Shipping: foreign firms in China

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP is especially strong in shipping litigation and finance transactions. In recent highlights, the team - led by Ik Wei Chong has been advising ship owners, charterers and operators, hull underwriters, cargo insurers, trading and energy companies, banks and logistics companies on collision and salvage, pollution liabilities, marine insurance disputes, charterparty problems, shipbuilding and ship repair issues and claims arising from carriage of cargo. Also notable are Canming WangAndrew Rourke who splits his time between Shanghai and Guildford - and senior associate Flora Tang.

Practice head(s):

Ik Wei Chong

Other key lawyers:

Justin Tan; Canming Wang; Andrew Rourke; Flora Tang; Nicholas Lum


‘Justin Tan is an experienced, knowledgeable and visionary lawyer who specialises in projects and infrastructure. His full-service advice covers legal and practical aspects of projects. He also has deep cultural awareness, and is in the best position to advise on cross-border cases.’

‘Kai Yong Tan demonstrates excellent capabilities in the management of the case and delivery of work products.’

Key clients

People’s Insurance Company of China



HFW specialises in admiralty and crisis management and handles large-scale collisions, groundings, salvage, total loss, fire, wreck removal, piracy and pollution claims. On the transactional side, the group offers the full spectrum of shipping-related services across the region, including syndicated, club and bilateral debt financing as well as leasing, export credit financing, seller's credits, derivatives and credit enhancement products, bond issues and other forms of capital raising. Nick Poynder and Henry Fung jointly lead the group from Shanghai. Daniel Leung recently joined from Squire Patton Boggs and Stephen Marais relocated to Shanghai from the London office; they are key contacts alongside Julian DaviesTrevor Fox and Jenny Chester.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Poynder; Henry Fung


‘HFW has great expertise and quick response times.’

‘George Lamplough is an excellent partner.’ 

Key clients

The Owners and P&I insurers of SANCHI

Ever Judger Holding Company (shipowner)

Xinsha International Pte

Work highlights

  • Acting for the owners of the oil tanker Sanchi, following a collision with bulk carrier CF Crystal which caused a catastrophic fire on board Sanchi.
  • Advising Ever Judger following an incident which caused widespread oil pollution and a major fire in Balikpapan Bay, Indonesia.
  • Acted for a Singaporean trading company who entered into a contract for sale and purchase of iron ore with Yingkou International Import and Export, group company within the Jiacheng Group.


Ince's shipping team is led by Paul Ho in Shanghai and Beijing-based Wai Yue Loh. The group covers dry shipping, admiralty, marine insurance, ship finance, corporate matters, as well as other aspects of maritime law with an international angle, including international sanctions, cyber security, regulatory and compliance issues. Also noteworthy in Shanghai are Shirley Li who advises on charterparties, carriage of goods by sea, collision, pollution, shipbuilding and ship sale and purchase; Eileen Tang who has considerable experience in shipbuilding matters, performance and refund guarantees, and the financing of projects; and managing associate Zeldar Wang.

Practice head(s):

Paul Ho; Wai Yue Loh

Other key lawyers:

Shirley Li; Eileen Tang; Zeldar Wang


‘The team is professional, efficient, diligent and has abudant social resources.’

Key clients

China Merchants Industry Holding

Work highlights

  • Ince assisted China Merchants not only with the reviewing, advising, negotiation of several shipbuilding contracts, but also the design contract, guarantees and other relevant contracts and agreements.

Stephenson Harwood

At Stephenson HarwoodVincent Xu leads the shipping finance offering while Evangeline Quek sits at the head of the shipping litigation sub-team; they are both based in Shanghai. The group advises nearly all major international banks which are active in the market as well as large and major finance leasing companies from China. On the contentious front, Quek's department specialises in cross-border enforcement work, shipbuilding work and the oil and gas and offshore industry. Andrew Rigden GreenRoy Chan and legal director Guijun Wang are also names to note from its Hong Kong office.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Xu; Evangeline Quek


‘Andrew Rigden Green works very hard. His wider range of disputes experience is extremely useful in the shipping space.’

Key clients

China Development Bank

Compnia Sud Americana de Vapores (“CSAV”)

Guodian Shipping (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd

ICBC Financial Leasing

Michharry and Company Nigeria Limited (“MCN”).

The Export-Import Bank of China

The People’s Insurance Co of China (Hong Kong) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised a private equity fund in the acquisition of three separate lots in Hong Kong for the conversion into superyacht repair and servicing facilities.
  • Advised ICBC Leasing on its sale to fellow Chinese finance house, SPDB Financial Leasing, of two modern VLGCs.
  • Assisted and advised a Chinese ultra high-net worth client as lead counsel with the upgrade of his superyacht.
  • Handled the recovery of damages from a shipowner in relation to the failure of shipowners to deliver cargo against the original bills of lading.

