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Holman Fenwick Willan LLP


Holman Fenwick Willan LLP - London
  • Friary Court
  • 65 Crutched Friars
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC3N 2AE
  • Tel:+44 20 7264 8000
  • Fax:+44 20 7264 8888
  • Web:Visit website
  • Senior Partner: Richard Crump
  • Managing Partner: George Eddings
  • Number of partners: 149
  • Number of lawyers: 485 (including 59 trainees)

Firm Overview:
Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) is an international law firm advising businesses engaged in all aspects of international commerce. With offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America, the firm has built a reputation worldwide for excellence and innovation.

Main Areas of Practice:

HFW has a broad based practice advising banks, manufacturers and support providers, airlines, owners, operators, passengers, freight forwarders and insurers on a range of issues including regulatory and competition issues, operations, claims and liability disputes and the financing and structuring of principal aviation transactions. The firm’s experienced casualty investigators also provide emergency response services.
Contact: Giles Kavanagh Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: giles.kavanagh@hfw.com

Construction, Engineering & Infrastructure:
The firm’s practice covers both contentious and noncontentious matters with clients across the construction industry, from main contractors, governmental bodies and developers to subcontractors and suppliers.
Nick Longley Tel: +852 3983 7680
Email: nick.longley@hfw.com

HFW acts across the spectrum of the international sale of goods including soft commodities, oil and gas, coal and steel and non ferrous and precious metals. Clients include multinational energy and chemical companies, coal and metal traders, soft commodity trading houses, trade finance banks, governments and their agencies, brokers, insurers and trade associations.
Contact: Brian Perrott Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: brian.perrott@hfw.com

HFW has expertise ranging from exploration and production, storage and transportation, LNG, refining, trading and sale of oil and gas, to electricity generation, energy management, renewables and carbon trading. The firm has an emergency response team who are experienced in advising on all aspects of any casualties or disasters that may occur.
Contact: Robert Follie Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: robert.follie@hfw.com

Financial Institutions:
HFW’s practice encompasses all manner of domestic and international banks and other financial institutions. The firm advises on infrastructure and project finance, ship and aviation finance and leasing, to Islamic finance, trade finance and private equity. The firm advises on disputes arising from trade and asset finance, complex accounting issues, investment fraud, financial instruments and restructuring and insolvency issues. Contact: Nick Hutton Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: nick.hutton@hfw.com

Insurance & Reinsurance:
The firm provides a range of dispute resolution, transactional and regulatory services, including policy defence and coverage work, reinsurance recoveries, subrogation, finality solutions, setting up new ventures, product development, drafting and distribution and run-off and closing down discontinued ventures. Clients include insurance companies, captives, insurance intermediaries and other agencies, managing and members’ agencies at Lloyd’s, and run-off service providers.
Contact: Paul Wordley Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: paul.wordley@hfw.com

HFW acts for buyers and providers of logistics services, and for the insurance sector, on a range of insured and commercial disputes arising out of logistics operations. The firm advises on the drafting and negotiation of agreements for the procurement and provision of logistics services, negotiating bespoke contracts and advising on the risks and insurance requirements arising out of logistics services.
Contact: Craig Neame Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: craig.neame@hfw.com

HFW advises on M&A, projects, construction, trade and structured finance, insurance, physical trading, derivatives, sale and purchase arrangements, regulatory and EU issues, transportation and disputes. Clients include producers, traders, financiers and insurers.
Contact: Brian Gordon Tel: +65 6305 9533
Email: brian.gordon@hfw.com

Ports & Terminals:
The firm has one of the largest teams specialising in legal matters relating to ports and terminals. Clients include port and terminal operators, international shipping lines, investment funds, logistics companies, contractors, consultants, banks and financial institutions, and insurance providers.
Contact: Alistair Mackie Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: alistair.mackie@hfw.com

HFW is a long-standing specialist adviser to the international shipping sector. The firm’s admiralty practice advises on major casualty and piracy cases. HFW advises on all forms of shipping contracts, ship and transport-related disputes, ship finance, corporate matters and marine insurance.
Contact: Paul Dean Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: paul.dean@hfw.com

HFW provides advice and legal representation to the space industry and to its insurers and reinsurers on all matters arising out of product supply, launch, in-orbit and other risks. HFW understands the usual contracting principles and regulation of the industry and is experienced with ITAR. The firm has been chosen to advise on some of the largest insurance matters the industry has seen.
Contact: Nick Hughes Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: nick.hughes@hfw.com

