Global-wide - Shipping: Litigation Lawyers & Law Firms - Global - Chambers and Partners
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Global Guide

Shipping: Litigation — Global-wide


Blank Rome LLP - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded shipping litigation practice, with considerable expertise in dealing with high-profile disputes, as well as maritime arbitration. Handles a wide range of issues, including casualties, charter party disputes, bankruptcy and environmental matters. Acts for a mix of owners, operators, charterers, financial institutions and shipyards. Respected both within the USA and internationally for its deep industry knowledge.

Strengths Sources highlight the firm's national strength in the USA, commenting that "they're one of the best in America, with offices in Houston and New York. I consider them to be the top shipping firm in the States."

Work highlights Represented the owner and the captain of the 'El Faro' cargo ship in various matters, including financial compensation settlements and a motion to dismiss wrongful death claims, following the sinking of the ship and the deaths of all the crew off the Bahamas.

Significant clients Canada Steamship Lines, Carnival Corporation, Chevron Shipping, Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional, Hanjin.

Notable practitioners

Sources consider John Kimball to be "one of the best." He leads the firm's maritime and international trade group and has a wealth of experience in a variety of shipping disputes. Sources describe him as "a very notable lawyer" and "incredibly well known and connected." Kimball is based in New York.

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Clyde & Co LLP - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Substantial global practice with renowned capabilities in contentious and transactional shipping matters. Experienced practitioners based in a variety of jurisdictions, spanning the UK, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Displays strength in a range of areas, advising clients on both wet and dry shipping issues.

Strengths Sources praise the firm's shipping finance lawyers: "The lawyers are very strong technically but also able to provide practical advice."

Commentators recognise the firm's litigation practice for its strength in insurance work, and one source describes Clyde & Co as "an extremely good firm."

Work highlights Represented 'ALPINE ETERNITY' and its liability insurers Britannia P&I Club on all aspects of the claims management process following a collision with an Iranian-owned oil rig.

Acted for the National Bank of Fujairah in relation to financing provided to UAE customers, with ships as security.

Significant clients Hyundai Glovis, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Thomas Miller, Cargill, Dalian Shipyard.

Notable practitioners

Paul Turner is based in London and has great experience in the shipping sector, acting for a number of industry players, including shipyards, shipping companies and financiers. He is well respected for his work on a variety of matters, ranging from construction projects to acquisitions and disposals.

Chong Ik Wei splits his time between Shanghai and Singapore and is experienced in handling arbitrations in Hong Kong and London. His clients include shipowners, builders, logistics companies and charterers. He is well regarded in the industry for his ability to tackle a wide range of matters.

Martin Hall specialises in maritime disputes, acting for insurers, salvors, shipowners and P&I clubs. A deeply experienced practitioner, he heads the firm's marine casualty team from the UK and also spends time in the firm's Piraeus office. A source describes him as "a guru on salvage matters."

John Woods is based in New York and earns praise for his ability to represent insurers in marine insurance litigation and arbitration. His work covers a range of disputes, from environmental claims and pollution matters to war risk and loss of earnings cases.

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HFW - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-respected shipping practice with a range of clients including owners, charterers, underwriters and P&I clubs, as well as financial institutions. Regularly handles both transactional and contentious matters. Recognised for its global reach and substantial expertise in the shipping industry.

Strengths The firm is praised for both its litigation and finance teams, with one interviewee commenting that "they have some pools of excellence." Sources also note the global spread of the firm and its pre-eminence in wet shipping work.

Work highlights Acted on a pro bono basis for 26 hostages held by Somali pirates and secured their release after four and a half years of captivity.

Significant clients Gulf BSC AXA Insurance, Shipowners' Mutual Association (Luxembourg), Eastern Pacific Shipping, Nawany Marine Shipping, Keynvor MorLift.

Notable practitioners

Singapore-based John Forrester handles the financing, building, leasing, acquisition and disposal of ships for a variety of clients, including financial institutions, shipowners and operators. He is well regarded by peers, who describe him as '"a very good guy" and "hard-working."

Tony Rice offers his clients a wealth of experience in ship finance transactions. He acts for shipowners, financial institutions, export credit agencies and operators from the firm's London office. Rice is described by a source as "very good and very capable."

