Firm Profile > HFW > London, England


Aviation Tier 1

Diversifying beyond insurer work, HFW’s aerospace department specialises in complex claims and disputes and is also regularly instructed on commercial, regulatory, competition, and aircraft finance and leasing matters. Praised for its 'good team depth', it advises clients on everything from major losses and commercial litigation to insolvencies, which is an area of growth for the practice due to the COVID-19 aviation shutdown. Giles Kavanagh is the firm’s global aerospace leader; his recent mandates include advising 30 airlines on a commercial agreement with Heathrow Airport Limited. Commercial expert Nicholas Hughes and travel specialist Zohar Zik are key practitioners, while senior associates Mark Waters and Barbara Pansadoro  (who is an aviation finance expert) are also noted in this space. Sue Barham retired in 2020.

Practice head(s):


‘Very knowledgeable, good team depth and very user friendly.’

‘Ed Spencer is a good team leader and very client focused. Zohar Zik brings his in house knowledge to the team. Mark Waters is a stand out associate.’

‘Giles Kavanagh and Mark Waters stand out. Both are practical, astute and no nonsense. Pierre Fruhling is also excellent.’

‘I deal with Giles Kavanagh, Pierre Fruhling and Mark Waters – I find them very good and practical in litigation and regulatory matters. Both Giles and Pierre as Partner-level contacts at HFW are always very responsive.’

‘They are experts within the aviation sector, and always keep me up to date on any issues.’

Key clients

American Airlines

British Airways

BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products)/Rotax

Bulgaria Air

Gipps Aero

IAG (International Airlines Group)

Leonardo S.p.A.

Montenegro Airlines

Nippon Cargo Airlines

Plus Ultra Lineas Aereas

Commodities disputes Tier 1

HFW has 'experienced practitioners with a good sense of clients' requirements'. The commodities practice represent 14 of the 16 largest commodity trading firms worldwide, as well as four of the six energy supermajors globally. The London practice led by Alistair Feeney, who frequently acts for national and international energy companies and commodity trading houses, works in close partnership with sector experts across the firm's global network, which includes offices in major trading hubs such as Dubai, Paris, Brussels, Geneva and Singapore. Among its key areas of expertise are crude oil and oil products, coal, grain, LNG, sugar, metals, cotton, cement and biofuels. Damian Honey, Brian Perrott, 'queen of the sugar market' Judith Prior and energy specialist Sarah Taylor are all highly recommended. Senior associates Clare Chyb and Michael Buffham are making their mark in both transactional matters and disputes. Partners Chris Swart and Katie Pritchard moved to Squire Patton Boggs but the firm has successfully hired at associate level to maintain a busy caseload.

Practice head(s):


‘The firm has experienced practitioners with a good sense of clients’ requirements.’

‘It has experience in our core areas of the commodity business and we recommend Sarah Taylor, Alistair Feeney and Clare Chyb in the London team.’

‘Damian Honey, Andrew Williams and their team are genuinely solution-oriented, commercially-focused lawyers. They don’t waste time pushing expensive or unrealistic options and seek to achieve commercial outcomes at all times.’

‘Damien Honey is extremely knowledgeable, practical, commercial, down to earth and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Andrew Williams is good-humoured, solution-oriented and great to work with.’

Key clients

Vitol SA

GarantiBank International

BP Oil International Limited

Tintrade Ltd

Ifaco Feed Company S.A.

Marubeni Corporation

Ikon Finance Limited

Harvest Energy Limited

Shipping Tier 1

HFW's sizeable shipping practice offers wide-ranging expertise and global reach; in addition to handling work relating to insurance, logistics, charterparties and shipbuilding, the team is particularly noted for its ability to handle war risks, piracy and hostage matters. The London team is led by global head Paul Dean, ship finance head Adam Shire , regulatory shipping head Daniel Martin and admiralty head Andrew Chamberlain. Martin also leads the team's well-regarded sanctions practice. All-rounder Rory Butler is 'very quick, absolutely reasonable and commercially minded', while Richard Neylon lead on much of the firm's recent casualty work, including hostage matters, alongside senior associate Michael Ritter. Craig Neame, who was global practice head from 2016 to 2019, is known for his work on container shipping.


