Next Generation Partners

Shipping in United Arab Emirates

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP are ‘experts in the field‘ of marine and offshore energy and the team has a full-service offering that covers asset and trade finance, litigation and arbitration, marine insurance and casualty. Senior associate Leonard Soudagar is a ‘standout individual‘ and is a key member of the contentious team. Since publication, Robert Lawrence and Ian Chung left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Leonard Soudagar

Testimonials

‘Experts in the field.’

‘Good technical knowledge, pro-active and always make themselves available.’

‘The team is dynamic and very commercial, approaching legal disputes with a refreshing pragmatism designed to get the best outcome for the client.’

‘Rob Lawrence and Len Soudagar are both standout individuals. They are both extremely approachable and open. They are very good lawyers and are able to translate often complicated legal issues into straightforward language for clients.’

‘Clydes were appointed to provide cross-border advice in relation to recent amendments to Commercial Maritime Laws in KSA. This matter was considered to be complex, mainly due to the differing interpretations that existed in relation to the law/ arguments that conflicting provisions existed. The interpretations that were floating around the market place had the potential to cause very fundamental changes to our operations in the region. In short, if Clydes “got it wrong”, the implications for our business would be substantial, so a high degree of trust was placed in them to provide accurate legal analysis and guidance on potential grey areas. Against this backdrop, Clydes provided solid, pragmatic advice with a strong commercial emphasis that was incredibly beneficial to our business.’

‘Robert Lawrence was our key contact for this matter and his level of knowledge was outstanding. Robert took time to understand our business and was able to cut through a lot of “white noise” on the subject and really concentrate on the aspects that were most important to us. Robert spoke with authority on all questions and scenarios that were raised and the advice he provided was “to the point” and presented in a very commercially friendly manner. In turn, this enabled us to immediately use the advice outside of our internal legal function, which ultimately improved the speed of required internal business decisions. From a commercial/ client awareness perspective, this approach was invaluable. Robert was incredibly responsive to our queries, worked within a reasonable budget and was willing to make himself available (often at short notice and during unsociable hours) for discussions with our corporate office in the USA. Importantly, Robert was transparent with costs, and overall I feel that we got excellent advice for a very reasonable price.’

‘Robert Lawrence and his team stand out especially with regards to their in-depth industry knowledge and responsiveness. They are always available to discuss legal issues without starting the clock!’

Key clients

National Marine Dredging Company

Stanford Asia Holding Company

FIMBank plc

British Marine (QBE)

Glencore International AG

QTerminals

DP World

Abu Dhabi Terminals

Gulftainer

Drydocks World LLC (Dubai)

Dubai Maritime City

Svitzer

Zamil Offshore

Valaris

EMARAT (Emirates General Petroleum Corporation)

DNV

Skuld P&I Club

Shipowners P&I Club

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Co

Axa Insurance (Gulf)

MS Amlin Underwriting

AIG

Cathedral Underwriting

Caspian Marine Services / SOCAR

National Marine Dredging Company

Stanford Asia Holding Company

FIMBank plc

British Marine (QBE)

Glencore International AG

QTerminals

DP World

Abu Dhabi Terminals

Gulftainer

Drydocks World LLC (Dubai)

Dubai Maritime City

Svitzer

Zamil Offshore

Valaris

EMARAT (Emirates General Petroleum Corporation)

DNV

Skuld P&I Club

Shipowners P&I Club

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Co

Axa Insurance (Gulf)

MS Amlin Underwriting

AIG

Cathedral Underwriting

Caspian Marine Services / SOCAR

Work highlights

  • Advising National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) on its AED 2,530,000,000 merger with National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC).
  • Advised Stanford Marine Group and SHUAA Capital on a debt restructuring of Stanford Marine Group’s AED 1.13 billion facility.
  • Assisted Credit Suisse with obtaining a worldwide freezing order and successfully resisting jurisdictional challenges in the DIFC Courts in proceedings against personal guarantors following defaults by Gulf Petrochem under trade finance facilities.

Fichte & Co.