HFW has in-depth technical and commercial knowledge of this specialist sector. Clients include builders, designers, owners, banks and financial institutions, charterers, brokers and insurers.
Contact: Jay Tooker Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: jay.tooker@hfw.com

Travel, Cruise & Leisure:
The firm advises on shipping and travel law, regulatory compliance, company/commercial matters, dispute resolution, health and safety, crisis management, IT/IP and data protection. Clients include cruise companies, shipowning groups, P&I clubs, ship management companies and holiday companies.
Contact: Rory Gogarty Tel: +44 20 7264 8000
Email: rory.gogarty@hfw.com


  • Level 41,
  • Bourke Place,
  • 600 Bourke Street,
  • Melbourne,
  • Victoria
  • Australia
  • VIC 3000
  • Tel +61 3 8601 4500
  • Fax +61 3 8601 4555
  • Website : www.hfw.com
  • Level 19, Alluvion,
  • 58 Mounts Bay Road,
  • Perth,
  • Western Australia
  • Australia
  • WA 6000
  • Tel +61 (0)8 8422 4700
  • Fax +61 (0)8 9422 4777
  • Level 29,
  • 201 Elizabeth Street,
  • Sydney,
  • New South Wales
  • Australia
  • NSW 2000
  • Tel +61 2 9320 4600
  • Fax +61 2 9320 4666
  • Avenue Louise 326,
  • Blue Tower,
  • Brussels,
  • Brussels Capital Region
  • Belgium
  • B-1050
  • Tel +32 2 643 3400
  • Fax +32 2 643 3488
  • Av. Paulista, 1337 - 21°,
  • Andar - cj.211,
  • Bela Vista,
  • São Paulo - SP,
  • Sao Paulo
  • Brazil
  • CEP 01311-200
  • Tel +55 11 3179 2900
  • Fax +55 11 3179 2914
  • Room 901,
  • China Insurance Building,
  • 166 East Lu Jia Zui Road,
  • Pudong,
  • Shanghai,
  • China
  • 200120
  • Tel +86 21 2080 1000
  • Fax +86 21 2080 1177
  • 65 rue d'Anjou,
  • Paris,
  • France
  • 75008
  • Tel +33 1 4494 4050
  • Fax +33 1 4265 4625
  • 47 Avenue Gustave Flaubert,
  • Rouen,
  • Marne
  • France
  • 76000
  • Tel +33 2 3208 1860
  • Fax +33 2 3589 9054
  • 83 Akti Miaouli & Flessa Street,
  • 6th Floor,
  • Piraeus,
  • Attiki
  • Greece
  • 185 38
  • Tel +30 210 429 3978
  • Fax +30 210 429 3118
  • 15th Floor, Tower One,
  • Lippo Centre,
  • 89 Queensway,
  • Admiralty,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +852 3983 7788
  • Fax +852 3983 7766
  • 3 Church Street,
  • #19-03,
  • Singapore,
  • Singapore Island
  • Singapore
  • 049483
  • Tel +65 6534 0195
  • Fax +65 6534 5864
  • 6th floor,
  • Cours de Rive 13-15,
  • Geneva,
  • Switzerland
  • CH-1204
  • Tel +41 22 322 4800
  • Fax +41 22 322 4888
  • Level 8, Barclays Building,
  • Emaar Square,
  • Aheikh Zayed Road,
  • PO Box 53934,
  • Dubai,
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Tel +971 4 423 0555
  • Fax +971 4 425 7941
  • Friary Court,
  • 65 Crutched Friars,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC3N 2AE
  • Tel +44 20 7264 8000
  • Fax +44 20 7264 8888
  • DX 1069 London City EC3

Shipping - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Renowned shipping firm, widely recognised as one of the premier litigation practices in the market. Active on major disputes, ranging from high-profile collisions to well-publicised ship arrests. Significant regional reach provided by six offices in Australia, China and Singapore and supported by a worldwide network. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional capability: “A one-stop shop. They are in the most important maritime locations.”

Solution-oriented: “Recommendations made in accordance with precise legal and factual analysis resulted in desired legal outcomes.” 

What's new? Partner Paul Apostolis relocated from the Hong Kong office to the Singapore office. Nic van der Reyden, who acts on shipping dispute resolution in the Melbourne office, was promoted to partner.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Hatzer heads up the firm's Hong Kong office and is widely praised as a specialist in dry shipping litigation matters. With his recent work including several major cargo disputes he is highly respected by sources for his commercial approach and deep experience.

George Lamplough is noted by sources as "very well known" as a wet and dry litigation specialist. His marine casualty work is especially extensive, both geographically and in terms of its variety.

