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Max Cross

Work +852 2877 3221

Work Department

Shipping, International Trade & Commodities, Commercial Disputes




Max is an International Dispute Resolution, Arbitration and Mediation specialist. He has over 25 years of experience in international arbitration and other forms of commercial dispute resolution. The majority of his work involves international arbitration, with a particular focus on disputes in the transportation and international trade sectors and generally involving very substantial sums and multiple jurisdictions. He has been ranked by Legal 500 as Leading Individual in China: Shipping continuously for the past 10 years.  In the 2019 edition, he is described by clients as “commercial and highly experienced”. He is “'an elite class of his own' and provides 'results-driven service' to clients in a range of disputes". He is also recognized as a Band 1 Leading Individual by Chambers Asia Pacific 2019, where clients praised him as being “hands on, attentive and really on the ball”. In previous editions, Max was recommended for his “in-depth knowledge of the industry” and for being “able to adapt quickly to anything a case throws up”. As “a very creative problem solver”, he was complimented for being “dedicated and technically proficient”.

Max trained in London and moved to Hong Kong in 1998. He advises and acts as advocate in domestic and international commercial disputes, in particular in disputes concerning commercial sale and delivery contracts, enforcing payment or advising on the problems associated with late delivery, guarantees and letters of credit, contamination or product specification disputes, technical disputes (usually concerned with ship construction or with quantification of damages) and maritime contracts (charterparties, bills of lading, COAs, marine policies, abandoned or disputed cargoes, including the enforcement of liens and resolving issues over title, etc.).  Max also advises banks and hedge funds on issues arising from the insolvency of shipping companies, debt acquisition and restructuring. He has considerable experience advising debtors and creditors on the jurisdictional, legal and practical implications of insolvency within the shipping and international trade industries.

Max also acts in a range of substantial fraud disputes relating to misappropriation of assets and deceit and bribery claims. He is particularly skilled at obtaining and enforcing interim injunctions. Much of his workload has an international flavour.

Highlight matters:

>Advised one of the world’s largest fleets on the implications of judgments made against certain group companies in excess of US$300 million and dealing with global enforcement and charter default issues.

>Advising in relation to the global recovery of US$250 million in damages owed under various commodity contracts.

>Advised a trading house in Geneva regarding a dispute under a CFR contract for the sale and purchase of steam coal against the buyers, a subsidiary of a major Chinese State Owned Enterprise.

>Advised a major commodity trader in relation to a disputed claim of US$50 million under a standby letter of credit issued by a European bank.

>Advised various European banks in the arrest and sale of vessels in Hong Kong.

>Advised the Owners and P&I Club of a tanker that exploded in Hong Kong during STS operations.

Recent Reported Cases:

>Re STX Pan Ocean (HK) Co Ltd (In Liquidation) [2014]




>Law Society of England and Wales

>Law Society of Hong Kong


University of London, King’s College

Hong Kong


Within: Leading individuals

Max Cross - Ince & Co

Within: Shipping

'Shipping heavyweight' Ince & Co  provides 'responsive, commercial and accurate advice' across the panoply of transactional and litigation matters on behalf of operators, charterers and P&I clubs, among other clients. The 'commercial and highly experienced' Max Cross is in 'an elite class of his own' and provides 'results-driven service' to clients engaged in a range of shipping disputes, including those relating to cargo deliveries and bills of lading. Cross also represents banks and hedge funds on issues arising from the insolvency of shipping companies, debt acquisition and restructuring. He recently secured a favourable result for the owner of cargo of a particularly dangerous and unstable product when he persuaded the Hong Kong High Court to take the unusual step of varying an arrest order to allow the cargo to be safely removed in an expedited fashion following the arrest of the vessel on which it was being carried. Ruaridh Guy was also involved in the aforementioned matter, and is a key resource to clients engaged in complex shipping disputes by virtue of his 'adaptability' and ability to provide 'practical, pragmatic and commercially astute advice'. Rosita Lau's wide-ranging transportation practice includes a significant amount of dry shipping work, while master mariner Richard Oakley is a pivotal part of the office's market-leading admiralty practice, which often works closely with lawyers in Beijing and Shanghai to provide 'very responsive service' in disputes arising from marine casualties in the region. Rory Macfarlane has a focus on regulatory and compliance work and has developed a particular specialism in relation to maritime cybersecurity matters.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: international arbitration

Within: Dispute resolution: international arbitration

The arbitration practice at Ince & Co is led by Max Cross and Rosita Lau. The team handles a range of international commercial disputes, representing clients in LMAA, HKIAC, SIAC, ICC, CIETAC, and CMAC arbitrations. International trade, commodities and shipping sector matters are key areas of focus for the team. Managing partner David Beaves is a name to note; managing associate Simon Cheng is another key contact in the Hong Kong office.

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Dispute resolution: litigation

Within: Dispute resolution: litigation

Max Cross and Rosita Lau are key contacts at shipping specialists Ince & Co. Cross acts for clients in domestic and international commercial disputes, predominantly regarding sale and delivery contracts and enforcement of payment; Lau’s practice covers all types of charterparties, bills of lading, carriage, piracy, sanctions, freight contract and shipbuilding disputes, as well as ports and terminal operation matters.

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