Shipping in London
HFW's sizeable shipping practice offers wide-ranging expertise and global reach; in addition to handling work relating to insurance, logistics, charterparties and shipbuilding, the team is particularly noted for its ability to handle war risks, piracy and hostage matters. The London team is led by global head Paul Dean, ship finance head Adam Shire , regulatory shipping head Daniel Martin and admiralty head Andrew Chamberlain. Martin also leads the team's well-regarded sanctions practice. All-rounder Rory Butler is 'very quick, absolutely reasonable and commercially minded', while Richard Neylon lead on much of the firm's recent casualty work, including hostage matters, alongside senior associate Michael Ritter. Craig Neame, who was global practice head from 2016 to 2019, is known for his work on container shipping.
Other key lawyers:
‘A good strong team with deep knowledge of their specific markets. Particularly notable is Richard Mabane’s Italian team. He is definitely the leader in that market.’
‘Affable and pleasant to work with, they make dealing with this industry and the legal problems that arise straightforward and manageable. They provide invaluable guidance and top class work. Problem solving has also been a real highlight from their work. Finding excellent legal solutions to make business transactions run smoothly.’
‘HFW’s team is a very strong and capable team of lawyers that are capable to provide services all around the needs of our company. Communication with the partners and the associates is exceptional and the results obtained by HFW’s team in legal disputes are outstanding.’
The level of assistance of HFW team is definitely superior to competitor firms. Richard Mabane is a very experienced lawyer, pragmatic and with an exceptional knowledge of the shipping market.’
‘The knowledge and expertise of each member of the team is deep and wide ranging; the strong leadership of the partners and their use of appropriate resources within the team makes them the “go to” team for complex cases and big casualties.’
‘Jean Koh stands out – even on complex issues, she communicates straight advice in a clear way which is easily understood. She is also well recognised as a leading maritime lawyer in the Japanese market.’
‘David Morriss’ understanding of the world of business and his methods of using the law make a conducive environment possible for the smooth conclusion of transactions.’
‘There is no one else in the market who can match Jean Koh. She always gets best possible results on complex matters without undue waste of time and costs. She is one of the best shipping lawyers, hugely knowledgeable and very user-friendly.’
‘Rory Butler is very quick; absolutely reasonable and commercially minded; always trying to find a balance between the interests of the parties to reach a solution.’
‘We are extremely pleased with David Morriss’s diligence, dedication to clients and command of law. He is extremely proactive, thorough in his communications and have convincing recommendations.’
‘All of the partners and associates at HFW are excellent; however over the last year, Michael Ritter has been the one to stand out the most and provided most support and exemplary service. Michael always provides timely responses and is always available out of hours which is quite unique in my view. He has a friendly manner and very approachable. I think there are very few other lawyers who can beat Michael’s work ethic and capabilities.’
‘Paolo Ghirardani takes an excellent strategic approach.’
Genting Hong Kong
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line)
Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN)
Mitsui OSK Line (MOL)
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK)
Oman Shipping Company
The North of England P&I Association
Tsakos Energy Navigation
UK P&I Club
- Instructed by the owners and war risk insurers of the vessel ‘ANDREA VICTORY’ after it was attacked in Fujairah anchorage in May 2019 by hostile forces using explosives.
- Worked to secure the release of over 30 seafarer hostages from seven different vessels in the Gulf of Guinea region. Jurisdictions involved included England, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Cameroon and other Gulf of Guinea countries.
- Advised Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Gas Operating Company Limited on a major project for the replacement and renewal of the $12bn Qatargas LNG carrier fleet, having been appointed following a competitive tender process.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's shipping practice handles both dry and wet shipping work, covering charterparty disputes, bills of lading, casualty disputes, regulatory matters and commodities work. The firm's global footprint means the London team can operate alongside lawyers from the firm's offices around the world to handle cross-jurisdictional matters. Andrew Taylor and Robert Wilkins co-chair the firm's transportation group; within the team, Richard Gunn is head of the casualty department. Alexander Sandiforth, Richard Gunn, Jeb Clulow and Antonia Panayides are also key parts of the sizeable team. Nick Austin joined the practice in October 2019 from Clyde & Co LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Longstanding firm, strength in depth, good quality advice, approachable, reasonable charges.’
‘Andrew Taylor is an excellent lawyer who has served us well over many years on knotty claims and cover issues.’
‘We have dealt with Nick Austin for over 10 years. With his professionalism, knowledge and expertise, coupled with his calm and assured manner, we really consider him as an extended part of our team. Nick understands and is responsive to clients needs, he is easy to contact, updates on the progress of work and delivers with a minimum of fuss. Having such an excellent command of his subject, along with an open, friendly, and can-do manner, he is very easy to deal with. Nick quickly brings clarity when problems arise and is approachable when we have questions and able to explain and simplify issues for us. He inspires confidence in his ability to advise and represent us and we value the relationship we have with him.’
‘We have found Reed Smith to be user-friendly and efficient.’
Clyde & Co LLP's London shipping practice works alongside the firm's teams in Guildford and Newcastle to advise clients on a wide range of shipping matters. The team is led by Martin Hall, Simon Jackson and Marko Kraljevic in London, with David Bennett and Andrew Nicholas heading up matters from Guildford. Hall leads on casualty work, Jackson focuses on hull and machinery insurance, while Marr and Kraljevic specialise in marine charterers and trade respectively. The London office saw a number of departures in 2019, with a group of partners leaving to establish Preston Turnbull.
‘Clyde & Co consistently provide an excellent service. Fees are very competitive. Turn around time is quick. When it comes to shipping issues, the firms reputation for excellence is well deserved.’
‘Generally recognised as the leading shipping lawyers, particularly acting for cargo interests. Very professional in approach – in communicating with clients, evidence gathering, assessment of merits, devising of strategy, preparation for hearings. Most of all, commercially the most switched-on team of lawyers. Unlike some firms (a surprising number), they have zero interest in simply competing with their opposing solicitors to the commercial disadvantage of their clients.’
‘Martin Hall’s team is supplemented by experienced associates, in-house mariners, and a worldwide network of international offices.’
‘Martin Hall has almost unrivalled experience in the salvage industry and understands our business. So far as we are concerned he is the go-to lawyer on salvage and casualty work generally. He is responsive, commercial and always available.’
Nautical Challenge Ltd
- Acted for Nautical Challenge owners of “ALEXANDRA 1” in the aftermath and subsequent successful litigation in the High Court and Court of Appeals followinga collision with the container vessel, “EVER SMART”.
Hill Dickinson LLP's team acts for a range of owners, charterers and insurers; key figures in the team include master mariner Tony Goldsmith, who was recently appointed as head of marine and trade, and legal director Tom Burdass . Adrian Marsh in Manchester leads the team's cargo and logistics group, while Tony Allen heads the yachts group. Russell Gardner is known for his work in dry shipping disputes. The practice has also recently handled sanctions work, led by Siiri Duddington, while David Pitlarge is an praised as an 'excellent lawyer with a great deal of experience of shipping law matters'. Robert Wallis is active in casualty work. Former global practice head Julian Clark left the team in 2019 to join Ince, while marine head David Wareing is retiring in autumn 2020.