‘A good strong team with deep knowledge of their specific markets. Particularly notable is Richard Mabane’s Italian team. He is definitely the leader in that market.’

‘Affable and pleasant to work with, they make dealing with this industry and the legal problems that arise straightforward and manageable. They provide invaluable guidance and top class work. Problem solving has also been a real highlight from their work. Finding excellent legal solutions to make business transactions run smoothly.’

‘HFW’s team is a very strong and capable team of lawyers that are capable to provide services all around the needs of our company. Communication with the partners and the associates is exceptional and the results obtained by HFW’s team in legal disputes are outstanding.’

The level of assistance of HFW team is definitely superior to competitor firms. Richard Mabane is a very experienced lawyer, pragmatic and with an exceptional knowledge of the shipping market.’

‘The knowledge and expertise of each member of the team is deep and wide ranging; the strong leadership of the partners and their use of appropriate resources within the team makes them the “go to” team for complex cases and big casualties.’

‘Jean Koh stands out – even on complex issues, she communicates straight advice in a clear way which is easily understood. She is also well recognised as a leading maritime lawyer in the Japanese market.’

‘David Morriss’ understanding of the world of business and his methods of using the law make a conducive environment possible for the smooth conclusion of transactions.’

‘There is no one else in the market who can match Jean Koh. She always gets best possible results on complex matters without undue waste of time and costs. She is one of the best shipping lawyers, hugely knowledgeable and very user-friendly.’

‘Rory Butler is very quick; absolutely reasonable and commercially minded; always trying to find a balance between the interests of the parties to reach a solution.’

‘We are extremely pleased with David Morriss’s diligence, dedication to clients and command of law. He is extremely proactive, thorough in his communications and have convincing recommendations.’

‘All of the partners and associates at HFW are excellent; however over the last year, Michael Ritter has been the one to stand out the most and provided most support and exemplary service. Michael always provides timely responses and is always available out of hours which is quite unique in my view. He has a friendly manner and very approachable. I think there are very few other lawyers who can beat Michael’s work ethic and capabilities.’

‘Paolo Ghirardani takes an excellent strategic approach.’

Key clients

DFDS Seaways


Epic Gas

Genting Hong Kong


Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line)

Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN)

Mitsui OSK Line (MOL)

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK)

Nordea Bank

Oman Shipping Company



The North of England P&I Association

Tsakos Energy Navigation


UK P&I Club

Construction: contentious Tier 2

HFW stands out for its work on international construction disputes, especially in the Middle East. The practice handles mining and energy matters as well as contentious issues relating to major infrastructure projects. The team is led by Max Wieliczko who has a focus on offshore projects. 'Outstanding litigatorMichael Sergeant is known for his broad international practice, and is particularly active in the Middle East on high-profile energy and infrastructure disputes. Kijong Nam, who joined from Ince in mid-2018, has relocated to the firm's Dubai office.

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‘The construction team at HFW has enormous experience of construction disputes both domestically and also in the Middle East.’

‘The team has an in-depth understanding of the construction industry and construction law and are realistic about expectations.’

‘Michael Sergeant is an outstanding litigator, a brilliant manager of very large multinational and multi-disciplinary teams, and has superb commercial awareness. He is a very good lawyer, and astute to the commercial objectives of clients; and he has enormous experience of, and expertise in, disputes in the Middle East.’

‘Michael Sergeant is a very experienced lawyer and knows exactly what legal arguments can be used in the variety of the circumstances he is involved in. He is particularly experienced at resolving disputes through arbitration.’

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group (UK and Holland)

Kuwait Oil Company

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Posco Plantec

Robert Bird Group

J Reddington Group

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 2

HFW acts for both insurers and reinsurers in litigation, and is particularly active in disputes in Latin America. Many of the firm's matters involve energy,  mining and shipping assets, areas in which the firm has specialist knowledge. The overall practice is led by Christopher Cardona; other key contacts in the London team include Andrew Bandurka, Christopher Foster and Jonathan Bruce.

Practice head(s):


‘Simply the ability to communicate simply, quickly and effectively and not engage in verbiage.’

‘HFW has an extremely smart and considerate team that places its clients needs first, ahead of a focus on the billable hour and with a sharp focus on providing the best advice and work product. HFW is very knowledgeable and experienced in insurance and reinsurance, and we view them as our go-to firm in the UK and also try to partner with them elsewhere around the globe. They have a great team with great people.’

