Firm Profile > MFB > London, England
1 FISHMONGERS' HALL WHARF
MFB > The Legal 500 Rankings
Shipping Tier 2
The 'strong and experienced' team at specialist outfit MFB has a 'willingness to look at challenging scenarios, study and make it happen'. It offers experience across the full range of wet and dry shipping work covering emergency response work, superyachts, shipbuilding, logistics, regulatory and insurance mandates. Its broad client base includes ship owners, charterers, cargo interests, salvors, managers and brokers, banks and other financial institutions, P&I Clubs and other insurers. The team is acting for the cargo owners, Enka and Bechtel, on a high value dispute against the ship owners, as a result of the sinking of the Atlantik Confidence. Andrew Hughes is a 'brilliant practitioner' and department head Edward Gray has a 'wealth of knowledge in the sector', while Mark Seward is noted for his contentious expertise. The team, which is 'very flexible in its approach', recently welcomed Simon Spark from Ince.
‘It has an extensive network and is proactively engaged to seek improvements in services and the industry in general.’
‘The team has a very proactive approach, thinks with clients and is therefore able to provide a tailored service.’
‘It has a commercial approach, is very friendly and aims for long term relationships.’
‘It demonstrates incredible flexibility to be able to apply the relevant advice in a way that is specific to the client.’
Kevin Cooper is fabulously responsive, and he has proper sector knowledge.
‘The team is always approachable and the lawyers go out of their way to assist.’
‘Its commercial approach and its willingness to engage at all levels is always very welcome.’
Simon Johnson provides excellent, accurate and succinct advice, always keeping in mind the underlying commercial issues.
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MFB > Firm Profile
Firm History: MFB (formerly More Fisher Brown) was established in June 1988 – some 30 years ago.
At the start, there were seven lawyers who saw the need for a boutique firm specialising in “dry” shipping work. Their belief was that the large firms were increasingly focusing on corporate and banking work, which was seen as being more profitable, and that shipping clients deserved a dedicated service provider.
The aim then – as now – was to provide efficient advice to clients across the shipping world, placing great importance on working closely with our clients and understanding their business requirements. Whether clients need a big team to handle the largest of matters, or just one adviser for a single call, they will always get a personal touch from experienced practitioners, at reasonable cost.
Over time, we have also developed very good relationships with a network of specialist lawyers in other countries, with whom we regularly act in relation to multi-jurisdictional matters.
The firm has grown to the present complement of about 30 lawyers, making it one of the largest shipping teams in the City of London. Likewise, the breadth of the work we do has grown and we now advise on all areas of shipping and related law, both contentious and non-contentious.
Practice Areas: Historically, we are known for our work with owners and operators, but we also regularly assist insurers, shipyards and boatbuilders, ship managers, salvors and trading clients.
We advise across the full range of contentious matters in the shipping sector. Although our aim is to reach an acceptable solution short of trial or arbitration wherever possible (including through Alternative Dispute Resolution), we handle matters in arbitration and the High Court, having acted on some of the leading shipping and insurance cases over the past three decades at all levels, including the European Court of Justice, the House of Lords/Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. One recent such example is our successful conduct of the Ocean Victory matter up to and including the decision of the Supreme Court, a case that had significant implications for both the shipping and insurance sectors.
Our wet shipping team has expanded over the years, most recently in 2018 with the recruitment of three senior joiners from other firms such that we are able to handle even the largest shipping accidents: our Casualty Response capability can be seen here.
Our corporate team handles a range of high value, complex commercial shipping and insurance-related transactions: for example, vessel sale and purchases, business acquisitions, start-ups and reorganisations, cross-border joint ventures and offshore projects. It also has significant yacht and superyacht related experience, advising ultra-high net worth owners, managers, corporate service providers and shipyards on newbuild and sale & purchase projects, finance, ownership structures and insurance claims: see here for more details about our superyacht capability.
We have also widened our offering to include insurance (both marine and non-marine) and advise on sale of goods, cross-border insolvency and other similar issues.
Lastly, responding to the growing demand for advice from industry legal experts on the development of compliance policies and procedures that balance our clients’ legal obligations and commercial needs, we also advise clients on issues such as anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, data protection and sanctions.
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