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Shipping in South West

Ashfords LLP

With its ‘unrivalled knowledge of UK ports and harbours‘, and under the guidance of much lauded expert in the field Lara MooreAshfords LLP continues to stand out for its stellar experience in this niche space. Harbour Order and Brexit-related work, marine licensing and regulation issues, harbour dues litigation, and high-value coastal developments all form a regular part of the workload. The firm’s reputation is illustrated by a client roster comprising leading industry bodies, including the British Ports Association and the UK Harbour Masters Association.

Practice head(s):

Lara Moore

Other key lawyers:

Tommy Fox


‘Unrivalled knowledge of UK ports and harbours.’

‘Ashfords are recognised within industry as leaders in this field. The “go-to” firm for all things shipping, ports and harbours. Exceptional law firm.’

‘Lara Moore is approachable, intelligent and her understanding of how ports operate is exceptional. Her ability to quickly grasp the crux of a problem is impressive and saves time and money.’

‘The team we have dealt with at Ashfords are UK-leading maritime and ports lawyers and always provide an expert service that goes above and beyond.’

‘Personable, professional and build relationships rather than acting as a service provider only. Open and honest from the onset – so no surprises ever.’

‘Lara Moore and her team are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in ports and harbours and shipping legal matters.’

‘The team is very quick to respond to issues, giving excellent advice at a fair price.’

‘The team at Ashfords has exceptional and in-depth knowledge of the law of harbours and ports.’

Key clients

Peel Ports (London Medway)

Felixstowe Port (Hutchinson Ports)

Port of Tyne

Peel Ports (Clydeport)

Portsmouth International Port (Portsmouth City Council)

Poole Harbour Commissioners

British Ports Association

UK Harbour Masters’ Association (UKHMA)

Shoreham Port Authority

Nicolas James Group Ltd.

Lancaster Port Commission

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

Littlehampton Harbour Board

Padstow Harbour Commissioners

Cornwall Council (Penzance, St Ives, Bude, Port of Truro, Penryn, Portreath, Portscatho, Newquay, Prince of Wales Pier (Falmouth) and Portwrinkle Harbours)

North Devon Council (Lynmouth and Ilfracombe Harbours)

Dorset Council (Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours)

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners

Chichester Harbour Authority

Langstone Harbour Board

Looe Harbour Commissioners

Fowey Harbour Commissioners

Dart Harbour & Navigation Authority

East Suffolk Council (Southwold Harbour)

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners (Port of Plymouth)

Flight 4 Whitby

St Mawes Pier and Harbour Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising Hutchinson Ports on a Harbour Revision Order.
  • Successfully defended Littlehampton Harbour Board against two Section 31 Harbours Act 1964 challenges.
  • Advising Peel Ports on statutory harbour power-related matters, including a Harbour Revision Order.


The team at Bartons is ‘quite unique in the region‘. As well as being highly regarded for its specialism in the issues affecting commercial fishing vessels, the group is noted for its contentious expertise; the firm fields a dedicated marine advocacy department which both defends prosecution cases, including providing representation at coroner’s inquests and handling hearings before the Admiralty Court. Practice head Jo Pummery is singled out as ‘the full package‘. Other key team members include managing director Lee Hassall and experienced litigator Alistair Tawse.

Practice head(s):

Jo Pummery

Other key lawyers:

Lee Hassall; Alistair Tawse


‘Jo Pummery is the full package, having the right combination of legal experience, professionalism and personality. She has a keen eye for the issues in a case which matter and I have yet to meet a client who did not feel confident in her ability to achieve the best result for them.’

‘Alistair Tawse – he is a details man and this shines through in his work. His ability to understand technical expert evidence is very impressive. His advice is measured and demonstrates that he is not only a good lawyer but understands the commercial implications of his advice.’

‘Barton’s are leading experts in their field who are very pragmatic issuing their advice but also always looking for the best solutions to the problems you require assistance with.’

Key clients

British Marine Ltd/QBE

Shipowners Protection Ltd

Pantaenius UK Ltd

RSA Insurance

Beazley Group

North P&I t/a Sunderland Marine

Helvetia Marine Services Ltd

Markel International

Sailport PLC

Sedgwick International UK

The Wolf Rock Boat Company Ltd

CAL Ltd (Guernsey)

Hemel Marina Limited (UK Company)

MAC Marine Claims Ltd

Coastal Marine (Europe) UK Ltd

International General Insurance (UK) Co Ltd

Maritime Volunteer Service

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Markel International’s insured against a claim brought by the owners and insurers of a racing yacht, which suffered a mast failure.
  • Acting for Helvetia Marine Services, on behalf of the underwriters and owners of a merchant fishing vessel involved in a collision whilst trawling, to determine liability apportionment and quantum.
  • Advising the Wolf Rock Boat Company on the drafting of its distributor agreement for dealers throughout the UK and Europe.