George Lamplough is based in Hong Kong and handles both wet and dry shipping disputes. He is a well-regarded litigator with experience in piracy matters as well as trade disputes.

Paul Apostolis is a respected and experienced litigator, with one interviewee describing him as "a standout mariner." He is based in Singapore and tackles both significant casualty cases and dry shipping disputes.

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Hill Dickinson LLP - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Notable firm able to deploy considerable shipping litigation experience in a number of key jurisdictions. Clients include shipowners, financial institutions, charterers and P&I clubs. Contentious capabilities encompass a range of matters, including piracy, dry shipping and casualties.

Work highlights Represented Suez Fortune in determining that a pirate attack on a tanker resulted in a constructive total loss rather than a partial loss.

Significant clients Thomas Miller & Co, Gard, MSC, Louis Group, BP Shipping.

Notable practitioners

Patrick Hawkins is based in Piraeus and is managing partner of the firm's Greek office. He is an experienced litigator in both wet and dry shipping matters, regularly handling charter party, marine insurance and bill of lading disputes.

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Holland & Knight LLP - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Robust capabilities in both contentious and non-contentious shipping matters. Strong US team, with additional expertise based in the UK. Wide breadth of experience in an array of financing transactions for a variety of clients from across the industry.

Strengths Clients praise the firm's "first-class service" and "attention to detail."

Work highlights Acted as lead US counsel for Panalpina Inc and Panalpina World Transport in matters relating to the M/V 'MSC Flaminia' casualty.

Significant clients Gard P&I Club, Ports America, Castleton Commodities Shipping, Deutsche Bank, Nordea Bank Finland, Orient Overseas Container.

Notable practitioners

New York-based Jovi Tenev acts for financial institutions, investment banks and companies on a variety of financing matters. He is a well-respected practitioner and is notable for his expertise in syndicated loans, capital markets, equity and leasing.

Christopher Nolan is a New York-based litigation specialist who regularly represents clients in significant shipping and insolvency disputes. "Chris has expertly guided us through the pitfalls in the litigation process," said a source, adding: "I trust his judgement and ability to lead others on his team."

About the Team (content provided by Holland & Knight LLP)

Holland & Knight's Shipping/Maritime Finance practice:

  • represents U.S. and foreign banks and investors and shipping companies in international shipping transactions
  • increasingly represents non-traditional sources of ship financing including governmental finance support entities and underwriters in capital markets and private equity transactions
  • has extensive experience with tax support regarding U.S., Marshall Islands and Liberia related tax issues
  • has completed numerous shipping group restructurings, workouts and Chapter 11 insolvencies for lenders as part of the practice
  • expanded in May 2016 with the opening of Holland & Knight's London office, adding notable partners from the well-known Clark Ricketts firm. Additional expansion to our transportation finance practice occurred in March 2017 with the addition of key partners from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. These strategic additions create a combination which will serve to deepen the global reach of our shipping/maritime finance practice.


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Ince & Co - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Standout global practice with deep expertise in both contentious and non-contentious shipping matters. Strong teams across Europe and Asia, with experience of handling high-value and sophisticated work for a range of major industry players. Recognised for its long-standing focus on the shipping market.

Strengths The firm is recognised as one of the premier shipping firms globally, with one source describing it as "a great force in shipping."

Work highlights Assisted private equity firm H.I.G. Capital with its acquisition of a fleet of chemical tankers, including an extension to the financing facilities.

Significant clients Gard, Golar, HDI Global, OOCL, Japan P&I Club.

Notable practitioners

The "superb" David Baker heads the firm's global ship finance practice from the London office. He advises international banks, owners and operators on complex financing and sale and purchase matters.

Paul Herring has a fine reputation among interviewees for his handling of shipping disputes. "I feel safe putting any maritime dispute in his hands," comments a source, adding: "He has incredible dedication, he's fantastic with clients and he wins their confidence." He is the chair of the firm and is based in London.

Max Cross handles significant maritime disputes as a litigator, arbitrator and mediator from his base in Hong Kong. "I'd trust Max with clients - he's at the top of everyone's list," reported a source, while another interviewee described him as a "very good shipping partner."

Harry Hirst is based in Singapore and is a well-known admiralty expert. He advises underwriters, shipowners and P&I clubs on the full range of matters arising from maritime casualties and is also a master mariner. A source said that Hirst is "great - very good and very capable."

