Shipping in France

Clyde & Co LLP

The 'efficient' team at Clyde & Co LLP assists with the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious wet and dry shipping matters, and is recommended for 'all types of cases, simple or very complicated'. The practice advises an equally broad client base, assisting oil companies, shipowners, traders and insurers. The team is particularly valued for its expertise in relation to insured liability claims. Practice head Gildas Rostain represents clients in high-value litigation, both in France and internationally. Rozenn Lopin is noted for 'her pragmatism'.

Practice head(s):

Gildas Rostain


Clyde and Co is the most efficient and recognised firm in maritime and transport. The team is efficient, available and fully integrated in its business sector, with a great ability to resolve conflicts. I recommend them for all types of cases, simple or very complicated.

I work mainly with Rozenn Lopin, who is at the same time technical, discreet and terribly efficient. I appreciate her frankness, her pragmatism and her honesty, as well as her fair fees.

This firm practices maritime and transport law with a very high level of competence. The explanations are clear. And this firm is capable of explaining the strengths and weaknesses of a case and of giving excellent advice either to commence litigation or to enter into a transaction.

The team is unique, competent, dedicated, active, and gives good advice.


HFW's team handles a range of wet and dry shipping matters and has extensive knowledge of matters related to cruises and tourism, and commercial yachting. Stanislas Lequette is currently advising on various matters following major collisions, including carrying out investigations, handling cargo claims, and reviewing salvage/wreck hire issues. Other key names to note at the firm are practice head Guillaume BrajeuxStéphanie SchweitzerTimothy Clemens-Jones and associate Mona Dejean.

Practice head(s):

Guillaume Brajeux

Lewis & Co AARPI

Anglo-French practice Lewis & Co AARPI is 'unique in being able to respond to queries on French law with an understanding of requirements from an English law perspective'. The 'responsive, proactive and helpful' team demonstrates its proficiency in handling maritime casualty work by advising several P&I clubs following vessel collision. Other key focuses for the firm include international commercial disputes arising from shipping contracts. 'Experienced and savvy' practice head Lars Lewis is praised for his 'excellent strategic mind'. Leila Esnard is noted for 'delivering excellent service urgently at very short notice' and for her 'excellent attention to detail'. Guillaume de Bascher and Peter Iglikowski are other names of note.

Practice head(s):

Lars Lewis


They are very responsive, proactive and helpful.

Lars Lewis (and his team) are always available and take my calls the first time rather than having to call multiple times in order to get through to a team member. The firm is full of skilled negotiators. It is always a pleasant experience when working with the firm.

Strong understanding of maritime law. Easy to approach and good skills in English.

Lars Lewis is probably the best maritime lawyer in France. He has an excellent strategic mind.

Excellent knowledge of French law procedural matters, and how these interact with other jurisdictions, which is practically applied to litigation.

Lars Lewis – totally reliable, available and efficient.

Excellent availability, good spread of knowledge, clear advice.

Lars Lewis: very experienced, excellent availability, speaks the client’s language, good commercial understanding. Leila Esnard: thorough, quick, clear advice.

Partner Lars Lewis – commercially minded, breadth of experience in marine and cross-jurisdictional situations. Also lives the practice and is very quick to respond to clients.

I have worked on matters with Lars Lewis and also had him as an opponent. He is clearly an experienced and savvy lawyer.

Reed Smith

Multinational clients, particularly those with a link to the African market, regularly instruct the team at Reed Smith to assist with various wet and dry shipping matters, including advising on relations with charterers, contract negotiations, dispute resolution, and tourism law regulatory and non-regulatory issues. The team, consisting of practice head Ana Atallah, and counsels Luc GrelletAndrew Tetley and Emmanuelle Faivre, also frequently handles contentious matters, representing clients before the ICC Court of Arbitration and the Paris Maritime Arbitration Chamber.

Practice head(s):

Ana Atallah

Stream – Avocats et Solicitors

The team at Stream – Avocats et Solicitors handles a wide range of matters, both contentious and transactional. Recent work includes representing the owner of CSL Virginia and the P&I club following a collision between the vessel and Ulysse. On the non-contentious side, the practice showcased its strength in assisting with acquisitions by advising Valloeby Investments and brokerage house Affinity Shipping  on their purchase of French shipowner Sea Tankers in a cross-border matter. Key names to note are Aymeric de TapolAlexandre Besnard, Jérôme de Sentenac, Mathieu Croix and Vy-Loan Huynh-Olivieri.

Key clients







Louis Dreyfus Armateurs








Work highlights

  • Advising Corsica Linea on the negotiation and implementation of the shipbuilding contract for an LNG-powered RoPax ferry.  
  • Representing the owner of CSL Virginia and the P&I club following a collision between the vessel and Ulysse.
  • Advising Zephyr & Borée on the creation of a joint venture between the client and Jifmar Offshore Services for the purpose of bidding on the Ariane 6 launcher maritime transport project.  

Nicolas & Associés

The team at Nicolas & Associés assists clients, including shipowners and insurers with various wet shipping matters. Christophe Nicolas is assisting private shipping company Grimaldi with various issues including pollution, cargo claims, and limitation of liability following the sinking of its vessel Grande America, in a high-stakes matter. Other work includes representing Skuld Oslo, the insurers of a ship which is accused of having cut an electrical cable linking France and England, in a matter worth €70m.

Practice head(s):

Christophe Nicolas

Key clients











Work highlights

  • Assisting Grimaldi with various issues including pollution, cargo claims, and limitation of liability, following the sinking of its vessel Grande America.
  • Representing Skuld Oslo, the insurers of a ship which is accused of having cut an electrical cable belonging to RTE, linking France and England.  
  • Representing Peche Avenir in its loss of earnings claim following its entry into a ship building contract and discovery that the vessel had some dysfunctions.