HFW‘s shipping practice handles some of the largest and most complex cases in the market, with experience and expertise across both dry and wet shipping. In addition to being noted for the breadth of its practice, the team stands out for its geographic reach, leveraging its global network of offices to advise on matters around the world. Paul Dean serves as the global head of shipping. Another key individual is Richard Neylon, who is frequently instructed in matters involving high-profile marine casualties. Elinor Dautlich leads on ship finance transactions and commercial contracts matters, with a particular specialism in the LNG sector. Jean Koh focuses on shipping litigation, handling both dry shipping and casualty disputes. Wet shipping specialist Andrew Chamberlain is another name to note, as are Craig Neame, Jim Cashman and Rory Butler. Alex Kemp and recently-promoted partner Michael Ritter are also recommended. The highly-experienced Paolo Ghirardani joined the team in November 2020 from Stephenson Harwood, bringing expertise in wet and dry shipping litigation.
Shipping in London
Paul Dean; Andrew Chamberlain; Elinor Dautlich; Jean Koh; Daniel Martin; Adam Shire
Other key lawyers:
Paolo Ghirardani; Richard Neylon; Craig Neame; Jim Cashman; Rory Butler; Alex Kemp; Michael Ritter
‘In my opinion, HFW has one of the – if not the – best set of shipping lawyers for the whole gamut of shipping disputes that arise.’
‘HFW is still the go to firm for major casualties given the experience of the partners and mariners, as well as the size of the team globally. They always work hard and provide timely responses, as well as working in a collaborative way, which I like.’
‘The firm has a liveliness and responsiveness which is often missing in the larger firms. Their efficiency and capability is backed up by the quality of their work.’
‘HFW are my go to law firm regardless of the dispute/ advice required. They have the capability to deal with any kind of claim and always provide pragmatic solutions.’
‘Jean has over 20 years of experience as a dispute resolution and commercial lawyer in the shipping industry. She is very commercially-minded and understands our complex business well. There are few lawyers who so thoroughly understand the varied businesses of a company such as ours.’
‘We valued Jean Koh for her preparation, wide practice and ability to react calmly and logically in emergency situations. She was very well prepared, giving us options and examples from the practice in the shipping business.’
The Owners and Underwriters of the vessel “SAKIZAYA KALON”
Hoegh Autoliners AS (ship operators), Gard (liability insurer) and Norwegian Hull Club (property insurer).
Team Tankers International
RTE Reseau de Transport D’Electricitie SA
- Acted for the vessel’s owners/operators, property and liability insurers in relation to a serious fire on board car carrier “HOEGH XIAMEN”, which resulted in its total loss and serious damage to its cargo of vehicles. One of the most serious marine casualties of 2020 resulting in losses of c.$70 million.
- Acting on BIMCO’s drafting sub-committees for multiple clauses and contracts. The firm has assisted BIMCO with creating many standard contracts and related training and teachings over the years.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP continues to act for shipowners, banks, insurers, and commodities companies in international shipping disputes. In addition, it provides advice on a full spectrum of non-contentious matters. Richard Gunn specialises in casualty work and associated contractual disputes. Nick Austin handles dry shipping litigation with a focus on the Japanese market. Elsewhere, Stephen Kirkpatrick provides clients with ‘rapid but detailed and accurate advice’, and is active in both contentious and advisory work related to charterparties and bills of lading. Thor Maalouf, who was promoted to partner in January 2021, is valued by clients for her ‘strong commercial nous’. Solicitor advocate Alexander Sandiforth represents clients both in court and in arbitration. Sally-Ann Underhill, Charles Weller, Alex Andrews and Andrew Taylor are other key individuals. Robert Wilkins is the global head of transportation.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Gunn; Charles Weller; Alex Andrews; Andrew Taylor; Nick Austin; Jeb Clulow; Stephen Kirkpatrick; Thor Maalouf; Alexander Sandiforth; Sally-Ann Underhill; Antonia Panayides
‘The transport team at Reed Smith have a well deserved reputation for being the cream of the crop. Proactive, commercially savvy, forceful when required, they are a heavy hitter and exactly what we are looking for our biggest legal cases.’
‘Stephen Kirkpatrick is unrivalled in experience, commercial awareness and rapid but detailed and accurate advice. Newly appointed partner Thor Maalouf is an outstanding addition to the partnership, bringing with her numerous years of experience and strong commercial nous.’
‘Sally-Ann Underhill is a competent and established practitioner who easily guides clients in a variety of arenas. Her advice is client-centric, accurate and practical. Highly recommended.’
‘The Casualty and Admiralty team within the Shipping practice are very experienced. They have a number of lawyers were are also ex-mariners and, quite uniquely, the individuals are good with both the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ legal issues of a dispute instead of involving additional lawyers with different specialisations.’
‘Richard Gunn is outstanding and leads a very good team. He advises on both casualty and dry shipping disputes. He’s good with the detail of a case, as well as the strategic view of complex cases. He also keeps in mind the commercial interests.’
‘Nick Austin is a consummate professional and has a wealth of experience which he brings to any brief. The fact that our work runs smoothly and doesn’t need much legal intervention is in great part down to Nick.’
Clyde & Co LLP is instructed in some of the most complex disputes in the London shipping market, including litigation arising from fires on board ships, collisions, groundings and cargo damage cases. In addition to representing clients in the High Court and Court of Appeal, the team is also highly active in international arbitration. The sizeable team boasts a broad range of specialisms; Martin Hall focuses on casualty, including collisions and salvage matters, while Jai Sharma leads on cargo damage cases. Simon Culhane is active in marine insurance claims. David Bennet counts a number of prominent oil, gas and commodities companies among his clients. Stephen Mackin, Eleanor Coates and recently-promoted partner Will Trustram are also recommended.
Martin Hall; Jai Sharma; Andrew Nicholas; Simon Jackson; David Bennet; Marko Kraljevic
Other key lawyers:
Hatty Sumption; Simon Culhane; Rebecca Armstrong; Eleanor Coates; Jessica Maitra; Will Trustram
‘Pragmatic, extremely responsive and up to speed with the latest developments in the shipping industry.’
‘The Clyde & Co Shipping team are true market leaders. We are continually impressed by their sector knowledge combined with quick turnarounds on demanding matters.’
‘Clyde & Co are an excellent firm and the marine casualty/cargo casualty team is one of the very top teams in the business. They really go all out for their clients and give them a great service.’
‘Eleanor Coates continues to deliver exceptional service. Her deep sector knowledge and her ability to provide quick, practical legal advice are an impressive combination.’
‘Simon Culhane has a remarkable ability to solve problems. He always considers the client’s position and provides practical advice. He knows the Japanese market very well.’
‘Will Trustram is a newly-qualified partner who is both hands-on and strategically astute. He adds real value and does not rely upon counsel to formulate the legal framework for the presentation of his clients’ disputes. To the contrary, he is thoughtful, analytical and constantly striving to advance his clients’ interests.’
‘Jai Sharma is an an absolutely excellent solicitor. He has a very quick legal brain and can really think outside the box. He always has the key facts at his fingertips and he is very commercially astute. Much loved by clients and a pleasure to work with. Martin Hall is also a huge asset with many years of hands-on experience. He has a really creative legal mind, great practical knowledge and is a delight to work with.’
‘Rebecca Armstrong is an outstanding young partner who is very collaborative, results driven and overall a high performing individual. Rebecca is able to harness other talents within the firm to present a seamless set of solutions to the client.’