‘Chris Foster is another top notch litigator. They are a talented group.’

‘This is a serious insurance firm – my go to for real “market” issues that require in-depth insurance market knowledge and expertise.’

‘Chris Foster’s laser focus on the legal issues makes him a stand out black letter lawyer. His memory for case law is unnervingly precise.’

‘Daniel Martin provides user friendly and excellent value for money advice on sanctions issues.’

‘The person with whom I am working and have worked for many years is partner Christopher Cardona. He is an excellent attorney, very experienced and knowledgeable in handling complicated cross border insurance cases.’

Construction: non-contentious Tier 3

HFW's team has particular specialisms in international infrastructure work and offshore projects in the UK, and has recently been acting for major contractors in both spheres. Max Wieliczko leads the team; his experience spans several decades, with a recent focus on offshore construction matters. Richard Booth is prominent on renewable energy work as well as rail infrastructure. Ben Mellors is experienced in onshore and offshore power projects, as well as having particular knowledge of infrastructure development.

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Key clients

VolkerWessels Group (UK and Netherlands)

Kuwait Oil Company

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Posco Plantec

Robert Bird Group

J Reddington Group

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Insurance litigation: for policyholders Tier 3

HFW has a proven track record in acting for companies in the energy, mining, shipping and commodities sectors in insurance litigation. A significant proportion of the team's work is international in nature and handled in conjunction with the firm's global network of offices. The insurance team is led by Christopher Cardona, who is praised for his work acting in disputes involving Latin American companies. Jonathan Bruce also handles Latin American work, particularly claims in the marine, energy and property sectors. Nigel Wick and Christopher Foster are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):


‘HFW are an extremely client-centric firm who are able to combine both industry and insurance expertise to really understand how the energy business works, enabling them to deliver best in class results for their clients. They are very conscious to try and provide solutions through commercial means, being cognisant of the strengths and weakness of both parties, in order to reach resolution through compromise settlement rather than to see claims go to trial.’

‘Highly experienced, professional and motivated team with complementary skill sets including practising lawyers with other commercial experience. An almost global reach with overseas offices in key locations, with significant involvement in Latin America and the Far East, also a useful network of contacts elsewhere. In depth knowledge of the jurisdictions and cultural sensitivities of the countries where they operate.’

‘I’ve been particularly impressed by HFW partner Jonathan Bruce. Highly effective negotiator, a very incisive legal mind, grasps the big picture straight away and able to provide prompt and practical advice.’

‘Deep pool of talent. Can draw on strong experience to drive success. Global activity essential. Operate effectively as a team. Established working relationships with industry partners.’

‘Jonathan Bruce – hard-working. Very responsive. Good at setting strategy for success. Great experience.’

‘Nigel Wick. Good presenter. Good knowledge. Good relationships and communication.’

‘Christopher Cardona. Great experience. Good availability. Good leader. Pragmatic.’

‘The team has great insurance knowledge and knows the sector well. There’s no need to have to explain he idiosyncrasies of the market, since they’ve been in it for decades.’

‘Jonathan Bruce is a calm and effective lawyer, a constructive problem solver with a blend of intellect and personality. Together with Chris Cardona, their multi-lingual skills make them a formidable team that truly help clients looking for insurance resolution options.’

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 3

Fielding an 'experienced team with in-depth market knowledge', HFW is active across the insurance market, including advising on Lloyds’ market transactions as well as M&A deals and joint ventures. The practice is led by Carol-Ann Burton, who is particularly recognised for her work on regulatory matters. Ashwani Kochhar advises on a wide range of non-contentious insurance matters while associate William Reddie handles both regulatory and corporate work.

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‘The key strength of the team is in helping build new products in general insurance. Especially in new fields of insurance when they ensure the product and distribution method meets all the complex regulatory and compliance requirements of the FCA.’

‘William Reddie – excellent pro-active engagement at the start of financial services product development, that saves time and resources by limiting the scope to plausible developments. With a friendly and engaging manner Will contributes to the solution rather than just saying no you cannot do that.’

‘Experienced team with in-depth market knowledge.’

‘The team responses promptly and efficiently, particularly Will Reddie.’

