Firm Profile > HFW > London, England


Aviation Tier 1

HFW's aerospace department is regularly engaged on complex aviation disputes and its expertise spans major losses and liability-related mandates. It is also experienced in regulatory and competition matters in the aviation sector. Key instructions include advising King Power International Co, and its aviation insurers, on all liability aspects of the fatal helicopter crash near Leicester City Football Club in 2018. Global aerospace head Giles Kavanagh is instructed by insurers, airlines and manufacturers; Nicholas Hughes is an 'aviation expert' and Sue Barham handles regulatory and disputes work in the sector. While Zohar Zik is experienced in finance and leasing transactions, he is also active on regulatory matters. Senior associate Mark Waters is experienced in products disputes. The team is commended for its ability to utilise its global footprint to advise on cross-border instructions.

Practice head(s):

Giles Kavanagh

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Hughes; Edward Spencer; Sue Barham; Mark Waters; Barbara Pansadoro


The firm has a very capable aviation team.

It has strong knowledge and a fantastic team of specialist lawyers.


Key clients

King Power International Co

Tokyo Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co (TMNF)

El Al Israel Airlines

Güneş Ekspress Havacılık A.Ş. (SunExpress)

Türk Hava Yolları (Turkish Airlines),

Air Europa Líneas Aéreas, S.A.U.

Commodities disputes Tier 1

HFW is recognised as a strong player in the physical commodities market and handles the full spectrum of work concerning the international sale of goods, including soft commodities, oil and gas, coal and steel, and non-ferrous and precious metals. Among its clients are multinational energy and chemical companies, coal and metal traders, soft commodity trading houses, trade finance banks, governments and their agencies, brokers, insurers and trade associations. Practice head Alistair Feeney is a leading specialist in energy commodities, particularly crude oil, petroleum products, LNG and biomass. Brian Perrott has more than 30 years' experience in commodities, derivatives and shipping disputes. Damian Honey advises commodity traders, producers, financiers and insurers on physical and financial trading agreements and disputes. Sarah Taylor and Judith Prior are also recommended for contentious matters.

Shipping Tier 1

The 'impressive' offering at HFW has an 'outstanding shipping practice'. Clients consistently praise its global reach; it is a 'well-known and perfectly connected firm that provides excellent and professional services'. Its broad expertise spans the gamut of wet and dry work and it is commended for its leading sanctions regulatory practice. Commercial, logistics, marine insurance, piracy, offshore, cyber and technology work are key areas of focus, and the firm offers specialists across the yacht and cruise sectors. Richard Neylon, who is noted for his crisis response work, is instructed by Maersk Line and Salalah Port Services on losses, damage and liabilities arising from Cyclone Mekunu, which made landfall at the Salalah Container Terminal, Oman on May 25 2018. Elsewhere, Jim Cashman handles contentious work; Paul Dean is noted for his offshore expertise; Rory Butler handles dry and admiralty matters; head of regulatory shipping Daniel Martin is a sanctions expert; Alex Kemp and senior associate Michael Ritter handle casualty response work; and Andrew Chamberlain is head of admiralty and crisis management. Global head of shipping Craig Neame handles contentious and insurance work and is also noted for his transactional and regulatory expertise. Matt Illingworth has joined Wikborg Rein.

Practice head(s):

Craig Neame; Tony Rice; Daniel Martin; Andrew Chamberlain

Other key lawyers:

Paul Dean; Rory Butler; Jim Cashman; Elinor Dautlich; Stephen Drury; Dominic Johnson; Alex Kemp; Jean Koh; Richard Mabane; Daniel Martin; David Morriss; Jonathan Webb; Mike Ritter; Richard Neylon


‘It is a market-leading practice.’

‘The team provides excellent legal analysis.’

Richard Neylon  always provides an exceptional service; he provides deeply considered tactics and is hardworking.’

‘The team is knowledgeable and tries to take a commercial approach.’

‘The team is very professional, highly accessible and impressively efficient.’

Resources are very well-used.

Rory Butler advises in a timely and in a very professional manner.’

Rory Butler has an extraordinary ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses to arrive at the best possible outcome.’

