United Arab Emirates > Shipping
Index of tables
Christopher Mills –
Clyde & Co LLP
- Erik Muthow – Hadef & Partners
- Christopher Mills –
Al Tamimi & Company has ‘one of the best local advocacy practices in the region, with excellent knowledge of maritime law’. Its expertise covers contentious and non-contentious work, from shipbuilding and finance work, to wet and dry claims. In 2012, it acted for Agility Logistics in the arrest of a vessel at Johor Port in Malaysia and the release of cargo, and advised Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on the AED900m sale of its fleet to ADNATCO. Practice head Yazan Saoudi and Omar Omar are ‘well versed in local and international maritime laws’.
Clyde & Co LLP’s clients ‘cannot praise the shipping team highly enough’. The practice’s regional footprint attracts work from across the GCC, and its dedicated demurrage department witnessed a growth in instructions in 2012. Highlights included representing Millennium Offshore Services in chartering negotiations and arrangements for a multi-year charter of a jack-up accommodation rig to a major oil corporation. Irvine Marr heads the team, with dispute resolution head Christopher Mills providing contentious expertise. Senior associate Robert Lawrence ‘impresses with his grasp of the key issues and assessment of how far to go in negotiations’.
Dentons’s ‘vast knowledge of the ship finance market in the Middle East’ ensures ‘smooth and swift conclusion of deals in a tough region’. Its transactional capability spans conventional and shari’ah-compliant ship finance work, acting for lenders such as Standard Chartered as well as regional borrowers such as Khalid Faraj Shipping. Paul Jarvis’ team represented HSBC Middle East in the financing of a second-hand ship and a newbuild, the latter involving dual registries for the registration of the mortgage in Cayman Islands and the vessel in Azerbaijan.
Hadef & Partners’ shipping practice is ‘infinitely approachable, responsive and practical’, and its team of local law experts ‘almost always has the correct answer’. In 2012, the firm worked on various new ship finance loans, largely due to increased appetite among established regional players, and was kept busy with shipping disputes. It acted for Maersk Line in defending Dubai court proceedings brought by cargo receivers, and acted as UAE counsel to Standard Chartered on a $45m Korean ECA-backed facility made available to Gulf Energy Maritime to finance the construction of an Aframax LR2 vessel. Erik Muthow is ‘particularly strong in shipping disputes’.
Holman Fenwick Willan LLP’s sizeable team of dedicated shipping specialists ‘always delivers high-quality advice’, and the firm combines a leading casualty practice with strong non-contentious capability. Highlights included representing Stanford Marine Group in obtaining a five-year, $175m senior secured club facility, which includes dual currency tranches and both conventional and shari’ah-compliant murabaha tranches, an innovative structure that represents a first for the region. Edward Newitt returned to the London office in 2012 but remains focused on the Middle East, with disputes specialist Hugh Brown relocating to Dubai. Practice head Simon Cartwright is highly recommended.
Fichte & Co has played a key role in the maritime sector since its formation in 2005, and has amassed a team of dual-qualified shipping experts that handles the full spectrum of maritime work for international clients and government-related entities. In 2012, it acted for Gulf Energy Maritime PJSC in the part-financing of the acquisition of two Aframax LR2 vessels currently under construction and valued at $120m. Alessandro Tricoli led on that deal, and is a respected figure on ship finance deals. Jasamin Fichte has extensive experience in wet and dry claims.
Ince & Co is highly rated for its ‘specialist knowledge of casualty claims, and for its responsiveness’. The team has been acting in an increasing number of high-profile cases. Highlights included representing the owners of the Desh Bhakt and the North of England P&I Association in a cargo contamination claim before the Dubai Court. Graham Crane has ‘a great deal of maritime expertise’.
Reed Smith is ‘an excellent firm with a high standard of lawyers devoted to maritime matters’, with practice head Adam Morgan singled out for his ‘excellent industry knowledge and ability to get the deal completed’. The practice continues to handle a variety of corporate and ship finance matters for clients such as Eagle Shipping and APM Terminals, and is particularly valued for its experience in the superyacht space.
Afridi & Angell’s broad-based maritime practice covers collision and cargo claims, shipbuilding contracts, insurance and regulatory matters, and ship finance. Bashir Ahmed and C Chakradaran are the key figures.
Galadari & Associates is ‘agile enough to adjust to the client’s needs and still give quality advice based on their working knowledge of the legal system in the UAE’. It is an approach that has netted a number of high-profile mandates, including ship piracy claims, shipbuilding disputes and loan restructuring. Iqbal Lala ‘thinks outside the box and spends the time to come up with a strategy to push things forward’.