Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Maritime and shipping

UPWIND Legal was founded by former Ince lawyers Julia Wiechell and Martin Malinowski in September 2020 and provides maritime industry clients with expertise in the yacht and business jet sectors as well as in ship transactions.

Maritime and shipping in Germany

Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein

Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein is a one-stop shop for the whole array of maritime commercial matters. The firm assists shipping companies, shipyards and forwarders as well as the offshore and cruise industry. Headed by Jan Dreyer and Olaf Hartenstein, the maritime practice group advises on ship financing, transactions and the drafting of contracts, among other issues. In cases of average and hull damage, clients are also represented before courts and arbitral tribunals, with Dieter Schwampe being particularly adept due to his expertise in marine insurance. Dreyer is well versed in yacht building, ship financing and supply, while Marco Remiorz  assists clients with classic shipping law and contract drafting. Jan Tjarko Eichhorn handles project financing in the maritime sector and Oliver Peltzer primarily focuses on naval shipbuilding.

Practice head(s):

Jan Dreyer; Olaf Hartenstein

Testimonials

‘Just a first class team with great legal minds to work with at the highest level.’

‘Dieter Schwampe, Jan Dreyer and Olaf Hartenstein are all top-notch individuals.’

‘Competent and responsive. First class!’

‘Jan Dreyer is a pioneer of maritime law and is considered one of the smartest maritime lawyers in Germany.’

Marco Remiorz is well known in the industry and has a huge international network.’

Dieter Schwampe is probably Germany’s best marine insurance lawyer.’

‘Modest and serious in appearance, very qualified in the matter and concentrated in processing.’

‘Most of the time we work with Jan Dreyer, an excellent lawyer. Calm, competent, tactical, but by no means tricky. Able to compromise, but also ready to fight.’

‘The law firm is highly specialized in this area and employs leading experts. In addition, they have a strong network of international contacts and are the first address for maritime commercial law in Germany.’

Clyde & Co LLP

Despite its relatively short existence, Clyde & Co LLP's German shipping team has already established itself as a first point of call for issues relating to the maritime industry. The practice advises clients on dry and wet law, with outstanding expertise in major damage cases and a focus on the representation of owners and suppliers. Most recently, the group has proven to be a powerhouse in coverage disputes, particularly in the yacht sector. Under the leadership of Eckehard Volz, the team also advises on maritime trade law and in the energy sector, including offshore installations and the oil and gas industry. Volz has in-depth experience in handling complex accidents, while Volker Lücke specialises in drafting maritime contracts and is also well versed in yacht-related issues. English law advice is provided by Daniel Jones, who assists with various maritime contracts and represents clients in London courts. Stefan Ullrich made partner in May 2021 and covers insurance matters for both insurers and reinsurers.

Practice head(s):

Eckehard Volz

Testimonials

‘Efficiency and problem-solving approaches make this practice unique. Potential customers would appreciate that the team is very good at solving problems and commissioned work in a pragmatic and straightforward manner. No time wasted and the advice is of the highest quality.’

‘Our top man was Daniel Jones. Great guy and very professional. He is very aware of our needs and has brought tremendous value to our organization not only through his careful approach but also through his advice around negotiations. It is also commendable that he knows his limits. If he’s not an expert at something, he leaves it to his colleagues instead of wasting our time with questionable advice.’

‘Stefan Ullrich is characterized by excellent specialist knowledge and a high degree of structured and analytical procedures. He is very accessible and a quick thinker with creative ideas.’

FLEET HAMBURG

Impressing with its comprehensive advice on maritime commercial law, FLEET HAMBURG's team around Darshinni Bandara and Arthur Steinmann has in-depth expertise in German and English law. Steinmann advises on all matters relevant to the maritime sector, including issues pertaining to ship purchase and financing agreements as well as the supply and manufacturing of offshore wind turbines. Bandara primarily advises on English law aspects and associated implications for the entire spectrum of wet and dry shipping law. Klaus Kostka advises shipping companies, freight forwarders and insurers on contracts and also represents them in claims and legal disputes. Markus Eichhorst is another contact for judicial and extrajudicial disputes, while Tobias Nesemann focuses on the cruise sector and tourism law. Eva Bodenbach, who advises clients inside and outside of Europe, impresses with expertise in acquisitions and sales, shipbuilding and financing. Philipp Drömann left the firm in July 2021 for an in-house position.

Testimonials

‘Combination of German and English speaking lawyers with experience in the maritime sector.’

‘Fast sound solutions.’

‘Klaus Kostka and Arthur Steinmann are outstanding.’