Key clients

Steamship Mutual/NITC

A large and well known charterer based in the Far East

One of the three major shipping companies in Tokyo, Japan

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Tokyo, the Japan Ship Owners Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association

Maersk Line, Copenhagen/Salalah Port Services, Oman

Shoei Kisen Kaisha/Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire/Standard Club Asia

Maersk Line, Copenhagen/Salalah Port Services, Oman

Shoei Kisen Kaisha/Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire/Standard Club Asia

Major New York Listed Offshore Group

Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 2

With specific experience in reinsurance and professional negligence work, HFW covers a wide scope of matters relating to aviation, shipping, commodities and energy insurance. Christopher Cardona, who heads up the team, focuses on financial institutions and professional indemnity work, while Christopher Foster handles a broad range of matters, with the highly regarded Andrew Bandurka specialising in brokers and reinsurers liability claims. Jonathan Bruce and Nigel Wick frequently assist clients with marine and energy insurance and reinsurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona


The team quickly identifies the crux of the case – they don’t get bogged down in the detail, and are able to talk to their clients on the client’s own level of legal understanding

HFW is comfortably the strongest, most consistently good aviation insurance defence firm in the London market. The strength and consistency also extends to its overseas offices putting HFW well ahead of the competition

Christopher Cardona is always calm, receptive and available at a minute’s notice

Andrew Bandurka is a star lawyer who has an impressive experience of complex insurance coverage claims. He offered us an inventive and smart service and well understood from the start that litigation will be a lose-lose situation for both sides

Construction: contentious Tier 3

HFW's contentious construction team primarily focuses on international arbitration, as well as matters relating to offshore construction and infrastructure. The practice is led by the 'stand out' Max Wieliczko who is experienced in the oil and gas, roads, energy to waste, renewables and urban development sectors. Michael Sergeant leads on much of the firm's key work, including a range of international matters. Ben Mellors has a track record of solving engineering disputes, as well as matters in the transport, infrastructure and power sectors.

Practice head(s):

Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:


‘HFW are particularly strong in process engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering and facilities management.’

‘HFW does big ticket work for some of the key industry contractors.’

‘Max Wieliczko is the stand out partner; he has the energy and drive to produce results, along with the knowledge of construction and construction law to approach any issues in an effective way.’

‘Katherine Doran has a good understanding of both construction and business allowing her to provide an overall approach, rather than simply the application of the law.’

‘Ben Mellors has a good knowledge of industry – FIDIC forms expertise especially.’

Key clients

Kuwait Oil Company

Posco Plantec

Hurley Palmer Flatt

Clugston Construction

Boskalis International BV & Boskalis Subsea

Buro Four Project Services

Insurance litigation: for policyholders Tier 3

While regularly advising insurers and captive insurers, HFW also acts for prominent policyholders such as energy corporates, oil and gas companies, manufacturers and construction companies. Christopher Cardona, who leads the team, is regularly involved in cross-border work for financial institutions, particularly in relation to Latin America. Jonathan Bruce specialises in marine and energy insurance and Nigel Wick has broad expertise.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona

Other key lawyers:

Mining and minerals Tier 3

HFW's mining offering is jointly led by Nick Hutton and Brian Gordon, who splits his time between Singapore and London as head of the global practice. The group has extensive experience in the development of greenfield mining projects, from the acquisition of mining and surface rights, through the construction of mine infrastructure, to the drafting of operating and off-take contracts. In recent highlights, the team advised a listed mining group on its sale by tender of a 30% interest in two major Indonesian mines for $1.3bn to a major Indian electricity generation company, and represented a London-based consortium on a large scale mining project in Northern Angola.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hutton; Brian Gordon

Professional negligence Tier 3

HFW is regularly instructed on high-value, complex claims involving a range of professionals, including accountants, auditors, insurance and other brokers, insolvency practitioners, financial intermediaries and institutions, surveyors, architects, engineers and lawyers. Negligence cases relating to marine surveyors and marine salvage work are also a key specialism of the team. It is regularly engaged on cross-border instructions and acts for claimants and defendants. Key work included representing Sterling Developments (London) on a claim against its former legal representatives that it failed to adequately advise in connection with an underlying claim concerning the mis-selling of an interest rate hedging product.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona; Andrew Bandurka

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Bruce; Christopher Foster; Costas Frangeskides; Adam Strong; Nicola Vickers; Rupert Warren; Alison Tasker; Ciara Jackson; Lizzie Gray

Commercial contracts Tier 4

HFW has an international network and broad sector expertise, including transport and logistics, aviation, technology, commodities and energy. As well as handling commercial contracts work, the firm specialises in niche areas, ranging from producing documentation for major port projects and dealing with outsourcing agreements for IT, to drafting freight management contracts for the international movement of goods for blue-chip retailers. The team is co-led by transactional commercial law expert Matthew Gore, who focuses on the ports, transport and logistics sectors; Craig Neame, who specialises in logistics; Anthony Woolich, who is head of the technology team and has experience in providing advice to hi-tech and industrial sector clients; and Alistair Mackie, who is known for his work relating to ports and terminals. Also notable is William MacLachlan, who was prompted to partner in 2019 and has particular experience in transactional shipping matters.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gore; Craig Neame; Anthony Woolich; Alistair Mackie