‘This is a firm that has been involved in some of the major transactions in Lloyd’s and the London market and function seamlessly. Their regulatory experience is second to none.’

‘Ashwani Kochar: practical advice and understanding of complex transactions with a skill in reducing agreements to simple terms.’

‘Carol-Ann Burton: former regulator helping with navigating the PRA/FCA landscape.’

‘This team are experts in our Industry as well as their own. The work the have undertaken in M&A was faultless and at the same time pragmatic. The depth of knowledge in the Insurance Team is without rival in our sector.’

‘HFW apply a personal touch and take an interest in the core business rather than just the legal or contractual aspects. Their level of knowledge instils confidence in the advice they give.’

Key clients

Markerstudy Group

Miles Smith Holdings Limited

ILS Investment Management Limited/Armour Group

The Underwriter Group Limited

Coverys group

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC)

Asta Managing Agency Limited

Barents Re

HIPCC Limited

Occam Underwriting Ltd (previously Sciemus Ltd)


Helodrium Limited and its network of international brokers

Mining and minerals Tier 3

HFW has experience in greenfield mining projects from handling the acquisition of mining rights to the construction of mining infrastructure. The practice has an international presence with experience in emerging markets. Nick Hutton and Brian Gordon are key points of contact.

Professional negligence Tier 3

HFW has ‘great expertise in the field of professional negligence’; the team mainly handles complex, often multi-jurisdictional claims on behalf of defendant brokers, surveyors, architects, engineers and lawyers. The group also advises selected claimants in bringing claims against solicitors. Andrew Bandurka leads the practice and specialises in claims against international insurance and reinsurance brokers, architects, surveyors, construction professionals and financial intermediaries. Jonathan Bruce is experienced in matters relating to energy, marine surveyors and marine salvage. Christopher Cardona is global head of insurance and reinsurance.


‘HFW have great expertise in the field of professional negligence. While I know they act for a variety of professionals, my particular association with them relates to the field of insurance and reinsurance and their representation of insurance and reinsurance brokers. Here they are among the leaders in the field.’

‘Andrew Bandurka brings both judgement and enthusiasm to the task of representing his clients, ensuring they are aware of the risks but not being afraid to go into battle n their behalf.’

‘Chris Foster has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and is a first class lawyer.’

‘Deeply knowledgeable of the insurance environment in which their clients operate – they understand the commercial context and pressures which produce the disputes they deal with, and they back it up with strong legal expertise.’

‘Andrew Bandurka is a true elder statesman; his experience is a major asset.’

Trade finance Tier 3

HFW joins the ranking this year due to its growing workload in the trade finance sector, which builds on the firm's expertise in both commodities and banking. Its diverse range of work includes pre-export financings, receivables finance, syndicated and bilateral credit facilities, pre-payment structures and inventory monetisation. Practice head Philip Prowse specialises in structured commodities trade finance for lenders, borrowers, suppliers, producers, processors, distributors, insurers, logistics operators and end users. Deputy head Adam Topping acts for financial institutions, hedge funds, energy companies, utility groups and corporates in a range of regulatory and transactional matters, most notably in the commodities sector. Senior associate Jameel Tarmohamed handles both trade finance and digital trade matters.

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Key clients

MetalXChain AG

M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 4

HFW's UK corporate team handles both domestic and cross-border deals, with the London practice working closely with the firm's 20 international offices. The department has a strong sector specialism in transport - specifically shipping, aviation and logistics - as well as expertise in ports, energy and resources. Alistair Mackie leads the practice and advises on M&A deals in infrastructure, energy and mining.

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Knowledgeable and communicative  and  experienced in a wide range of transactions and markets’ 

‘Quick and responsive, commercially minded and always exploring for better commercial result for clients

The team at HFW is very efficient and they know their stuff. They have found a hard-to-achieve and enviable “sweet spot” in combining Magic Circle-level expertise with unparalleled industry knowledge, whilst managing to feel like an extension of our own in-house legal department in terms of ease of co-operation.