- Acting for Nautical Challenge Ltd, owners of the very large crude carrier, “ALEXANDRA 1”, in a dispute with the owners of a container ship, “EVER SMART”, over liability for damage done to both vessels under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 following a collision between them just outside the dredged entrance and exit channel to the port Jebel Ali in the UAE
Hill Dickinson LLP is well-regarded in the market for the breadth of its practice, acting for a broad cross-section of clients in wet and dry shipping matters. Its team is regularly instructed in complex international disputes involving charterparties, collisions, and ship arrests, representing clients in arbitration and court proceedings. Key figures in the London office include cargo and logistics specialist Adrian Marsh and David Pitlarge, who is active in both dry shipping and admiralty matters. Elsewhere, Siiri Duddington handles commercial litigation and insurance disputes. Tony Goldsmith heads up the practice. Beth Bradley is another key partner in the shipping team.
Other key lawyers:
Adrian Marsh; David Pitlarge; Siiri Duddington; Beth Bradley
‘They manage to balance solid legal advice with a sound commercial approach to disputes. A results-oriented approach that cuts through a lot of the legal sideshows.’
‘The case handling provided by this law firm is high level and the firm is among those usually recommended by the P&I Clubs we work with. When we are suggested to involve Hill Dickinson, we have no concerns about the quality.’
‘The firm is a good size with a variety of expertise on offer.’
‘Siiri Duddington and David Pitlarge stand out.’
‘The persons I deal with are exceptionally good in their field. Very experienced and top class in dealing with legal and arbitration proceedings.’
N2 Tankers B.V. (a pool operating company)
SwiftBulk and SwiftTankers
Skuld P&I Club
North of England P&I Association Limited
Gard A/S (P&I Club)
UK P&I Club (managed by Thomas Miller)
West of England P&I Club
Britannia P&I Club
Standard P&I Club (managed by Charles Taylor & Co Limited)
Swedish P&I Club
The London Club
The American P&I Club
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
HDI Global SE, Branch for Belgium (cargo underwriters, notably large marine risks for global trading companies)
- Advised Tankers B.V. and North of England P&I Club in relation to the alleged damage of a berth.
Ince's team adopts a 'forward-thinking, tactical approach' to a myriad of complex shipping matters, with its contentious work ranging from casualty disputes to charterparty litigation. In 2020, the team was involved in some of the most high-profile litigation in the market, which included handling the first collision case to appear before the Supreme Court. The team includes Michael Volikas and Christian Dwyer, who are the global heads of shipping and admiralty respectively. Senior partner Julian Clark is another name to note, as is Ian Chetwood, who excels in contentious dry and wet shipping matters. In May 2021, Daniel Crockford and Alex Penberthy joined the Bristol office from Keoghs LLP. Paul Griffiths and Joanna Steele are also recommended. Jeremy Biggs moved to Advokatfirmaet Schjodt AS.
Michael Volikas; Christian Dwyer
Other key lawyers:
Julian Clark; Ian Chetwood; Fiona Gavin; Chris Kidd; Duncan Bateson; Daniel Crockford; Alex Penberthy; Paul Griffiths; Joanna Steele
‘Michael Volikas is the strongest shipping lawyer at the firm, probably one of the strongest in the market. He is a cross-threader who is comfortable with wet and dry shipping.’
‘A powerful name in the market with good depth of expertise.’
‘A good all-round team. They understand the relationships between clubs and members.’
‘Christian Dwyer provides excellent service and is extremely knowledgeable and switched on.’
‘Switched on and forward thinking, with a tactical approach.’
Thomas Miller/UK Club
North of England P&I Club
Glory Bulk Carriers Pte Ltd
Algoma Central Corporation
Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited
- Successfully represented Evergreen Marine, the owners of the containership, Ever Smart in the Supreme Court. The case has made new law on the Collision Regulations and the High Court and Court of Appeal judgments were successfully overturned by our clients.
- Handled a case for V8 Pool Inc on the question of ‘impossibility’ in the context of shipping letters of indemnity. Judgment was handed down in December 2020.
- Assisted Qatar National Bank with successful application for the discharge of the Order for Sale notwithstanding the imminent deadline for the judicial auction. This is only the second recorded insistence of an Order for Sale being revoked by the English Admiralty Court (the first in the 19th Century).
Kennedys has a well-established reputation as one of the leading marine insurance firms in the market. It acts for shipowners and insurers in high-profile cases in the Commercial Court and High Court, and also represents clients in arbitration proceedings. The team's work covers a broad range of shipping-related claims, including disputes related to ship arrests, cargo damage and ship losses. Practice head Christopher Dunn stands out for his expertise in cargo insurance claims. Other key contacts in the group include Chris Zavos, Patrick Foss and Andrew Purssell. Michael Biltoo and senior associate Shaan Burton are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Zavos; Patrick Foss; Andrew Purssell; Michael Biltoo; Shaan Burton
‘One of the best law firms in the City of London for marine matters and they have a great global reach. On point, approachable, straightforward, excellent technically, provide realistic advice and keep you in the right direction.’
‘They adapt to your style of working, they understand your needs and work as a team with you. They have amazing strength in depth, all areas are covered and are managed by their leadership team exceptionally well.’
‘Jo Ward, Patrick Foss and Chris Zavos are the go-to lawyers for marine legal advice, especially large complex marine casualties.’
‘Christopher Dunn is a master of his craft and can manage anything that you throw at him by using his impressive knowledge and leadership skills. Shaan Burton continues to blossom into an amazing lawyer and has a great work ethic together with a no nonsense attitude to spurious claims.’
‘The entire team is very skilled in marine and supports us right across the breadth of our policy portfolio.’
‘Very clear, explain complex matters well, all individuals have a fantastic appreciation of our market and our customers’ needs.’
Pequod Associates Ltd
- Acting for London market war risks insurers (Talbot Underwriting Ltd, Hiscox Dedicated Corporate Member Ltd and 8 other Lloyd’s syndicates) in defence of claims following an alleged Somali piracy attack on the crude oil tanker “Brillante Virtuoso” off Aden in July 2011.
- Acted for Clearlake in its successful application for an anti-suit injunction (ASI) restraining the Singapore proceedings advanced by Xiang Da (Owners) seeking an indemnity or contribution under a Charter party and subsequent LoI following the arrest of its vessel M/T “Chang Hang Guang Rong” and misdelivery claims brought by cargo owners.
- Act for Freight Forwarders Liability insurers in respect of a third-party claim brought against the insured for irreparable damage to the superyacht “MY SONG” when it was lost overboard during the course of carriage on deck.
In 2020, MFB handled high-profile disputes related to groundings, cargo damage, collisions and ship detentions. The firm's wet shipping work is complemented by its active dry shipping practice, which encompasses both contentious and non-contentious matters. The sizeable team is led by Edward Gray, who predominantly acts for ship owners, shipyards and charterers. Elsewhere, Kevin Cooper focuses on international casualty response matters, while Mark Seward is experienced in charterparty and bills of lading disputes. James Foley-Comer made partner in January 2021; he is 'client-focused and calm under pressure'. Andrew Hughes is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Kevin Cooper; Mark Seward; James Foley-Comer; Andrew Hughes
‘MFB operates as a boutique firm but has the scalability to respond to the largest of cases. The team have a wealth of experience across both wet and dry shipping. They are responsive as well as being acutely aware of their clients’ priorities and commercial interests.’
‘MFB is a very approachable and collegiate firm packed with experienced solicitors who can more than hold their own against the larger firms.’
‘MFB is a law firm that combines top qualities of large law firms with the flexibility of a boutique law firm.’
‘A highly responsive, boutique shipping specialism with superb breadth, making them the “go-to” London shipping firm.’