‘Siiri Duddington is a superb lawyer, with great legal knowledge and also commercial understanding. Always present in case of need – ready to support with full commitment toward the client.’
‘David Pitlarge is an excellent lawyer with a great deal of experience of shipping law matters. His advice is well thought out and his drafting excellent and there is nothing that I have thrown at him that he hasn’t been able to deal with. He is also a very nice person to deal with.’
‘Competitive rates, experienced lawyers providing a range of dry and wet work. A competent one-stop shop.’
‘Attention to detail, highly responsive, efficient.’
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)
Britannia P&I Club
Standard P&I Club (managed by Charles Taylor & Co Limited)
Swedish P&I Club
Norwegian Hull Club
The American P&I Club
The MECO Group (Michael Else & Co)
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
The 'best-in-class' team at Ince handles 'the complete spectrum of legal shipping issues', including shipbuilding, charterparty disputes and casualty issues. Led by Michael Volikas in London and the Greece-based Paul Herring, the practice also includes litigators Ian Chetwood and Jeremy Biggs as well as admiralty specialist Christian Dwyer. The practice has recently gone through a period of significant change, including the acquisition of an experienced team from Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless, including Paul Griffiths, William Chetwood and Joanna Steele. The firm also secured the key hire of Hill Dickinson LLP global practice head Julian Clark as senior partner. Clark has over 30 years' experience in this sector, handling big-ticket litigation, arbitration and mediation. Those new additions came on the back of a series of departures, including global shipping head Faz Peermohamed, global trade chief Will Marshall and commercial disputes partner Jonas Adolfsson.
Other key lawyers:
‘The shipping team at Ince provide a best-in-class service across the complete spectrum of legal shipping issues, from collisions to charter parties, from ship building contracts to Bills of Lading. their lawyers have a deep knowledge of the commercial realities within which a shipping business has to operate.’
‘Jeremy Biggs in London and Paul Herring in Athens both have that rare mixture of excellent legal knowledge and the ability to present their advice as the commercial context of the matter at hand requires. They are responsive and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Andy Powell is extremely practical in finding solutions rather than problems. My experience with Andy is in ship closings, deliveries and delivery documentation. In every closing, Andy has contributed hugely to make sure the transaction completes professionally, quickly and with an amicable result for all parties concerned. He is approachable, knowledgeable and proactive.’
‘Ian Chetwood is calm and reflective, even when under pressure.’
‘Their depth of knowledge and expertise in all aspects of shipping, whether transactional, adversarial, or regulatory, is unparalleled.’
‘Michael Volikas is now one of the most experienced dry shipping lawyers in London and is also underrated for his Admiralty expertise. He has an incredible depth of knowledge and is a deep, strategic thinker. He is often called in to rescue cases other firms have handled poorly.’
‘Jeremy Biggs is a commercially minded lawyer with an impressive winning streak. Clients value his input on a case. He has good instincts.’
‘Catherine Earnshaw is a rising star as a relatively new partner, winning admirers with her hard work on cases.’
‘Christian Dwyer is a tough workhorse within the Admiralty team.’
‘The merger of the Bentleys shipping team into Ince creates a formidable and capable team. They are top drawer.’
‘Andy Powell is a truly commercial lawyer, incredibly hard working and knowledgeable and always across the detail. He is diplomatic and instantly sees solutions when things go wrong. He is a very safe pair of hands and very well liked.’
‘The Ince shipping team is responsive, commercial and practical. They act as a true team; referring you to the best person within their team to get the job done.’
‘Jeremy Biggs is responsive, commercial and straight to the point. You always feel you are getting the best advice you can from him.’
‘Catherine Earnshaw is bright, pragmatic and always putting the client first.’
Thomas Miller/UK Club
North of England P&I Club
Glory Bulk Carriers Pte Ltd
Algoma Central Corporation
A.P. Møller – Maersk A/S trading as Maersk Line
Sinotrans & CSC
RWE Supply & Trading
Nicholas G Moundreas Shipping (NGM)
- Advising the sellers of a vessel on obtaining an injunction from the High Court in London to prevent further breach by their buyers of an obligation not to trade the vessel or sell it for any purpose other than demolition.
- Advising Algoma in relation to their cancellation of four shipbuilding contracts and recovery of the related instalments and interest.
Kennedys is active across the full spectrum of shipping law matters, including both wet and dry shipping work. The team's recent work includes charterparty disputes, insurance litigation and casualty matters, including several with complicating aspects such as fraud or sanctions as well as complex cross-border issues. Christopher Dunn leads the team, and specialises in marine cargo insurance. Michael Biltoo focuses on disputes, particularly those involving charterparties and piracy, and is also active in the Japanese market. Shaan Burton is also noted for her work in contentious and non-contentious insurance work, advising on policy wordings and acting in disputes. The 2019 arrival of a 10-strong group from Norton Rose Fulbright, including Jo Ward, Patrick Foss, and Chris Zavos, has further added to the team's expertise in marine insurance.
Other key lawyers:
‘Christopher Dunn is second to none when it comes to leading his team, has brilliant legal/market knowledge and believes in doing things the right way.’
‘Michael Biltoo is a tireless worker and can handle any claim that you throw at him.’
‘Shaan Burton continues to outperform her peers and produces some amazing results.’
‘Unlike some law firms they understand your requirements and how you want an advice presented. They create personal connections with you, so making it easier to work as a team and get the right result, plus they listen. They cover every area that is required, from policy advice to compliance to general advice and beyond. Their team has the best knowledge in the market and they will work tirelessly to reach a successful ending for all.’
‘They act as individuals on a personal level but work with you as a team, that makes them unique and an asset to have on your side. Other firms have great individual lawyers but not the overall breadth and depth that Kennedys have.’
Pequod Associates Ltd
With a 'very well-established and trusted shipping practice', the team at specialist firm MFB has experience across a broad range of shipping matters including emergency response, ship finance, shipbuilding, and insurance. The team is also very active in the superyacht space. The practice is praised by clients as 'big enough to handle high-value and complex transactions, yet small enough to provide a personal touch'. Practice head Edward Gray handles both contentious and non-contentious work, including arbitration. Andrew Hughes has significant expertise in handling matters in the Far East, while Mark Seward and Asad Naqvi are also 'stand-out individuals'. Assistant solicitor James Foley-Comer joined in September 2019 from Stephenson Harwood; he is well-regarded as 'very commercial and extremely personable.'
Other key lawyers:
‘MFB operates as an old-style law firm where relationships with clients matter and service is uppermost in the fee earners’ minds rather than how much can be billed. This is refreshing since so many of the City law firms have lost this touch and have become corporate machines.’
‘The team is very flexible, responsive at any time of the day with clear-cut answers. Very helpful and understanding of client needs.’
‘James Foley-Comer’s strengths lie not only in his industry expertise and input into the underlying contracts, but also his ability to coordinate multiple parties and manage the transaction process efficiently. James is very responsive, proactive and he communicates well, making sure all parties are kept in the loop. I believe these attributes together with his ability to see the bigger picture are qualities which demonstrate why he is very highly valued by his clients.’