 Alex Kyriakoulis is highly incisive, has incredible experience, and adroitly combines creativity with pragmatism when analysing situations and arriving at/recommending solutions.  He uses his intellect and lucidity in an objective manner, rather than to score points against the other side for the sake of it. I hope he never retires

Key clients

Regal Petroleum plc

WH Ireland Group plc

Singapore Marine Pte Ltd/Swiss Marine

Victoria Group AD and existing shareholders


Thomas Miller Investment Holdings Limited

The Underwriter Group Limited

Markerstudy Holdings Limited

Manitou BF SA

CIMC Vehicle

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 4

HFW's construction-focused practice is particularly active in offshore wind power projects. Team leader Max Wieliczko advises on all aspects of project procurement and delivery mandates, with expertise in international infrastructure projects involving energy-from-waste facilities and other power plants, onshore and offshore wind farms and hydroelectric power plants. Richard Booth is recommended for EPC infrastructure projects and cross-border solar and wind power projects.

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‘Highly specialised team focused on the energy/wind farm market.’

‘Very good level of engagement led by Richard Booth.’

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Belectric Gulf Limited

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Transport finance and leasing Tier 4

Led from London by Elinor Dautlich and also able to tap into the expertise of lawyers based in key jurisdictions, including Singapore and Greece, HFW's finance offering forms a vital component of the firm's full-service capabilities to a range of stakeholders in the maritime sector. Appreciated for its 'excellent industry knowledge', the team is as comfortable advising operators, as it is banks, across myriad financings within the loan and capital markets spaces. Tony Rice  has longstanding expertise handling commercial debt and ECA-supported financings, and as well as advising on new money mandates is also regularly instructed by creditors and debtors in large-scale shipping and offshore restructurings. For aviation matters, the 'experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic' Adam Shire  has niche corporate jet financing expertise, while on the commercial airline front, 'very talented' senior associate Barbara Pansadoro is well-versed across a range of structures, including export credit-backed financings, tax-based leases and pre-delivery payment (PDP) financings. The arrival of Asheesh Das in September from Elix Aviation Capital enhances the firm's lessor credentials.


‘Barbara Pansadoro at HFW is an extraordinary professional, with a high level of knowledge; promptness in providing comments in a so efficient manner; looking for our best position in any deal, but with a pragmatic approach. They don’t lose time in nonsense comments. High professionalism.’

‘Adaptability and a calmness under pressure. The team is capable of delivering first class work to strict deadlines, whilst always remaining good-humoured to work with/deal with.’

‘Siri Wennevik and John Forrester went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver top class work to very tight deadlines. Yet throughout they remained very good-natured and always agreeable to communicate with and to discuss plans.’

‘Business-minded and pragmatic approach. Competitive fees. Relationship-focused. Very reliable.’

‘Adam Shire – very experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic lawyer. He understands our company’s needs. Great listener with excellent communication skills. Creative, “out-of-the-box” thinker.’

‘The HFW London [team] are responsive, always reliable and a pleasure to work with. They have a great dedicated team and as a bonus, often come out slightly more reasonably priced than other firms!’

‘Katherine Noble is excellent. Highly experienced in bank work, she understands the commercial perspectives of our business and is able to facilitate smooth execution of transactions in a timely and diligent manner.’

‘Gudmund Bernitz is an excellent partner at HFW with whom we have worked for many years. High knowledge of shipping and shipping finance. He has assisted us with many transactions within different areas. His combination of English and Swedish law is very useful and convenient. We can only praise all his work with us over the years.’

Key clients

Genting Hong Kong

Northern Offshore Group

Maersk Line

Svenska Handelsbanken

Epic Gas

Tsakos Energy Navigation


Oman Shipping Company

Nordea Bank

Svenska Skeppshypotekskassan


ING Bank


Commercial litigation: premium Tier 5

HFW has 'a solid commercial disputes team with a particular focus on finance disputes and shipbuilding related litigation'. Andrew Williams, who attracts praise for his 'excellent commercial nous' leads the team alongside Hong Kong-based Noel Campbell (who is highlighted as 'someone you want in your corner'.) 'Very experienced disputes lawyer' Damian Honey handles international finance disputes (particularly relating to the Middle East), fraud and contentious energy sector issues, while Brian Perrott focuses on commercial fraud and derivatives disputes. Other names to note include Rick Brown for a range of commercial litigation, Christopher Foster for insurance and reinsurance matters and Nicholas Hughes who is 'excellent in aviation'.

