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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

Sean Gibbons

Work 020 7809 2613
Stephenson Harwood

Work Department

Marine and international trade.


Sean specialises in shipping, shipbuilding and offshore disputes and also advises shipyards and shipowners on negotiations for new contracts. 

Sean advises a diverse range of clients, including shipowners and charterers, P&I and defence clubs, shipyards and banks. He has extensive experience of High Court litigation and arbitration (LMAA, LCIA and ICC) in relation to disputes under charterparties, bills of lading, MoAs and shipbuilding contracts covering vessels/superyachts and offshore structures of all types. Sean also advises in contract negotiations relating to newbuildings.

He is regularly instructed in matters involving investigation and defending of fraudulent cargo claims made against shipowners, insurers and banks and has spent extensive time in West African countries investigating such claims. As a result, Sean is a specialist in obtaining freezing/inspection/disclosure orders and anti-suit injunctions in the English courts, especially as a part of the asset tracing process.

Sean also advises ship finance banks in relation to enforcement of mortgages. This includes the provision of both legal and practical advice on the strategic options available to enforce the lenders’ security.

London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Oil and gas

Within: Oil and gas

Stephenson Harwood 's Stuart Beadnall has a strong track record dealing with the maritime aspects of the oil and gas industry and recently advised an offshore contractor on its floating production, storage and offloading vessel in connection with an oil field in the North Sea. Max Lemanski is currently representing the owner of a floating production storage and offloading unit undergoing a complete refit pursuant to its redeployment from the North Sea to the coast of Brazil, and the group recently handled an increasing volume of new LNG, FSRU and FLNG-related mandates. On the contentious side, clients can rely on Haris Zografakis - who heads the commodities practice - and Sean Gibbons who most recently handled a commercial litigation case pertaining to alleged unpaid fees on behalf of a state-owned oil and gas company.

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London: Transport


Within: Leading individuals

Sean Gibbons - Stephenson Harwood

Within: Shipping

Stephenson Harwood is a ‘friendly and approachable firm’ which has ‘excellent attention to detail and logistical acumen’ 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 ‘outstanding’; Nick Barber is noted for his ‘admiralty expertise, his brilliant investigative knowledge and experience’; Stuart Beadnall regularly advises on the maritime aspects of the oil and gas industry; Paolo Ghirardani is ‘simply brilliant’; Cristan Evans is ‘very professional, responsive and delivers a high-quality service’; Alex Davis leads the marine insurance and marine and casualty response groups; Tony Concagh is ‘extremely knowledgeable’; Sean Gibbons is noted for his experience in acting for Korean shipowners and shipyards in disputes; and Ingolf Kaiser is ‘very 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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Legal Developments by:
Stephenson Harwood

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

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