‘The firm is focused on the superyacht and shipping markets and related transactions without the distractions of attempting to cover too many ancillary practice areas. They are highly responsive both to new instructions and equally exchanging ideas and taking soundings. MFB has a strong knowledge of key providers and the current marketplace and practices.’
‘Jonathan Watson is superb, always competent, diligent and reactive to client demands.’
‘MFB has a strong breadth of knowledge and experience across the maritime industry, including in the superyacht space. As a large boutique firm, they are big enough to handle high-value and complex transactions, yet small enough to provide a personal touch and competitive rates. Their lawyers come across as sharp, responsive and focused on delivering timely and commercially aware advice.’
‘James Foley-Comer is very commercial and able to explain risks and consequences in a way which is easy to understand. James is extremely personable, highly responsive and always focuses on driving transactions forward which is why he is a pleasure to deal with and very highly regarded.’
‘MFB has an excellent reputation in the commercial shipping market and the firm clearly places a heavy emphasis on working closely with its clients and understanding their business requirements.’
‘Mark Seward and Asad Naqvi are very experienced and commercially-minded shipping litigators.’
- Advised Salvor on salvage of bulk carrier in Canary Islands and subsequent towage to Spain.
- Successfully advised in High Court proceedings for the buyer of a yacht against Discovery Yachts Group.
- Defending charterers who are facing an unsafe port claim arising out of an alleged grounding incident in 2017 during the approach to Umm Al Quwain.
Stephenson Harwood’s practice covers a broad range of complex shipping work, covering disputes involving charterparties, shipbuilding, casualties, and marine insurance. Practice head Alex Davis is known for his work in marine insurance disputes, while Mike Phillips acts in matters across the shipping sector. The team also has a particular focus on floating production, storage, and offloading facilities disputes, led by Stuart Beadnall, with Max Lemanski also active in this area. Sean Gibbons is another key contact in the team, and stands out for his work in superyachts and shipbuilding; he has particularly strong links to the Korean market. Joe O’Keeffe is well-regarded for his work on marine insurance disputes, and Nick Barber is respected for his work in contractual and casualty litigation.
‘The team we work with has a very strong knowledge of the shipping in the oil & gas industry. When problem arises, they offer practical solutions and pragmatic approach. They are strong negotiators who try to make whatever is reasonably possible to reach a out of the court resolution of the dispute and avoid to start proceedings unnecessarily.’
‘Stephenson Harwood has an excellent casualty response team.’
‘Nick Barber’s team is of particular note. He is always available to give immediate advice and support on difficult situations as they are unfolding. His advice always considers the practical and commercial aspects as well as the many difficult legal considerations. He is our go to lawyer for all casualty work and has considerable experience from many of the recent large casualty disasters.’
‘Very broad practice with real depth of knowledge in all the major areas. Their client base is drawn from across the sector including owners, charterers, shipyards, off-shore operators, commodities players – the whole shooting match.’
‘Sean Gibbons is collaborative, responsive and focused. He has excellent knowledge across both dry shipping and shipbuilding issues.’
The Standard Club
Ark Shipping Company LLC
Atlantic Marine & Aviation LLP
- Successfully secured a Court of Appeal victory representing Ark Shipping Company LLC (bareboat charterers) in a dispute arising out of the interpretation of a clause in the industry-standard, BARECON 89 charterparty.
- Acting for the successful party in the first reported case on the 2017 BIMCO Supplytime charterparty form.
- Instructed by Tengizchevroil , the sellers under a sale contract of CPC blend crude oil to ChemChina as buyers, and Chevron Tankers Limited as the charterers of the “ATINA”, being the vessel procured to ship the cargo of CPC blend crude oil loaded in Russia to discharge in Malaysia.
Campbell Johnston Clark
In addition to an active ship financing practice, Campbell Johnston Clark handles a range of cargo and ship insurance work, including cases related to collisions. The team is led by founding partners Alistair Johnston and Jonathan Campbell; Johnston specialises in casualty work while Campbell focuses on financial and transactional work. Maria Borg Barthet has 'tremendous commercial acumen' and handles both wet and dry shipping cases, while litigation specialist Kirsty MacHardy is also well-regarded and 'provides high-quality advice on all manner of issues'. Duncan Ealand and James Clayton were promoted to director in May 2020; Clayton is praised by clients as 'extremely determined, responsive, approachable, and pragmatic'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very efficiently run firm with very good partner contact. Real experts in shipping’
‘The uniqueness of the team lies in their business and commercial approach to maritime issues, rather than their rigid legal interpretation. They have a vast knowledge, expertise and experience in all shipping matters and that enable them to both offer legal advice as well as offer commercial innovative solutions. This is a unique quality that few other firms have on offer.’
‘Duncan Ealand is conscientious and thoughtful.’
‘Jacqueline Zalapa and her team of associates well understand commercial sensibilities and are very cost conscious.’
‘A boutique firm, but the service and dedication of the team is amongst the best in the marine industry
‘Ian Short’s advice is cogent, to-the-point and he gives his full attention to every case, big or small.’
‘Andy Gray – a great depth of experience as a mariner coupled with his legal knowledge equals a fantastic ability to assess admiralty claims and strategize – a good person to have on your side.’
‘Alistair Johnston – very approachable, calm and patient especially in explaining complex issues to clients to ensure that we properly understand them. Very experienced in looking ahead to be able to properly evaluate a matter and knows how to get a successful conclusion to a case.’
‘James Mackay is experienced, practical and efficient.’
‘Maria Borg Barthet has tremendous commercial acumen.’
‘Carlo Sammarco is trusted by clients all over the world’
‘James Clayton is an extremely determined, responsive, approachable and pragmatic lawyer who is unflappable and achieves results. His advice is always clear and considered and he really adds value though his in-depth knowledge of both the industry and our company.’
‘Kirsty MacHardy is an incisive litigator who provides high quality advice on all manner of issues. When an incident occurs one of the first things we do is call her for advice.’
‘Maria Borg Barthet and Alistair Johnston are very knowledgeable. As a result of their extensive experience they are able to translate their knowledge into practical advice. They are available 24/7 and are just really pleasant to work with.’
James Fisher PLC
Shipowners P&I Club
Tokio Marine Houston Casualty
Based in Newcastle, Mills & Co is particularly active in litigation related to cargo claims, acting for charterers and shipowners; the team also has strong capabilities in arbitration. Guy Mills and Andreas Welz are the key partners in the practice; Mills specialises in shipbuilding, bills of lading, and charterparty disputes, while Welz handles admiralty and casualty work. Mills is praised as 'excellent for complex jurisdictional disputes arising out of marine casualties', while the team as a whole is valued for its 'concise and to-the-point advice'.
Formed by the merger of specialist shipping firm Thomas Cooper with Penningtons Manches in mid-2019, Penningtons Manches Cooper is active across a range of shipping matters including admiralty disputes, dry shipping disputes and shipbuilding work. The practice is led by Tim Kelleher, who has over 35 years' experience in this area, and Darryl Kennard, who is active in both wet and dry shipping disputes. Alex McIntosh is another key contact, recognised for his work on charterparties; he is well-regarded by clients.
‘Alex McIntosh is the person I go to at the firm. He is always available, quick to respond and very proactive. He knows the law and is very practical.’