Other key lawyers:

Key clients


Kuwait Oil Company KSC

Marks & Spencer plc

Solent Stevedores



ARINC Inc. (now part of Rockwell Collins)


Gulf Agency Company (GAC)

Ineos Europe

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 4

HFW's non-contentious team acts for an international client base on projects including power, ports and terminals, rail and tunnels. The team is headed up by Max Wieliczko who was lead partner advising Clugston Construction in relation to the construction of several energy to waste projects in the UK. The 'innovative' Richard Booth is another notable name within the team with a focus on renewables including offshore wind and solar as well as transport work. He leads the firm's work for a number of major clients, including advising solar energy company Belectric on an EPC contract for the design, procurement and construction of a solar plant in Jordan.

Practice head(s):

Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:


‘Richard Booth is very approachable; he has a good legal brain and is an innovative thinker with a commercial acumen.’

Key clients

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

VolkerWessels Group

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 4

HFW has a broad offering and longstanding sector expertise, including a strong Lloyd's market practice and expertise in insurance regulatory matters. Key members of the team include Richard Spiller, who deals with acquisitions, risk transfers and restructurings, policy wordings and run-offs; Ashwani Kochhar, who focuses on non-contentious matters, including insurance M&A and corporate finance; and Carol-Ann Burton, who returned to the firm as a partner in 2018 after two years  at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Senior associate William Reddie has a particular focus on innovative insurtech products.

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

HFW's key recognised sector strengths are transport, energy and infrastructure, and insurance, within which the firm handles corporate M&A transactions. Work carried out by the London team invariably carries cross-border considerations, and the team is able to call on colleagues in Singapore, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong and Sydney, in particular. Furthermore, the firm recently opened an office in Abu Dhabi and formed  alliances with an energy firm in the US and Brazil-based CAL, adding further strength to its cross-border offering.  The London team is led by Nick Hutton, while the ports and terminals and infrastructure teams are headed by Alistair Mackie, who retains an important role in the firm's M&A capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

APM Terminals

International Container Services Inc (ICTSI)

Regal Petroleum plc

WH Ireland Group plc

Miles Smith

Conti Group


Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund

Markerstudy Holdings Ltd

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 4

HFW is particularly active in the UK offshore wind sector; the firm's construction team regularly represents a variety of industry players across the full range of their project lifecycles, from procurement to construction. The firm's offering also includes significant dispute resolution and international arbitration capabilities. Richard Booth was recently promoted to partner within the construction space.

Practice head(s):

Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

HOCHTIEF Solutions AG and HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction Limited

Kuwait Oil Company KSC

VolkerWessels Group (including VolkerFitzpatrick; VolkerInfra; Volker CI; VolkerHighways; VolkerStevin; VolkerRail)

Visser & Smit Hanab b.v.

Clugston Construction Limited

Julius Berger Nigeria plc

Hurley Palmer Flatt

Singapore Airlines Limited

Buro Four Project Services

Transport finance & leasing Tier 4

Led by Elinor DautlichHFW's nine-partner team is primarily known for its 'high-calibre' shipping finance for banks and operators, which benefit not only from its 'vast subject matter knowledge' but also the team's ability to draw on the expertise of practitioners in key jurisdictions, including Singapore and Greece. The team continues to handle a significant amount of restructuring work in the sector, including its recent work for RBS as one of the creditors in the out-of-court restructuring of Danaos. Tony Rice was involved in the aforementioned deal and has vast shipping finance experience across both commercial debt financings, as well as ECA-supported mandates. Although the firm's aviation finance capability is better known out of the firm's Asian offices, including Singapore and Hong Kong, the London team, spearheaded by Adam Shire and senior associate Barbara Pansadoro, handles a significant volume of commercial, corporate and private jet financing work.

Practice head(s):

Elinor Dautlich

Other key lawyers:

Tony Rice; Jay Tooker; Adam Shire; Zohar Zik; Gudmund Bernitz; Barbara Pansadoro


The team is very thorough and has a niche knowledge in aviation financing transactions‘.

Barbara Pansadoro is highly efficient, knowledgeable and assertive‘.