‘Very high knowledge of maritime law and very professional. If necessary, they will work 24 hours to resolve the matter.’

‘Markus Eichhorst: Highly qualified maritime lawyer who works 24 hours if necessary to solve problems. Explains legal issues in a simple manner and describes various options for action in a very understandable way.’

LEBUHN & PUCHTA

LEBUHN & PUCHTA provides companies in the maritime sector with a range of advice covering the entire life cycle of a ship, starting with planning and financing through to disposal and recycling; the group further assists with offshore wind matters, insolvency law and compliance. Sabine Rittmeister has expertise in representing clients in court as well as in advising transport and transport liability insurers, particularly often from the Netherlands and Scandinavia, and jointly heads the practice with Ulrich Stahl, who complements the practice with his experience in litigation, insolvency and maritime insurance. The firm's strength in English law is provided by Edward Maguin among others; he focuses on ship acquisitions and sales as well as contractual matters. Matthias Wittschen is particularly well versed in maritime corporate law with a strong focus to the Scandinavian region, while Johannes Trost is the key contact for inland waterway transport law and offshore wind energy. Sarah Gahlen, who made partner in July 2021, has a special focus on ship financing and transactions.

Testimonials

‘The law firm LEBUHN & PUCHTA is characterized by both professional excellence and outstanding economic understanding. Outstanding industry knowledge of the maritime sector completes the consulting service. Even in distressed situations in this sector, the LEBUHN & PUCHTA consultants are clearly superior to the competition.’

‘Great experience in the industry, excellent reputation and great work.’

‘Compared to other companies, LEBUHN & PUCHTA stands out with the following services: Extensive knowledge of the maritime sector, flexible handling of cases and clients, tailor-made solutions, careful working methods and excellent availability.’

‘LEBUHN & PUCHTA is quick and does a good job technically, with good economic expertise.’

‘Partner Edward Maguin handles all cases and transactions in a very business-oriented and timely manner.’

Key clients

E.R. Capital Holding

Aibel AS

Blue Star Group

Ostfriesische Volksbank eG

Active Shipping

Bright Shipping

wpd

Work highlights

  • Advising a southern European shipping company on the defense and defense against multi-jurisdictional arrest and foreclosure measures by several US hedge funds against the client’s fleet.
  • Advising Active Shipping and Bright Shipping on ship purchase and ship leasing.
  • Advising a German reinsurer on the defense against insurance claims amounting to around €70 million from a special policy against serial damage to offshore wind farms.

CMS

Practice head(s):

Christoph Zarth

Other key lawyers:

Jost Kienzle; Jan Wölper

Dr Schackow & Partner

Dr Schackow & Partner covers the whole array of maritime commercial law, including the financing and registration of ships as well as insurance law aspects, claims and matters of English law. The group also advises large German shipyards including on special ship and cruise ship construction. Kai Busch primarily assists with contracts, maritime insurance and in the offshore area, while Klaas Borchert covers customs and tax law in the maritime economy.

Other key lawyers:

Kai Busch; Klaas Borchert; Julius Drumm

 

Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow (ERG)

Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow (ERG) advises clients from the maritime sector with a focus on transactional matters and a full-service approach including assistance with fleet financing, finance leasing, and also increasingly with green finance. With offices in Hamburg and London, the team's expertise encompasses German, English and Marshall Islands law. Other services include acquisitions and sales, charter and management contracts, ship arrests and disputes related to ship construction. Carolin Schmeding and Hauke Rittscher both assist with corporate issues, while the former also covers insolvency matters. Rittscher further advises on financing matters; here, Hendrik Brauns also impresses with in-depth knowledge. Partners also include Stefan Rindfleisch and Klaus Dimigen, who advise on leasing. Newly appointed partner Adam Parmenter, previously at the firm's London office, joined the German team In January 2021 and advises on matters under English law.

Testimonials

‘The law firm’s partners are characterized by their in-depth knowledge of ship financing, construction contracts, registrations, charter agreements, arbitration cases, M&A, etc. They are prompt in their answers, solution-oriented, pragmatic and clear in their statements!’

‘The law firm has extensive know-how in the area of ship financing and is very well networked in the market. Hands-on mentality and pragmatic, quick solutions within the previously defined fee framework.’

‘Collaboration with Hendrik Brauns and Hauke Rittscher. Both have extensive expertise in the field of maritime finance and reliably deliver very good results without going over budget. Colleagues work proactively and, without being asked, propose solutions to problems that arise or changes at a structural level. Both colleagues also have a very good understanding of the needs and, if necessary, special features of the clients. The cooperation is also very pleasant and uncomplicated on a personal level.’