‘Very responsive; in-depth knowledge of the sector, and excellent understanding of client needs on the legal and commercial level.’
‘Darryl Kennard has excellent knowledge and experience in his field – he is efficient, proactive and solution driven.’
‘We have had a long association with Alex McIntosh and we are very happy with the handling of our cases.’
Palmers Marine Services
- For Palmers Marine Services, successfully defended a prosecution brought by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency against the master and the owners of the CHIEFTON tug following tragic death of its engineers.
- On behalf of a HK-based intermediate charterer, successfully appealed a London arbitration award under s69 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
- On behalf of Chinese-owned Cosco Bulk Carrier, successfully defended an appeal in the UK high court arising out of a charterparty chain.
Preston Turnbull was established in October 2019 by a breakaway team of lawyers from Clyde & Co LLP, including Andrew Preston, Elizabeth Turnbull, Fanos Theophani, Rob Collins and consultant Ed Mills-Webb. The new firm offers strong experience across both dry and wet shipping matters, including charterparty, bills of lading, and shipbuilding disputes, as well as admiralty and sanctions issues. The team has represented clients in the High Court and the Supreme Court. Preston has a broad practice encompassing many aspects of commercial litigation, with particular experience in bunker disputes, while Turnbull frequently advises on Latin American matters.
Britannia Steamship Insurance Ltd
West of England Insurance Services
Thomas Miller P&I Limited
- Acting for the shipowner and P&I club following the collision between the “Alpine Eternity” and the Iranian owned gas rig SPD13A, the second largest ever loss in the P&I market ($800m).
- Advising SK Shipping in a complex claim for repudiation of four time charterparties worth approximately $20m.
- Advising Charterers Globalia in the “New Flamenco” matter, a landmark case regarding the calculation of damages for breach of charterparty.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Watson Farley & Williams LLP handles a broad range of contentious and non-contentious shipping matters, including transactions, ship financing, and disputes related to sale and purchase agreements. The team is also notable for its work on ship mortgages, with Charles Buss particularly experienced in this area. Asset finance specialist Lindsey Keeble is global head of maritime, while Robert Platt, Daniel Saunders , Andrew Ward and Andrew Hutcheon are also key partners in the team. Platt, Ward and Hutcheon focus on litigation, while Saunders handles corporate matters such as M&A and joint ventures. Toby Royal is also well-regarded, and is praised as 'thorough and commercially minded'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrew Ward is calm, focused, diligent and thorough – and always good-humoured.’
‘Charles Buss has unrivalled knowledge of Admiralty work and procedure.’
‘A very good team, always available. Pragmatic, with excellent knowledge. Very well organised.’
‘Toby Royal is very strong. Very pragmatic, leads the team excellent. Very intelligent way of communicating messages. Humour. Intelligence. Excellent legal knowledge.’
‘A very capable and commercially minded team – a deep bench across maritime/shipping disciplines.’
‘The team is known for their efficient solutions across complex projects in shipbuilidng, financing and time chartering. They are able to simplify complex issues in project and provide diligent and intelligent advice. We like to have their deep, comprehensive view on our transactions and their involvement is one of keys of success in our transactions.’
‘Toby Royal is a commercially minded lawyer, great in both chartering and contract law. He is one of rare lawyers who is involved in seismic marine business and is able to provide efficient solutions for our offshore operations in various regions.’
‘Marcus Dodds is very well-regarded for his incisive and well-thought-out advice, particularly on casualty matters.’
Reliance Industries Limited
Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha
Constellation Oil Services Holding S.A
Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
NatWest Markets PLC
The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC
- Advising Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, on the divestment and corporate restructuring of a partial stake in the holding companies of six Very Large Ethane Carriers to Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL), one of the largest LNG carriers across the globe, and another investor.
- Acting for NatWest Markets and The Royal Bank of Scotland under a loan agreement to a single-ship company for the purchase of the vessel the M/V “ALKYON”.
- Advised a number of shipowners on the acquisition and financing of ship scrubber systems, following the implementation of the IMO 2020 regulations.
Nordic firm Wikborg Rein's London team handles high-value, cross-border matters involving shipping and offshore energy. The team's recent work has ranged from negotiating contracts for charters or ship construction, to litigating disputes involving shipbuilding. The practice is also capable of handling complex matters, such as those involving allegations of bribery or fraud. It is also noted for its expertise in the FLNG space and its strong following in the Greek market. In addition to leading the team, Chris Grieveson has a broad practice covering both dry and wet shipping matters. Rob Jardine-Brown acts in shipbuilding and construction work and frequently works with Chinese shipyards, while Matt Illingworth is noted for his insurance work. Eleanor Midwinter is also a key contact, with experience in international litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘A cost-effective, quality-oriented, service-friendly and transparent firm.’
‘The London office has collected some genuine superstars, picking the best of the crop from the traditional shipping firms. This means that clients have their cases run by very experienced strategists at the top of their game, rather than farmed out to underperforming partners or less experienced associated, as can be the problem at the larger firms.’
‘The team has a real breadth of experience and depth of knowledge in shipping disputes. From junior to senior members, they are steeped in the commercial and legal aspects of maritime claims, many of them having spent considerable periods of time on secondment at major players in the industry. They also cover the full range of shipping disputes from bill of lading and charterparty disputes to more complex ship-finance and super-yacht cases. This sets them apart from other players in the market.’
‘The Wikborg Rein team has strength in depth with a number of excellent partners and strong senior associates. I am particularly impressed at their ability to combine commercial acumen with a good sense of litigation strategy.’
‘Their response times and their billing structures are two strong points in their favour.’
‘The partners are all of a very high calibre.’
‘Christopher Grieveson is a highly savvy and sophisticated litigator.’
‘Rob Jardine-Brown is a good strategist with a deep technical understanding of the offshore industry.’
‘Nick Shepherd is a very good lawyer with excellent client skills and commercial acumen.’
‘Eleanor Midwinter is a rising star who is bright, highly capable and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Rob Jardine-Brown is an excellent lawyer, highly focused on getting the client what it wants.’
‘Nick Shepherd is amazingly hard working, with a good mix of aggression when needed, and judgement to know when another strategy will be more productive.’
‘Baptiste Weijburg is a practical, hands-on lawyer, possessing not only good legal skills but also the commercial understanding to resolve issues.’
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
Navious 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 A
- Acting for Samherji, the company at the centre of the so called ‘fish rot scandal’, which concerned allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were paid in bribes for fishing quotas.
- An emergency response team advised the owners and their insurers on the widely reported blackout onboard the VIKING SKY at Hustadvika.
- Acting in a complex transaction involving the construction of six VLCCs worth $600m.
'A good niche firm with highly experienced shipping partners', BDM Law LLP handles complex shipping disputes relating to cargo damage, collisions, and total losses. Founded in 2015, the team is led by Bob Deering, Nick Burgess, David McInnes, and Pavlo Samothrakis; Samothrakis joined the firm in January 2020 from Ince. Deering handles the full range of wet and dry work, with particular specialisms in container ship casualties and matters in the Middle Eastern market. Burgess' practice is focused on the Asian market, while McInnes frequently acts for Mediterranean and German shipowners.
