Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Shipping

Richemont Delviso, which has offices in Paris, Marseille and Ajaccio and a regional presence in Cameroon, has expertise in all aspects of maritime law.

Shipping in France


Led by Guillaume Brajeux, HFW‘s shipping experts have got  ‘indisputable legal competence’. The practice has an international full-service capacity in both wet and dry shipping. Handling travel agency liability and personal injury claims, Stéphanie Schweitzer has specialist insight into the cruise and tourism industry. Providing top-level assistance in complex litigation and arbitration, Stanislas Lequette and Vincent Bénézech often take on shipping matters in West African countries. Commercial yachting matters are another area of strength. Mona Dejean stands out at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Guillaume Brajeux


‘They have a practical and pragmatic way of working and of approaching conflicts.’

‘I have worked on several occasions with Stanislas Lequette and have got very good experiences, also with Mona Dejean.’

‘The team is available and responsive.’

‘Stéphanie Schweitzer listens, assimilates the operational constraints of the client, and offers solutions.’

‘The team has partners with different levels of seniority and experience, but always of indisputable legal competence.’

‘Timothy Clemens-Jones: very experienced, very good lawyer. Stanislas Lequette: excellent lawyer and very good contact with his clients.’

Key clients





Corsica Linea


Ingepar (BPCE Group)




The Shipowners’ Club

The Swedish Club

North of England


Lewis & Co AARPI

Lewis & Co AARPI specialises in shipping, international trade, and insurance, and advises on both English and French law. The team has been involved in high-profile maritime casualties as well as in day-to-day commercial disputes arising under shipping contracts. Its ‘extensive network of contacts in francophone Africa’ has made it a name to note for maritime matters related to West African jurisdictions. Lars Lewis and Peter Iglikowski are dual-qualified English-French lawyers with strong cross-border experience. Leila Esnard is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Lars Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Peter Iglikowski; Leila Esnard


‘Invoicing is transparent and fair.’

‘A nice balance of experience to cover all eventualities.’

‘Lars Lewis is charming and the voice of experience’.

‘The exchanges with the firm reveal a real group dynamic due to the complementary nature of the various members of the firm.’

‘They are highly experienced in shipping and have an extensive network of contacts in francophone Africa.’

‘Continuity in the approach, starting from the first call with the senior partner until the closing of the file. You always have the clear impression that your matter is properly monitored and followed and the different skills of the firm are applied whenever necessary without any duplication. Billing is very efficient.’

‘Lars Lewis is a top player in our market. Always on top of things with each file. Leila Esnard is the ideal deputy, assisting him with cleverness and top skills. Peter Iglikowski is intellectual and academic, but at the same time very hands-on in his approach when necessary.’

Reed Smith

Reed Smith’s shipping activities span casualty and admiralty, dry shipping, environmental law in shipping, international arbitration, ports and terminals, transactions, shipping sanctions, and superyachts.

Stream – Avocats et Solicitors

With over twenty years of experience in shipping law, Stream – Avocats et Solicitors advises shipping and offshore companies. Whilst it handles commercial contract work such as the drafting and negotiation of shipbuilding and procurement contracts, it is best known for contentious matters involving casualties and collisions.  Aymeric De Tapol, Alexandre Besnard, Jérôme de Sentenac and Vy-Loan Huynh Olivieri lead the shipping practice from the Paris office. In Marseille, Fabien d’Haussy and Laurianne Ribes take the lead. Mathieu Croix and Freddy Desplanques share the management of the office in Le Havre.

Key clients











Work highlights

  • Advised a carrier on litigation arisen from the transport of elements of an aircraft carrier catapult in the Toulon arsenal.
  • Assisted Amlin, a cargo insurer, with the salvage and general average claim of WADOWICE II in Spain.
  • Acted as counsel to the owners of CSL Virginia regarding the vessel’s collision near Corsica, leading to coastal pollution.

Nicolas & Associés

Nicolas & Associés acts for leading shipping companies in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Frequently receiving instructions for large casualty matters, Christophe Nicolas represented the owners and insurers of the MV Grande America which sunk off the French coast in 2019 after a fire on board. The team also regularly handles collision claims between merchant vessels and fishing vessels. Thomas Godener joined the team from HFW in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Christophe Nicolas

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Godener


‘Fast replies, pragmatic approach, good results both in commercial settlement and in court cases.’

‘Very good working relationship, honest answers when determining whether it makes sense or not to pursue legal proceedings.’

‘The firm is a highly professional transport and maritime and insurance law address and our first point of contact in France for these legal fields.’

‘Christophe Nicholas is extremely quick, responsive and creative, which is helpful in solving very difficult cases.’

‘I have always worked with Christophe Nicolas and with his colleagues he forms a very good and well-organised team that confidently uses the latest technology. The firm charges its fees at a very reasonable level.’

‘Christophe Nicolas is a competent and bright lawyer and a gentleman with outstanding personal integrity.’

Key clients











Villeneau Rohart Simon

Villeneau Rohart Simon is well known for its dry and wet shipping expertise, handling a wide variety of disputes, including ship arrests, cargo claims, commercial litigation and marine casualties. The team at the Marseilles office also has a recognised expertise in yachts and superyachts. The firm has been involved in some major casualty disputes, for example, a dispute regarding alleged sulphur pollution in Marseilles. Founding partner Patrick Simon oversees the Paris office whilst Bertrand Coste leads the Marseilles team. Charles de Corbière left the firm in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Simon; Bertrand Coste


‘The team is very hands-on and involved, offering practical and innovative solutions that are business-oriented and that showcase its deep knowledge.’

‘Jean-Serge Rohart and Sébastien Lootgieter have a deep knowledge of the sector, understanding the issues and matters at hand and providing a well-structured legal approach. I would also like to point out their kindness and their teamwork. It was an absolute pleasure working with them.’

‘The team’s strength and key capabilities: the deep knowledge of the maritime & trading business; the ability to provide tailor-made, but at the same time rigorous and fruitful support, which enables the client to explore all options and to find adequate solutions for each situation.’

‘Jean-Serge Rohart has wide and long legal experience, and a bright mind and knowledge, both legal and business. Sébastien Lootgieter is highly skilled, both technically in relation to all legal aspects and with a deep and practical knowledge of the business. Excellent soft skills, especially Sébastien Lootgieter.’

‘The law firm is very serious and trustworthy. The attitude, in a positive sense, is ‘old style’, i.e. quite attentive to the client’s needs.’

Key clients

Maersk Tankers A/S

Carnival Cruise

Costa Crociere Spa



West of England


Standard P&I Club

North of England P&I Club

Work highlights

  • Represented Bureau Veritas in appeal proceedings in a dispute relating to the jurisdiction of French courts enforcement of an arbitration clause against a  $20m claim brought by hull and machinery insurers of a cruise vessel.