‘James Foley-Comer has acted for us on a number of ship financing transactions. With his background of advising banks and financial institutions, James is very dialled-in to the needs of both lenders and borrowers, and by drawing on this expertise, he is able to focus on the key points that matter.’
‘Kevin Cooper is highly qualified and experienced. He provides practical advice in an efficient and solution-oriented manner.’
‘Kevin Cooper is rigorous in his strategic approach, ensuring all avenues are explored in a case whilst keeping fees reasonable – and therefore ideal for multijurisdictional disputes.’
‘Mark Seward is quick-thinking and very commercial. He has great experience and has good relations with a lot of charterers, and he always performs well in resolving charterer disputes.’
Dominion Marine (Monaco)
West of England
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
North of England
Norwegian Hull Club
Minerva Bunkering Pte Ltd
UK P&I Club
Andrew France/Elusive Yachting
- Advised Enka LLC on strategy and insurance issues leading to their appeals to the English Court of Appeal and UK’s Supreme Court during 2020 in relation to the refusal of an anti-suit injunction.
- Successfully acted for Kawasaki Kaisen Kaisha Ltd in the Court of Appeals case KAWASAKI KAISEN KAISHA LTD v JAMES KEMBALL LIMITED, which clarified the law on certain economic torts, in a matter in which £30m was at stake.
- Acted for Andrew France/Elusive Yachting in successfully pursuing claims against the suppliers of a luxury yacht for defects, including countering opponents’ tactics such as entering into company administration.
Stephenson Harwood is frequently instructed in casualty and charterparty disputes, and it also handles non-contentious work for clients, such as shipbuilding contracts. The team is particularly experienced in handling matters involving FPSOs, with Stuart Beadnall and Max Lemanski advising on the construction and chartering of these vessels, as well as related disputes. Practice head Alex Davis specialises in handling marine insurance disputes, while Nick Barber leads on casualty response matters. Sean Gibbons advises on superyacht-related work and he is also knowledgeable about shipbuilding issues. Mike Phillips and Paolo Ghirardani left the firm to join Watson Farley & Williams LLP and HFW respectively, while Kirsty MacHardy was a key arrival from Campbell Johnston Clark. MacHardy, who is a litigation specialist, acts for clients such as lenders, shipowners and charterers.
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Beadnall; Max Lemanski; Nick Barber; Kirsty MacHardy; Sean Gibbons; Joe O’Keeffe
‘Nick Barber is a trusted adviser and a safe pair of hands for all shipping matters, particularly big casualties/wet shipping, but also technical shipbuilding disputes.’
‘Impressive response time, competitive rates, top tier for shipping (wet + dry) and shipbuilding.’
‘SH has real breadth for a mid-size firm and can offer support on a wide range of matters, pulling in knowledge from other parts of the firm as required. All departments share a client-centric and user-friendly approach and the advice is first class.’
‘The team provides very good legal assistance in the field of shipping and international trade.’
The Standard Club
Talbot Underwriting Ltd
- Acted for the owner of an FPSO (Altera), who chartered an FPSO to an oil company (Premier) for use on the UK North Sea fields. A dispute arose between the parties as to the construction of the complex and potentially ambiguous base hire adjustment mechanism in the charterparty. The matter proceeded to a High Court hearing. Altera was successful, with the Judge ruling that Altera should be awarded its claim of about $12m plus interest and costs.
- Acting for War Risks Underwriters in respect of a claim for $77m (the insured value of the vessel, CV Stealth) which has been presented against both the clients and Marine Risks Underwriters in Commercial Court proceedings. The claim arises following the vessel’s three-year detention in Venezuela related to a series of criminal allegations against an agent of the vessel’s sub-charterers involved in the contemplated loading of the cargo in Puerto La Cruz.
- Advising war insurers in respect of US$20m+ claim arising following the detention of fully laden bulk carrier in Indonesia following a major casualty involving damage to subsea pipeline, subsequent major pollution and resultant explosion killing 5 local fishermen. The vessel was detained by the local authorities in the context of ongoing criminal proceedings against the master and subsequently confiscated for compensatory purposes by the authorities following Court decisions.
Campbell Johnston Clark's full service shipping practice acts for shipowners, financiers, shipyards and charterers. In addition to representing its clients in litigation, the team also advises on a wide ambit of non-contentious shipping matters, such as those relating to shipbuilding and ship transactions. Jonathan Campbell co-heads the group with Alistair Johnston, who handles admiralty matters, insurance claims and dry shipping disputes. Maria Borg Barthet is another key figure in the team; as 'a brilliant lawyer with commercial nous', she is active in both dry and wet shipping litigation. James Clayton is another key individual. Kirsty MacHardy moved to Stephenson Harwood.
Alistair Johnston; Jonathan Campbell
Other key lawyers:
James Clayton; Maria Borg Barthet
‘CJC has a number of excellent practitioners and offers solid all-round capabilities for any sort of maritime issue; always at good value. They compare very favourably with ‘bigger name’ outfits. They are more often than not my ‘go-to’ firm for any complex disputes.’
‘Campbell Johnston Clark (CJC) has very experienced lawyers who are specialists in their field.’
‘Every individual is committed and keen. The team is relatively youthful, and hugely energetic. They are excellent strategic thinkers, hard working, fizzing with ideas, and always willing to embrace a new idea if it will improve the client experience.’
‘CJC is a diverse firm with top of the line expertise in shipping law. I would trust them to handle any type of shipping case; on point advice, responsive and reasonable billing practices.’
‘Jonathan Campbell is an outstanding maritime lawyer. He provides honest practical commercial guidance through all matters, as well as being on point from legal advice.’
‘James Clayton is easy to talk to and always available. Very commercial and able to give easy to understand advice to all parties concerned. I have worked with him as an owner and as a broker and would recommend to anyone.’
‘Maria Borg Barthet is a brilliant lawyer with commercial nous.’
‘Alistair has great knowledge and experience of casualty matters like collision, salvage, pollution and any other matters requiring urgent attendance.’
Mitsui OSK Line (MOL)
Pacific Green Technologies Group
James Fisher PLC
Shipowners P&I Club
Tokio Marine Houston Casualty
- Advised Union Maritime Limited on the purchase of three vessels from Singapore court-appointed administrator financed by a sale and leaseback financing arrangement with a junior and a senior lender.
- Handled the negotiation of a loan facility of up to $110m for Intership Navigation Co. Ltd, in relation to the acquisition cost of 16 vessels.
Newcastle-based law firm Mills & Co has a strong track record in shipping litigation, particularly in matters involving cargo and ship damage. In addition to representing clients in the commercial and admiralty courts, the firm advises on arbitration and mediation. On the non-contentious side, the team advises clients on ship construction and transactions, as well as contractual matters. Andreas Welz leads the firm's admiralty work, while Simon Williams specialises in dry shipping. Guy Mills has a broad practice encompassing shipbuilding, bills of lading and admiralty litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Guy Mills; Andreas Welz; Simon Williams
‘A very dynamic team which provides an excellent service at a very cost effective level. The depth and experience is second to none.’
‘What makes Mills & Co unique is the quality of their solicitors and the cost-effective solution they provide despite the pedigree of the lawyers.’
‘Mills & Co is a boutique shipping firm on par with the shipping firms in London. They have both wet and dry expertise, and their growing size means I have confidence in instructing them on the largest and most complex of matters. They have an innovative cost management system which means they ensure that they are always cost-effective.’