‘A small firm with good dialogue between partners, client and associates.’
‘BDM is very good-sized sector focused law firm. It started several years ago and just continues growing, but they know which size fits best to meet the clients’ demand.’
‘Nick Burgess is great shipping lawyer. He is flexible, cost-efficient, and knowledgeable about this sector. If you want a sector-focused, real professional, it would be him.’
‘A good niche firm with highly experienced shipping partners. Weaker in terms of associates.’
‘David McInnes is a hardworking lawyer with good commercial acumen. He has a loyal client base in the Italian market.’
‘Their charges are very competitive when comparing the level of their service with other law firms.’
UK P&I Club
North of England P&I
Tindall Riley (Britannia) Ltd
Based in East Anglia, Birketts LLP handles wet and dry shipping matters including cargo damage, hull insurance claims, and charter disputes for domestic and international clients. Dry shipping specialist Nicholas Woo leads the team, and has strong connections to the Far Eastern and Indian shipping markets. Henry Adams handles charterparty disputes and cargo recoveries, while Alex Davey frequently in charterparty and bills of lading disputes. In addition to representing clients in arbitration, the team also acts in the Commercial Court and the High Court.
‘Birketts’ shipping disputes team combine knowledge and experience in shipping with the insurance market specialising in the commodity sector. This background and the proven ability of the individuals to relate to our business ensures Birketts’ services are fully aligned to our needs.
‘Henry Adams’ communication skills, ability to think outside the box and understand technical issues are important factors when considering complex trade relationships and contracts.’
‘The team cooperate and communicate efficiently without any additional or unnecessary charge to the client.’
‘Nicholas Woo’s commercial sense helps to lead us towards the best economic result.’
‘Good quality lawyers without the overhead of London City law firms.’
‘Very accessible lawyers with a down-to-earth mentality and sound/practical legal advice.’
‘The team is small but very dedicated and committed to their job and to providing a good service. The team has a good level of technicality and is proactive.’
Seatrade Group NV
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA
West of England P&I
MS Amlin Marine Insurance B.V.
China P&I Club
Japan P&I Club
TOTSA Total Oil Trading S.A.
Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality France
Shipowners P&I Club
- Advised Ameropa SA in relation to a High Court claim brought by Alianca Navegacoa e Logistica Ltd (The “Santa Isabella”). Ameropa SA successfully defended a demurrage claim by the claimant ship-owners as the High Court found that the delay at the discharge port was due to a failure by the shipowner to properly care for the cargo, resulting in extensive damage to that cargo.
- Advised Noble Chartering Inc. in relation to an arbitration appeal in the High Court brought by Priminds Shipping (Hong Kong) Co Ltd (the “Tai Prize”).
DWF handles an array of shipping claims, including those involving collisions, insurance disputes and ship arrests. The team is particularly active in acting for insurers in litigation. In addition, it also handles a number of non-contentious matters such as contract drafting. Practice head Jonathan Moss also serves as DWF's global head of transport; a French speaker, he frequently handles matters in Francophone West and North Africa. Elliott Bromley and Radhika Ruparelia are also key contacts.
‘Good depth of experience.’
‘Jonathan Moss is very measured, very knowledgeable and client focused. We have some great results.’
‘In my experience the team at DWF are more far more commercially aware than other firms and actively look for workable commercial resolutions to their clients’ disputes as well as providing sound legal advice.’
‘The individuals I work with at DWF’s shipping-transport practice are always bang up-to-date both on the law and procedure as well as displaying a great deal of knowledge of their clients’ businesses and business practices.’
‘Jonathan Moss, who leads the team, does so by example. He takes the time to mentor more junior lawyers in his team and involve them in cases, which ensures he has in place the most effective team to fight his clients’ corner as well as developing the future talent pool within this field. Jonathan has in-depth knowledge of his clients, the personalities involved and their businesses allowing him to see the case from their perspective as well as the legal issues involved. He is calm under pressure and a pleasure to work with. I expect his team to go from strength to strength in the future.’
HDI Gerling Verzekeringen NV
American Bureau of Shipping
Serco Marine Services
Willis Marine International Trade & Logistics
Cronimet Eesti Metall
Van Dalen Metals Recycling & Trading
MS Amlin Marine
Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (‘CMAL’)
Edra Energy Bhd
Tonkolili Iron Ore (SL) Limited
Kwik-Fit (GB) Limited
Stapleton’s (Tyre Services) Ltd
The American Club
Hoek Brokerage Classic Yachts
In addition to handling shipping matters such as cargo and charter disputes, Gateley Plc is noted for its superyachts expertise. The team advises on the construction and financing of superyachts, as well as related issues including chartering, insurance, and vessel management. It also acts in admiralty issues such as general overage disputes. Practice head Paul Dickie is known for his superyacht expertise, while Nicholas Walser can draw on more than 30 years of experience of handling shipping disputes.
‘Gateley plc has a useful diversity of knowledge and experience which corresponds well to our needs. They are a very agreeable team who work well together.’
‘Paul Dickie makes himself as available as possible at all times, and when a task is urgent he always endeavours to step up to the plate.’
‘Vast experience coupled with a willingness to openly discuss issues. A reasoned approach to charges and an ability to provide a commercial view.’
‘Paul Dickie leads the team. Between them, the team has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspect of international trade and the carriage of goods by sea and other means. Their advice is always sensible, pragmatic and focused entirely on the client’s best interests. They will not fight a case for the sake of it just to earn fees.’
‘Paul Dickie is a quietly spoken, strong adviser, who instils great confidence in his abilities. He has a forensic eye for detail and is more than prepared to go the extra mile or two when required. It is hard to think of a better man to have on your team when dealing with a dispute.’
- Advised Pequod Associates on various cargo claims in relation to the carriage of goods by sea, e.g. (a) various claims for loss of and damage to rice being carried from the Far East into West Africa; (b) various claims for damage to contents of refrigerated containers (c) claims for wet damage in the course of carriage by sea.
- Acting for insurers Gebr Sluyter in a claim for damage to frozen fish in the course of carriage by sea.
Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP is noted for its work in the shipbuilding space, including advising on financing, transactions, and construction related to ships. The firm's work in this area encompases matters relating to superyachts, tankers, FPSOs, FLNG platforms, and dry bulk carrier vessels. The team is now led by Andreas Silcher, an FLNG specialist, and, who handles a diverse range of transactional matters. Other key figures in the team include the hugely experienced senior counsel Simon Curtis and William Cecil, who acts extensively in shipbuilding litigation.
‘This department serves a niche market and they are real experts in their nice. Further, the team is extremely hands-on and has a practical mindset that really serves the industry very well.’
‘Andreas Silcher has wide knowledge, is very practical and hands-on.’
‘Mark Johnson is cooperative and proactive in his advice.’
‘Andreas Silcher and Mark Johnson are highly experienced, personable and sensible. They follow instructions diligently, offer commercial and constructive suggestions and have a deep understanding of the market in which they are operating – and tailor their work accordingly. They are excellent at prioritising work within the team – and identifying/delegating the correct team-member to carry it out.’
‘Andreas Silcher is an outstanding lawyer covering a wide spectrum of shipping law. His professionalism, integrity, honesty, and commercial understanding are unparalleled.’