Paul Apostolis is seen by sources as a “very good wet shipping lawyer.” He is highly familiar with the shipping scenes in both Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Significant clients ASC Liner Services, Gard (UK), London Steamship (Greece), UK Club.

International Trade - Belgium

Peers regard Folkert Graafsma as a "strong player, with a good exporter practice." He is highly reputed for his experience in trade remedies and for his formidable work ethic.

Konstantinos Adamantopoulos advises clients on a variety of high-stakes trade remedies and customs matters. Amongst his standout recent matters, he acted for China's Ministry of Commerce on the EU anti-subsidy proceedings regarding imports of bicycles from China.

Clients are "very impressed" by Joris Cornelis, who is "detailed, very personable, and answers all our questions patiently." He assisted River Kwai International Food with its attempts to secure a reduction in the anti-dumping duties imposed on sweetcorn and related products by the EC.

Insurance - Brazil

This global player has had a standout presence in Latin America for a number of years, leading to the opening of an office in São Paulo which acts as hub for the firm's thriving activities in the region. Jeremy Shebson heads up the practice.

Shipping - China

Senior partner Paul Hatzer heads the firm's Asia-Pacific group and specialises in non-contentious and dispute resolution matters. He has extensive experience in an array of marine and international trade matters ranging from ship arrest to cargo and trade disputes. He is applauded for his commercial awareness.

Practice veteran George Lamplough has a well-established name in Hong Kong and beyond for both dry and wet shipping work. Market sources revealed that he is "very well known for matters regarding charter party disputes and vessel collisions." He is adept at dispute resolution covering banking, shipping and international trade.

Henry Dunlop is spoken of highly for his dry shipping work, including shipbuilding contracts, bills of lading, commodities as well as charter party disputes. He regularly receives mandates from shipowners and ship operators based in China, Japan and Korea. He excels in London-based arbitration in relation to shipping and international trade disputes.

Peter Murphy offers solid expertise in shipping and commodities and is renowned for his litigation and arbitration strength in various regions including Hong Kong, Singapore and London. He is acclaimed as "very commercially minded and very good at ensuring that his clients' interests are taken into account."

Christopher Chan wins approval from peers and handles a variety of shipping litigation and arbitration matters, covering collisions, salvages, casualty and charter party disputes. He is particularly sought out by P&I clubs.

Shanghai office head Henry Fung splits time between Shanghai and Hong Kong. He offers a wide range of contentious and non-contentious shipping services covering cargo claims, corporate compliance and ship finance. Clients enthuse that he "realistically anticipates possible problems and ensures that we are kept abreast of the status of a matter."

Steven Wise is praised for his "smart, responsive and intelligent approach" to deals. He has an acknowledged presence in the market as counsel to traders, operators and shipowners on dry shipping, especially charter party disputes. 

Patrick Yeung concentrates on dispute resolution issues ranging from shipbuilding to total losses. One commentator remarked on his deep expertise, saying that he has "been in the market for many years."

Having worked in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Paul Aston has accumulated extensive knowledge in the shipping and insurance arenas and now leads the firm's Singapore office. He is praised by sources as "a great team leader with an ability to marshal the team's best resources for optimum results." He is proficient in handling China-related litigation and arbitration matters.

Christopher Lockwood offers a multi-faced litigation and arbitration service across a number of jurisdictions, including Australia and China. He is qualified in Hong Kong and now splits time between the firm's Melbourne and Perth offices. He acts for shipowners, charterers and banks on a variety of shipping, corporate, international trade and commodity transactions.

International Trade - Europe-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly respected expertise in trade remedies investigations. Advises a range of respondents on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations and reviews. Also counsels clients on the business impact of evolving international sanctions regimes.

What's new? The firm has attracted a number of new clients, including Thailand's River Kwai International Food, Pelita in Indonesia, and Turkey's Özdemir Boru Profil.

Work highlights Represented major Indonesian biofuel companies Ciliandra Perkasa (also known as First Resources Group) and Pelita in the EU's investigation into biodiesel imports from Indonesia and Argentina.

Continued to act for Hanwha SolarOne in the EU's headline solar investigations.

Notable practitioners  

Peers regard Folkert Graafsma in Brussels as a "strong player, with a good exporter practice." He is highly reputed for his experience in trade remedies and for his formidable work ethic.

Brussels-based Konstantinos Adamantopoulos advises clients on a variety of high-stakes trade remedies and customs matters. Among his standout recent matters, he acted for China's Ministry of Commerce in the EU anti-subsidy proceedings regarding imports of bicycles from China.