‘Mills & Co provide first class legal support in the shipping industry. Their advice is down to the point and honest. One of the things I appreciate the most is that Mills & Co provides their honest opinion on the cases in respect of the client’s best interest, even though it means less work for the firm.’
‘Guy Mills is a master strategist and excellent on large multijurisdictional cases.’
‘Guy Mills is the “go-to” lawyer for us on complex matters. Guy is an excellent legal mind, always a step ahead of the opposition on strategy and next steps.’
‘Simon Williams is a practical lawyer with a smooth way of resolving cases. He is also supremely intelligent but his advice is still reader-friendly and digestible.’
‘Guy Mills is fantastic for both wet and dry work, I know I can go to him on any particularly tricky legal points and admire his ability to plan and strategise a case from the outset.’
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is highly active in the full range of contentious shipping work. In addition to handling dry shipping disputes, such as litigation over charterparties and bills of lading, the team is heavily involved in complex, international wet shipping matters. Darryl Kennard is frequently instructed by shipowners, underwriters and salvage companies on wet and dry shipping disputes. Another key individual is Tim Kelleher, who has 35 years of experience of the marine industry. Alex McIntosh focuses on contractual disputes. Wet shipping specialist Nick Donnelly and James Severn are also names to note.
Tim Kelleher; Darryl Kennard
Other key lawyers:
Alex McIntosh; Nick Donnelly; James Severn
‘The Penningtons shipping team is excellent. Their lawyers combine a strong foundation in the law with legal creativity, and a high level of commercial and litigation acumen.’
‘A very knowledgeable department, headed by the very experienced and personable Darryl Kennard. There seems to be more good shipping case law coming out of Penningtons than any other shipping firm at present.’
‘The shipping team has very considerable expertise in marine insurance, particularly in the hull and war risks areas. In the cases in which I have worked with them, they showed an exceptional level of commitment, doing their utmost to ensure the client got the best outcome possible.’
‘I have worked particularly closely with Darryl Kennard, who is brilliant. He is an astute litigator with a strong strategic sense.’
‘Darryl Kennard is a true enthusiast for shipping law, and draws on experience of both wet and dry shipping.’
‘Darryl Kennard is bright, flexible and innovative. Good grasp of detail and solution-oriented.’
Since its founding in October 2019, Preston Turnbull has developed an excellent practice handling contentious shipping matters, acting in claims involving collisions, shipbuilding contracts, charterparties and cargo damage. The practice counts shipowners, charterers and insurers among its clients, representing them in arbitration proceedings, as well as in the High Court. Andrew Preston has over 25 years of experience in this space. He works with Elizabeth Turnbull, who handles insurance and contractual disputes, and is noted for her expertise in matters with a nexus to Spain and Latin America. Fanos Theophani has a strong track record in dry shipping and P&I work. Shipbuilding specialist Tom Kelly joined the team in March 2020 from Clyde & Co LLP.
Andrew Preston; Elizabeth Turnbull; Fanos Theophani; Rob Collins; Ed Mills-Webb; Tom Kelly
Other key lawyers:
‘The Preston Turnbull team consists of highly experienced and qualified people who are excellent legal practitioners. Despite being a relatively new boutique company, they are my preferred choice over the larger firms.’
‘The team is small and close knit. They carry no passengers, everyone is of high quality. The focus is very much on winning the case, not billing time.’
‘The firm is relatively new but has collected together an excellent team within a short time. The experience of the partners, and the quality of the associates they have on board provide a capability equivalent to the more established “big names” but with better services levels from client engagement to matter staffing.’
‘The go-to law firm for shipping and trading. Excellent service!’
‘I used Elizabeth Turnbull in complex dry shipping matters (charterparties, B/L, etc.) and she has deal with all of them in a cost efficeint manner. She is charming with clients. Excellent attention to details and a good negotiator.’
‘I think the key feature of the firm is the hands-on time from partners in the detail of cases. They are completely on top of the law and facts of the case. There is a really good relationship of trust between partners and associates.’
‘Fanos Theophani is very client focused and an excellent strategist. He is very commercial. Andrew Preston and Rob Collins both offer a bespoke service which makes them a go to firm for my team on all matters relating to wet and dry shipping matters.’
‘Robert Collins has extensive experience and excellent client relation skills. He engages with his clients and gets to know their business.’
Britannia Steamship Insurance Ltd
West of England Insurance Services
Thomas Miller P&I Limited
- Successfully represented shipowners SK Shipping Europe Plc in a complex claim for repudiation of 4 time charterparties worth approximately US$20m
- Represented Scipion in a claim worth $12m for breach of a Collateral Management Agreement following the loss of about 1,900 MT copper scrap from a production and storage facility in Morocco
- Representing Abarca defending claims in excess of €36m under an Insurance Bond following the alleged termination of a shipbuilding contract.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP continues to expand its shipping practice, recruiting Marcus Dodds in August 2020 and Mike Phillips in January 2021. Both Dodds (who joined from Reed Smith LLP) and Phillips (formerly of Stephenson Harwood) have broad practices covering both contentious and non-contentious work across wet and dry shipping. The practice is increasingly active in contentious shipping matters, adding to its longstanding expertise in advisory work. Charles Buss is noted for his work on ship financing transactions, while Daniel Saunders handles commercial shipping work. Lindsey Keeble and George Paleokrasses co-head the team, which includes Robert Platt.
Lindsey Keeble; George Paleokrasses
Other key lawyers:
Charles Buss; Daniel Saunders; Marcus Dodds; Mike Phillips; Robert Platt; Andrew Ward; Andrew Hutcheon; Toby Royal
‘Unrivalled skills and experience and shipping and port finance across several jurisdictions.’
‘Mike Philips inspires confidence and I feel most comfortable working with him, because he is not only excellent in maritime law (highly experienced in shipping and trade disputes), he is also impressively commercial. Therefore his advice is always clear, sensible and strategic. He is also very quick and cost effective.’
‘Great multidisciplinary team, with a depth of understanding of the legal (and often the technical) issues which is largely unrivalled in my experience (particularly given the recent arrivals of certain new partners).’
‘Specialists in ship finance and shipping litigation, the team has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. They seem to have secured some big industry clients to compliment their strong offering to the banking sector.’
‘They are very knowledgeable, friendly, reasonably priced and proactive to say the least.’
‘The top choice to get advice on any kind of dry or wet shipping.’
‘I am consistently impressed by the work done by Marcus Dodds. Marcus is a true all rounder, with deep experience both on the contentious and non-contentious fronts.’
‘Charles Buss is one of the best shipping and shipbuilding lawyers around. He has so much energy and will not let go of a problem until he has found a way to get his client what they want.’
Wikborg Rein continues to expand its share of the London shipping market, acting for clients across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious work. Practice head Chris Grieveson excels in handling both wet and dry shipping disputes, while Rob Jardine-Brown specialises in shipbuilding matters. Nick Shepherd's practice covers litigation and commercial transactions, and he has a strong client following among Greek shipowners. Eleanor Midwinter , who made partner in April 2021, is 'extremely capable and bright'.
Other key lawyers:
Rob Jardine-Brown; Nick Shepherd; Eleanor Midwinter
‘Wikborg Rein has a very strong shipping practice particularly in the offshore sector. It is staffed by excellent and commercial partners who are supported by bright and diligent associates. They are experienced and good strategic litigators with deep knowledge in this industry.’
‘Chris Grieveson is an excellent and tough litigator with a very strong strategic eye. Nick Shepherd is extremely diligent and able to both master the detail and also keep a broad view of strategy. Rob Jardine-Brown is a strong and experienced partner and very commercial in his approach. Eleanor Midwinter has recently made partner and is extremely capable and bright.’