Wikborg Rein

Wikborg Rein's Ronin Zong recently became managing partner of the Shanghai office, taking over from Christian-James Olsen who relocated to the Bergen office. The shipping and offshore practice has particular expertise in acting for international offshore operators in their new construction, financing and operation in China, as well as Chinese oil majors’ bidding and operations in China and abroad. The team also handles casualty matters, financing transactions and shipbuilding mandates. Chelsea Chen was recently promoted to the partnership and is also a key name to note in Shanghai alongside senior lawyer Jonathan Keats.

Practice head(s):

Ronin Zhong; Yafeng Sun; Chelsea Chen


‘The team has a very strong presence in China, is highly competent and has a good commercial and market understanding.’

‘Wikborg Rein has extensive international experience. Its practitioners are fluent in English whilst still maintaining the Chinese cultural and specific legal aspects.’

Key clients

Viking Cruises

Fjordland Cruise AS

China Merchants Industry Holdings Co., Ltd. / China Merchants Heavy Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (CMI)

Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co., Ltd.

Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co., Ltd.

Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd (SWS)

Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd

Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co., Ltd. (WSIC)

Qingdao Wuchuan Heavy Industry Co., Ltd.

Chinese Institute of Marine and Offshore Engineering HB. Co., Ltd. (CIMOE)

Sinotrans&CSC Jinling Shipyard (now under CMI Group)

COSCO Shipyard Group Co., Ltd.

CSSC Guangzhou Huangpu Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

Guangzhou Shipbuilding International Co., Ltd

CSSC Cruiseship Technology Development Co., Ltd.

China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co., Ltd

China Shipbuilding Trading Co., Ltd

Afai Southern Shipyard (Panyu Guangzhou) Ltd

Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering Co., Ltd.

Nantong Rainbow Offshore & Engineering Equipments Co., Ltd

ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

Avic International Leasing Co., Ltd.

CSSC (Hong Kong) Shipping Company Limtied

China Petroleum Technology & Development Corporation

CSIC Leasing Co., Limited

Wuhan Marine Machinery Plant Co., Ltd.

Sumec Marine Company Limited

Chuanzheng Overseas Development Limited


Norwegian Hull Club

Skuld P&I Club

Japan P&I

North of England P&I

Hydor AS


Teekay Shipping

London P&I

G2 Ocean

Ulstein Group ASA

Work highlights

  • Acted for China Merchant Heavy Industry in its efforts to join a successful bidder for the building and operating of a FPSO in Brazil.
  • Assisting Viking Cruises with establishing a shipping company for the building, sailing and marketing of cruise vessels in China and worldwide.
  • Assisting Fjordland Cruise with establishing a new shipping company that owns and operates cruise vessels built in China.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper provides a full sector-focused service from dry shipping and marine casualty response to recoveries, shipbuilding and freight forwarding. The firm's enviable client roster acts for shipowners, charterers and operators, traders, shipyards, logistics providers and others operating in the shipping and international transportation industries. Jointly led from Hong Kong by Ernest Yang and Kevin Chan, the group is spread across the Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing offices. Also notable are Shanghai-based corporate and regulatory partner Roy Chan and senior associate Xiaoshan Chen.

Practice head(s):

Ernest Yang; Kevin Chan

Other key lawyers:

Roy Chan; Xiaoshan Chen


‘DLA Piper is one of the best shipping law firms in Asia. The legal services provided by DLA are client-oriented and best suit the client’s needs.’

‘All members of Kevin Chang’s team have impressed me with their legal ability, common sense, and commerciality.’

‘Kevin Chan, Leo Cheng and Yuki Chan demonstrate outstanding efforts of professionalism in analysing the merits and weaknesses of disputes.’

‘Kevin Chang is a highly experienced, insightful and commercial leader of the team. He is an excellent instructing solicitor and I have no doubt is equally excellent with his clients.’

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's Asian shipping practice is led from Singapore by Ben Rose but is headed in China by Hong Kong-based dispute resolution expert and mariner Peter Glover who has substantial expertise in all aspects of tanker operations, claims management and incident response. Also notable is Jim James who has a strong track record advising shipping companies, banks, leasing companies, financial institutions, insurers and energy companies on shipping, shipbuilding, insurance and insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Ben Rose

Other key lawyers:

Jim James; Peter Glover

Key clients


Bank of China Limited

Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

BNP Paribas

CDB Finance Leasing Co., Ltd


CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

COSCO China Shipping

CSSC (Hong Kong) Shipping Co., Ltd

DHT Holdings, Inc.

Dong Fang International Investment Limited (now Florens)

Export Import Bank of China


ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

Minsheng Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

Oldendorff Carriers

SC Lowy


Standard Chartered Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising BNP Paribas on the first JOLCO transaction involving marine containers for a Chinese financial leasing house.