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Addleshaw Goddard

Work 0131 228 2400
Fax 0131 222 9800

Ed Watt

Work 0131 222 9843
Addleshaw Goddard

Work Department



Ed is a recognised leading commercial shipping lawyer and head of the firm’s shipping group. Ed has acted in the sale or purchase and registration of more than 200 vessels, and is a recognised expert in dual registration of ships in the Caspian Sea. With an international practice acting for ship owners, builders and banks, Ed has led negotiations and completions in over 20 countries. His experience covers the full range of transactional and commercial needs of clients in the shipping, offshore renewable energy, and oil & gas sectors. He specialises in the sale, purchase and registration of ships, in particular offshore vessels; commercial agreements, time charters and tender negotiations for major projects; ship building contracts and complex bareboat lease structures. "Ed Watt continues to operate on an almost bewildering international scale" Scotsman Legal Review


Trained HBJ Gateley; qualified 1999; partner HBJ Gateley 2005 to date, head of shipping 2008. Publications of note: co-author of ‘Ship Registration: Law and Practice’ (Lloyd’s Shipping Law Library – Informa, 2009 2nd edition, 3rd edition forthcoming).


George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh (1996 LLB Hons; 1997 Dip LP); University of London (2001 LLM merit).

London: Finance

Asset finance and leasing

Within: Asset finance and leasing

Addleshaw Goddard is now active across all the transportation asset classes following the merger with Scottish firm HBJ Gateley (on the shipping front) and the recruitment in October 2017 of 'top-notch' rail finance practitioner Clive Smith from Osborne Clarke. In addition, the firm's longstanding aviation finance offering has been deepened and broadened following the arrival in August 2017 of Manchester-based managing associate Andrew Carswell from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. Carswell brings a more lessor and lender side focus to the team that, under the guidance of Rebecca Garner and Rory MacCarthy, was traditionally more aligned to serving the interests of airlines including FlyDubai and Latam Airlines. On the rail front, Smith recently acted for Arriva Trains Wales in relation to the leasing of a fleet of Class 769 units from Porterbrook, while in the maritime sector, Ed Watt recently advised Delta Marine on the acquisition of a newbuild wind farm support vessel, including interim leasing arrangements and Netherlands export credit financing structures.

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Within: Leading individuals

Ed Watt - Addleshaw Goddard

Within: Transport

Following its merger with HBJ Gately in June 2017, Addleshaw Goddard has a pre-eminent shipping team in Scotland, handling wet and dry mandates at a national and international level. It is particularly noted for international transactional shipping advice and ship finance work, but it also provides a full-service dispute resolution offering, including extensive experience in London arbitrations. The ‘hugely impressive’ Ed Watt leads the practice and has ‘an incredible knowledge of maritime law’. Watt is advising Caledonian Maritime Assets, a company wholly owned by the Scottish government, as the buyer in connection with building and refinancing of two passenger ferries under construction by Ferguson Marine Engineering. Ship finance work is led by Alan Shanks, whose background and experience in the Middle East and Caspian shipping sectors are a huge asset to the team. Catriona Smith acts primarily for lenders in ship finance transactions, with niche expertise in shari’ah law. The group handled the due diligence for a major US law firm in relation to a proposed $200m investment into a global cruise line. It also acted as English and Scottish counsel to Topaz Energy and Marine in connection with its successful $375m high yield bond issue.

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