‘A very commercially-oriented team with great experience and expertise. The lawyers are always on top and the response times are incredible.’
‘Nick Shepherd is absolutely astonishing. Nick’s perspective on charterparty interpretation is unique and he has the ability to view it holistically and not in isolation. If the matter is complex then Nick is the person to go to. Rob Jardine-Brown has been a very good lawyer and we worked very well together.’
AVIC Financial Leasing
Bonheur ASA / Fred Olsen
Britannia Steamship P&I
CMB Financial Leasing
Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd
Floatel International Ltd
George Economou group companies (TMS Group, Dryships, Cardiff Marine)
Höegh LNG Ltd
ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd
Marine Trust Ltd / Centrofin
Navigation Maritime Bulgare
Navios Maritime Holdings and its group companies
North of England P&I
Seajacks International Ltd
The London Club
The Standard Club
The UK Club
Vard Group AS
West of England P&I
Fjord Line AS
- Provided crew support and cooperation with authorities to “MV Kaami” (Gard AS, Misje Bulk AS, Misje Rederi AS) using the firm’s remote admiralty service. The firm also assisted with the first ever ship recycling at Kishorn in Scotland for this vessel.
- Advising Samherji on the so-called “Fish Rot” matter in which the company is facing allegations that millions of dollars were paid to Namibian government officials to illegally obtain Namibian fishing quotas.
- Advised the listed company Awilco LNG on a multijurisdictional transaction on the $350m repurchase of two 156,000 cbm LNG carriers out of existing sale and purchase arrangements.
Scandinavian law firm Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS has substantially built up its London practice since 2020, with it hiring Jeremy Biggs, Will Marshall, Jonas Adolfsson and Carl Walker from Ince. David Gardner is another key individual in the group, which handles a full spread of contentious and non-contentious shipping matters for clients. Gardner is noted for his specialism in LNG and FPSO-related matters, while Marshall is active in litigation in the English courts, as well as in arbitration. Adolfsson undertakes both wet and dry shipping litigation, while Walker focuses on disputes involving charterparties and bills of lading.
Other key lawyers:
Jeremy Biggs; David Gardner; Jonas Adolfsson; Carl Walker
‘Deep knowledge of the shipping industry coupled with the unique ability to provide commercial legal advice.’
‘A relatively new shipping practice that will build on the firm’s very strong links to the energy sector to attract the highest-end shipping work.’
‘Rapidly growing team of experts in all offshore and related areas.’
‘Will Marshall is quite simply the stand out shipping lawyer on the London scene. He is technically excellent. He understands shipping and has a unique ability to craft legal advice appropriate to the commercial context.’
‘Will Marshall is one of the best shipping solicitors in London. Knows the law inside out and has excellent judgment.’
‘Jonas Adolfsson is switched on, knowledgeable, always provides high quality advice and is very good at strategising early on in a case.’
‘David Gardner is very experienced in offshore work and is very commercially focused.’
‘Will Marshall is a cool head and an incisive mind.’
C Transport Maritime
d’Amico Shipping Group
West of England P&I Club
Trafigura Maritime Logistics
UK P&I Club
Standard P&I Club
- Acting for Trafigura in respect of a $76m Charterparty letter of indemnity claim relating to the arrest of the vessel Miracle Hope by a Bank, Natixis, relating to a claim for the misdelivery (i.e. to the wrong party) of a high value ($76m) crude oil cargo.
- Acting for three defendants in a $36m fraud claim in the English High Court in relation to shipping derivatives contracts. The contracts in question relate to the movement of the Baltic indexes for certain shipping routes.
- Acting for the owners of the bulk carrier, Red Sage, which collided with the tanker, Atlantic Point, in the Malacca Straits in 2018. Damage was sustained by both vessels and the Atlantic Point was ultimately sent to scrap as a result of the collision.
BDM Law LLP acts for shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs and cargo interests in complex claims, including those arising from fires, collisions and cargo damage. The practice also handles dry shipping disputes related to charterparties and sale and purchase agreements. Strong across the full spectrum of shipping work, the team includes Bob Deering and Pavlo Samothrakis, who have particular expertise in the Middle Eastern shipping market. In addition, Nick Burgess, who previously worked in Hong Kong, retains strong links to Asia. David McInnes leads on much of the team's work for Mediterranean, German and Norwegian clients. Senior associate Gareth Thomson joined from MFB in September 2020.
Bob Deering; Nick Burgess; David McInnes; Pavlo Samothrakis
Other key lawyers:
‘BDM has a liveliness and responsiveness which is often missing in the larger firms. They create a very good impression of efficiency and capability, which is backed up by the quality of their work.’
‘BDM is of the right size for a shipping law firm, allowing it the necessary flexibility, yet enabling it to provide a first class service.’
‘This is a boutique firm, comprised of some very big names in the industry and the confidence that goes with that. Having grown the company from the ground up over the last few years, there is a real commitment to quality with a personalised approach, which is not available from some of the larger firms.’
‘BDM has the practical-mindedness of a small firm but the capacity and capability of the larger firms in the field, with a depth of experience and knowledge which is hard to match.’
‘Nick Burgess has an elegant legal mind and is highly experienced in wet and dry cases, yet he is very approachable and possesses a solid commercial sense.’
‘Bob Deering is a very knowledgeable shipping lawyer, experienced in all aspects of shipping law. He has a very practical approach to the practice of law, but is capable of taking on complex cases.’
‘Bob Deering is an exceptional lawyer who is always available at short notice to offer knowledgeable advice and solutions.’
‘Our primary lawyer and point of contact at BDM is Nick Burgess. He is very commercially-minded and understands our complex business well. There are few lawyers who so thoroughly understand the varied businesses of a shipping company such as ours, which owns and operates all types of ships.’
- Represented CMA CGM SA in claims arising from the explosion of a container on board CCNI Arauco when work was being carried out very nearby in the hold at Hamburg on 1 September 2016.
The shipping team at Birketts LLP, which focuses on contentious shipping matters, acts for charterers, shipowners and commodities companies in both wet and dry shipping disputes. It has a strong profile in the London and international shipping markets. Henry Adams and Alex Davey jointly lead the group, with both practitioners focusing on charterparty, bills of lading, and cargo damage disputes. Dry shipping specialist Nicholas Woo is notably active in the shipping market in the Far East.
Henry Adams; Alex Davey
Other key lawyers:
Nicholas Woo; Sarah Holsgrove; Tom Hodges; Paul Haworth
‘Birketts is a specialised and efficient law firm, reactive and reasonable in billing’
‘Henry Adams and the shipping team are efficient, provide good and quick advice, and understand client needs. Henry speaks good French, which makes things easier for our French clients.’
Noble Chartering Inc.
West of England P&I
Seatrade Group NV
MS Amlin Marine NV
TOTSA Total Oil Trading S.A.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Japan P&I Club
- Acted for Noble Chartering Inc in relation to an indemnity claim under a voyage charterparty. This matter reached the Court of Appeal in January 2021.
DWF is regularly instructed by insurers and their insured clients in litigation, particularly in relation to disputes concerning cargo and ship damage. The practice is also increasingly active in the superyacht space, advising clients on the purchase of these vessels, as well as associated litigation. Led by global transport head Jonathan Moss the practice frequently handles matters connected with Europe, Africa and Asia. Director Peter Olymbios and senior associate Radhika Ruparelia are also key contacts in the team.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Olymbios; Radhika Ruparelia
‘One of the key strengths of the team is that they don’t just know about shipping. They know about the insurance underlies it and the international trade/commodities elements. Their clients benefit from a breadth of knowledge which pure shipping firms cannot provide.’
