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Birketts LLP

PROVIDENCE HOUSE, 141-145 PRINCES STREET, IPSWICH, IP1 1QJ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01473 232300
Fax:
Fax 01473 230524
DX:
3206 IPSWICH
Email:
Web:
www.birketts.co.uk

Nicholas Woo

Tel:
Work 01473 406368
Email:
Web:
www.birketts.co.uk
Birketts LLP

Work Department

Shipping

Position

Partner

Career

Nicholas is a Partner and Head of the Shipping and International Trade Team.

Nicholas grew up in Singapore, obtained his LLB in England and was called to the Bar here in 1986. He qualified in Singapore as an Advocate and Solicitor the following year and practised in Singapore as a shipping litigator for five years. He then moved in-house working for a COSCO Singapore subsidiary where he gained valuable commercial experience. London beckoned and Nicholas qualified as an English solicitor in 1996. He was made a Partner in 2001, the first ethnic Chinese to be appointed as a partner in a major shipping law firm in London. Nicholas is now Head of Birketts’ Shipping and International Trade Team which he has helped grow from two fee-earners when he joined in 2004 to eleven fee-earners today.

Nicholas is a specialist in all areas of ‘dry’ shipping litigation with particular knowledge of shipping in Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. He also has some contacts with the Indian and Japanese shipping industry. He makes regular visits to these countries every year. Working for COSCO and spending many years representing other Chinese clients has helped Nicholas develop his ability to take instructions, give advice and lecture on English shipping law in fluent Mandarin.

REPORTED CASES INCLUDE:

Several of Nicholas' cases have been reported, for example:

The Bunga Saga Lima (Bottiglieri Di Navigazione SpA v Cosco Qingdao Ocean Shipping Company) [2005] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 1

- on cargo holds cleanliness

New India Assurance v Through Transport Mutual ("The Hari Bhum") No 1 [2005] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 67; No 2 [2005] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 378

- on anti-suit injunctions in the EU immediately preceding the "Front Comor" decision

Samsun Logix Corporation v Oceantrade Ltd [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 450

- on liens

Nicholas was instrumental in obtaining in 2009, the first ever order from the English High Court recognising the foreign insolvency of a major shipping company pursuant to the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations, with a consequential order staying all legal actions in England against that insolvent shipping company. It is estimated that that stay order affected over 200 separate legal actions that had been commenced against the clients.

Nicholas was instrumental in obtaining in 2009, the first ever order from the English High Court recognising the foreign insolvency of a major shipping company pursuant to the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations, with a consequential order staying all legal actions in England against that insolvent shipping company. It is estimated that that stay order affected over 200 separate legal actions that had been commenced against the clients.

Languages

Mandarin

Member

Nicholas sits on the Supporting Members Liaison Committee of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association. He has also previously undertaken a number of key roles in the industry, including chairing the time charterparty and cargo claims seminars organised by the Lloyds Maritime Academy in London and representing the Singapore Shipping Association at the Maritime Law Committee of the International Chamber of Shipping. Nicholas is a past President of the Singapore Business Group, a Singapore-British business networking group in London under the patronage of the Singapore High Commissioner to London.  He has recently been appointed as an Advisor to the Chinese Shipping Association in London supported by the Baltic Exchange.


East Anglia: Transport

Transport and shipping

Within: Leading individuals

Nicholas Woo - Birketts LLP

Within: Transport and shipping

Clients praise the ‚Äėexpertise in insurance, shipping and commodity matters'¬†at Birketts LLP, which¬†supports clients in the¬†all sectors of the transport industry including logistics, haulage, warehousing, freight forwarding and ocean shipping. Shipping and logistics partner¬†Nicholas Woo¬†is the key contact. Henry Adams¬†and associate Pamela Dunning are key members of a practice that provides ‚ÄėCity expertise delivered on a more personal basis'. 'Response times are quick, the industry knowledge is good, the advice is always thorough and excellent value for high-quality service', says one client of the¬†shipping practice, which frequently handles¬†cargo claims and charterparty disputes. 'The quality of service standards compares to renowned London City shipping law firms', he adds.¬†Alex Davey¬†and¬†senior associate¬†Sarah Holsgrove¬†'provide thorough and commercial advice'.¬†Barrister Matthew Gowen¬†and senior associate Philippa Dyer¬†are recommended for contentious matters and clients remark that they are 'attentive, proactive, approachable, understanding and knowledgeable'.¬†Barrister and¬†Deputy Traffic Commissioner¬†Laura Thomas¬†is recommended for regulatory matters.¬†Associate Daniel Hart¬†in Cambridge is part of the¬†firm‚Äôs corporate criminal defence group and specialises in transport regulatory matters.

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London: Transport

Shipping

Within: Shipping

Birketts LLP¬†is able to ‚Äėexplain difficult matters in an easy way‚Äô and its ‚Äėreplies are prompt and take into consideration both the commercial and the legal points‚Äô. The practice handles a range of wet and dry work, with expertise across bills of lading; charterparties, contracts of affreightment, cargo claims, shipbuilding disputes and marine insurance, as well as general average, salvage towage, collisions ship arrest and collision claims. Filhet-Allard Maritime, Raets Marine Insurance, SIACI Saint Honor√©, Shipowners P & I Club and Allianz Global & Speciality France are clients. Nicholas Woo¬†leads the team which features Alex Davey, who has an ‚Äėexcellent grasp of the legal issues as well as the commercial considerations, and provides clear and concise advice‚Äô; Henry Adams, who handles shipping, transport and marine insurance work;¬† Lisa Wortley, who is regularly instructed on claims relating to vessel performance; and senior associate Graham Kershaw. Legal director Paul Haworth¬†recently joined from Winter Scott LLP.

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