Maritime and shipping in Germany

Ahlers & Vogel

With offices in Hamburg and Leer, Ahlers & Vogel puts particular emphasis on maritime commercial law, where Jan-Erik Pötschke and Wilm Steingröver are the key contacts. Pötschke's client portfolio primarily consists of shipowners, shipyards, P&I clubs and ship managers, who receive advice on charter party disputes, ship purchases and sales as well as on freight contract disputes and other matters. Steingröver deals with maritime accidents and ship collisions. Martin Rosenzweig advises supply industry players and handles yacht projects and ship financing.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP advises on national and international ship purchases, loan purchases and joint venture structures in the maritime industry. Financing and refinancing matters are primarily the responsibility of Wolfgang Melzer, while M&A expert Nicolaus Ascherfeld excels in complex ship loan portfolio transactions. Both individuals are experienced in charter parties, ship and pooling management contracts alongside regulatory issues such as sanctions and IMO 2020.

Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein

Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein continues to use the synergies from the 2018 merger between Arnecke Sibeth and Dabelstein & Passehl, enabling the practice to handle a broad spectrum of maritime industry work. Its offering includes financing, shipbuilding and maritime employment law advice as well as assistance with transport insurance and contentious issues. Team head Jan Dreyer acts for shipping companies, banks, offshore suppliers and has particular expertise in drafting and negotiating contracts pertaining to the shipbuilding and supply industries, while Dieter Schwampe is recommended for maritime insurance and maritime law. He is also regularly appointed as arbitrator. At the interface between the maritime industry and corporate law, Jan Tjarko Eichhorn demonstrates particular expertise in the establishment of joint ventures and cooperation agreements.

Practice head(s):

Jan Dreyer

Blaum Dettmers Rabstein

From its offices in Hamburg and Bremen, Blaum Dettmers Rabstein advises shipping companies, freight carriers, marine insurers as well as terminal companies on various maritime commercial law matters with a focus on port infrastructure projects, shipping accidents and damage claims alongside restructurings and ship financing. Transport group head Kay Uwe Bahnsen specialises in maritime commercial law and also acts in recourse proceedings, while Claus Holzhüter, who is also experienced in recourse proceedings, acts for several terminal operators. The firm's specialism in shipping is also demonstrated by its associates: Markus Häußer frequently advises Bremen-based underwriting agents and transport service providers on various maritime industry matters and Jette Gustafsson acts for insurers and industrial raw material producers in damage claims.

Practice head(s):

Kay Uwe Bahnsen

Clyde & Co LLP

At the start of 2019, Clyde & Co LLP opened a new office in Hamburg and landed a real coup when Daniel JonesEckehard VolzVolker Lücke and Tim Schommer joined the team from Ince. The practice advises on German and English law matters and is particularly active in the niche areas of yachts, offshore wind energy and the oil and gas industries. Jones heads the English law team, which specialises in shipbuilding contracts, charter parties, ship management contracts and bills of lading. Team head and maritime law expert Volz frequently provides advice on damage incidents and contractual disputes, while Lücke has extensive insurance industry expertise. Schommer's client portfolio includes a large number of yacht clients, who receive assistance with registration and chartering matters.

Practice head(s):

Eckehard Volz

Testimonials

‘Clyde has a comparatively young, dynamic and – in the positive sense – aggressive team. We feel perfectly supported at all levels.’

‘The team surrounding Volker Lücke is always reachable and even has time for smaller questions.’

‘Volker Lücke is very sober, highly professional and legally excellent.’

‘Jakob Haas is incredibly professional for his young age, very reliable and also has top legal expertise.’

CMS

CMS advises maritime and shipping industry clients on their day-to-day business as well as on contract negotiations, transactions and in the event of damages or loss. Jan Wölper specialises in advising leading container and tanker shipping companies, shipyards and marine insurers on shipping accidents. Christoph Zarth acts for companies from the shipping, transport, logistics, ship and plant construction, offshore wind energy and international trade sectors, providing advice on the client's operational business and on transactions. Jost Kienzle is also well versed in maritime industry work and is best known for handling complex court and arbitration proceedings.

Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow (ERG)

As a highly specialised maritime boutique, Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow (ERG) provides advice on the acquisition and sale of maritime assets, the registration of ships and mortgages as well as on charter and ship management contracts. The practice jointly led by Stefan RindfleischKlaus Dimigen and Sven Deters advises on English law and the law of the Marshall Islands and, in addition to its office in Hamburg, is also represented in London. Its shipping sector clients include private equity investors, hedge funds and shipowners, which translates into regular ship financing mandates. Hendrik Brauns is the main contact for this segment, while Carolin Schmeding is particularly well versed in sale-and-lease-back structures.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Rindfleisch; Klaus Dimigen; Sven Deters; Hendrik Brauns

Other key lawyers:

Carolin Schmeding

Testimonials

‘The firm is very well connected in the maritime and finance sectors.’

‘Stefan Rindfleisch and Hendrik Brauns are both very friendly, knowledgeable and quick with big experience in the ship financing area and other maritime segments.’

‘The eloquent Stefan Rindfleisch is a very good networker and deal-maker.’

‘Stefan Rindfleisch is one of the most experienced lawyers for all aspects of maritime law.’

FLEET HAMBURG

Fleet Hamburg has a focus on the maritime industry and stands out for its German and English law expertise. As a full-service firm for shipping and international trade, the team led by Dharshini Bandara and Arthur Steinmann assists shipping companies, insurers and trading companies with the full spectrum of maritime law and represents its predominantly European clients in court and arbitration proceedings. Bandara handles the full range of dry and wet maritime law and acts for clients in contentious matters before English courts, while Steinmann is also well versed in the offshore sector, advising manufacturers and suppliers of wind turbines. Philipp Drömann maintains client relationships with international marine insurers and has expertise in maritime employment law. Klaus Kostka has extensive experience in advising developers and manufacturers of ship components, ship and insurance brokers alongside international haulage companies. Christoph Hasche retired in May 2019 but continues to act as of counsel.

Practice head(s):

Dharshini Bandara; Arthur Steinmann

Other key lawyers:

Klaus Kostka; Philipp Drömann

Testimonials

‘The team has very good maritime know-how and great expertise in corporate law.’

‘Klaus Kostka is very responsive and always gives clear and solid advice.’

‘Arthur Steinmann works very thoroughly and is persistent in a positive sense.’

LEBUHN & PUCHTA

LEBUHN & PUCHTA provides maritime industry clients with a broad range of services ranging from financing, operational matters and damages claims, to the disposal of ships. Its specific industry knowledge also comes to light when advising on related corporate law matters and increasingly on compliance issues. Recently, the team co-led by Ulrich Stahl and Sabine Rittmeister, who made salary partner in January 2019, has also become increasingly active in market consolidations and insolvencies. Matthias Wittschen focuses on corporate law work at the intersection with maritime commercial law. Seabed mining expert Edward Maguin also provides English law advice and is also admitted as French advocat. Advising on maritime plant construction and offshore wind energy counts as another key strength of the team including Johannes Trost, who is recommended for this type of work in particular. Associate Sarah Gahlen has expertise in ship financing and transactions.

Practice head(s):

Sabine Rittmeister; Ulrich Stahl

Key clients

Aibel AS

Blue Star Group

E.R. Capital Holding

Work highlights

  • Advised the consortium consisting of Aibel and Keppel FELS on its offer for the delivery of the converter system DolWin5, including the offshore platform DolWin epsilon, to TenneT.
  • Advised Blue Star Group on the purchase of a container ship in the context of a Chinese lease structure.
  • Represented a European shipyard in court proceedings surrounding the new construction of a wind turbine installation vessel for offshore wind farms.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

The shipping team at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH jointly led by Benjamin Hub, Florian Schulz and Lars Frohne has a focus on offshore sector work but also handles the acquisition and sale of ocean-going vessels and regularly advises clients on environmental regulations and various maritime industry-related environmental matters. Hub and Schulz have particular expertise in matters at the intersection with corporate law, leading to regular instructions from investment companies, shipping companies and banks.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Hub; Florian Schulz; Lars Frohne

Key clients

Siem Europe S.à r.l.

Thomas Miller Holding Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Siem on the sale of 76% of shares in the ship building company Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft.
  • Advised Thomas Miller on the acquisition of Hanseatic Underwriters and companies in the Zeller Associates group.
  • Advised the owner of the insurance broker OWL Marine Insurance-Brokers GmbH & Co. KG n Hamburg on the sale of the company to Jardine Lloyd Thompson in London.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright provides wide-ranging advice to clients from the global shipping industry, including commercial and investment banks, lessors, shipowners, charterers, shipyards, P&I clubs and ship managers. The shipping team in Hamburg led by Timo Noftz focuses on ship finance, restructurings and increasingly on cruise ship mandates. Its mostly international work is handled in close cooperation with various other offices within the firm's network.