‘Jonathan is keenly aware of the commercial risks and costs involved in litigation. He wants repeat business and not a one-off case from a client. And he gets it because of this. Peter Olymbios is an excellent litigator with a calm manner, which inspires confidence from clients and team members alike.’
‘Jonathan Moss is a world class shipping lawyer. He has expertise in both wet and dry shipping matters, as well as commodities. His team has detailed knowledge of issues faced in a wide range of jurisdictions. One unique feature is that Jonathan, and certain members of his team, have physically been on the ground in both Asia and Africa.’
Vallis Group Ltd
- Representing Vallis Group and their insurers in a claim involving the shipping and subsequent theft of a large amount of metals from a warehouse in Morocco, North Africa.
Hannaford Turner LLP specialises in advising on the construction and financing of vessels, as well as their sale and acquisition. It handles transactions involving cruise ships, ferries and superyachts, among various other types of vessels. Matt Hannaford and Paul Turner lead on ship transactions, while Justin Turner advises clients on ship repair and construction issues. Mark Needham and Adam Ramlugon focus on matters concerning superyachts. In June 2020, Grace Asemota joined the team from Clyde & Co LLP. Asemota handles contentious and non-contentious work in the commodities and shipping sectors.
Matt Hannaford; Justin Turner; Grace Asemota; Mark Needham; Adam Ramlugon
Other key lawyers:
‘A specialised and experienced shipping practice providing a high quality holistic service to their clients.’
‘Justin Turner knows the newbuilding and sale and purchase markets inside out, has an enthusiasm for shipping, is perceptive and a delight to work with.’
‘Unique specialists in their area with 360 degree knowledge of the industry.’
‘Dedicated, knowledgable and ready to go the extra mile for their clients.’
‘Great firm to go to for superyacht matters.’
‘Adam Ramlugon is excellent – always available, quick, comprehensive, intelligent, trustworthy.’
Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP specialises in advising global clients on the construction, acquisition and sale of ships, as well as handling disputes related to shipbuilding. The team has particular expertise in vessels operating in the energy and mining industries, such as LNG carriers, FPSO vessels, mining vessels and drillships. Elsewhere, the group is increasingly sought after to advise on matters concerning superyachts. It is also active in the negotiation of charters. Andreas Silcher and Mark Johnson jointly lead the team, which includes Simon Curtis.
Andreas Silcher; Mark Johnson
Other key lawyers:
Simon Curtis; William Cecil; Andreas Dracoulis
‘The team has broad experience meaning that, for all matters, there seems to be a specialist in house. The knowledge is up to date, and as a client, I am being kept well informed about new developments.’
‘Extremely professional, with a fast turnaround on documents, which is vital in shipping.’
‘They have a very strong technical background and good knowledge and understanding of the shipbuilding industry.’
‘Andreas Silcher stands out for his practical approach, always to the highest legal standards. He will give you the advice, draft contract or other deliverable that suits your business. He is also generally available and always nice to work with.’
‘Andreas Silcher – fantastic advice and quick understanding of the deal.’
‘Flexible and proactive approach with the ability to adapt communication methods to best suit audience. Took time to highlight potential problems before matters escalated and provide alternate solution to problems.’
‘Good practical industry experience, including technology/commercial understanding i.e. good matrix of ex-seafarers so they understand the actual business environment, not just the theory.’
Athenian Sea Carriers
Stena Power & LNG Solutions AS
Kuwait Oil Tanker Company
Damen Shiprepair & Conversion Holding
- Acted for Athenian Sea Carriers in relation to the acquisition of four VLCCs (very large crude carrier) newbuildings and the subsequent resale of two of them..
- Acting for Stena LNG & Power in relation to a $3bn “LNG to energy” project in Vietnam, where Stena’s jettyless LNG technology is to be deployed.
- Advised Kuwait Oil Tanker Company on significant delays arising from the construction of a very large crude carrier in China.
Boutique shipping and international trade practice Jackson Parton Solicitors frequently receives instructions from shipowners, charterers and P&I clubs on wet and dry shipping disputes. The five-partner group is jointly led by Nick Parton, Alex Askew and Jonathan Clyne. Parton has decades of experience in this area and handles hull and cargo-related disputes. The team has a number of French-speaking partners and frequently acts for French clients.
Nick Parton; Alex Askew; Jonathan Clyne
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrew Patrinos is probably one of the best shipping and commodities solicitors. Generally, the firm has an excellent reputation.’
‘Efficient, dynamic and streamlined team with strong partner engagement.’
‘This firm is indefatigable in pursuing its clients cases. It is innovative legally and has established many important precedents in fields such as anti-suit injunctions and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. The use of anti-suit injunctions is a particular speciality.’
‘This small practice has many decades worth of experience amongst its number. They are a friendly team with a cosy small-business ethos and without the cut-throat characteristics of the larger firms. The team are very approachable and consistently deliver a high quality service at an efficiency of cost.’
‘Alex Askew always provides quick and reliable advice.’
‘Andrew Patrinos is a stable and experienced hand in any dispute with a good sense of which way the wind is blowing. Alexander Askew is a bright, clear thinker who is clearly going places.’
‘Nick Parton never gives up, is willing to think outside the box and maintains very good relationships with his clients.’
Compagnie du Ponant
Inversiones Titanio SRL
Gard P & I Club
Thomas Miller Defence
The Charterers Club
West of England P & I Club
The American P & I Club
Caribbean Shipping Line
Banque Internationale de Commerce-Bred (Suisse) SA
Keystone Law, which demonstrates strong capabilities across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious dry shipping work, acts for charterers, P&I clubs, shipbuilders and high net-worth individuals, among other clients. Jonathan Hadley-Piggin advises on the construction, sale and purchase of yachts. Another notable practitioner is Dharmendra Nair, who handles charterparty disputes for multinational clients. Anastasia Papadopoulou leads on non-contentious commercial shipping work, including charterparties and ship finance transactions, as well as sales and purchases. Fei Mao is another key individual.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Hadley-Piggin; Anastasia Papadopoulou; Dharmendra Nair; Fei Mao; George Lambrou
‘The team is professional and experienced in the shipping field.’
‘Dharmendra Nair is very attentive, prompt to understand the matter and offers the best advice to resolve it. He is very sharp and provides a very valuable service to our business.’
‘The team are approachable and always willing to collaborate and discuss issues, even on an informal basis. They have a flexible approach to the handling and the billing of the case, and in a sense, this creates a bespoke service that can be modelled according to client needs.’
‘Dharmendra Nair is our point of contact. Given that we regularly discuss various legal issues with him, he has a very clear understanding of the client’s business and this is key when deciding strategy and the best outcome at an early stage.’
‘Commercial and practical advice.’
Orient Express Lines Straits Orient Lines Singapore
Global Chartering Limited (Mauritius) part of Arcelor Mittal Group
Gard P. & I. (Bermuda) Ltd.
Marla Tankers Shipmanagement Inc.
AMT Insurance Ltd
Maersk Trade Finance A/S
Teo Shipping Corp & Others
OneSubsea Ip UK Limited
- Advised Straits Orient Lines Singapore on a hacking incident.
- Acted for Global Chartering Limited (Mauritius) in a back-to-back charterparty dispute in connection with the supply of poor-quality bunkers on board the m.v Darya Gayatri [Vessel].
- Acted for Gard P. & I. (Bermuda) Ltd in an arbitration related to a charterparty.
