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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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South Africa > Shipping and transport > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Bowmans has a versatile and ‘specialised team’ with deep connections to P&I clubs, banks, shipowners and large chartering operations. Clients single out ‘the transaction lawyers who pay attention to both legal and business requirements’ and highlight it as ‘a go-to firm for disputes involving cargo’. The team represented one of the four slot charterers of APL Austria and their P&I insurers in connection with a serious fire on board the container vessel. Craig Cunningham is ‘experienced and technically astute’ and has ‘an excellent understanding and knowledge of the intricate details involving all cargo matters’. Jeremy Prain, Andrew Pike and Mark van Velden are also recommended.

Webber Wentzel is a leader in shipping and the wider transport sector, including aviation, road and rail. The team continued to defend Transnet National Ports Authority and its underwriters against claims arising from the grounding of bulk carrier MV Smart. It has ‘first-class’ and ‘exceptional’ lawyers with Gavin Fitzmaurice praised for being ‘commercial, user-friendly and prompt’ and Andre Bowley commended for his ‘industry knowledge’ and ‘litigation strategy’, which enables him to ‘run rings around the opposition’. Patrick Holloway is also recommended and the ‘excellent’ Scott Edmundson is praised for aviation expertise in sub-Saharan Africa.

ENSafrica excels in casualty work and dry cargo arrest work, driven in large part by its excellent connections to P&I clubs and London-based law firms. Other clients include Grindrod and Evergreen Line. The group represented the owners and bareboat charterers of MV Julian in connection with its collision with the quayside and bulk loading appliance in Durban harbour. The team is ‘top class’, ‘value for money’ and ‘universally liked and acknowledged in the industry’. Tony Norton provides ‘outside of the box thinking’ and ‘spot on advice’; Kate Pitman is ‘first class’ and provides ‘exceptional trial work’; and Michael Tucker is ‘meticulous’ and ‘able to translate legal jargon into commercial industry speak’. Aircraft finance is another key strength of the practice, with Sean Lederman having an outstanding record in this field.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc is a global transport giant, which is recognised for its shipping, rail and aviation expertise in South Africa. It recently advised Freeport Ferries on its intention to run the first ro-ro freight and passenger services in Southern and East Africa. Andrew Robinson is a leading shipping practitioner; master mariner Malcolm Hartwell heads up the casualty response group; Heather Manson leads the aviation practice; and disputes lawyer David Kapelus leads the rail sector group.

Shepstone & Wylie is a leader in ship casualty investigations and total losses, and handles a high market share of ship and bunker arrests. It also has wider transport expertise and close connections to prominent P&I clubs and top international law firms in the shipping sector. The team acted for the owners of MV Smart in investigating the grounding and total loss of the vessel off Richards Bay. The practice is ‘the flagship of South African shipping firms’ and ‘covers the whole coast’ with ‘excellence in its field’, according to its clients. With ‘a unique combination of cunning and wisdom’, Durban-based Shane Dwyer is ‘the doyen of South African shipping lawyers’. Krish Reddy is ‘top drawer’, particularly in complex cargo claims. Edmund Greiner, Quintus Van der Merwe and ‘capable litigator’ Tony Edwards are also recommended by clients.

Clyde & Co LLP advises a range of shipowners and P&I clubs and is noted for its expertise in the offshore oil and gas sector. It defended Charterers P&I Club in connection with arrest of bunkers on-board MV Jag Arya and on MV Atlantic Legend. Arthur James is recommended for offshore mining and oil and gas cases.

Durban-based Cox Yeats is recommended for wet and dry shipping, with the immensely experienced Michael Poseman and Andrew Clark to the fore.

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