‘Andreas Silcher is clearly an expert in his field and adept at providing excellent and knowledgeable legal advice whilst also always being mindful of the commercial context within which such advice is given and the decisions that are required to be made by the business. He is responsive, efficient and a pleasure to work with.’
TMS Cardiff Gas Ltd
The Ministry of Finance of Trinidad and Tobago
National Infrastructure Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago
The Ministry of National Security of Trinidad and Tobago
Kuwait Oil Tanker Company
ESL Shipping Finland
Stena Drilling Limited
LNG Ships Inc.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
- Advised TMS Cardiff Gas Ltd throughout 2019 in relation to its bids on a number of public and private tenders (including Qatargas, Total, PGNIG, Pavilion Energy, Cheniere and Aramco) for the long term chartering of LNG tonnage.
- Acted for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, acting through the Ministry of National Security, in connection with the purchase of two naval cape class patrol vessels for the TT Coast Guard to be constructed by Austal in Australia.
- Advised Avenir LNG in relation to two bareboat charter parties for LNG bunkering vessels, one to operate in Malaysia and the other in Brazil.
Keystone Law's shipping practitioners handle a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Key figures include Jonathan Hadley-Piggin and Anastasia Papadopoulou; Hadley-Piggin offers expertise in the yacht and superyacht space, while Papadopoulou handles commercial work including ship transactions, charter parties and shipbuilding. George Lambrou is 'a real troubleshooter' and handles international shipping litigation, particularly in Greece and Eastern Europe. Fei Mao and Alison Marriott joined from Ince in November 2019.
‘The team has excellent lawyers in the field of shipping. They are professional, diligent, well-experienced.’
‘Fei Mao is an experienced and professional lawyer. We have learned a lot in coorporation with her.’
‘The team combines excellent maritime and transport law expertise with understanding of business specifics in different jurisdictions. They are great at strategic planning.’
‘George Lambrou is a real troubleshooter. He inspires confidence even in the most difficult negotiations. Clients always listen to his advice because they are useful and timely. We have repeatedly worked with George on complex cross-border projects and we were delighted with his talents. He brilliantly speaks several languages, including Greek and Russian, and he also knows the specifics of doing business in the post-Soviet space. There is hardly any other lawyer with such a set of unique competencies.’
‘Keystone have a fantastic team of experienced legal professionals who are reliable and easily accessible.’
‘Jonathan Hadley-Piggin is a fantastic professional that greatly assists us in all endeavours. His expertise is unparalleled and he has become a trusted associate.’
Marla Tankers Shipmanagement Inc.
AMT Insurance Ltd
Maersk Trade Finance A/S
Teo Shipping Corp & Others
- Instructed by Marla Tankers Shipmanagement/ The UK Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Europe) to coordinate overall settlement and release of the Aframax Oil Tanker “FOS Hamilton”, following its arrest by the Russian authorities after a major incident in the port of Novorossiysk and the commencement of both civil and criminal claims before the Russian Courts.
- Defending client underwriters in High Court proceedings brought against AMT Insurance by Aquajoy Shipping Company and Boumar Shipping Company following the constructive total loss of the “Evanthia M” following main engine breakdown and fire.
- Assisted Le Chameran Ltd in drafting an initial short time charter and ongoing yacht management legal matters, including employment and other matters. This also included a brokerage dispute with a non-UK entity.
Lax & Co LLP
With the 'perfect combination of legal experience and commerical knowhow', specialist shipping firm Lax & Co LLP handles a wide range of shipping litigation matters, covering charterparty disputes, marine insurance claims, and ship arrests. The team represents clients in both arbitration and court proceedings, including in the High Court. The practice is led by the 'very astute and experienced' Mike Lax, who has worked in this area for over 40 years. Stuart Dench handles charterparties, bills of lading and shipbuilding issues and is another key contact.
‘Excellent value for money. Perfect combination of legal experience and commercial knowhow. Lax & Co don’t flood cases with assistants just to increase the size of their bills.’
‘Mike Lax is very astute and experienced. He’s seen it all and gets right to the point.’
‘Stuart Dench offers practical straightforward advice. Efficient case-handling. A safe pair of hands.’
‘This firm has in depth knowledge and experience of the subject area and is prompt and efficient in responding.’
West of England P&I Club
Tankers International LLC
Steamship Mutual P&I Club
Standard Maritime Holding Corporation
Rua Bulgaria EOOD
Petraco Oil Company LLP (Lugano Branch)
Palmali Group of Companies
Norstar Shipping (Asia PTE)
Navigator Holdings Ltd
MUR Shipping BV
Meyer Turku Oy
Hellman Worldwide Logistics SA
Bocimar International NV
Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Co
Strategic Shipping Inc
- Advised Palmali in High Court proceedings regarding COA dispute with Litasco.
- 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 Ltd the claimants in a claim under a marine insurance policy in High Court proceedings.
Norton Rose Fulbright's London team acts in tandem with the firm's lawyers around the world to effectively handle cross-border mandates including contractual disputes, casualty and admiralty disputes, and shipbuilding and financing. The practice is led by Philip Roche, who has broad experience of marine disputes in the High Court and Court of Appeal, as well as in arbitration. Charlotte Winter specialises in asset finance-related litigation, such as mortgage enforcement and ship financing disputes. Robert Driver joined the London team from the Singapore office as a consultant in August 2019.
‘The litigation team has strong capabilities in the global transportation and shipping sector.’
‘Charlotte Winter is knowledgeable, experienced and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Giles Brand is a “go to” shipping finance partner, highly knowledgeable and practical and thoroughly pleasant and polite.’
Dubai Ports World
DVB (Shipping panel appointment)
Japan P&I Club
P&O Maritime Services Ltd
Standard Chartered Bank
Waterson Hicks' shipping practice focuses on dispute resolution, handling both arbitration and court proceedings. Working in tandem with a team in Piraeus, the practice is especially active in the Greek market, where it advises many of the major shipowners. Practice head John Hicks is highly experienced in charterparty disputes, sale and purchase disputes and marine insurance. Stuart Parkin is a former deck officer who specialises in technical disputes, such as speed and consumption claims.
‘Extremely hardworking, sound advice, on the point without sitting on the fence. Very competitive rates.’
‘Very commercial approach with an in-depth and realistic knowledge of the way the shipping industry works.’
‘They are very prompt, on time with the deadlines and replies, diligent, following up their cases very closely, they are contactable any time even during weekends and with reasonable fees.’
‘This is a boutique maritime law firm that offers personal service with years of experience and extremely practical and commercial advice/assistance.’
‘John Hicks is one of the best lawyers I have come across in the maritime/insurance sector. His knowledge is vast, his commercial acumen second to none and he is respected across the industry. His success rate is also very high on cases.’
‘Stuart Parkin is a go to admiralty practitioner (with excellent legal knowledge), particularly when it comes to speed and consumption issues and collisions.’
Winter Scott LLP
Based in Hull, Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP deals with a range of both contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm’s international client base instructs the team for matters ranging from contract work and the drafting of bills of lading to charterparty and personal injury claims. The team is led by Dominic Ward, who specialises in dry shipping matters such as carriage of goods and cargo. Andrew Oliver works on fisheries and vessel finance work, including handling regulatory prosecutions for Inshore Fisheries Conservation Agencies.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are honest, trustworthy and always provide the very best of support and advice.’