Lax & Co LLP specialises in contentious shipping matters, acting for ship owners and charterers in disputes related to cargo damage, demurrage, deviation and other alleged breaches of contract. The practice also handles shipbuilding disputes and insurance claims. The team, which is led by Mike Lax, also includes Stuart Dench. In addition to representing clients in the High Court, it also features prominently in ICC and LMAA arbitration proceedings.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are a small but extremely effective team, and are very mindful of and responsive to the particular needs (both legal and commercial) of a client.’
‘Mike Lax is an excellent lawyer who is also commercial and practical.’
‘Unlike many firms, Lax & Co does not overload cases with large numbers of fee earners, so you know who is doing the work and is running the case. The partners are easy to contact and respond quickly to queries as and when they arrive.’
‘A niche team which understands the need of the client and deals with all the aspects of the case, billing in a very transparent and timely manner.’
‘Mike Lax is an immensely impressive and tenacious litigator with a gift for distilling the key facts and making complex issues easy for the lay client to understand.’
‘Mike Lax and Stuart Dench are excellent. Clear thinking and commercial.’
‘Mike Lax is hugely experienced, gives clear and quick advice. Always has a clever idea about what to do! Stuart Dench is an efficient and very cost-effective case handler. Realistic and reliable advice.’
‘Mike Lax is honest, transparent, and easily approachable. He has sound expertise and legal knowledge, with a great commercial and strategic brain. He is one of the rare lawyers who would communicate in a short but very sharp and meaningful manner and doesn’t sway away from the subject.’
West of England P&I Club
Tankers International LLC
Steamship Mutual P&I Club
Standard Maritime Holding Corporation
Silk Searoad Maritime S.A.
Sellenger Alliance Ltd
Rua Bulgaria EOOD
Rhine Shipping DMCC
Petraco Oil Company LLP (Lugano Branch)
Palmali Group of Companies
Norstar Shipping (Asia PTE)
Navigator Holdings Ltd
Navytrend Shipping Limited
Myrtos Shipping Company S.A.
MUR Shipping BV
Meyer Werft GmbH & Co
Melars Group Limited
Integra Marketing Pte
Hellman Worldwide Logistics SA
ER Denizcilik San. Nak. Tic
Bocimar International NV
Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Co
Al-Iraqia Shipping Services & Oil Trading
Azov-Don Shipping Company JSC
Strategic Shipping Inc
- Acted for JSC Donrechflot in an application to the High Court for the extension of a contractual time limit.
- Acting for Advantage Sky Shipping, the owners of an arrested vessel in relation to a corporate dispute between Lenders and another shipping company.
- Acting for Navytrend Shipping Limited, the claimants in a claim under a marine insurance policy in High Court proceedings.
Norton Rose Fulbright's shipping practice covers a full range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including those involving shipbuilding, charterparties, bills of lading and bunkers. Elsewhere, ship finance transactions are another driver of activity. Charlotte Winter focuses on asset finance litigation, while Katie McDougall leads the team's sanctions practice, providing advice on risk assessment and compliance, as well as disputes. Philip Roche leads the group.
Other key lawyers:
Charlotte Winter; Katie McDougall
‘The NRF team responsible for our work is reliable and responds quickly. If instructed, they can deliver work product within the same day.’
‘What stands out with NRF is that they are keen to deliver a good product and focus on return clients. This is done by having an even and high quality delivery, good knowledge of the shipping industry and the finance sector.’
Dubai Ports World
DVB (Shipping panel appointment)
Japan P&I Club
Standard Chartered Bank
- Producing a sanctions matrix for a third party shipping mutual insurer on EU and US sanctions that are specific to the shipping industry, with respect to the various different country regimes that may be relevant to their members.
With strong ties to the Greek shipping market, Waterson Hicks acts for shipowners in a broad range of disputes. The team is particularly active in speed and consumption disputes, and also acts for banks in subrogated claims related to the losses of vessels financed by the banks. Practice head John Hicks has over 35 years of experience in shipping law. Marine manager Stuart Parkin and Julian Morgan are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Edward Bayliss; Stuart Parkin; Julian Morgan
‘Personal, attentive and provides a very creative service.’
‘John Hicks & Edward Bayliss stand out as having a thorough and deep knowledge of the law practised, and are able to respond in short order with viable and commercial solutions to problems, as well as guide through the maze of alternatives that may be open in addressing any one single problem.’
‘The partners and the younger solicitors of the firm all work in a very professional way and are always available when you need them, following up very closely on the cases they handle.’
Aegean Baltic Bank
Internaves Consorcio Naviero S.A.
Maritima Altair Petromar S.A.
Lamat Offshore Marine Inc.
- Successfully obtained judgment in Aegean Baltic Bank’s favour at High Court trial against the defaulting shipowning company under a loan agreement for the Vessel ‘Starlet’ and various corporate and personal guarantees.
- Acted for various brokers in successfully defending an appeal to the High Court against an Arbitration decision which found the brokers were not in breach of their fiduciary duties to Owners of two vessels after the brokers engaged in the sharp practice of pocketing differences in hire rates.
Winter Scott LLP
Winter Scott LLP specialises in handling complex international shipping litigation, including shipbuilding disputes, commodity claims and litigation related to admiralty law. In addition to handling arbitrations, the practice also represents clients in the Commercial Court. Glenn Winter has decades of experience in shipping and is noted for his expertise in charterparties and P&I insurance. Elsewhere inn the team, Tim Houghton specialises in dry shipping. James King is valued by clients for his 'strong commercial understanding'. Christopher Wood handles both contentious and non-contentious charterparty matters.
Glenn Winter; Tim Houghton
Other key lawyers:
James King; Christopher Wood
‘Winter Scott offers excellent service and value for money. It is no surprise that they are one of our main firms for P&I and FDD work.’
‘Winter Scott provide a personal service very much centering around our needs. We have direct line access to relevant legal professionals, which is both professional as well as based on longstanding understanding of our business and personnel.’
‘Knowledgeable, professional, swift, “on the ball”, value for money, and quickly adapted to online environment under Covid-19.’
‘Christopher Wood offers knowledge, experience, pragmatism and total availability.’
‘Christopher Wood has a fantastic legal brain and really goes out of his way to help where he can. Glenn Winter is as seasoned campaigner and has such an excellent ability to untie any knotty issues with clarity – he really is our ‘go to man’ for difficult cases.’
‘Chris Wood is an outstanding lawyer. The service he provides is exceptionally good. He is really fast in grasping any new case and also fast when it comes to keeping you up to date. It is professional fun working with him.’
‘James King is the primary point of contact within Winter Scott. James King is directly available to us and is willing to offer advice that is concise, while being accessible to non lawyers.’
‘Know the law, the industry and are empathic to the right level. Many excellent individuals.’
Spliethoff’s Bevrachtingskantoor BV
China National Chartering Co. Ltd (Sinochart)
Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd
Clipper Group A/S
- Acted for Classic Maritime Inc. in a charterparty dispute.
- Obtained an anti-suit injunction against Chinese receivers to prevent them from pursuing a large claim against owners of “AEOLIAN GRACE” in China. Judgment is reported at Zefxo Maritime Ltd v Xiamen C&D Commodities Ltd  EWHC 1595 (Comm)
- Obtained a preliminary anti-suit Injunction against Chinese receivers in respect of large potential cargo claim which they were attempting to pursue in China against owners of Golden Ioanari.
Hull-based law firm Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP has a broad shipping practice, which covers matters ranging from disputes arising from accidents to commercial contracts advice. Practice head Dominic Ward specialises in dry shipping work and is particularly active in the drafting of logistics contracts. Sarah Pether specialises in representing the defendents and insurers in claims related to injuries and fatalities at sea. Ship finance is another area of focus, with the team acting for both borrowers and lenders.