Practice head(s):


Alistair Feeney just gets it. There is no doubt with him that a case is left in the safest possible pair of hands and he walks the perfect, elusive line between overloading a client with too much information and leaving that client feeling as though control over a matter has been lost’

‘Clare Chyb is a go-to senior associate: responsive, insightful and thorough.

The firm is a natural choice representing buy-side companies in disputes concerning financial derivative products and financial services. Bold and unafraid to fight your corner against the most high profile players in the market.’

HFW have a solid commercial disputes team with a particular focus on finance disputes and shipbuilding related litigation. Not a large team but good quality.

Chris Foster: very determined, firm and analytical. Richard Jowett: probably the most intellectual and legally knowledgeable insurance solicitor I know. Nick Hughes: excellent in aviation.’

Brian Perrott brings a measured and considered approach and advises through a strategic lens. Prash Kukadia is a reliable pair of hands you can trust to pick up on the detail and provide pragmatic advice.

Andrew Williams – a partner who is has a very strong grip of legal analysis and solutions. Very skilled technical lawyer. Pugnacious and unafraid of taking on the big guns.

‘Stephen Drury – very good on sanctions and finance disputes.

Noel Campbell is something of a godfather at the firm and has seen all sorts of disputes. He is someone you want in your corner’ 


Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Ikon Finance Limited and others.

ICTSI Middle East DMCC


Joseph Ghossoub

Gascoigne Halman Ltd and Connells Ltd

CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Limited

Fraud: civil Tier 5

HFW's practice is known for its strengths in international fraud litigation, as well as insolvency proceedings involving fraud, cyber fraud and fraud in the financial services and energy sectors. Rick Brown specialises in complex fraud cases involving claims for breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty. Brown works with Hong Kong-based partner Noel Campbell, who handles fraud claims in offshore jurisdictions, such as the Caribbean. Senior associate David Chalcraft specialises in complex fraud and asset tracing mandates, often spanning multiple jurisdictions.

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They have broad knowledge, especially in the shipping and maritime sector.

Rick Brown is a pleasure to work with and a fantastic lawyer.’

HFW has an exceedingly strong civil fraud team, headed by Rick Brown. It is particularly good at getting through huge volumes of work in a short period of time, which is so often necessary for freezing injunctions and similar urgent applications.

Rick Brown (partner) is the stand-out individual. He is a consummate team leader, as well as someone who has keen commercial, as well as legal, judgment.

David Chalcraft (senior associate) is the engine of the team. The workload he is able to plough through in a short period of time is remarkable. His eye for details is also impressive; he truly can spot a needle in a haystack.’

Noel Campbell and Richard Brown lead an outstanding team who are used to working closely alongside clients over prolonged periods.

Their team goes out of their way to build a strong relationship with their clients and this is appreciated when working together over the long term. Particular mention to Noel Campbell, Richard Brown and David Chalcraft

A small but effective team led by Rick Brown, an experienced partner in the London office. One of the best firms in the civil fraud market.’

Key clients

Quantuma LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

IKON Finance Limited

Dr Abdullah Al-Dowaisan

EU and competition Tier 6

HFW has strength across the board in relation to state aid, competition litigation, and issues concerning the intersection of EU law, commerce and competition. Clients laud the team’s ‘deep understanding of the shipping industry’, as well as practice head Anthony Woolich’s ‘excellent ability to analyse’. Other sector-specific expertise include aviation, commodities, insurance, ports and terminals, and logistics, among others.

Practice head(s):


‘The HFW competition practice is very approachable and responsive. They have a deep understanding of the shipping industry and are able to explain the complexities and frustrations of competition law skillfully.’

‘Anthony Woolich is very approachable and client-centric, has an excellent ability to analyse, and is able to utilise international connections very effectively.’

Key clients

Crown Commercial Service

Republic of Cyprus

Maersk Group



Morgan Stanley

European Parliament

Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation

BW Group


International arbitration Tier 6

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has 'significant knowledge of arbitration practice and rules'. It has a strong reputation in the market for international arbitrations involving the shipping, aviation, international trade, energy, commodities, insurance and reinsurance, financial services and construction industries. Damian Honey, Alistair Feeney, Costas Frangeskides and Max Wieliczko are all experienced partners. Katie Pritchard left for Squire Patton Boggs.