Practice head(s):

Timo Noftz

Key clients

Costamare

Stena

Cross Ocean Partners

Berenberg Bank

REMÉ Rechtsanwälte

Transport, shipping and insurance law boutique REMÉ Rechtsanwälte mainly acts for transport liability insurers, shipping companies and forwarding companies and stands out for its expertise at the intersection with insurance law. With extensive experience in handling claims and representing clients in court, managing partner Ingo Gercke in particular is a trump card in this segment. Jobst von Werder also handles maritime disputes, predominately acting for shipping sector insurers.

Practice head(s):

Ingo Gercke

Other key lawyers:

Jobst von Werder

Dr Schackow & Partner

Dr Schackow & Partner assists maritime industry players with various non-contentious matters, negotiations and disputes. Marine insurance law, restructurings as well as travel law are among the firm's particular strengths. Kai Busch has know-how in prospectus liability and maritime accidents, while Julius Drumm develops and structures projects for shipyards, shipowners and cruise operators.

Other key lawyers:

Julius Drumm; Kai Busch

Segelken & Suchopar

Segelken & Suchopar coordinates complex and worldwide proceedings and advises on insurance policies, contracts and ship accidents. Thomas Wanckel, Jan Albers and Thomas Mälzer are the key contacts for shipping and inland waterway law.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing's maritime practice under the name of Industrial Plants & Technology Projects has a focus on shipbuilding and plant engineering and is headed by Michael Baumhauer, who has particular know-how in maritime plant construction-related contract drafting. Janina Pochhammer is another key figure for maritime plant engineering, handling corresponding contract negotiations and drafting. The team's workload also includes renewable energy sector matters, most notably advice on offshore wind energy plants.

Practice head(s):

Michael Baumhauer

Other key lawyers:

Janina Pochhammer

Testimonials

‘The team has great experience in advising on operative project businesses and therefore delivers quick and uncomplicated advice.’

‘Janina Pochhammer is highly engaged paired with an astonishing practical orientation and very quick assistance in complicated project structures.’

Key clients

Becker Marine Systems GmbH (BMS)

Blohm + Voss B.V. & Co. KG

Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S

Schottel GmbH

Senvion GmbH

Western Marine Shipyard Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Becker Marine Systems on the defense against damage claims and enforcement of own claims in a cross-border dispute.
  • Continued advice to Blohm + Voss B.V. & Co. KG in all areas of ship and plant construction, such as the reconstruction of an oil and gas production ship.
  • Advised Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG as one of the globally most important ship yards for mega yachts in the context of damage caused by a large fire.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

In maritime commercial law, Watson Farley & Williams LLP provides clients with a full-service offering with particular expertise in ship financing. The 'goal-orientedChristian Finnern heads the maritime service group, which puts significant emphasis on investments, joint ventures and M&A transactions. The firm also has a niche in the drafting of purchase agreements for used ship tonnage and in shipbuilding contracts for special purpose vessels. As well as advising private equity investors, the team's client portfolio also includes well-known shipping companies, who frequently receive advice on day-to-day issues such as flag management, registration and contracts. As co-heads of the banking and finance group, Maren Brandes and Clemens Hillmer predominately handle national and international financing and leasing transactions. English law advice is provided in cooperation with its London office.

Practice head(s):

Christian Finnern

Other key lawyers:

Maren Brandes; Clemens Hillmer

Testimonials

‘Competent firm with a strong and very practical team.’

‘The team shows first-class quality also in corporate transactions.’

‘Christian Finnern has a good sense for transactional dynamics and excellent shipping know-how and is very well connected.’

‘Christian Finnern has a hands-on mentality, excellent comprehension, high flexibility and a strong assertiveness in negotiations.’

‘Frank Dunne is an outstanding, globally recognised expert with best network and far-reaching contacts.’

Key clients

Zeaborn-Gruppe

MPC Container Ships ASA

Ernst Russ AG

Work highlights

  • Advised Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG on a loan to a credit fund managed by Oaktree for the refinancing of sale and lease back ship transactions.
  • Advised the Zeaborn group in Bremen on the takeover of all shares in the joint venture ZEAMARINE from New York-based New Mountain Capital.
  • Advised MPC Container Ships ASA on the purchase of an emission control system.