Fichte & Co. has an experienced shipping practice with particular expertise in contentious work and frequently represents clients in disputes arising from vessel and environmental damage. Firm managing partner Jasmin Fichte has a well-established presence in the shipping space and acts as Chairwoman of Dubai Maritime Advisory Council. Alessandro Tricoli heads the shipping practice and focuses on ship finance, ship sale and purchase, construction and conversion of ships. The shipping litigation offering is led by Ravi Jawani and specialises in marine insurance, carriage of goods by sea and international trade law.

Practice head(s):

Jasmin Fichte; Alessandro Tricoli; Ravi Jawani

Other key lawyers:

Moaz Forawi

Testimonials

‘To the point and ability to explain the legal position in simple speak to clients and cut through the legal language and explain clearly and precisely the legal issues involved in the matter before them.’

‘Jasamin Fichte: Top class lawyer, with top Government connections. Excellent knowledge of legal laws, both international and local laws.’

‘Ravi Jawani: Excellent experience and knowledge of international and local laws. Carriage of Goods by Sea, International and local Trade laws and Marine Insurance. Had great foresight and the quick ability to grasp the issues and come up with the correct solution. A legal eagle.’

‘Alessandro Tricoli: Specialist in Shipping matters with vast knowledge and experience. Thorougly reliable and expert in the field of Shipping Contracts, Ship Finance, Ship Building.’

Key clients

Tatiana Akhmedova

National Bank of Fujairah and Tomini Shipping

Aria Seaway LTD

British Marine

Avantgarde Petroleum FZC

Hiscox London Market

Islamic P&I Club

Shamal

Hapag Lloyd UAE

Work highlights

  • Acted for the National Bank of Fujairah to prepare the facility and security documentation in relation to the finance for the acquisition of a fleet of 11 offshore vessels flying the flags of various different jurisdictions.
  • Acted for Tatiana Akhmedova in the enforcement of one of the UK’s largest divorce settlements against assets (Yacht Luna) held by the ex-husband in Dubai.
  • Acted for Avantgarde Petroleum FZC in a case of forgery for the value of $13m related to oil and gas trading onboard the vessel, which was chartered to our client.

HFW

HFW has an active presence in the shipping sector and advises a broad range of clients including shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, shipyards and insurance underwriters. Yaman Al Hawamdeh heads the practice and focuses on disputes involving collisions, salvage, pollution and marine fraud, including Arabic-language litigation. Dispute resolution specialist Richard Strub has extensive expertise in dry shipping. Tien Tai has a ‘first class‘ ship and project financing practice. Since publication, Ian Chung and Robert Lawrence joined the firm.

Practice head(s):

Yaman Al Hawamdeh

Other key lawyers:

Richard Strub; Tien Tai; Ian Chung; Robert Lawrence

Testimonials

‘Generally very good contacts in the shipping Industry In the Middle East.’

‘Tien Tai has first class network of contacts and knowledge of the region’

‘Quick, accurate, correct, value for money, strategic. What more could you want?’

‘Yaman Al Hawamdeh – a reliable knowledgeable tactical stalwart.’

Key clients

Maersk

Hapag Lloyd

Swiss Singapore Overseas Pte Ltd

Bahrain Steel BSCC

Banque Cantonale Vaudoise

Banque de Commerce et de Placement

Cosco Shipping Ports Limited

National Bank of Fujairah PJSC

Mauritius Commercial Bank

GAC

DP World

TT Club

West of England P&I Club

UK Club

North of England P&I Club

Steamship Mutual

Gard P&I Club

Japan P&I Club

The London Steam-Ship Owners P&I Club

Shipowners’ P&I Club

Skuld

The Standard Club

Swedish Club

The Charterers Club

UBS Switzerland AG

Gazprombank (Switzerland) Ltd

NOC Swiss Ltd

Astro Offshore Pte Ltd

Monjasa

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Agricole Indosuez and other lenders on the restructuring of McDermott International’s rig operations in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised on a dispute between Mena Energy DMCC (“Mena”) and Folk Shipping LLC (“FOLK”) arising out of a sales contract entered into with FOLK.
  • Advised the owners of JIMEI SHUNHAO in relation to the collision with VIVIANA.

