The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work 020 7782 0990
Fax 020 7481 7978

Firm Rankings

London: Transport

Shipping - ranked: tier 3

Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless

Boutique shipping-focused offering, Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless is a 'small, close knit firm that offers genuine partner involvement in all cases' and it is 'hugely knowledgeable in handling all forms of shipping disputes'. It handles a range of contentious and non-contentious work across shipbuilding and construction, offshore projects, marine insurance, personal injury and yachting matters; as well as casualty work and cargo claims. The team, which 'has very good knowledge of the law, is very hands-on and the lawyers relate very well with clients', has a strong ship owner and operator following and acts for a number of P&I Clubs. It represented Maersk Line in its appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision of the Commercial Court in a test case concerning the application of the package limitation provisions in the Hague-Visby Rules to containerised cargoes. Department head Paul Griffiths is an 'exceptional black-letter lawyer who pairs this with a commercial approach to reach the best all-round solutions', while Joanna Steele has a 'head for technical matters and is not afraid of getting into the nitty gritty of expert evidence'. Deug Rong Lee joined in 2019 from Kennedys.

Practice head(s):Paul Griffiths

Other key lawyers:Joanna Steele; Paul Crane; Vernon Sewell; Rachel Butlin; Andrew Powell


Paul Crane has a great overview on complicated tanker matters and his chemical knowledge is a great advantage.

'The team produces clear advice and practical solutions.'

Joanna Steele is an immensely knowledgeable, experienced and bright lawyer.

'It has a number of highly experienced partners who are adept at building long term relationships with clients.'

Joanna Steele and Andrew Powell are phenomenally hardworking partners and are a delight to work with; they have technical brilliance coupled with strong tactical judgment.

Key Clients

A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S trading as Maersk Line

Sinotrans & CSC

Sirena Marine

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Agile Holdings Corporation, and its insurers, on an appeal from an arbitration award, clarifying the law under Clause 8(b) of the Inter-Club Agreement.
  • Successfully defended Yangtze Navigation (Hong Kong)  (subsidiary of Sinotrans & CSC), and its insurers in the Court of Appeal, , clarifying the law under Clause 8(d) of the Inter-Club Agreement.
  • Acting for Maersk Line in its appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision of the Commercial Court in a test case concerning the application of the package limitation provisions in the Hague-Visby Rules to containerised cargoes.
Leading individuals

Joanna Steele - Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless

Paul Griffiths - Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless

[back to top]

Further information on Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless in other jurisdictions.


Offices in London

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.