Transport and shipping in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

The Ipswich office of Birketts LLP is home to a transport and shipping practice that provides 'excellent service with deep knowledge of clients' business and needs'. Clients note that it has 'big firm clout with local accessibility, and no job too big or too small'. One of the few niche transport teams in the jurisdiction, it has deep roots in the local shipping, road transport and logistics industry and counts Noble Chartering Inc and TOTAL Petrochemicals among its clients. The lead partners are head of shipping and international trade Henry Adams, head of litigation Alex Davey and head of regulatory and corporate defence Matthew Gowen. Mediator and dry shipping litigation specialist Nicholas Woo is highly recommended, as are senior associates Tom Hodges and Sarah Holsgrove are highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Henry Adams; Alex Davey; Matthew Gowen

Other key lawyers:

Paul Haworth


‘Excellent service. Deep knowledge of our clients’ business and needs.’

‘Excellent service. Quick and clear advice.’

‘Big firm clout with local accessibility, demonstrating a keen interest and understanding of the quirks of my business. No job too big or too small. Flexible billing on collective or individual instructions and happy to accommodate split invoicing for non-VAT overseas insurers.’

‘Tom Hodges fully understands the flexibility of my remit, and is happy to promtly involve colleagues at higher or lower levels as necessary.’

‘Great team! Always available at any time – working day or weekend or holiday! Excellent understanding of the problems at hand and great response time.’

‘Henry Adams and Sarah Holsgrove are an excellent team with excellent knowledge in shipping, contractual matters, arbitration and litigation.’

‘The team is always ready to assist, timely, on the spot, particularly in cases of urgency they are always there. Their advice is generally rigorous but very pragmatic and useful at the same time.’

‘Henry Adams is one of our preferred lawyers in the UK. Particularly in complex multijurisdictional cases, c/p, bills of lading disputes, as well as major accidents. he is very rigorous, a very clever lawyer. Paul Haworth is fantastic – he explains complex matters very easily and deals with all disputes in a very pragmatic manner.’

Key clients

Atlantic Trading and Marketing Inc, and National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA

Totsa Total Oil Trading SA; Alliance Global Corporate & Specialty SE

Georges Helfer SA


Noble Chartering Inc

COSCO Shipping Lines and OOCL

TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining SA/NV and Allianz Global & Corporate Specialty SE

Work highlights

  • Acted for time charterers Navision Shipping A/S in the middle of a difficult dispute arising from loss of time due to an arrest of the vessel at a discharge port.
  • Acted for JJA, a large French home furnishings distributor and retailer, in defending a claim for container demurrage brought against them by Maersk for around €3.1m. The matter settled at the pleadings stage.

Ashtons Legal

The transport practice at Ashtons Legal is 'extremely easy to speak to and understands the problems from a client's perspective'. The practice has notable experience in operator licensing of fleets in the goods and passenger sectors, and frequently represents operators and transport managers at public inquiry hearings before Traffic Commissioners. Tim Ridyard in Bury St Edmunds is the sole partner in the practice and clients remark that he 'has a very good understanding of the transport sector, the legislation and the boundaries his clients are expected to work within', praising him for his ability to 'think outside the box, often finding simple solutions to what appear to be complicated issues'.

Practice head(s):

Tim Ridyard


‘The transport team are extremely easy to speak to and understands the problems from a clients perspective. During the pandemic the introduction of the live webinars was invaluable and a great way to keep their clients up to date with legislative changes.’

‘Tim Ridyard has a very good understanding of the transport sector, the legislation and the boundaries his clients are expected to work within. Tim is able to ‘think outside the box’ often finding simple solutions to what appear to be complicated issues.’

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing large operator in proceedings before the Traffic Commissioner in two separate Public Inquiry hearings, both successfully concluded.
  • Representing company in large multi-handed prosecution. A complex matter brought by the Environmental Agency concerning an unpermitted waste site.
  • Advised a large multi-sector group in respect of all road transport operator licensing needs within the group.

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich is known for its transport litigation expertise, which sees it involved in matters concerning the importation of goods to the UK from outside the EEA and the importation of contraband goods. Higher Rights advocate Hugh Rowland is the sole partner in the practice  and he has a long-standing reputation in defending businesses being investigated by Trading Standards, HMRC and other regulatory bodies. He is heavily involved in the firm’s work for clients in the freight sector and for warehousing associations.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Rowland