Ince

Ince has a sizeable shipping practice in the UAE and have particular expertise in admiralty and casualty response. Mohamed El Hawawy is the firm’s go-to contact for contentious work, particularly wet shipping disputes. Natalie Jensen has a strong contentious shipping and marine insurance practice. Senior associate Mahmoud El Sayed has a similar practice and on the non-contentious side, managing associate Paul Katsouris is also notable.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed El Hawawy

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Jensen; Mahmoud El Sayed; Paul Katsouris

Testimonials

‘The lawyers at Ince are specialists in their area of law and are the people I would always go to in Dubai to advise on anything shipping related. In addition to having the depth and breadth of knowledge of English shipping law and disputes, they also have excellent Arabic partners to advise from a civil law perspective and in Arabic where necessary. We have also found it very helpful that they have someone internally who can advise on Saudi law issues.’

Natalie Jensen is equally on the ball and is very knowledgeable about the industry and the practices.

‘Knowledgeable shipping team including attentive local advocates, well integrated team Flexible and go out of their way to assist clients’

‘The team at Ince are real maritime experts. The main difference between Ince and other firms we have tried previously is their ownership of the cases they take on. We have worked with Ince for a few years and had multiple cases. We have yet to lose a case with them.’

Mahmoud El Sayed is the boots on the ground who gets the job done. He is very technical and effective which makes him (in my opinion) a very important member of the Ince team.’

Mohamed El Hawawi is the partner on almost all of our matters. He is a real expert in local maritime laws and a safe pair of hands. Great work and personality both.’

‘Paul Katsouris. A good lawyer, sharp, extremely intelligent with an analytical thought of process and commercial without leaving legal gaps behind.’

‘The Dubai office has a strong team. The lawyers provide support and assistance as well as providing guidance.’

Key clients

Tenacity Marine Inc

DNV GL & Department of Transport Abu Dhabi

GAC Bunker Fuels Limited

IndusInd Bank Limited

EUKOR Car Carriers Inc.

Drydocks World – Dubai LLC

GAC Bunker Fuels Limited

Kuwait Maritime and Mercantile Co KSC

Work highlights

  • Advising a major global container transportation and shipping company on conducting an investigation in relation to the ultra large container ship, the EVER GIVEN, which ran aground in the Suez Canal on 23 March 2021.
  • Assisting the maritime and logistics arm of a Middle Eastern energy producer, in evaluating the option of shifting its entire fleet to the UAE flag, with a UAE based classification society, and UAE based P&I Club
  • Successfully acting for the owners of the vessel Tenacity, who delivered cargo without production of original bills of lading in return for a Letter of Indemnity (LOI) given to them by the Charterers, UAE based NOC Swiss LLC.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company has a ‘responsive‘ shipping practice with ‘unrivalled local litigation knowledge‘. Omar Omar is the regional head of transport and insurance and represents a broad range of clients from major P&I clubs, to government entities. Yazan Al Saoudi is another key member of the team and has a broad contentious and non-contentious practice. Yasser Madkour provides support at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

Omar Omar

Other key lawyers:

Yazan Saoudi; Yasser Madkour

Testimonials

‘The firm houses a particularly strong maritime litigation practice. The team is responsive and boasts unrivalled local litigation knowledge.’

Key clients

Banque Cantonale de Geneve

China Pacific Property Insurance Co., Ltd

Master Oil Trading and Imports Ltd

DBS Bank Singapore

National Bank of Fujairah

Goltens Co. Ltd.

Department of Ports and Customs, Government of Ajman

Lamprell Energy Ltd

Trafigura Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)

Aramco Trading Company

Banque Cantonale de Geneve

China Pacific Property Insurance Co., Ltd

Master Oil Trading and Imports Ltd

DBS Bank Singapore

National Bank of Fujairah

Goltens Co. Ltd.