Significant clients Ecogreen Oleochemicals, China's Bureau of Fair Trade for Imports & Exports, Indorama Ventures, Venus Wires, Outokumpu Stainless.

Shipping - Global-wide

What the team is known for Robust global capabilities across the full spectrum of shipping litigation issues. Widely viewed as a market leader, with extensive experience advising on high-profile casualties, including collisions and groundings. Also enjoys a prominent reputation as a top choice for major damage to cargo and ship arrest disputes. The firm also offers considerable international capacity within the shipping finance sphere.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: “A one-stop shop. They are in the most important maritime locations.” 

Solution oriented: “Recommendations made in accordance with precise legal and factual analysis resulted in desired legal outcomes.” 

What's new? Shipping dispute resolution partner Paul Apostolis relocated to Singapore from the firm's Hong Kong office in April 2013.

Work highlights Acted for Baltic Highway as owners of the 'Baltic Ace', a large car carrier, following its collision with the 'Corvus J' container ship. This collision in the North Sea led to the sinking of the 'Baltic Ace' and raised a range of issues related to jurisdiction, pollution and wreck removal.

Advised SEB on the provision of a USD1 billion revolving credit facility for Stena.

Notable practitioners  

Head of admiralty James Gosling acts on a wide range of shipping matters, garnering significant praise for his work in piracy. Clients praise him as “entirely unflappable” and “one of the most experienced practitioners in the London market.” 

Senior partner Richard Crump recently moved from the London office to Singapore, and is known for his wet and dry dispute work, including charter party and bill of lading cases. He is seen by clients as “really knowledgeable as to what is going on."

Hugh Livingstone is recognised by sources as “a fine name” in shipping in the UK. He has nearly four decades of experience in contentious shipping matters including issues arising from charter parties, bills of lading and sales contracts.

Paul Hatzer is extensively praised for his work in dry shipping, with sources commending his commercial approach and considerable experience in this area. He heads the firm's Hong Kong office, and in 2013 he acted on several major cargo disputes.

John Forrester handles a broad spectrum of shipping finance work and has considerable experience of export credit-based financings. Based in London, he recently he advised DVB Bank on the drafting and negotiation of a loan of over EUR100 million to Stena to finance the purchase of four Ropax vessels. 

George Lamplough works in Hong Kong and is acclaimed by sources as "very well known" for high-profile wet and dry shipping work. With experience of investigating casualties around the world he is often involved in high-level casualty matters.

Tony Rice is a London-based ship finance specialist who is commended by clients for his “expert advice and quick grasp of bespoke circumstances.” Distinguished by his knowledge of Islamic finance, he recently acted for HSBC on a EUR62.7 million loan facility to Julius Berger Nigeria. 

Gareth Williams is based in Piraeus and is described by market sources as “very knowledgeable and bright.” He specialises in disputes stemming from wet and dry shipping issues. 

Significant clients BP, Cosco, DNB, Nordea, Watkins Syndicate. 

Shipping - Greece

Dimitri Vassos is "very good at understanding what we need and want, and at managing difficult cases and situations," say clients. He has a strong focus on shipping dispute resolution and is praised as a "real expert."

The "excellent and extremely experienced" Gareth Williams is widely renowned for his shipping practice. He specialises in shipping disputes arising from a multitude of situations.

Alexia Kleonakos's practice focuses on non-contentious shipping law. Interviewees laud her as "brilliant, committed and diligent." Her clients include shipowners, banks and shipyards.

Dimitris Exarchou enters the rankings this year thanks to strong client and peer feedback. He is described as "very commercial and an efficient problem solver," and is also noted for his in-depth industry knowledge and litigation skills.

Insurance - Latin America-wide

Jonathan Bruce's practice focuses on energy, marine and shipping insurance. "He is particularly aware of delivering a good service and is always keen to find a resolution wherever possible," remarked one source. 

São Paulo office head Jeremy Shebson was the lead partner advising AIRES (now LAN Colombia), as well as the airline's insurers and reinsurers, in connection with multiple claims stemming from the crash of one of its B737 aircraft. According to clients, "he is very good at anticipating concerns and dealing with them."

Associate Geoffrey Conlin has relocated from London to work in the firm's Brazil office. Clients highlight his "very direct knowledge and understanding of the local markets besides all the insurance coverage issues."

Dispute Resolution - Singapore

This practice is noted for its activity in banking and finance, energy, trade transport, construction and insurance disputes. Clients appreciate the team's services, with one noting: "I find it very easy to work with them; I get exactly the kind of really pragmatic approach that I am looking for." Paul Aston heads the practice and is a key contact.

