Shipping and transport in South Africa


Bowmans is a traditional leader that has successfully diversified its practice to include burgeoning areas such as port and terminal infrastructure work. It is especially well regarded for representing P&I clubs, banks and large chartering operations. It continues to represent key parties in many of the headline ship casualty cases and expanded its offering with the hire of aviation disputes specialist Heather Manson from Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa IncCraig Cunningham leads the team with Andrew Pike noted for ports and terminals work. Jeremy Prain and Mark van Velden complete the senior group.

Practice head(s):

Craig Cunningham


They are very quick in responding and deliver high quality work.’

Mark van Velden is reachable 24/7. He is the lawyer with the quickest response time and delivers high quality work. He is simply brilliant.

Key clients

Credit Europe Bank

North of England P&I Club

UK P&I Club


MUR Shipping

The Charterers P&I Club

Work highlights

  • Represented Seaspan Corporation in High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal proceedings linked to the financial collapse of Hanjin Shipping.
  • Acted for Deutsche Bank on the foreclosure of the Emre-T vessel in Namibia.
  • Advised MSC Cruises and its subsidiary KwaZulu Cruise Terminal on the proposed development of the Durban Cruise Terminal.

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has a fully rounded practice covering key transportation sectors, with further ports and logistics expertise. Along with a mainstream shipping practice, the firm is at the forefront of aviation and rail. Maritime specialists Gavin Fitzmaurice, Patrick Holloway and Andre Bowley are highly rated, as is asset finance expert Scott Edmundson.


They have a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge in admiralty law.’

I found the team to be practical and user friendly.’

They have an excellent can do attitude, are good lawyers and find creative solutions if required.

Gavin Fitzmaurice is my go to lawyer in most cases. He is extremely easy to work with, providing clear and comprehensive advice. He is tenacious and a winner.

Patrick Holloway is a first rate operator and very good lawyer.

Andre Bowley has a wealth of legal knowledge and practical solutions.’

Andre Bowley is excellent, very proactive and easy to deal with and also comes up with solutions that work.’

Key clients

The Navigators Group

PICC Property and Casualty Company

Skuld P&I Club

Hellenic Bank

Robben Island Museum

Work highlights

  • Advised Lloyds Underwriters, the insurers of Bulk Connections, on various losses arising from storm damage and an allision involving the MSC Ines.
  • Represented PICC Property and Casualty Company in an insurance claim under a hull insurance policy brought by the owners of MV Sheng Ming.
  • Advised United Kingdom Export Finance and Citi Bank on the financing of two 737 Max 8 aircraft to Comair.


ENSafrica has a sizeable share of major shipping cases, thanks in part to the presence of strong teams in Cape Town and Durban. Marine insurance, casualty and cargo arrest matters are fortes for the firm, which is also noted for aviation finance thanks to the presence of senior banking lawyer Sean Lederman. Tony NortonMichael Tucker and Kate Pitman are at the forefront of the maritime industry. The team is especially noted for its links to P&I clubs, ship operators, and hull and machinery insurers. Senior associate Jacqui Kaufmann is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Tony Norton


Tony Norton’s legal expertise is unquestionably brilliant, his industry experience is quite unique and that experience has clearly been passed down to the other team members.

Key clients


Maersk Line

Mediterranean Shipping Company



Work highlights

  • Advised the owners and master of the MV Cherry Blossom on the detainment of the cargo  in Port Elizabeth.
  • Acted for owners and bareboat charterers of the MV Julian in relation to a claim by the owners of a shore-loading appliance for a collision by the vessel under pilotage.
  • Advised Minmetals Logistics Zhejiang  and Charterers P&I Club on the grounding and wreckage of MV Smart which grounded at Richards Bay.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc has a strong record in marine insurance. The global firm has a focus on the transport industry and in Durban-based head of the South Africa transport team Malcolm Hartwell, it has the only master mariner in the domestic market that operates at director level. Andrew Robinson has a fine record in shipping disputes.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Hartwell

Key clients

Members of Parakou Shipping Group

Seguradora Internacional de Mocambique

Ilanga Scientific


Coöperatieve Rabobank

Hollard Insurance Company

Santam Marine

Work highlights

  • Acted for members of Parakou Shipping Group in an ongoing claim for charter hire following the collapse of shipping markets in 2008.
  • Represented Seguradora Internacional de Mocambique in connection with the arrest of the MV MSC Chiara and proceedings in the Mozambique High Court.
  • Advised Ilanga Scientific on FIB and CIF agreements and voyage charter party terms for the carriage of salt from Namibia to Nigeria, Cameroon, Europe and North America.

Shepstone & Wylie

Shepstone & Wylie is traditionally strong in the shipping and maritime industry, with the team operating across its Cape Town, Durban and Richards Bay offices. The firm is best known for its representation of P&I Clubs, shipowners and charterers. Durban-based Shane Dwyer and Krish Reddy have considerable experience, with Quintus van der Merwe heading the shipping and logistics practice. Edmund Greiner in Cape Town is also rated. The firm continues to be engaged on many of the headline and big-ticket cases involving the South African shipping sector.

Practice head(s):

Quintus van der Merwe

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP continues to leverage its global standing in shipping and the concentration of strong expertise in its Cape Town office. Arthur James leads a team that has a wealth of experience in ship arrests, cargo disputes and commodity trading cases. It advises a range of shipowners, P&I Clubs, hull underwriters, cargo underwriters and commodities traders.

Practice head(s):

Arthur James