Nicholas Woo > Birketts LLP > Ipswich, England > Lawyer Profile

Birketts LLP
Providence House
141-145 Princes Street
IPSWICH
IP1 1QJ
England

Work Department

Shipping

Position

Partner

Career

Nicholas is a Partner and Head of the Shipping and International Trade Team.

Nicholas grew up in Singapore, obtained his LLB in England and was called to the Bar here in 1986. He qualified in Singapore as an Advocate and Solicitor the following year and practised in Singapore as a shipping litigator for five years. He then moved in-house working for a COSCO Singapore subsidiary where he gained valuable commercial experience. London beckoned and Nicholas qualified as an English solicitor in 1996. He was made a Partner in 2001, the first ethnic Chinese to be appointed as a partner in a major shipping law firm in London. Nicholas is now Head of Birketts’ Shipping and International Trade Team which he has helped grow from two fee-earners when he joined in 2004 to eleven fee-earners today.

Nicholas is a specialist in all areas of ‘dry’ shipping litigation with particular knowledge of shipping in Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. He also has some contacts with the Indian and Japanese shipping industry. He makes regular visits to these countries every year. Working for COSCO and spending many years representing other Chinese clients has helped Nicholas develop his ability to take instructions, give advice and lecture on English shipping law in fluent Mandarin.

REPORTED CASES INCLUDE:

Several of Nicholas’ cases have been reported, for example:

The Bunga Saga Lima (Bottiglieri Di Navigazione SpA v Cosco Qingdao Ocean Shipping Company) [2005] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 1

– on cargo holds cleanliness

New India Assurance v Through Transport Mutual (“The Hari Bhum”) No 1 [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 67; No 2 [2005] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 378

– on anti-suit injunctions in the EU immediately preceding the “Front Comor” decision

Samsun Logix Corporation v Oceantrade Ltd [2008] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 450

– on liens

Nicholas was instrumental in obtaining in 2009, the first ever order from the English High Court recognising the foreign insolvency of a major shipping company pursuant to the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations, with a consequential order staying all legal actions in England against that insolvent shipping company. It is estimated that that stay order affected over 200 separate legal actions that had been commenced against the clients.

Nicholas was instrumental in obtaining in 2009, the first ever order from the English High Court recognising the foreign insolvency of a major shipping company pursuant to the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations, with a consequential order staying all legal actions in England against that insolvent shipping company. It is estimated that that stay order affected over 200 separate legal actions that had been commenced against the clients.

Languages

Mandarin

Memberships

Nicholas sits on the Supporting Members Liaison Committee of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association. He has also previously undertaken a number of key roles in the industry, including chairing the time charterparty and cargo claims seminars organised by the Lloyds Maritime Academy in London and representing the Singapore Shipping Association at the Maritime Law Committee of the International Chamber of Shipping. Nicholas is a past President of the Singapore Business Group, a Singapore-British business networking group in London under the patronage of the Singapore High Commissioner to London.  He has recently been appointed as an Advisor to the Chinese Shipping Association in London supported by the Baltic Exchange.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Transport > Shipping

(Leading individuals)

Nicholas WooBirketts LLP

East Anglia > Transport > Transport and shipping

(Leading individuals)

Nicholas WooBirketts LLP

The Ipswich office of Birketts LLP houses a transport and logistics practice that combines in-depth experience in shipping, road transport and trade. ‘A specialised and efficient law firm‘, it is unique in the region for the breadth of its work. Henry Adams leads the shipping and international trade practice, which encompasses dry shipping and marine insurance work. As head of the regulatory and corporate defence practice, Matthew Gowen handles Public Inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner and before the Magistrates’ and Crown Court in criminal proceedings. Nicholas Woo is a specialist in all areas of dry shipping litigation, particularly in cases involving Asian jurisdictions. Head of litigation Alex Davey, whose work includes charterparty, bill of lading and cargo disputes involving High Court litigation or London arbitration, frequently advises P&I clubs, freight forwarders and logistics companies. Senior associate Sarah Holsgrove is also experienced in complex disputes.