Faz Peermohamed is global head of the firm's shipping practice. He is a well-regarded litigator and he handles a wide range of maritime disputes, including both wet and dry shipping matters. Peermohamed is based in London.

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Norton Rose Fulbright - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Outstanding shipping practice with a significant global presence across Asia, Europe and the Americas. Has an impressive ship finance practice, as well as notable contentious capabilities covering a wide range of disputes. Clients include owners, operators, insurers, financial institutions and insurers from across the globe.

Strengths The firm is recognised for its strength in the ship finance sector, with sources commenting that they have "very good ship finance lawyers" and "a fantastic global presence on the finance side."

Interviewees highlight the London team for shipping litigation: "The litigation practice in London is very strong."

Work highlights Acted for the owners of the 'Baru Satu' and its insurers in the settlement of collision liability and all other claims brought after it collided with another vessel off the coast of Greece.

Significant clients ABN AMRO, AIG, Carnival, Citi, Saga Cruises.

Notable practitioners

Simon Hartley is based in London and is co-head of the firm's global shipping practice. His clients include shipping companies, lessors and financial institutions. "He not only has excellent knowledge of the law, he's also a very diligent practitioner. He's commercial, he doesn't just find problems, he finds solutions. I always welcome his name on the other side," commented a source.

London-based Harry Theochari "is very active in the maritime market," according to one interviewee. He is the firm's global head of transport and is a high-profile shipping finance practitioner. He advises clients on major matters relating to new-build and second-hand vessels, as well as those involving oil rigs, platforms and other floating structures.

Described by an interviewee as "a big player in the Greek market," Dimitri Sofianopoulos splits his time between Greece and Monaco and heads the firm in both jurisdictions. He advises a range of significant clients, including shipping companies and international banks, on asset finance and commercial contract matters. One peer identified Sofianopoulos as an "experienced, good lawyer."

Jim James is based in Hong Kong and handles a wide range of commercial disputes, including those relating to shipping and shipbuilding. He is an experienced practitioner who acts for a mix of local and international clients. James is a consultant at the firm.

Ernest van Buuren is a master mariner and handles a variety of shipping and maritime disputes spanning the Asia-Pacific region. Based in the firm's Brisbane office, he is its head of transport for Asia-Pacific and head of shipping for Australia.

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Reed Smith LLP - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded shipping practice with significant experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Strong UK and Asia teams based in global shipping hubs. Frequently acts for a varied list of impressive clients, ranging from owners and operators to P&I clubs and financial institutions.

Strengths The firm is considered a "very big player in the shipping world" and sources highlight the London team for being particularly strong.

Work highlights Advised a syndicate of major banks on the restructuring and buy-back of the senior and junior debt of USD120 million provided to a US shipowner.

Significant clients Standard Club, UK Club, Steamship Mutual, The International Oil Compensation Fund 1992.

Notable practitioners

Charles Weller has an excellent reputation among interviewees for his shipping litigation practice. One source described him as a "legend" and said that "his work ethic is incredible," while another reported that "he's the hardest-working guy." Weller is based in London.

London-based Andrew Taylor is a highly experienced litigator and a well-known expert on P&I clubs. He is described by one market insider as a "guru" and a "very good technical lawyer." Another source said: "He's still exceptional, one of the best in the market."

Li Lianjun heads the firm's shipping group in Hong Kong and is experienced in a wide variety of contentious shipping matters, including ship purchase and sale, bill of lading, and charter party disputes.

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Stephenson Harwood LLP - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected global practice with an impressive ability to handle non-contentious and contentious matters. Significant presence across Europe and Asia-Pacific, with noteworthy expertise in multi-jurisdictional mandates. Regularly acts for a mix of banks, insurers, ship builders, owners and operators.

Strengths The firm has cultivated a good reputation for its ship finance practice, with sources noting in particular its "very, very good lawyers" in the London office.

Work highlights Acted for Nordea Bank, leading a 15-bank syndicate, on the financing of a 36-tanker fleet valued at USD895 million.

Significant clients Petrobras, DSME, CSAV, Mercuria, PDVSA.