Department of Ports and Customs, Government of Ajman

Lamprell Energy Ltd

Trafigura Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)

Aramco Trading Company

Hadef & Partners

Hadef & Partners advises on all aspects of maritime, insurance, trade and transportation law. Dispute resolution expert Adrian Chadwick heads the firm’s maritime, transport and trade practice in Dubai. Richard Briggs also specialises in litigation and arbitration and has ‘deep knowledge‘ of the maritime sector. Wesley Wood rejoined the firm in 2020 and heads the shipping division. Wood is a ‘standout practitioner‘ and his expertise includes charter party disputes, ship arrests and salvage claims.

Practice head(s):

Abdulrahman Juma; Richard Briggs; Adrian Chadwick; Wesley Wood

Testimonials

‘Richard Briggs is the leading shipping lawyer in the UAE and is very ably supported by Adrian Chadwick and Wesley. A great blend of local UAE knowledge delivered in a way international clients can understand.’

‘Richard Briggs: One of the most professional, clever and most experienced lawyers in UAE, with deep knowledge of law (English law and local UAE practice, due to his long experience in the area). He is very hard working with a commercial approach and always available whenever the client needs him. All the members of his team are excellent: Wesley Wood and Ayman Diab.’

‘Very user friendly and commercial. Very transparent. Wesley Wood and Adrian Chadwick are standouts.’

‘The shipping team led by the outstanding Wesley Wood is my go-to choice for all Middle East related shipping and trade matters.’

‘Wesley Wood is a standout practitioner. He oozes commercial pragmatism and gives very sound legal advice all the time.’

Key clients

IDBI Bank Limited (DIFC branch)

Work highlights

  • Advising the DIFC branch of an Indian bank in the court proceedings seeking the recovery of loan payments in the amount of approximately $37m.

Watson Farley & Williams

Watson Farley & WilliamsAndrew Baird leads a ‘terrifically cohesive‘ full-service shipping practice. Andrew also acts as managing partner and has particular expertise in cross-border financings and advises on loans and leasing transactions. Michael Savva is a go-to contact at the firm for ship financing and restructuring. Charlotte Bijlani is a key point of contact in the dispute resolution team, and Charlotte Knight provides support at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baird

Other key lawyers:

Michael Savva; Charlotte Bijlani; Charlotte Knight

Testimonials

‘Terrifically cohesive team, led well by very competent management. Appropriate billing and commercial advice.’

‘Direct and to the point, proactive advice. Solid attention to detail whilst getting to the answer quickly.’

‘Experienced and very commercial.’

‘Andrew Baird has a wealth of experience. Always makes himself available and is very practical in his approach.’

Key clients

Viken Aurum Shipowners Holdings Limited

Maritime Equity Management LLC

Bahri Chemicals

Work highlights

  • Advised Viken Aurum Shipowners Holdings Limited in respect of the pre-delivery financing of two Aframax-type LR2 vessels equipped with Liquified Natural Gas propulsion currently under construction at Guangzhou Shipyard International.
  • Advised United Overseas Groupon the acquisition of United Arab Chemical Carriers, a shipping company specialising in the international transportation of refined products and chemicals based out of the Dubai International Financial Centre.
  • Acted for Bahri Chemicals on their ten ship newbuilding programme at Hyundai Mipo.

Afridi & Angell

Afridi & Angell showcases particular experience in advising clients on ship financing and M&A transactions. Maritime disputes are another key area of focus and the team has expertise handling collisions and cargo claims. Managing partner Bashir Ahmed and Chatura Randeniya advise ship owners and P&I Clubs, dry docks and ship repair companies on a range of shipping mandates.

Practice head(s):

Bashir Ahmed

Other key lawyers:

Chatura Randeniya

Work highlights

  • Advised at least half a dozen ship owners and operators, as well as bunker suppliers, on claims filed by the bunker suppliers seeking to obtain payment by arresting or threatening to arrest the vessels as a consequence of the financial collapse of the OW Bunker Group in November 2014.

Dentons

Dentons‘ Middle East managing partner Paul Jarvis and Nathaniel  Armstrong are the primary contacts for the firm’s ship finance practice. Armstrong advises a number of leading financial institutions and has expertise in conventional and Islamic finance structured asset finance transactions, while Jarvis has substantial cross-border financing expertise.

