Transport and shipping in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

The Ipswich office of Birketts LLP houses a transport and logistics practice that combines in-depth experience in shipping, road transport and trade. ‘A specialised and efficient law firm‘, it is unique in the region for the breadth of its work. Henry Adams leads the shipping and international trade practice, which encompasses dry shipping and marine insurance work. As head of the regulatory and corporate defence practice, Matthew Gowen handles Public Inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner and before the Magistrates’ and Crown Court in criminal proceedings. Nicholas Woo is a specialist in all areas of dry shipping litigation, particularly in cases involving Asian jurisdictions. Head of litigation Alex Davey, whose work includes charterparty, bill of lading and cargo disputes involving High Court litigation or London arbitration, frequently advises P&I clubs, freight forwarders and logistics companies. Senior associate Sarah Holsgrove is also experienced in complex disputes.

Practice head(s):

Henry Adams; Alex Davey; Matthew Gowen

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Woo; Sarah Holsgrove


‘Birketts is a specialised and efficient law firm, reactive and reasonable in billing’

‘Henry Adams and the shipping team are efficient, provide good and quick advice, and understand client needs. Henry speaks good French, which makes things easier for our French clients.’

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal  has a small but highly experienced road transport and regulatory practice based in Bury St Edmunds, which acts for a national logistics client base. It handles operator licensing of fleets in the goods and passenger sectors, and frequently represents operators and transport managers at Public Inquiry hearings before Traffic Commissioners. Lead partner Tim Ridyard is 'an expert in transport law and regulation who is always available and provokes a refreshing view regarding matters that require his expertise'. Solicitor Tim Norris is also a key adviser to the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):

Tim Ridyard

Other key lawyers:

Tim Norris


‘Ashtons Legal is a forward thinking firm that can adapt and service its clients requirements. I feel this has been proved without question during the pandemic; their ability to find new ways to provide their clients with the high levels of service is welcomed.’

‘Tim Ridyard is expert in transport law and regulation, He is always available and provokes a refreshing view regarding matters that require his expertise.’

Key clients

Nick Brown Transport Ltd

Roy Nixon

Mick George Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing two UK-based companies of Dutch Group operating large fleets in the East and North-East of England. Successfully defended them at Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry in 2020 relating to financial standing and maintenance issues.
  • Representing a company and director in a large multi-handed prosecution (including very high value confiscation proceedings) and very complex matter brought by the Environmental Agency concerning an unpermitted waste site.
  • Advised cheese producer company and its officers, individually prosecuted by local government Trading Standards Team of local authority.

Gotelee Solicitors

Their professionalism and customer service is remarkable‘, says a client of Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich. The transport and logistics practice is now led by Hugh Rowland, who has decades of experience of defending businesses facing investigations by Trading Standards, HM Revenue & Customs and other regulatory bodies. Former practice head Howard Catherall left to join Leathes Prior.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland


‘The team was introduced to me a number of years ago. Since I have never looked anywhere else for support when it was needed. Gotelee Solicitors is very friendly. Their professionalism and customer service is remarkable. They always find a way to make you feel at ease even in the hardest times. You definitely feel their confidence and control in representations.’

‘Their people are very supporting and innovative. They created an app that is a first in this field.’

‘Open, supportive and encourage innovation.’

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing a large fulfilment house operator in relation to HMRC compliance enquiries.
  • Advising and assisting a road transport operator upon its response to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner following a bridge strike.