‘Dominic Ward and his staff have always been most supportive and very helpful in dealing with associated leases, financial documentation and the registration of marine mortgages.’
‘Dominic Ward is attentive and goes beyond the call of duty.’
Associated British Ports
SMS Towage Limited
Blue Water Shipping
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
- Representing the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority in prosecuting several infringements of European, UK legislation and local by-laws.
- Acting for Woods River Cruises Ltd in connection with the acquisition of St Katherine’s pier on the River Thames for redevelopment.
- Assisted va-Q-tec Ltd, a producer of thermal packaging used in cargo shipping, in producing contracts for the operation of customer services centres at ports worldwide.
Based in Plymouth, Bartons handles shipping matters including claims made for vessel losses, ship construction, and ship arrests. The firm’s work covers matters in the South East and on a national level, including cases with cross-border elements. The practice is led by Jo Pummery, while Lee Hassall specialises in marine-related incidents such as casualties onboard vessels.
Other key lawyers:
‘One of the leading shipping/marine practices in the southwest. Very able practitioners with good knowledge of the industry and the legal issues which arise in marine claims.’
‘Bartons have been providing legal advice to our company for many years and we always find their advice, which is always provided in a timely manner, to be well considered and thorough. They have specialists in our area of concern which is marine insurance.’
‘I have worked with Jo Pummery on a number of cases and she has a great grasp for detail and exercises sound commercial judgement in her decision-making.’
Sompo Canopius Marine and Sedgwick International UK
British Marine Ltd (QBE)
Shipowners Protection Ltd
Sunderland Marine Insurance Company Ltd
Pantaenius UK Ltd
RSA Insurance Group Ltd – Marine Claims
British Marine Federation
Arc Legal Assistance Ltd
- Acted for KGM Marine Trade/Canopius in the defence of a high-value, professional negligence claim against an insured marine engineer., relating to property damage and personal injuries caused by an explosion on board a motor yacht.
- Advised insurers Pantaenius UK Ltd and their insured in bringing a claim for the total loss of the insured’s vessel due to the negligence/breach of contract of the marina and crane company.
- Acted for British Marine Ltd in the defence of a claim for the total loss of a vessel, allegedly due to the condition of the seabed at a drying berth.
Led by Linos Choo, DLA Piper's London team collaborates with the firm's offices around the world to handle both contentious and non-contentious shipping issues. Its recent work has included cargo disputes, ship transactions, and charterparty litigation. Choo is experienced in shipping disputes; he is praised for his 'very good commercial instincts'.
Other key lawyers:
‘A very practical, extremely well connected, efficient team with an outstanding focus on client value.’
‘Linos Choo is exceptionally efficient and a pleasure to work with – his focus on client value, depth of expertise and extent and quality of connections in the industry are second to none.’
‘Their international outreach and knowledge, in particular, of the Far Eastern markets sets them apart from their competitors.’
‘Linos Choo is bright, dedicated and has very good commercial instincts. He is also fun and pleasant to work with.’
Globe Marine Services Company
Tata Steel UK Limited
Standard Chartered Bank
Manfred Lauterjung Befrachtung GmbH
DTEK Trading SA
- Acted for Globe Marine Services Co in successfully defending an anti-suit injunction in the Commercial Court.
- Acted for Petronas Lubricants International Sdn Bhd in a highly publicised dispute between Barlian Laju Tankers and Schlumberger relating to the alleged smuggling of cargo into the Port of Rayong Thailand.
- Advising Zopco SA in a claim brought against Metaspark Resources Pte Ltd arising under a Copper Concentrate Sale Contract pursuant to which Zopco agreed to sell and Metaspark agreed to buy between 18,000 to 22,500 cmt of copper concentrate.
Hannaford Turner LLP
International commercial disputes firm HCO Legal is noted for its expertise in arbitration proceedings, with practice head Ben Horn experienced in arbitration related to time and voyage charters, cargo claims, transactions, and ship arrests. The team also has experience of handling litigation in the High Court. While Horn focuses on dry shipping work, consultant Jim Allsworth handles wet shipping matters. Allsworth has specialised knowledge of salvage matters such as Lloyd's Open Form of Salvage Agreements, acting for salvors, owners and underwriters.
‘Ben Horn is very well known in the market as one of the toughest operators around. Always gets results.’
‘A boutique firm with highly efficient advice.’
‘Ben Horn is excellent in handling dry claims relating to bill of lading and charter party – his legal advice is always straightforward and practicable.’
‘Very quick, practical and commercial advice and a drive to serve the client’s needs in the best possible way.’
‘Ben Horn stands out for his availability and quick turnaround. If you have a question that is urgent you can be certain that he will find some time to deal with it and give you his response. His advice is practical and problem solving and at the same time he is cost conscious on the costs for the client. He gives his personal attention to matters.’
‘Akshay Misra is great guy to look up to in the times of need and responds well to queries.’
‘Ben Horn – a sharp mind and experienced lawyer.’
‘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. That client base has remained loyal due to an efficient and undoubtedly cost-effective service, which compares favourably to the larger and more well-established shipping firms. In my experience, HCO regularly outperforms firms with much larger and more expensive teams.’
‘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. He is commercially and legally adept, and regularly outmanoeuvres opponents in litigation and arbitration.’
‘Akshay Misra is a very diligent and hardworking assistant solicitor. He maintains good relationships with the firm’s client base and is across all of the firm’s matters.’
‘Sacha Christopher is also a notable performer. He is very intelligent.’
- Defended Ingosstrakh Insurance Company Ltd against a the claim under the HM policy in respect of the total loss of a vessel.
- Represented Seyvlor Shipping in an appeal against an arbitration award in the Commercial Court. The matter concerned a point of law regarding the meaning of Section 2 of COGSA (1992).
- Successfully sought an injunction for Times Navigation, preventing identity theft in relation to oil cargo valued at up to $100m.
Keoghs LLP's shipping team is known for its work advising both insurers and policyholders on claims related to shipping accidents and collisions. The team handles product liability claims involving shipbuilders and manufacturers, as well as prosecutions brought by the MCA. Led by Daniel Crockford, the practice is spread across Keoghs' offices in London and Bristol, the latter of which opened in September 2019. Crockford is an experienced litigator and is known for his work on yacht and superyacht matters. Alex Penberthy is another key contact and advises on a range of marine insurance matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Clients need go nowhere else: it is a one stop shop for insurer clients, and has always been a leading insurance firm. Recruiting Dan Crockford and Alex Penberthy has been a massive coup for Keoghs, which has right under its competitors’ noses become a leading light in shipping and yacht disputes. The yacht market is tiny and Dan and Alex have carved out a big chunk of it for themselves and I can only see this snowballing now that they are at Keoghs.’
‘In today’s insurer-funded market, you need to be lean and fit, cost-effective and client-focused – and that’s what they are.’
‘Clients choose to work with people they like and trust, and they’re impossible not to like! They’re nice to work with, they get results and they are sensible on price; what’s not to like? The market is lapping them up.’
