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Stephenson Harwood

Living Wage
Work 020 7329 4422
Fax 020 7329 7100
Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Piraeus and 4 more

Paolo Ghirardani

Work 020 7809 2612
Stephenson Harwood

Work Department

Marine and international trade.


Paolo is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer who regularly tackles complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. He is sought out by clients to lead on major, often business critical, disputes and investigations.

Paolo has a market leading practice in trade and commodity litigation with a particular emphasis on fraud investigations and asset tracing. His clients include major corporations, insurers, investment funds and traders.

He is regularly retained on high value and complex litigation and investigations often in relation to cases arising in Africa, South America and the Middle East. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Paolo also has specialised experience in assisting shipowning and insurance clients with kidnapping and "difficult situations" in some of the world's more challenging places.

London: Finance

Commodities: physicals

Within: Commodities: physicals

Stephenson Harwood is 'outstanding - client-focused and with a very deep level of knowledge in this area; the advice is concise, readable and extremely useful'. Clients remark that the lawyers 'combine an understanding of the underlying commercial realities with legal inventiveness and simple hard graft, which is a perfect combination'. The firm handles the full range of commodities but has notable strength in the energy, metals and mining sectors. Among its clients are banks such as Macquarie and Rabobank, Trading houses including Mercuria and Stemcor, power companies E.ON and ENEL, and oil majors such as Repsol. 'They are among the very best and should come very highly rated' remarks one source about practice head Haris Zografakis and senior associate Mark Lakin. They advised PDVSA Services on a $129m case regarding a call for payment under a drilling contract. 'Outstanding operator and trusted adviser' Peter Bennett has more than 25 years' experience in the commodity, energy and trading markets and clients describe him as 'a senior practitioner who has a good understanding of the market and the law; he has seen it all'. Newly promoted partner Jonathan Spearing is 'very adept at advising on commodity-related contract drafting'. Paolo Ghirardani has a respected shipping and commodities disputes practice and he is the key partner for major clients Chevron and Vitol.

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London: Transport


Within: Leading individuals

Paolo Ghirardani - Stephenson Harwood

Within: Shipping

Stephenson Harwood¬†is a ‚Äėfriendly and approachable firm‚Äô which has ‚Äėexcellent attention to detail and logistical acumen‚Äô and is noted for its experience in high-value and complex shipping disputes. The team acted for the successful shipowners in a Supreme Court decision arising out of the seizure of the vessel MV Longchamp by Somali pirates and represented Commerzbank in a case which examined shipping loan agreements. It is also acting for PDVSA group companies in a number of shipping disputes. Head of marine and international trade Mike Phillips¬†is ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô; Nick Barber¬†is noted for his ‚Äėadmiralty expertise, his¬†brilliant investigative knowledge and experience‚Äô; Stuart Beadnall¬†regularly advises on the maritime aspects of the oil and gas industry; Paolo Ghirardani¬†is ‚Äėsimply brilliant‚Äô; Cristan Evans¬†is ‚Äėvery professional, responsive and delivers a high-quality service‚Äô; Alex Davis¬†leads the marine insurance and marine and casualty response groups; Tony Concagh¬†is ‚Äėextremely knowledgeable‚Äô; Sean Gibbons¬†is noted for his experience in acting for Korean shipowners and shipyards in disputes; and Ingolf Kaiser is ‚Äėvery experienced. Simon Moore, Max Lemanski, Duncan McDonald, Haris Zografakis¬†and senior associate Tom Adams¬†are also key members of the team. Menelaus Kouzoupis¬†recently joined from HFW.

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