‘Unrivalled knowledge of arbitration practice and rules across the full spectrum of ad hoc, trade association and institutional arbitration. They concentrate on winning cases for their clients. They are very strong indeed in the sectors in which they specialise, which are all central to international commerce, but they also have great relations with the bar. A formidable outfit.’

‘Damian Honey: client-friendly, knows his way around contracts and procedure, doesn’t like time wasting and unnecessary costs generation.’

‘Alistair Feeney: sharp but pragmatic lawyer.’

‘In depth experience in their areas of practice, especially on commodities; understanding of the market and how arbitration works.’

‘Damien Honey and Mike Buffham – both fully committed, excellent support.’


Jointly led by Zohar Zik and Elinor Dautlich, the cruise, travel and leisure team at HFW has experience advising international airlines on selling package holiday and ancillary travel services to customers in different jurisdictions. It also receives instructions relating to shipbuilding issues, regulatory compliance, litigation, health and safety work, crisis management and responses, employment law and data protection matters. Zik, a former General Counsel of Aviation at TUI Travel, specialises in commercial agreements for the aviation and travel sectors, and also handles the associated regulatory matters. The team works in close conjunction with the firm’s aviation, energy and resources, and shipping departments. William MacLachlan  acts for clients across the shipping, cruise, ferry and yachting industries.

Practice head(s):


‘As one would expect from a Commercial City of London firm, the members of HFW’s Travel – regulatory and commercial practice bring a very professional and commercial approach to all their cases; they analyse the issues arising in the litigation carefully and clearly right at the start and keep their clients informed throughout as to progress and developments.’

‘Partner Paul Dean and Senior Associate Angelina Davidson-Houston are both committed to their clients, analytical in their approach and fully in tune with what is important to their clients from a commercial point of view.’

‘Knowledge, availability and the ability to impart their knowledge and advice in a way that we understand what we are being advised to do!’

The firm

HFW is a global, sector-focused law firm with a network of 20 offices spanning 16 countries, consistently delivering market-leading results across its six core industry groups.

The firm’s specialist lawyers have a real passion for the sectors they work in and are renowned experts in their fields, whether it be solving complex issues across construction, aviation or shipping or providing advice across insurance, commodities and energy.

HFW has an extensive global reach with offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Types of work undertaken

Aviation: HFW advises airlines, banks, manufacturers, support providers, owners, operators, freight forwarders and insurers on issues including regulatory and competition, operations, claims and liability disputes, and the financing and structuring of transactions.

Construction: HFW’s practice covers contentious and non-contentious work for both suppliers and purchasers. Clients range from main contractors, governmental bodies and developers, to subcontractors and suppliers.

Commodities: HFW acts on soft commodities, oil and gas, coal and steel, and non-ferrous and precious metals. Clients include energy and chemical companies, coal and metal traders, commodity trading houses, trade finance banks, brokers, insurers and trade associations.

Energy and Resources: HFW has expertise across the entire energy lifecycle ranging from exploration and production, storage and transportation, LNG, refining, trading and sale of oil and gas, to electricity generation, energy management, renewables and carbon trading.

Insurance and Reinsurance: HFW provides a wide range of dispute resolution, transactional and regulatory services to clients that include insurers, captives, intermediaries, managing and members€™ agencies at Lloyd€™s, and run-off service providers.

Shipping: HFW advises across all areas of shipping, including wet, dry, regulatory, piracy, offshore, marine insurance, finance as well as on all forms of shipping contracts, transport-related disputes and corporate matters.

In addition to the above core sectors, HFW has expertise in financial institutions, logistics, mining, oil and gas, ports and terminals, travel, cruise and leisure and yachts. HFW also has expertise in legal services such as commercial, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, EU, competition and regulatory, finance, fraud and insolvency, government services and projects.

Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Kuwait, Melbourne, Monaco, Paris, Perth, Piraeus, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.


Key Contacts

Managing Partner – Jeremy Shebson

Global Senior Partner – Richard Crump

Chief Operating Officer – Sid Welham


Industry Group Leaders

HFW’s Industry Group Leaders have unrivalled specialist experience within their respective industries, guiding on best practice and harnessing development opportunities to ensure the firm retains its position at the forefront of legal practice within that sector.

