector and provides ‘practical and commercial advice’ which also taps into his ‘excellent local knowledge’.

Although it is undoubtedly much better known for ship finance, Watson Farley & Williams is ‘extremely knowledgeable in the maritime sector’. The ‘user-friendly’ Madeline Leong heads the practice, which includes litigator Marcus Gordon, who recently relocated from the firm’s Singapore office.

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