Mr Ed Watt > Addleshaw Goddard > Edinburgh, Scotland > Lawyer Profile

Addleshaw Goddard

Work Department



Ed is a recognised leading commercial shipping lawyer and head of the firm’s shipping group. Ed has acted in the sale or purchase and registration of more than 200 vessels, and is a recognised expert in dual registration of ships in the Caspian Sea. With an international practice acting for ship owners, builders and banks, Ed has led negotiations and completions in over 20 countries. His experience covers the full range of transactional and commercial needs of clients in the shipping, offshore renewable energy, and oil & gas sectors. He specialises in the sale, purchase and registration of ships, in particular offshore vessels; commercial agreements, time charters and tender negotiations for major projects; ship building contracts and complex bareboat lease structures. “Ed Watt continues to operate on an almost bewildering international scale” Scotsman Legal Review


Trained HBJ Gateley; qualified 1999; partner HBJ Gateley 2005 to date, head of shipping 2008. Publications of note: co-author of ‘Ship Registration: Law and Practice’ (Lloyd’s Shipping Law Library – Informa, 2009 2nd edition, 3rd edition forthcoming).


George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh (1996 LLB Hons; 1997 Dip LP); University of London (2001 LLM merit).

Lawyer Rankings

Scotland > Transport

(Leading individuals)

Ed Watt – Addleshaw Goddard

Shipping and ports works constitutes the cornerstone of Addleshaw Goddard‘s transport sector offering with Ed Watt being the key contact for this. His expertise includes ship transactions, offshore commercial contracts and ship registration and typically leads to instructions spanning various jurisdictions. While the team has traditionally mostly acted for shipowners, buyers and operators, it has recently been increasingly active for retail businesses requiring assistance with ocean freight and supply chain issues. Thanks to Sarah Baillie‘s planning and consenting expertise, the team is also well placed to advise on various infrastructure projects, such as ports and airports.

London > Finance > Transport finance and leasing

Although Addleshaw Goddard‘s London offering saw the departure in April 2022 of rail finance expert Clive Smith to gunnercooke LLP, the firm continues to be well placed to leverage broader asset finance expertise from its regional practitioners. Most notable of these is Edinburgh-based partner Ed Watt, who handles a range of commercial, contractual and finance work as part of his overarching shipping practice, and Manchester-based Andrew Maskill, who handles some transport-related work as part of his broad finance and leasing practice. The arrival in May 2022 of rail finance expert Simon Gwynne from Norton Rose Fulbright also quickly filled the void left by Smith’s departure a month earlier.