Russell Kelly > Lester Aldridge LLP > Southampton, England > Lawyer Profile

Lester Aldridge LLP
SO15 2EU

Work Department



Russell Kelly is a Partner and Head of the Marine team.

Prior to moving to Southampton, Russell worked for 12 years at one of the specialist shipping law firms in London, where he qualified and subsequently became a partner. He relocated to the South Coast and joined Lester Aldridge in October 2000 as one of the founding members of LA Marine.

Russell’s long and broad experience across both the commercial shipping and the leisure marine and superyacht sectors means that he can provide detailed and client focused advice on a broad range of issues. He will not be unsettled no matter what a client or opponent may throw in his direction.

Over the years he has dealt with many and various interesting cases, ranging from multiple injuries and deaths following an explosion in the pump room of a tanker, a long and technical dispute between the builders and the purchasers of 3 naval off-shore patrol vessels, the prosecution of owners and operators of various ships, yachts and RIBs, the negotiation of a contract with the Moroccan Government for off-shore exploration of the continental shelf and the building and financing of many different types of vessel.

Russell has also handled many transactions for the sale and purchase of vessels of all sizes and values, a number of which have involved complicated ownership structures with completion taking place off shore.

Although Russell now focusses more on the non-contentious side of LA Marine’s practice, advising particularly on vessel sale and purchase, marine finance and new build and refit contracts, he does still deal with regulatory matters, such as the investigation and prosecution of vessel owners and operators following breaches (or alleged breaches) of the many Merchant Shipping Regulations, and with insurance claims and other disputes. He is also part of the firm’s team advising port and marina operators.

Russell has also been advising clients in relation to disputes arising under the contracts for the design, build and sale of vessels ranging from a chain ferry to luxury tenders for superyachts, sports boats and cruising yachts.

A measure of his reputation and standing in the market is the fact that he is frequently invited to speak at industry events and is retained by several trade bodies to advise on industry precedent documents and membership matters generally.


Trained Thomas Cooper; qualified 1986; Thomas Cooper, trainee/solicitor/partner 1984-1997; Bond Pearce, solicitor, 1997-2000; Lester Aldridge, partner, 2000 to present.


British Marine, International Yacht Lawyers Network


Bradfield College; Leeds University; College of Law, Chester; 1982 BSc.

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Transport > Shipping

The ’very creative and responsive’ Lester Aldridge LLP marine practice operates out of the Southampton and Bournemouth offices, specialising in the whole spectrum of litigious and transactional matters in shipping law. Southampton-based Russell Kelly has vast experience of advising national and international clients from the leisure marine and superyacht sectors, as well as handling complex contractual disputes which may arise. From Bournemouth, Linda Jacques leads on arbitration work involving contractual claims and the loss of cargo. Also in Southampton, Philippa Langton handles regulatory matters for shipowners and operators. Associate Lucy Goff is knowledgeable on professional negligence claims.