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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Arab Emirates > Shipping > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Who Represents Who

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A go-to firm in the UAE’ for contentious and non-contentious shipping work, Al Tamimi & Company is ‘very responsive, understands clients’ needs and delivers good advice from both the practical and legal perspectives’. Omar Omar, who also handles shipbuilding and admiralty disputes, advised United Arab Shipping Company on re-registering its vessels in the light of its merger with Hapag-Lloyd. Yazan Al Saoudi is a key contact for insurance work.

Clyde & Co LLP has a team of ‘go-to lawyers for shipping and international trade, with good strength in depth’. Robert Lawrence is a source of ‘good, calm and practical advice’ on shipbuilding arbitrations; he is recommended alongside Christopher Jobson, whose expertise encompasses vessel collisions, Patrick Murphy, who ‘has carved out a niche on international trade and sanctions work’, and Ian Chung, who joined from HFW and advises the National Bank of Fujairah on vessel finance transactions.

HFW is ‘renowned in this area’, and its expertise covers wet and dry shipping matters, transactions and advice regarding port operations. Tien Tai handles transactional and vessel finance matters, including advising Topaz Energy and Marine on an $84m loan for two newbuild subsea vessels. Yaman Al Hawamdeh’s practice includes local court litigation on various shipping matters. Richard Strub advises on vessel collisions and arrests, as well as cargo disputes. The firm’s clients include leading port operators, shipping lines and P&I clubs.

Hadef & Partners LLC’s shipping practice primarily handles disputes, but also provides regulatory advice. Adrian Chadwick’s expertise covers vessel collisions, cargo disputes and debt recovery before the UAE, free zone and English courts, as well as international arbitration. Abdulrahman Juma and Omar Al Shaikh are regularly called on to handle local litigation. Clients include World Fuel Services, North of England P&I Association and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha.

Ince & Co stands out for its shipping litigation expertise. Mohamed El Hawaway represented North of England P&I Club in a vessel collision involving Emirati and English law. Rania Tadros is representing D’Amico in the enforcement of an English judgment in the UAE involving questions regarding whether the Dubai or DIFC courts are the appropriate venue. Pavlo Samothrakis acted for Polarcus in debt recovery claims concerning geophysical data services.

Stephenson Harwoodprovides practical and high-quality advice’ on contentious and non-contentious shipping matters. Key figures include James Willn, who handles charterparty disputes, Rovine Chandrasekera, whose clients include Steamship Mutual, Nijoe Joseph, who handles ship financing matters, and Edward Newitt, who joined from HFW and advises insurers and P&I clubs.

Fichte & Co. has ‘an excellent understanding of the industry’. Jasamin Fichte (‘outstanding in so many ways’) and Alessandro Tricoli are acting for a port services provider in a dispute with the Pakistani owner of a single-point mooring pertaining to a fatal accident which occurred after a contract between the parties had been terminated but while the client’s employees and equipment had been retained by the other party. Other areas of work include cargo claims and shipbuilding mandates.

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla’s lawyers handle transactional and contentious shipping matters. Litigator Tarek Saad is advising the UAE Federal Transport Authority on a review of UAE maritime law, while Gordon Prestige advised Zakher Marine International on post-closure matters following a $580m ijara financing for a vessel.

For some Watson Farley & Williams is ‘the pre-eminent firm for vessel finance’. Andrew Baird advises primarily banks but also some shipowners on ship finance transactions; highlights included advising Gulf International Bank on a $121.5m facility to Oman Shipping Company for the acquisition of two VLCCs.

At Afridi & Angell, Bashir Ahmed acts for a number of shipowners, and handles vessel arrests, superyacht transactions and limitation fund matters.

Dentons’ Paul Jarvis advises on various ship finance deals, covering conventional as well as murabaha and ijara structures. Clients include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and HSBC.

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