Energy & Natural Resources - Singapore

Though best known for its offshore work, this firm has been involved on a variety of matters across the natural resources sector. Recent highlights include acting for Recapital Investment Group on the USD90 million sale of its interest in Bumi. Brian Gordon is a key contact for this practice.

Shipping - Singapore

Paul Aston is managing partner in the Singapore office and is widely recognised for his work in shipping disputes. Formerly based in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, he is noted for his work for Chinese clients and on issues relating to China. Clients enthuse he is "very aggressive, clear in his thoughts and great to work with in litigation."

Paul Apostolis has recently relocated from the firm's Hong Kong office. A highly talented practitioner with a broad practice, he is widely praised for his wet work and is also considered to excel in dry shipping.

Dispute Resolution - UK

Shipping litigator James Gosling is "a leading wet specialist" with "unique expertise and experience in casualty and piracy work." He is highly active in relation to matters involving the UK and Greece.

Also a shipping lawyer, Edward Newitt looks after Middle Eastern matters at the firm, and is extremely well regarded for his UAE expertise.

Insurance - UK

Jonathan Bruce utilises his Spanish and Portuguese language capabilities to provide advice to clients across the Latin American continent. He handles both insurance and reinsurance matters, with a particular focus on energy, marine and shipping cases. "He is always keen to find a resolution wherever possible," remarks one source.

Andrew Bandurka is a "very tough litigator" who specialises in complex insurance and reinsurance disputes. "Andrew is very quick on the uptake and has a tremendous ability to ascertain the values at risk, explain these in a simple manner, and advise when to fight and when to negotiate," says one client.

The "exceptional" Paul Wordley has an insurance and reinsurance practice covering professional negligence, environmental, energy and mining matters. One source states: "Under Paul's leadership, the practice has become a thought leader in the mining insurance world."

Consultant Peter Schwartz is described as being "very good on strategy and a very good tactician." He has a wide practice that includes expertise on complex, high-profile reinsurance matters.

Foreign Desks The firm has a strong Latin America practice with specialisms in aviation and marine insurance matters, as well as notable expertise in business interruption and property damage claims. A core London-based team works with lawyers in the firm's São Paulo branch. Key clients include Allianz, AIG and XL.

Dispute Resolution - United Arab Emirates

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A valued resource for insurers on coverage and reinsurance litigation, complemented by a notable maritime insurance and shipping disputes practice. Also active in the construction and aviation sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They are technically capable and can get you support, I'd recommend them. They've reacted to any problem really quickly and have pushed back when I've disagreed, which is what you need."

What's new? Aviation and travel disputes specialist Richard Gimblett relocated to Dubai from the London office.

Work highlights Represented Al Ain Ahlia Insurance before the DIFC courts, in a AED90 million dispute with Allianz concerning damage to Egyptian shopping centres during the Arab Spring.

Notable practitioners  

Based in the firm's London office, Edward Newitt remains highly involved in maritime and insurance cases in the Middle East. Sam Wakerley heads the insurance department in Dubai.

Significant clients United Arab Chemical Carriers, Al Ain Insurance, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Shipping - United Arab Emirates

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An outstanding disputes practice, with solid experience on casualty cases and a healthy market share of P&I club instructions. A sizeable workload on the non-contentious side, particularly advising on financings and regulatory matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have an intimate appreciation of shipping, finance and trade sanctions, as well as overall commercial nous. The team is experienced and personable."

Work highlights Represented Stanford Marine Group in the negotiation of a USD175 million senior secure club facility with Standard Chartered Bank and Noor Islamic Bank as arrangers, for the financing of offshore supply vessels.

Advised North of England P&I Association in connection with shipping casualty 'The Theometer', which was towed into port and unloaded with a cargo fire still burning on board.

Notable practitioners  

Hugh Brown relocated from London to head the Dubai office in 2012, and has established himself as a go-to lawyer on a wide variety of shipping matters, including salvage, fire and collision cases.  

Head of shipping Simon Cartwright has built an impressive profile on shipping and international trade matters, and comes strongly recommended by peers and clients.

Sources single out Sam Wakerley as a good name for marine insurance. He is active on many of the firm's contentious cases.

Former Dubai office managing partner Edward Newitt continues to be highly active on Middle Eastern shipping matters from his base in London. He brings a wide range of expertise on casualty investigations in the marine and energy sectors, as well as marine insurance coverage issues.  

Significant clients Oman Shipping Company, Mideast Ship Management, Charterers P&I Club, Gard, Svitzer Middle East.