‘The law firm ERG is one of the most renowned specialist law firms in shipping law in Germany, with whom we have been working trustingly and reliably for many years.’

‘We like working with our contacts at ERG because they are absolutely reliable and have a very high level of technical expertise.’

‘Highly specialized in international shipping matters, all stages of a ship’s life are accompanied from the shipyard (new construction, conversion, repairs) through financing and chartering to sale or auction.’

‘Dr. Klaus Dimigen drafts and negotiates contracts with a win-win perspective, knowledgeable, open-minded, balanced, always friendly.’

‘Stefan Rinder is very experienced, assertive and has a lot of negotiating skills, as well as an eye for the economic context. Always available. Carolin Schmeding is a very good corporate lawyer.’

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP advises on the full range of maritime matters: from shipbuilding to M&A transactions and litigation, the firm is a one-stop shop for clients in this sector. In addition to its original focus on ship financing, the team has expanded its expertise to include all classic issues of maritime law. The practice is further characterised by a growing focus on ESG, which includes, among other matters, ship recycling issues. Its regular case load also includes the drafting and implementation of contracts as well as corporate and public law. Practice head Christian Finnern primarily advises on investments, joint ventures and M&A transactions. Clemens Hillmer has expertise in advising banks, investors and leasing companies on ship financing.

Practice head(s):

Christian Finnern

Other key lawyers:

Clemens Hillmer

Testimonials

‘The team has experience and practical relevance at the same time, which means that you can provide solution-oriented advice.’

‘Dr. It is worth mentioning Christian Finnern, who has a strong network at the location, is always helpful and offers the most practical solutions possible. We strive to build and maintain a good relationship with our clients.’

‘Fully supportive, highly motivated and not watching the clock, always with the aim of completing a transaction in a timely manner. The interaction goes beyond the actual mandate and the current topic is always discussed conscientiously, even in the case of smaller issues.’

‘High professional competence in the branch, very good international experience in the subject areas important for banks, large number of available lawyers for the fast implementation of transactions. Very high problem-solving skills and very good negotiating skills with the parties concerned. Continued very fast response times, even outside normal business hours.’

‘Extensive specialist knowledge, strong communication, excellent demeanor, quick feedback and, above all, a detailed and precisely controlled process in which each individual step is clearly defined and made known in advance.’

‘Dr. Christian Finnern is uncomplicated and always available. The working method is well structured and the commercial understanding of the situation is very good. Working with him is fun.’

‘Dr. Clemens Hillmer: Regular contact with our company on current topics, high level of initiative. Fast response times for fee quotes. Very high professional competence.’

Key clients

MPC Capital Group

Ernst Russ AG

TUI Cruises

Hurtigruten

Work highlights

  • Advising TUI Cruises on the financing and implementation of the acquisition of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises from TUI AG.
  • Advising Hurtigruten on the establishment of a joint venture for the technical management of an expedition fleet with a German shipping company as JV partner.

Ahlers & Vogel

With offices in Hamburg and Leer, Ahlers & Vogel‘s team primarily advises on shipbuilding and supply, maritime claims settlement and mega yachts. The financing as well as ship acqusition and sale are further components of the firm’s expertise. The maritime business practice’s client portfolio predominantly consists of insurance companies, ship brokers, shipping companies and shipyards. As a member of the casualty response team, Jan-Erik Pötschke is particularly well versed in ship accidents, where he supports insurers and shipowners at home and abroad.

Ince

Ince provides clients from the maritime industry with comprehensive advice on contentious and non-contentious matters with a focus on financing and transaction issues. Here, the group primarily acts on lender side and advises on banking and finance law just as adeptly as on Chinese and Japanese leasing structures, which are becoming increasingly important for the firm. Practice head Jan Hungar's team also covers contract-related issues, ship arrests and restructuring; in addition to classic shipping and transaction law issues, Hungar is also active in the energy sector. Christian Reinert and Georg Lehmann specialise in financing as well as reorganisation and restructuring, with Reinert also assisting with insolvency proceedings and enforcement. Sami Chowdhury represents banks and shipowners in asset and project financing on national and international level. Julia Wiechell and Martin Malinowski left the firm in September 2020 to found UPWIND Legal.

Practice head(s):

Jan Hungar

Testimonials

‘The INCE team in Hamburg is characterized by a high degree of customer orientation and finding individual solutions. It is always weighed up together with the client which effort makes sense in terms of work and costs in order to achieve an optimal result. The colleagues all have a high level of professional competence, reliability and negotiation skills as well as a service orientation.’

‘Strong, enthusiastic and flexible international team.’

