BDM Law LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

145 Leadenhall Street

Transport > Shipping Tier 4

Shipping boutique BDM Law LLP has a varied caseload consisting of both wet and dry work as well as significant offshore capabilities, which makes it a popular choice for a wide range of clients operating in the maritime sector, including P&I clubs and global corporations. Bob Deering has a strong market reputation for handling container ship casualties and matters hailing from the Middle East, which is also a geographical focus for Pavlo Samothrakis. Nick Burgess is often engaged in matters with a connection to Asia, while Norwegian, German, Greek, and Italian clients regularly turn to David McInnes for his shipping experience.

Practice head(s):

Bob Deering; Nick Burgess; David McInnes; Pavlo Samothrakis

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Thompson; Benita Cheung


‘They have great expertise in shipping law.’

‘Nick Burgess – a calm and reassuring presence.’

‘BDM is very commercial and client focused. The relatively small team is highly manoeuvrable: you get exactly the experienced lawyers you need to handle the dispute, with no fat and no waste.’

‘Nick Burgess is very strategic. He gets some very good outcomes by knowing which buttons to press and when.’

‘Bob Deering is a seasoned lawyer with exceptional litigation instincts and excellent judgment.’

‘They are well established senior lawyers offering the services of a boutique law firm. Responsive and pragmatic.’

‘Pavlo Samothrakis has a deep industry knowledge. He has seen all sides of it.’

‘Their approach is very inclusive. They make sure that everyone in the team contributes to strategy.’

Key clients

Grimaldi Group

Thoresen Shipping

Textainer Group




K Line


North of England P&I

Japan P&I

UK Club

BDM is a niche shipping, insurance, trade and offshore energy law firm. The firm represents blue chip shipping, trading and offshore energy companies and those who insure them. The founding partners Nick Burgess, Bob Deering and David McInnes were all formerly senior partners at an international law firm and between them have over 90 years of combined legal and industry experience. The BDM team is dynamic and responsive and comprises 4 partners, 1 consultant, 5 associates and 2 trainees all supported by a dedicated back office team covering secretarial, administration, accounts and IT.

The majority of the firm’s practice is contentious.  The firm handles dozens of arbitrations each year and is familiar with all the customary institutional rules including the ICC, LCIA, LMAA, UNCITRAL, SCC, CIETEC, SIAC, DIAC, DIFC-LCIA, GAFTA, FOSFA and other trade bodies as well as ad hoc arbitrations subject to the Arbitration Act.  The firm is also experienced at Lloyds Form Salvage Arbitrations including appeals under the Lloyds Rules.  

In terms of court proceedings, the firm represents clients in the Admiralty, Commercial and Companies Courts on matters in the shipping, offshore, trade and insurance sectors.  One specialist area is obtaining and enforcing interim injunctions to secure clients’ claims.  BDM are active members of the Admiralty Solicitors Group and are at the forefront of the latest advances in casualty investigation and liability.   Most of the work involves dealing with high-value casualties and groundings and advising on liability, quantum and limitation as well as dealing with the contractual complications. One of the firm’s consultants is an experienced casualty investigator and all four partners have specialist experience of collisions, groundings, container stow issues and ship fires.

On non-contentious matters, BDM frequently advises clients on the drafting and negotiation of ship sale and purchase agreements, high-value shipbuilding contracts, pooling arrangements, sale of goods contracts, contracts of carriage and charter party agreements.   They also advise clients on more general commercial agreements including those relating to finance and joint ventures.  The firm is very familiar with the container trade and acts for many of the world’s leading container lines/ alliances as well as acting for container manufacturers and their insurers.  On the operational side, they support clients who own and operate ships in connection with common trading problems such as compliance with MARPOL and international regulations.

The majority of the firm’s clients are blue chip shipowners, trading, offshore and insurance companies, including the international group P&I clubs.  They also represent some high net-worth individuals principally on issues relating to yachts.  The firm has an extensive international network of fellow lawyers in other jurisdictions who refer clients to them on shipping matters and who consult them on the shipping aspects of wider projects.

Department Name Email Telephone
Nick Burgess 44 7834 488283
Bob Deering 44 7903 073234
David McInnes 44 7703 098084
Pavlo Samothrakis 44 7887 710950
Partners : 4
Managing Associates : 2
Senior Associates : 1
Associates : 1
Trainees : 2

CLIENT: Alex Gullen
COMPANY/FIRM: Norwegian Hull Club
TESTIMONIAL: We have recently been using BDM on some of our members’ casualties where there is an English law element and have found them to be responsive and proactive. There is a lot of senior experience on hand, which is useful in the early stages of a claim’s lifecycle. This, tailored with the more bespoke approach typical from a smaller firm, allows us to manage costs and expectations whilst working out what needs to be done to protect our members’ position

COMPANY/FIRM: North of England P&I
TESTIMONIAL: Nick, Bob and David are all well known to us and BDM are one of our preferred external service providers. Their team is adept at reviewing issues we raise with them and responding to our questions quickly and on point. We will continue to build our relationship with them