Aerospace – Giles Kavanagh

Commodities – Alistair Feeney

Construction – Carolyn Chudleigh

Insurance and Reinsurance – Christopher Cardona

Energy and Resources – Alistair Mackie

Shipping – Paul Dean


Legal Service Heads

Legal Service Heads are responsible for ensuring best practice and the strategic development of their specialism across the firm, promoting innovation, collaboration and market-leading practice.

Litigation – Noel Campbell

Corporate – Brian Gordon

Finance – Elinor Dautlich 


Office Heads

HFW’s Office Heads work to build and develop the business, taking overall responsibility for the firm within their location whilst maintaining an active personal practice.

Abu Dhabi – Richard Lucas

Brussels – Pierre Frühling

Dubai – Richard Gimblett

Geneva – Michael Buisset

Hong Kong – Patrick Yeung

Houston – Gerard Kimmitt

Jakarta – Sri Rahayu

Kuwait City – Rula Dajani Abuljebain

London – Jeremy Shebson

Melbourne – Gavin Vallely

Monaco – Ian Cranston

Paris – Guillaume Brajeux

Perth – Simon Adams

Piraeus – Dimitri Vassos

Rio de Janeiro – Julio Costa Julio leads the Brazilian offices of CAL. HFW and CAL entered into a formal cooperation in 2018.

Riyadh – Mohammed Abdulrahman Alkhliwi

São Paulo – Julio Costa Julio leads the Brazilian offices of CAL. HFW and CAL entered into a formal cooperation in 2018.

Shanghai – Nicholas Poynder

Singapore – Mert Hifzi

Sydney – Carolyn Chudleigh

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Jeremy Shebson
Global Senior Partner Richard Crump
Chief Operating Officer Sid Welham
Number of UK partners : 76
Number of other UK fee-earners : 160

HFW is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment in which people of all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences can reach their full potential. In the last financial year, its staff completed more than 4,000 hours of pro bono legal advice, volunteering, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The firm sets ambitious targets in line with its Global Diversity Statement and has identified gender equality and mental health as global focus areas. In October 2019, HFW became an official signatory of the Mindful Business Charter, and was named in the Top 75 Social Mobility Employers Index 2020 (UK). The firm’s efforts to promote better mental health are further demonstrated by its international network of 48 mental health first aiders.

In 2015, HFW pledged to increase the percentage of female fixed share partners to 30% by 2020 and this target is considered as part of the promotion process. As of August 2019, the percentage sits at 28% (up from 19% in 2015). More than half of the firm’s Senior Associates and Business Service Heads are women.

HFW also works alongside a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations, for example partnering with Mission to Seafarers and Renewable World to share its sector expertise, in addition to supporting its firm-wide charity partner Fight for Peace.

The Lex 100 Verdict

HFW’s ‘focus on areas of law relating to international trade’ make it ‘very interesting compared to general full-service firms’. The international outfit is also ‘one of the few firms where an overseas secondment is highly likely, if not guaranteed’, resulting in a Lex 100 Winner award in this category. The people at HFW are ‘very impressive lawyers, but also great to work with; they value work/life balance but still work hard and to a market-leading standard in our key industry sectors’. Better still, ‘partners really want to pass on their knowledge for you to learn’. One of the firm’s more impressive qualities is that ‘it operates on a global level’, which means that trainees (and other employees) have the ‘opportunity to collaborate with clients and colleagues around the world’. Nevertheless, there are some downsides, for example: ‘the pay, in particular the NQ salary, is lower than average for a firm of this size’. There has also been a ‘lack of investment in IT’, especially ‘the laptops, which are old and cannot cope if you’re creating a big electronic bundle (which is a classic trainee task)’! Low points for trainees were ‘disclosure exercises, which are very time consuming and quite monotonous’, ‘sending a letter to the opponents before getting the partner’s approval’ and ‘the unpredictability of the workload, which is challenging at times, but makes us thrive’. On the other hand, recruits rode high on experiences such as ‘handling a piracy hostage situation and attending a vessel’, ‘negotiating an agreement while the partner supervised from the sidelines’ and ‘being asked to run a small matter’. To train at a firm with a unique focus on shipping law where there is an abundance of contentious work on offer, consider HFW.