‘Flexible, proactive, original suggestions, but also realistic assessments of opportunities and risks.’

‘Dr. Jan Hungar: Idea generator and strong negotiator (all-rounder).’

Georg Lehmann: Strong, reliable contract lawyer and negotiator.’

Christian Reinert: Idea generator and strong litigation lawyer.’

‘Good knowledge of German shipping practices, the tonnage tax system and regulations.’

‘The firm has advised on a number of non-contentious, transactional matters for us which have been handled both professionally and efficiently.’

Key clients

Hapag-Lloyd AG

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale

Notos Consult

hsh porfoliomanagement AöR

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Hapag-Lloyd AG on Japanese tax lease transactions for container financing by various lessors and lenders.
  • Advising a German lender on the enforcement of ship mortgages and share pledges in various countries with subsequent foreclosure and arrest.
  • Advising a German lender on the restructuring and refinancing of four container ships, the preparation of various supplements for ship financing loans and the exit scenario for overindebted one-ship companies.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbHMeet the Team‘s full-service approach enables the firm to provide extensive advice on maritime commercial law with a high level of expertise, but also assists with interdisciplinary issues. In recent years, mainly due to the Covid-19 crisis, the group was increasingly active in contractual disputes related to shipbuilding and insolvency issues. The team also has extensive expertise in ship acquisitions, sales and financing. The firm’s strong public law practice further enables the group to advise the maritime industry on environmental and planning law. The team is jointly headed by Benjamin Hub, Lars Frohne and Florian Schulz; alongside his advice on new constructions, Frohne also assists with charter and pool contracts, while Hub is the key contact for financing and renovation issues. Schulz meanwhile acts at the interface between commercial and corporate law as well as banking and capital markets law, where he advises on ship and container funds.

Testimonials

‘We have been working with this law firm for years. Usually dr. Lars Frohne is our contact, but even when you’re not there, his colleagues ensure that the work is done.’

‘Dr. Lars Frohne: Our first point of contact when accompanying ship sales and purchases. 100% reliable even in critical phases / stagnant negotiations. Also excellent in terms of expertise and customer orientation.’

‘The Luther law firm presents itself to its clients as a team. A very professional, very well prepared team/law firm familiar with all national and international manners. The high level of competence of the individuals and the format of the team in their well-founded, goal-oriented and transparent approach differ significantly from other law firms of this high level.’

‘Mr Schulz is a very experienced, motivated, goal-oriented, assertive partner.’

Key clients

Siem Europe S.à.r.l.

Thomas Miller Holding Ltd.

Ortolan Capital GmbH

ERMA FIRST ESK Engineering Solutions S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising the Greek company Erma First ESK Engineering Solutions SA on the takeover of RWO GmbH, a German specialist in seawater treatment, in a bidding process.
  • Advising Siem on the insolvency of Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft.
  • Advising Ortolan Capital GmbH in connection with various ship purchases.

REMÉ Rechtsanwälte

REMÉ Rechtsanwälte specialises in transport and maritime commercial law and primarily represents clients from the maritime sector in contentious matters, for instance in relation to damages and recourse. Ship safety and port state control also fall within the team's expertise. Practice head Ingo Gercke is well versed in maritime trade and marine insurance law and is also frequently acts as arbitrator in maritime cases, while Jobst von Werder is predominantly instructed by marine hull insurers. Christoph Singer focuses on representing the public sector, primarily in matters related to accidents and security needs.

Practice head(s):

Ingo Gercke

Testimonials

‘The team is very reactive and efficient. You always get the required documents very quickly. The team has very good knowledge of German law and handles all cases at a reasonable cost.’

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive advice to various transport insurers as well as logistics companies and the shipping industry on the MS Ever Given accident in the Suez Canal.

Blaum Dettmers Rabstein

Blaum Dettmers Rabstein's team advises insurers, shipping companies, freight companies and underwriters on maritime commercial law and is led by Kay Uwe Bahnsen .  The firm's expertise includes project-related advice, claims, shipping company support and ship financing. Christoph Horbach is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Kay Uwe Bahnsen

Other key lawyers:

Christoph Horbach

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's shipping team focuses on ship financing and restructuring; with regards to the latter, the practice was particularly active in assisting with loans in the pandemic context. Under the leadership of Timo Noftz, the team also covers contentious and regulatory matters, employment law issues as well as charter agreements. The group has further expertise at the interfaces to antitrust, competition and corporate law and assists clients with maritime employment law and tax-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Timo Noftz

Key clients

KfW IPEX

Carnival

Viking Cruises

Stena