Shipping in South West

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP, which undertakes the full range of shipping and marine regulatory work, regularly acts for clients in the fishing industry, shipowners, and port and harbour authorities. It also generates work from national and international banks. Specialisms of the practice include high-value demurrage and delay claims, ship sale and purchase disputes, cargo claims and marine licensing. Other work includes vessel refinancings and purchases. Charles Hattersley leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Charles Hattersley

Other key lawyers:

Lara Moore; Ieuan Jones

Key clients

Rowse Fishing Limited

Castle Air Limited

Roger B Klyne

Metmar Denizcilik Sanayi Ve Ticarat Limited

Littlehampton Harbour Board

Exe Shipping Limited

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (R.N.L.I)

Derek Meredith / Laura D Fishing Limited

Offshore Marine Management Limited

Sea Bunkering Limited

Shoreham Port Authority


Fowey Harbour Authority

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council (Weymouth Harbour)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Laura D Fishing Limited against 48 counts of allegedly operating illegal fishing gear.
  • Advising the owners of the Bugaled Breizh fishing vessel in all aspects of UK proceedings as part of the overall investigation.
  • Advising Castle Air Limited on a number of high-value sale and purchase agreements for helicopter purchases relating to yacht use.
  • Defending R&E Fish Limited against Marine Management Organisation charges.
  • Assisting Royal National Lifeboat Institution its marine licensing requirements for all existing infrastructure in the UK.


Marine specialists Bartons primarily acts for marine insurers in cases involving fishing trawlers, passenger vessels and yachts. It fields a marine advocacy team, which both defends and prosecutes cases; a key figure in the group is recently promoted associate Tristan Harwood, who is a qualified barrister and PACE-qualified representative. The team also works with a number of governing bodies and authorities on strategic planning and legal frameworks, reviewing policies and providing legal consultation. Team head Jo Pummery is highly experienced in injury and fatality claims, negligence claims, and marine insurance disputes, particularly in relation to racing yachts.

Practice head(s):

Jo Pummery

Other key lawyers:

Lee Hassall; Tristan Harwood; Cory Cuff


Full of praise for Jo Pummery, she’s a star

Jo Pummery is very experienced

Key clients

Sompo Canopius Marine

British Marine Ltd

Shipowners Protection Ltd

Sunderland Marine Insurance Company Ltd

Pantaenius UK Ltd

RSA Insurance – Marine Claims

Beazley Group

Loadstar Marine

Rib Eye Ltd

British Marine Federation

Arc Legal Assistance Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Sompo Canpoius Marine regarding coverage issues in relation to a claim against an insured company which has gone out of business.
  • Assisted Ribeye Limited with drafting contractual terms for sale of superyacht tenders (business to business) and also new and second-hand vessels to consumers.
  • Representing Barry Wheldon in claims against two contractors through their respective insurers for the failure of contractors’ lifting gear causing total loss of the vessel.
  • Acted for the British Marine Federation in drafting standard terms and conditions for passenger boat operators for publishing on their website for member use.
  • Defending Edwin Butter against a claim of alleged breach of sale contract.


BLM in Bristol predominantly focuses on marine insurance work, with a larger focus on so-called 'wet' shipping matters; this area is split relatively equally between injury and non-injury work. Team head Gemma Pearce, who is dual-qualified as a solicitor and as a barrister, has 18 years of experience of the sector. The work includes matters involving charter parties, bills of lading, the supply and carriage of goods, cargo, and passenger and crew claims. Policy coverage disputes are another area of strength.

Practice head(s):

Gemma Pearce

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Favali; Alice Walsh; Amy Frogson

Work highlights

    Dorade Law

    Dorade Law focuses exclusively on the yachting arena, and all team members have experience of working in the marine industry, including experienced commercial yachtmaster Gus LewisNick Horton advises superyacht clients on both a strategic level. and on contract negotiations for the building and re-fitting of private vessels. The firm has expanded its offering in port and harbour law with the hire of consultant Andrew Hignett from Keystone Law. Another pillar of the work involves advising ultra-high net worth individuals on aircraft and helicopter transactions.

    Practice head(s):

    Gus Lewis; Nick Horton

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Hignett


    Nick Horton is the go-to guy for yachting matters

    Gus Lewis really knows his stuff

    Very active in transactional matters

    Key clients

    Pendennis Shipyard Limited

    Royal Yachting Association

    ICOMIA – Superyacht Refit Group

    T Nielsen & Co. – Gloucester Dry Docks

    Work highlights

    • Assisted Pendennis Shipyard with negotiating a number of yacht refit contracts and two further build contracts.
    • Assisting the International Committee of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) with a superyacht refit contract review.