‘The Keoghs marine team are experts in their field with a vast experience of handling some of the most complex marine related disputes but also more then able to manage the volume based work too in a professional and efficient manner.’
‘What sets the Keoghs Marine team apart is their interpersonal and communication skills. They not only deal with the legal side but also understand the commercial reality of our sector (insurance) and are a very much valued partner firm.’
‘The firm is fast growing a formidable reputation in the shipping sector. The partners are approachable and grounded. In a sector full of wannabes and people who talk a good game but don’t always deliver, Partners like Alex Penberthy and Daniel Crockford actually know the sector, the market and understand the nuances around shipping. They are true experts with a proven track record.’
‘Alex Penberthy is a ship owner’s dream. He talks the language of shipping, has super interpersonal skills and a fantastic work ethic to boot. A real class act, quick becoming one of the doyen’s of the shipping sector.’
‘Daniel Crockford – a true insurance specialist. A fantastic black letter lawyer. He has exceptional knowledge and experience of the sector which means he can handle a huge range of claims on behalf of UK and international marine insurers, ports and P&I clubs, whether for high-level regulatory matters, casualty investigations, cargo claims, property damage claims, pollution and related incidents or logistics related issues.’
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Arc Legal Assistance
- Advised Sunderland Marine on an alleged accident aboard a shipping vessel, including conducting an investigation.
- Instructed by Allianz following a passenger boat collision with the police engineering pier on the river Thames, producing a claim worth £1.6m.
M Taher & Co Solicitors
Led by Maryam Taher, London firm M Taher & Co Solicitors handles shipping matters including marine insurance, international trade, fraud, and litigation. The team is also noted for its work on matters involving sanctions, such as advising companies in contract negotiations with sanctioned entities. Taher is fluent in Farsi and has recently advised on a number of matters related to Iran.
Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines
JF-K Company Limited
London shipping specialist firm Mays Brown advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with a client base including owners, operators, charterers, traders, P&I clubs, insurers and shipyards. Much of the firm's work involves cross-border aspects. The team is led by Joe Mays, David Wartski, and Stephen Grainger. The team is praised by a client for combining 'an outstanding legal foundation with astute commercial knowhow'.
‘The team is very close and seem very much on the same wavelength with regards to the practice. They work very much in tandem and have a co-ordinated approach to clients.’
‘I think their main strength is their size and dedication to clients. They are very efficient, responsive and proactive. They combine an outstanding legal foundation with astute commercial knowhow.’
‘Joe Mays is particularly effective in terms of responsiveness, assistance and practicality. He is a top operator and has a great instinct for legal strategy.’
‘Ryan Sheward is really impressive with his commitment to clients, speed of response and depth of knowledge.’
‘A solid, friendly, medium sized law firm with a very commercial approach.’
‘David Wartski is an excellent solicitor, with a very commercial approach. He always goes out of his way to assist. Very proactive and always provides prompt, clear, succinct advice, keeping in mind the commercial issues. A pragmatic lawyer, with a no nonsense approach.’
‘Mays Brown have a small team focused on core shipping practice which suits a P&I Club client perfectly.’
‘David Wartski, Joe Mays and Ryan Sheward have all performed excellently for me in the past. They have individual styles but their quality and appropriate level of skill, timely delivery and billing have been high across the board.’
‘Mays Brown have set themselves up as a boutique law firm and stuck proudly to that model, which I think has certainly worked to their advantage. In keeping with this model, they are able to offer personalised service at competitive pricing points, without compromising on the quality of work.’
‘An excellent practice, friendly; approachable and accessible, generous when sharing knowledge and able to turn a matter round quickly and efficiently,at a competitive price.’
‘I have worked with David Wartski and Joe Mays from the inception of the practice. Both are quality performers and great people to work with.’
‘Mays Brown is a firm of specialist shipping and trade lawyers forming a close knit team with many years of collective experience. The firm is very modern in its outlook, but with an old school collegiate culture. Clients from around the world are extremely loyal to this firm.’
Led out of Liverpool, Weightmans LLP's core focus is on advising ports and terminals on liability, regulatory and casualty work, as well as acting for ship operators, charterers and P&I clubs. In addition to acting on cases in the North West, such as matters involving the Irish Sea, the team also advises on cases with cross-border aspects. The team is led by Phil James; Mike Burns is also a key part of the team, handling contentious work.
Other key lawyers:
Peel Ports Group
Zurich Insurance (Marine)
Bibby Marine Ltd
Bam Nuttall Ltd
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
Essar Oil UK
NMU Speciality (Munich Re)
Liverpool City Region Combined District Authority
- For Bibby Marine Ltd, handling contract drafting and negotiation of the build of a new €42m windfarm support/crew transfer vessel (with innovative design features) at Damen Shipyard in Galaltz, Romania.
- Advising Peel Ports in the aftermath of the large container vessel taking on a severe list at the L2 Container Terminal, with risk of capsizing/loss of containers, during a call at Liverpool in May 2019.
- Acting for the Great Yarmouth Harbour Authority in the detention and sale of the Malaviya 20 which had been effectively abandoned at Great Yarmouth.
Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
Created through the 2020 merger between legacy firms zeiler.partners and Floyd Zadkovich, Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich is now able to offer a seamless cross-border approach. Pre-merger, the firm was boosted in London in summer 2019 through the addition of Damon Thompson, a specialist in the energy sector, who has added to the team's capabilities in commodities shipping. Since Thompson joined the London office, the team has received instructions from a number of prominent companies to advise on LNG-related issues. In addition to Thompson, name partner Luke Zadkovich co-heads the team and offers experience across a range of shipping matters, splitting his time between London, the US and Sydney. During 2019 the firm opened new offices in Chicago and Houston; the London team frequently collaborates with these offices on cross-jurisdictional matters.
‘In my experience, the team (led by Luke Zadkovich) have been able to appreciate the commercial objectives of our members very quickly, and to come up with legal solutions in order to meet those objectives. The focus is on obtaining the results our members want as efficiently as possible. I find the team’s approach to be collaborative – they work with the Club and our Members, not as an advisor at arm’s length, which is valued.’
‘Luke Zadkovich is very approachable and always willing to assist. Luke has come up with novel solutions on more than one occasion and has regularly delivered results exceeding our Members’ expectations. His communication is clear and I have been very happy to recommend his services to colleagues and Members.’
‘They have expertise in the same time zone for both English law and US law expertise.’
‘They offer a package of lawyers with in-depth experience and capabilities, at affordable pricing and complete dedication to a file. This makes them a very attractive proposition if you are seeking specialist shipping and commodities advice.’
‘Utilising his prior experience in private practice and in-house, Damon Thompson applies a sharp and commercial sense to enable the client to achieve the best results.’
- For a major international LNG supplier and charterer, drafted and negotiated two long term charters for two new-build LNG carriers. Entire deal (including extension options) was worth over $700 million.
- Advised a major international LNG supplier and charterer. on an ongoing claim for losses arising from an engine breakdown. The full value of the claim in in excess of $7 million.
- For a major commodities trader, obtained and enforcing worldwide freezing order from English Commercial Court against trading counterparties in relation to fraud based claim on a commodities sale contract.