THE FIRM Market sources are quick to praise this shipping giant. Its 12-partner team engages in both wet and dry work, and specialisms include ship finance, marine insurance and international trade. The team also draws on the firm's global resources to give clients advanced and valued guidance on such issues as piracy. Highlights from the past year included successfully representing the shipowner of the 'Pontodamon' in an allocation of liability against the 'He Da 98' after a collision between the two vessels, resulting in the first full collision liability trial in Hong Kong. On the finance side the team advised a number of top PRC and foreign banks on lease financing matters and pre and post-delivery loan facilities, among other areas.
Sources say: "We always feel we are important customers to the firm, and always receive timely and professional services, regardless of whether the matter is big or trivial."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Beaves brings to the team a long-standing experience in asset finance. In the past year he advised Teekay in setting up a joint venture with a subsidiary of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, involving an initial investment of USD98 million.
Sources say Max Cross "is very dedicated and technically proficient." One satisfied client remarked on his "in-depth knowledge on the legal side, and his ability to quickly place anything into an industry context, which leads to a better overall approach to dispute resolution."
Harry Hirst is an acknowledged expert on wet matters, advising on such issues as collision and pollution, among others. He played a leading role on the aforementioned 'Pontodamon' matter.
Rosita Lau tackles a wide range of dry work, and supplements the practice with her expertise in international trade law and personal injuries matters. Market sources recognise her as "obviously a well-known pioneer in the Hong Kong shipping market."
Peter Murray is the leading partner in Shanghai office. He brings to the team more than 30 years of experience in the maritime area. Clients remark: "He helps us feel grounded through his complete devotion to helping us on our cases. He is personable and communicates very well with Chinese clients."
Rory Macfarlane tackles charter party disputes, as well as disputes arising from sales and purchase of ships, and carriage of goods by sea. In the past year he advised on a wrongful arrest case in a ship sales context, which involved novel issues in defining the rights and obligations of the involved parties.
Terry Floyd is the team's expert in casualty work, and handles collision, salvage and oil spill matters.
Sources describe Loh Wai Yue as responsible, professional and experienced. One client remarked: "He is a strategist who can come up with detailed solutions, someone we can always trust thanks to his clear-cut thinking and sharp insight."
Gary Wong is well versed in non-contentious shipping work, and impresses clients with his "extremely professional, prompt and solution-oriented service and advice."