Other key lawyers:
‘Responsive lawyers, pragmatic and time-efficient.’
‘The partners specialising in shipping have a wealth of knowledge on international shipping law and ship management companies. They have provided help support and training on everyday topics as well as difficult international cases. They are a valued “business partner” helping us steer our business through international waters.’
‘Dominic Ward offers a wealth of information and support on all international shipping and trade related enquiries.’
Associated British Ports
SMS Towage Limited
Blue Water Shipping
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Woods River Cruises Ltd
- Advised SMS Towage Ltd on the refinancing of assets in order to purchase twotugs.
DLA Piper is able to tap into the resources across its global network of offices to advise on multijurisdictional litigation, including disputes related to ship financing, charterparties and cargo. The main contact in London is Linos Choo, who is praised by clients as being 'quick, professional and efficient'. Choo counts lenders, commodities companies, and shipowners among his clients. In addition to handling contentious matters, he also provides advice on shipbuilding and shipping transactions.
‘DLA Piper is quick, professional and efficient.’
‘We work with Linos Choo and are fully satisfied with his work.’
‘Exceptionally well connected, client-oriented and very practical – offering precise and cost conscious advice aimed at swift and efficient resolution of the client’s issues.’
‘Linos Choo embodies all the best traits of the practice he leads.’
Petronas Lubricants International Sdn Bhd
- Instructed by Rabobank in respect of emergency relief for cargo on board the m/t NORD LARKSPUR’.
- Continuing to act for Petronas in a highly publicisedshippingdispute between Berlian Laju Tankers and Schlumberger.
- Acting for Zopco SA in relation to a repudiation of a contract of affreightment relating to copper concentrate imports to China
HCO Legal is frequently instructed by insurers and shipowners to handle claims involving vessel, dock and cargo damage, as well as contractual disputes. Practice head Ben Horn is noted for his work on arbitrations relating to dry shipping disputes, with deep experience of LMAA arbitrations. Jim Allsworth leads the team's wet shipping work and specialises in salvage claims. Associate Akshay Misra is also praised by clients.
Ben Horn; Jim Allsworth
Other key lawyers:
‘Very professional and competent lawyers. Very good team, efficient, quick response. Highly competent on shipping law. Flexible on billing, depending on clients’ different requests.’
‘They are experienced in a broad range of maritime matters, such that they are able to respond promptly and effectively to our needs. Their service is second to none; highly responsive, to the point, always sensible, commercial and legally correct advice.’
‘Ben Horn always comes up with a solution, where others may not. He is exceptionally able, promptly identifying issues and providing commercial, pragmatic advice. Akshay Misra consistently goes the extra mile to ensure that our needs and requirements are best served.’
‘HCO has a grasp of all matters marine that a lot of other firms don’t. They quickly realise any potential issues and pitfalls. They ensure that advice is issued in a timely manner.’
‘The team at HCO has an enormous wealth of experience in shipping, commodities and international trade matters. It is a small team, but each team member is abreast of all of the firm’s matters, and they are clearly able to obtain and provide prompt advice and service to a very loyal client base.’
‘Akshay Mishra is an up and coming lawyer, and has won friends across the legal and maritime industry. The perfect example of how lawyers don’t need to be ruthless to excel. Benjamin Horn is trusted by his sharpest Greek shipowner clients. A straightforward honest solicitor.’
‘Ben Horn is the stand-out individual at HCO. He is one of the most experienced shipping practitioners in the market, and it is unsurprising that he commands such a loyal following. Akshay Misra is a very diligent and hardworking associate. He maintains good relationships with the firm’s client base and is across all of the firm’s matters.’
‘Ben Horn and Akshay Misra both were excellent in their advice, and quickly grasped the issues surrounding the cases.’
M Taher & Co Solicitors
M Taher & Co Solicitors is known in the market for its strength in handling sanctions-related shipping work, and it is also active in shipping litigation related to shipbuilding and marine insurance. Practice head Maryam Taher is fluent in Farsi and frequently handles matters related to Iranian sanctions, such as ship arrests.
Other key lawyers:
‘Honesty and integrity. Maryam won’t tell you what you want to hear. She will tell it like it is. She knows her business. She is confident and has successfully dealt with many high level opponents on behalf her clients.’
‘M. Taher is most probably the most experienced solicitor on sanctions legislation covering Iran.’
‘Maryam Taher is a genius. She always finds solutions to the most complicated issues.‘
Squire Patton Boggs’ shipping practice underwent significant expansion in 2020, following the arrival of a team of lawyers from HFW. The London-based team frequently works with the shipping group in Singapore, and is particularly focused on arbitration claims, including charterparty, shipbuilding and collision disputes. Chris Swart team and director John Rollason are two key names to note among the new additions to the practice. Litigator Graham Harris is also active in this space, as is Barry Stimpson.
Chris Swart; Barry Stimpson
Other key lawyers:
Graham Harris; John Rollason
‘They are extremely knowledgeable, can cover a lot of ground in quick amount of time, and provide further insight and creative options for potential resolution.’
Berlian Laju Tankers/Shipowners’ Protection (“SOP”)
Kingdom of Spain
Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co Ltd
- Acting for the Kingdom of Spain in an enforcement action against a London P&I Club arising out of the “Prestige” casualty and resulting pollution off the coast of Spain.
- Representing Berlian Laju Tankers in claims brought by it against Petronas and Schlumberger in a dispute over the detention of a vessel and her crew by Thai customs authorities for the alleged smuggling of a cargo of oil by Schlumberger.
- Representing Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co Ltd in six separate legal actions to determine claims for debts and other sums payable under certain post-delivery credit contracts and/or guarantees relating to various shipbuilding contracts.
Weightmans LLP's Liverpool-based shipping team has a broad practice that excels in both litigation and advisory work. The practice counts operators, insurers, charterers, and P&I clubs among its clients, and has a particular focus on acting for ports and terminals. In a significant recent development, Phil James departed the firm to join Roose + Partners, with Mike Burns succeeding him as the practice head.
Peel Ports Group
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
Essar Oil UK
NMU Speciality (Munich Re)
- Acted for Peel on the negotiation and drafting of terminal services contract with major Belgian ro-ro operators CLdN Cobelfret Ferries, for their new bi-weekly freight service from Spain and Portugal into the Port of Liverpool.
- Acted for Bibby Maritime Limited on the negotiation of a 12 month charter of offshore accommodation vessel “BIBBY CHALLENGE” for workers engaged in a major offshore energy project in Mozambique. The project had a number of operational and contractual complexities, including a heavy lift mobilisation of the vessel from Norway to SW Africa, and involved a number of market players.
- Acted for longstanding clients, The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, on the negotiation with Hyundai Mipo Shipyard of South Korea of a new build contract for a ro-pax vessel to replace the current flagship vessel in the fleet servicing the IOM from the UK.
Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich continues to expand its London shipping team, bringing on a number of new associates in 2020. The group works with the New York office to offer advice to transatlantic clients, and is active in both commercial transactions and litigation. Luke Zadkovich, who has broad experience of contentious and non-contentious shipping, and recently qualified as a solicitor advocate. Damon Thompson also has a varied practice, with a particular focus on energy-related shipping matters.
Luke Zadkovich; Damon Thompson
‘ZFZ has partners in its team that have worked in-house in the market areas of shipping and transport of LNG and other commmodities, and know what really matters to commmercial clients.’
‘Damon Thompson is a commercial, practical-minded lawyer, which we found very helpful.’