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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 the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Transport > Shipping > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Jo Pummery - Bartons

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Cory Cuff - Bartons

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Ashfords LLP specialises in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious marine work including the sale and purchase of high-value commercial vessels and superyachts; ship finance in respect of a variety of vessels including superyachts, cargo shortage and high-value demurrage claims; contractual disputes; and fishing industry transactions and litigation. It also conducts work in marine personal injury, casualty work including salvage and collision claims, marine insurance, and the full range of marine regulatory issues such as wreck removal, harbour and pilotage dues, bye-law prosecutions, and pollution risks and obligations. Senior associate Lara Moore has particular experience in marine regulation and licensing. Clients include Exe Shipping, Hao Shun Shipping, Barclays, RBS, Rowse Fishing, and the Royal National Lifeboat Association. The team is adept at handling matters touching on several jurisdictions, such as the international enforcement in Ghana, Togo and Nigeria of a judgment from a London arbitration under London Maritime Arbitrators Association rules in which practice head Charles Hattersley and solicitor Ieuan Jones acted on behalf of Metmar Ship Management. Key cases included advising the Gibraltar-incorporated Cameron Holdings on the Blue Water East Side Project, and assisting Waterdance in the negotiations and documentation in the purchase of five trawlers plus quota and licence. The practice further acts for the owners of the Bugaled Breizh on all aspects of maritime UK proceedings.

Bartons is ‘a top practice for shipping law’ in the South West. Under the lead of ‘highly competent all-around lawyer’ Jo Pummery, who is the ‘attentive to detail’ director and the head of the marine department, the team advises on the majority of marine-related incidents and has a marine advocacy department which both defends and prosecutes cases, including representation at coroner’s inquests. The ‘client-focused’ practice’s ‘outstanding service’ and ‘commercially-minded advice’ profits from its lawyers’ ‘significant industry knowledge’, gained in part through their training as Royal Yachting Association-accredited day skippers, coastal skippers, yachtmasters, or powerboat 1 and 2 qualifications. They have expertise in surveyor’s negligence, shipping and sailing casualties, Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) prosecutions and defences, and personal injury and fatal accident claims. The practice also excels in handling matters in marine insurance; ship arrest and detention matters; pollution issues; salvage; ship sale, purchase and registration matters; advising on shipbuilding and repair; and marine finance. It attracts particular praise for its ‘skilful handling’ of collision incidents and its ‘in-depth knowledge of both shipping-related incidents concerning vessel operators and ship’s crew negligence which results personal injury claims’. While the group works predominantly for major marine insurers dealing with claims involving fishing vessels, passenger vessels and yachts, the client base also includes P&I clubs, ship owners and operators, yacht clubs, local ports and harbours, marine-related businesses and the fishing industry. Managing director Lee Hassall is ‘a top of his class’ lawyer and ‘tough negotiator’. Solicitor Cory Cuff is ‘very smart, has great analytical skills and is hard working’.

BLM advises on all aspects of marine casualty work with a particular emphasis on protection and indemnity, freight, demurrage and defence insurance. Its areas of expertise also cover shipping-related personal injury and fatal accident claims such as accidents involving cargo ships and passenger ships, including claims arising from loss of life, medical negligence and class actions arising out of illness and disease outbreaks. The practice undertakes work on port and terminal operations, health and safety matters, policy and risk management as well as all aspects of charterparties, bills of lading, and the supply and carriage of goods by sea, including cargo recovery. Clients come from a variety of sectors such as the chemical industry, industrial engineering, insurance, transportation, travel and leisure, and include Stena Line as well as other owners, charterers, operators and brokers. The team advised an insurance company on the recovery of losses which incurred after a vessel had been damaged in a collision whilst under racing conditions; and also handled a matter, for a separate client, involving the release of a vessel which had been arrested off the coast of Libya due to unpaid levies. Another highlight saw the practice defend an action brought by an employee of a stevedoring company who was injured while driving a tug master. Practice head Gemma Pearce has particular experience in handling multi-jurisdictional matters, such as two matters in which vessels moored in the UK had been damaged - this involved handling South Africa, Greece and Denmark-related issues.

Dorade Law has expertise in the superyacht sector, advising on contracts for design, procurement, sponsorship, and insurance, as well as assisting with regulatory issues such as the Recreational Craft Directive, coding requirements, International Maritime Organisation standards and defending against any enforcement procedures. It further acts in dispute management matters, including mediation and arbitration in yacht and commercial contract disputes, with litigation experience in front of the Commercial Court, Admiralty Court, the Court of Appeal and the European Court of Justice. The practice’s work for the superyacht sector also includes advising on employment issues for commercial organisations and non-profit organisations. The team tailors yacht crew contracts and contractor agreements for its clients and is adept at drafting workplace policies covering a variety of topics such as disability discrimination and grievance procedures. Clients include superyacht yards, production manufacturers, custom race boat builders, distributors, naval architects, specialist contractors, equipment manufacturers and trade federations. Nick Horton heads the practice and is adept at advising governing bodies for sport and trade associations on questions regarding an organisation’s constitution, rules, procedures and articles of association.

Providing ‘a very good and comprehensive level of service’ Nash & Co is highly regarded among peers for its expertise in the fishing industry. The team is active in a broad range of issues in maritime law, ranging from ship purchase agreements and other transactional matters to defending fatal accident cases and handling civil claims. A particular strength is handling cases arising from boarding at sea and detention of fishing vessels. The team regularly represents vessel owners and their crew who are being prosecuted by inshore fisheries and conservation authorities or the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and has experience in acting for owners of foreign-owned vessels. The practice also provides non-contentious and contentious services to vessel owners, yacht brokers, marine insurers, P&I clubs, marina operators, racing sailors, high-net-worth individuals, shipping companies, harbour authorities and fish producers’ organisations. Under the lead of consultant solicitor and practice head Guy Walker, who has ‘very good technical knowledge in the field and good communication skills’, the practice has been able to build considerable expertise in regulatory work for the fishing industry. The team’s strengths also include advising on marine mortgages, dispute resolution, collisions, and professional negligence claims, as well as defending against prosecutions for fishing offences, liability claims arising from collisions, and representing clients accused of having caused an accident or a pollution incident.

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