Shipping in India

Bose & Mitra & Co

Boutique firm Bose & Mitra & Co counts shipping as its core specialism, with a client roster ranging from prominent international P&I clubs to various domestic maritime companies. The department, which handles a balance of contentious and non-contentious matters, is jointly headed by three practitioners: managing partner and transactional expert Amitava Majumdar; commercial litigator Aditya Krishnamurthy, who specialises in admiralty matters involving vessel arrests and releases; and Medha Pradhan. Other areas of focus include complex personal injury or death compensation cases, along with marine hull loss casualties disputes and sector-specific white-collar crime cases.

BRUS CHAMBERS, Advocates & Solicitors

The admiralty, shipping and maritime practice at BRUS CHAMBERS, Advocates & Solicitors divides its time between contentious matters – often relating to cargo claims, charter party disputes or vessel arrests – and transactional work, including international trade. Commercial arbitration and ship finance specialist Shrikant Hathi co-heads the team alongside Binita Hathi, who has significant experience handling litigation and marine insurance issues. Pritish Das provides wide-ranging support on proceedings that reach High Court or Supreme Court level, with further success in cases concerning recovering unpaid crew wages and bunker dues.

Practice head(s):

Shrikant Hathi; Binita Hathi

Other key lawyers:

Pritish Das

Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe

Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe has ‘the most experienced and knowledgeable team in the market‘, with cross-practice capabilities that extend to offshore logistics and subsea matters, as well as more traditional wet and dry maritime instructions. Department head Shardul Thacker is ‘the go-to guy for all things shipping‘ who ‘uses his experience to best guide clients as to the most logical way forward‘ during financing transactions and disputes. Following an extensive fire aboard tanker MT New Diamond in September 2020, Thacker is currently advising Indian Oil Corporation on its resulting cargo, salvage and insurance claims which encompass various international jurisdictions. Senior associate Divya Dharodhas a keen eye for detail‘ and is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Shardul Thacker

Other key lawyers:

Divya Dharod; Pratiksha Avhad

Testimonials

‘Shardul Thacker is the go-to guy for all things shipping.’

‘The team that assists us is very responsive, providing clear and concise advice and within the time frame agreed.’

‘Shardul Thacker is very responsive and easy to work with. I would recommend him every time.’

‘They show commitment and willingness to help with client concerns, even challenging ones.’

The best part of the firm is the experience of Shardul Thacker. The firm keeps a meticulous record of all documents. Their responses on issues are prompt.’

‘Divya Dharod has a keen eye for detail, understands the implications of our questions and advice sought, and responds in a manner that allows us to proceed feeling confident that we meet local legal requirements.’

‘The most experienced and knowledgeable team in the market. Always provide clear and concise advice.’

‘The standout person is Shardul Thacker. He uses his experience to best guide clients as to the most logical way forward. His involvement in the matter is complete and he is very prompt in his responses.’

Key clients

DVB Group Merchant Bank Asia

TATA NYK Shipping

Tata Steel Global Procurement Company

Tata Steel

Tata Global Beverages

BW Global United LPT India

IHC Beavers BV, Netherlands

Total Oil India

JSW Cement

UltraTech Cement

Multimax Shipping through West P&I

Intermarine Shipping and West P&I

Hoegh LNG

Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers

Zodiac Group, Nino Shipping

Work highlights

  • Assisting a consortium of foreign banks with the structuring and executing of a ship deal involving BW Global United LPG India relating to a foreign currency loan for the financing and refinancing of various costs.
  • Assisting DVB Group Merchant Bank Asia with filing a suit in the Bombay High Court for the enforcement of its rights as mortgagee under loan agreements and recovery amounting to $42m million from GOL Offshore.
  • Acting for London P&I Club and its member, Nino Shipping, a company incorporated in Liberia and the owner of the vessel M.T. Emerald Sky in an admiralty suit instigated against it by Reliance Industries.

ZBA

ZBA handles a range of contentious matters, including cases concerning vessel arrests and maritime management contracts and disputes over trade finance agreements and cargo claims. With a notable focus on commercial litigation, Zarir Bharucha leads a practice which is particularly adept at enforcing foreign ship mortgages and arbitral awards, as well as handling reinsurance claims and various wet shipping mandates. Bharucha’s wider team – including senior associate Bimal Rajasekhar, who is another key name in this space – benefits from years of multi-jurisdictional experience, with international banks, global insurers, commodity traders and major P&I clubs on the client roster.

Practice head(s):

Zarir Bharucha

Other key lawyers:

Bimal Rajasekhar

Key clients

Best Excellence Corporation

Key Ship Management & Consultants DMCC

Phoenix Tankers

M/s Arab Bank (Switzerland)

Godrej & Boyce MFG

Work highlights

  • Acting as Best Excellence Corporation’s Indian legal counsel in regard to the arrest of its vessel M.V. Silvia Glory.
  • Advising Key Ship Management & Consultants on repurchase inspections, preparing operational budgets and ensuring vessels operate in full compliance with international rules and regulations.
  • Advising PTL when one of its VLCCs, known as M.V. Phoenix Vanguard, was arrested.

Clasis Law

At Clasis Law, the admiralty and shipping practice is predominantly focused on disputes regarding, or arising from, vessel arrests, cargo misdeclarations and non-payments. Practice co-head Mustafa Motiwala and associate partner Nihal Shaikh have significant experience before High Courts across the country, representing clients including ship owners, charterers, banks and P&I clubs, as well as brokers and global agencies. The firm also handles duress claims, subrogation, assignments and further issues relating to the Marine Insurance Act.

Other key lawyers:

Nihal Shaikh

Phoenix Legal

The November 2020 arrival of Gautam Bhatikar and a four-strong team from Legasis Partners has significantly broadened the scope of Phoenix Legal‘s shipping practice, particularly on the contentious side. The team’s workload typically concerns vessel arrests and releases, as well as high-profile marine accident and insurance-related cases. Bhatikar recently secured ad interim relief for Russian charterer and operator M-Shipping, following an assignment agreement claim, and is representing the client in ensuing proceedings before the Calcutta High Court. Saket Shukla, counsel Zoeb Cutlerywala and senior associate Vikram Kamath are other key players.

Other key lawyers:

Zoeb Cutlerywala; Vikram Kamath

Testimonials

‘A very professional team. Quick reactions to the client’s requests. Flexibility in the billing policy.’

‘Gautam Bhatikar is a good manager and professional lawyer.’

Key clients

UAB “Garant Service” (Instructed by Marine Legal Bureau, Russia)

KSR Marine

WizdomsNaik International Limited

OOO (Limited Liability Company) M-Shipping

Milaha, Qatar

Milaha Maritime and Logistics Integrated LLC

Avantgarde Shipping Pte Ltd

L&T Hydrocarbon & Engineering Ltd (LTHE)

Larsen & Toubro Limited

Höegh LNG AS

Work highlights

  • Represented WizdomsNaik International Limited in successfully arresting the defendant vessel (DSV Gerimal) for the satisfaction of maritime claims.
  • Representing M-Shipping, a Russian company, before the Calcutta High Court in a claim arising out of an assignment agreement.
  • Represented UAB Garant Service (Russia) in a Bombay High Court claim against the vessel M.V. Hamburg for supply of necessaries.