Practice head(s):

Nathaniel Armstrong; Paul Jarvis

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC (ADCB)

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC (ADIB)

Banco Santander S.A

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Santander S.A., and a syndicate of banks, in relation to an English law governed $166m syndicated lease financing of international logistics group Tristar.

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants‘ shipping and transportation team specialises in contentious work and are frequently instructed to act on disputes involving ship arrests, cargo claims, collisions and casualties. Managing partner Ahmed Galadari heads the practice and is supported by senior counsel Shani Salim.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Galadari; Shani Salim

Key clients

Globelink West Star Shipping LLC

Logwin Air & Ocean Middle East LLC

New India Assurance Co. Ltd.

SKULD

CNS Logistics LLC

Yacht International LLC

Gulf First Shipping LLC

Asian Tiger Shipping LLC

IAL Logistics Emirates LLC

Seamark Shipping LLC

Consolidated Shipping Services LLC

Al Barrak Shipping Agencies Co. LLC

Kintetsu Worldwide Express (Middle East) FZE

Ayzan E-gistics LLC

New India Assurance Co. Ltd.

Navio Shipping LLC

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of Yacht International Co. Ltd. and filed a civil case against the owners and managers of the vessel, M.V. Kayuramin in order to recover the outstanding payments for the agency services provided to the vessel.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood fields a range of practitioners from both common law and civil law backgrounds, who come together to operate as a ‘very well oiled machine‘; the team is therefore able to handle the full gamut of contentious and advisory mandates in the UAE and abroad. Lead partners Mark Lakin and Nijoe Joseph recently welcomed Rania Tadros, who joined from Ince in April 2022 to manage the Dubai office.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lakin; Nijoe Joseph

Other key lawyers:

Rania Tadros; Saif Almobideen

Testimonials

‘The firm has been excellent in the delivery of their services. They used personnel from both their Dubai and London offices, but their offering was seamless. You could really tell that they are a very well oiled machine!’

‘They have provided their advice in a succinct manner which allows us to understand the issues at hand and the best course of action to take in order to navigate around the issues. They continually provide their advice on time and within budget. Their offering is unique in that they have personnel who are not only able to advise on English law and other international courts, but they also have personnel in their team who are able to provide us with in-house UAE litigators, who read and write in Arabic fluently, so that local court support is able to be provided within all courts within the United Arab Emirates.’

‘The shipping sector is a unique one and the SH team demonstrates immense knowledge of it.’

‘The practitioners are very reachable and the speed with which they response to the queries makes them different.’

‘Their ability to respond promptly and provide strategic advice, in particular Mark Lakin who has been facilitating our queries outside normal work hours, plus, has made himself available on weekends and holidays providing us efficient service round the clock.’

‘Stephenson Harwood LLP have a strong team which communicate openly with each other and agree on and set team goals based on outcomes and results, rather than just on the amount of work being done.’

‘They are able to tackle issues with a wide perspective and formulate effective problem resolution options.’

‘Saif Almobideen is commercially and strategically astute. His analytical and technical skills are strong and has an excellent understanding of maritime and insurance disputes and UAE law. He is able to set the strategical approach in the game and consider the commercial perspective to generate sound, pragmatic solutions and advice.’

Key clients

EnTrust Global

Drydocks World – Dubai.

Sahara Energy Resource Ltd

Svitzer Salvage BV

Canopius Global Specialty (Re)insurance

West of England (Hellas) Limited

Maersk

Steamship Insurance Management Services Limited

Petrogat FZE

National Bank of Fujairah

Work highlights

  • Advised EnTrust Global’s Blue Ocean Funds on financing the acquisition of United Arab Chemical Carriers.
  • Advising National Bank of Fujairah on a $45m financing for Stanford Marine Group.
  • Acting for Sahara Energy, an Africa focused commodities trader with HQ in Geneva, in contentious matters arising out of the storage of gas oil pursuant to a collateral management agreement.