Key clients

D’Amico Tankers D.A.C., an operating subsidiary of d’Amico International Shipping (DIS)

The Royal Bank of Scotland

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ


El Al Israel Airlines

Güneş Eksoress Havacilik A.S. (SunExpress)

Maersk Link




Nordea Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken


ING Bank


Tsakos Energy Navigation


Türk Hava Yolları (Turkish Airlines)

Air Europa Líneas Aéreas

Fraud: civil Tier 5

HFW advises on commercial litigation, cross-border fraud, insolvency, breach of contract claims, breach of fiduciary duties and asset tracing. Key practitioner Rick Brown has particular experience in offshore trust matters in the Caribbean and other jurisdictions. Former team head Noel Campbell relocated to the Hong Kong office.

International arbitration Tier 5

HFW is best known for its international arbitration experience in relation to shipping and aviation, international trade, energy and commodities; other areas of strength include insurance and reinsurance, financial services and construction. The names to note are Damian HoneyKatie Pritchard, Alistair Feeney, Costas Frangeskides and Max Wieliczko.

Commercial litigation Tier 6

HFW is widely respected for its expertise in energy, mining and transport-related disputes. The practice also regularly acts in litigation involving commodities, manufacturing, utilities, engineering, financial services and  international trade companies. Damian Honey represents clients in disputes in relation to commodities and freight-related matters; other highly regarded advisers are Simon Blows, Noel Campbell, Costas Frangeskides and Alistair Feeney.

EU and competition Tier 6

HFW’s team members advise on a mix of EU law, competition and international trade under the leadership of co-head Anthony Woolich and Brussels-based Pierre Frühling . The group focuses on handling state aid-related matters in the area of EU law, with a particular focus on the energy sector.  Other sectors of expertise include infrastructure and mining, construction, retail, consumer goods, agriculture, financial services, sports, pharmaceuticals, and media. Another differentiating characteristic of the team in terms of cross-border work is its experience in Greece and Cyprus. Department co-head Costas Frangeskides is a key contact for clients seeking assistance with contentious competition matters. Daniel Martin is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Woolich; Costas Frangeskides;

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Crown Commercial Service

Republic of Cyprus

Maersk Group



Morgan Stanley

European Parliament

Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation

BW Group

UCL Company (Pty)


HFW's multidisciplinary offering stands out for its leisure, aviation and cruise sector expertise. It is instructed by airlines, cruise lines, ferry companies, holiday companies, tour operators, industry bodies and insurers, and it handles a raft of regulatory, disputes and commercial work. Health and safety issues, crisis management, IT, IP and data protection work are also key focuses. Consultant Sue Barham handles regulatory and disputes for travel sector clients and is noted for her expertise across EU consumer, travel and passenger regulation. Recently promoted partner William MacLachlan has experience in advising clients across the commercial shipping, cruise, ferry and yachting sectors.

France > Aviation finance Tier 3

HFW is a key name for high-value transactions in the aviation sector, acting primarily for airlines on acquisitions and leasing arrangements. The team's work includes bank financing, loans and leasing, and refinancing. The practice is led by Pierre Frühling. Richard Jadot joined Ravet & Associés in December 2019.

Practice head(s):

Pierre Frühling

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
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Richard Crump photo Mr Richard Crump
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

For trainee hopefuls with an interest in shipping and aviation, 'global leader' HFW is an obvious choice. The international firm's 'specialist sector focus' offers recruits the 'opportunity to work with the biggest clients in the industry' on 'genuinely interesting matters'. Guaranteed international secondments for all trainees is the other big draw and has earned the firm a Lex 100 Winner medal in this category. Placements to far-flung destinations, from Melbourne to Dubai to Piraeus, attracted unmitigated praise for their 'smooth organisation' and for the 'high-level work' on offer. Indeed, 'plenty of trainees love it so much they decide to qualify abroad'! Back in the London office, where there is a 'nice vibe', some departments 'take a real interest in training and put a lot of effort into making sure trainees get client exposure, ship visits and a wide variety of work'. Recruits feel that the office 'could do with a refurb' and that the 'remuneration could be higher considering the hours worked'. Moreover, those interested in non-contentious work should note that there are 'fewer transactional options available' at HFW. Work highlights included 'visiting a tug with a master mariner', 'preparing for and attending a summary judgment hearing involving two FTSE-100 listed companies' and 'attending closing meetings alone'. At the other end of the spectrum were 'missing lots of Christmas events due to long hours', a 'hefty e-disclosure exercise' and 'forgetting to include a schedule of loss in a hearing bundle and having to taxi it across London to court with ten minutes to spare'. For a 'steep and challenging learning curve' at a firm which has 'plans to deepen and enhance its sector presence in emerging markets', look at HFW.