Notable practitioners

Mark Russell is "respected in the industry" for his work with shipowners and banks on financing matters, including LNG financings, debt transactions and sale and leasebacks. He is based in London.

Nigel Bowen-Morris is the managing partner of the firm's Piraeus office and focuses his practice on ship finance. He regularly advises notable financial institutions on asset finance matters.

Martin Green has experience handling financing transactions as well as shipbuilding contracts, sale and purchase matters and flagging issues. He is described as "very successful" and leads the firm's Singapore office as managing partner.

Iain Young enjoys the respect of his peers for his well-established ship finance practice based in Singapore. He acts for a wide range of clients, including banks, export credit agencies, operators and owners.

Alain Gautron is an experienced asset finance practitioner with a focus on ship finance. He frequently advises banks, leasing companies, operators and other financial institutions on complex financing transactions. Gautron is based in the firm's Paris office.

London-based Dean Norton acts for owners, operators and financiers on various financing transactions involving maritime assets. He has particular expertise in the LNG sector and has worked on major projects across the globe.

Paolo Ghirardani is an experienced litigator who handles international disputes for shipowners, banks and insurers. He is based in London and works on casualty cases, as well as matters concerning fraud and asset tracing.

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Thomas Cooper LLP - Shipping Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected litigation practice with significant shipping expertise. Handles cargo claims and matters relating to casualties, insurance and charter party disputes. Clients include shipowners, financial institutions and P&I clubs.

Notable practitioners

Darryl Kennard heads the firm's shipping team in London and Douglas Bateson is head of the Piraeus office.

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Band 1

Ince & Co

From the Chambers Global guide

Paul Herring has a fine reputation among interviewees for his handling of shipping disputes. "I feel safe putting any maritime dispute in his hands," comments a source, adding: "He has incredible dedication, he's fantastic with clients and he wins their confidence." He is the chair of the firm and is based in London.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Reed Smith LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

London-based Andrew Taylor is a highly experienced litigator and a well-known expert on P&I clubs. He is described by one market insider as a "guru" and a "very good technical lawyer." Another source said: "He's still exceptional, one of the best in the market."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Reed Smith LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Charles Weller has an excellent reputation among interviewees for his shipping litigation practice. One source described him as a "legend" and said that "his work ethic is incredible," while another reported that "he's the hardest-working guy." Weller is based in London.  

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Raymond J Burke Jr

Burke & Parsons

From the Chambers Global guide

New York-based Raymond Burke of Burke & Parsons is a highly respected litigator who handles major casualty and charter party matters."You couldn't be more respected than Ray is – there's really nothing worth knowing that he doesn't know about," said a source.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Ince & Co

From the Chambers Global guide

Max Cross handles significant maritime disputes as a litigator, arbitrator and mediator from his base in Hong Kong. "I'd trust Max with clients - he's at the top of everyone's list," reported a source, while another interviewee described him as a "very good shipping partner."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Freehill Hogan & Mahar LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Peter Gutowski of Freehill Hogan & Mahar LLP is based in New York and is well known for handling shipping litigation and arbitration matters. He tackles disputes involving charter party issues, casualties and cargo claims.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Ince & Co

From the Chambers Global guide

Harry Hirst is based in Singapore and is a well-known admiralty expert. He advises underwriters, shipowners and P&I clubs on the full range of matters arising from maritime casualties and is also a master mariner. A source said that Hirst is "great - very good and very capable." 

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Blank Rome LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Sources consider John Kimball to be "one of the best." He leads the firm's maritime and international trade group and has a wealth of experience in a variety of shipping disputes. Sources describe him as "a very notable lawyer" and "incredibly well known and connected." Kimball is based in New York.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Ince & Co

From the Chambers Global guide

Faz Peermohamed is global head of the firm's shipping practice. He is a well-regarded litigator and he handles a wide range of maritime disputes, including both wet and dry shipping matters. Peermohamed is based in London.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

C Jonathan Benner

Thompson Coburn LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Washington, DC-based Jonathan Benner of Thompson Coburn LLP brings a vast amount of experience and knowledge to complex domestic and international maritime matters, including environmental disputes. His clients include operators, insurers and US ports.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Clyde & Co

From the Chambers Global guide

Chong Ik Wei splits his time between Shanghai and Singapore and is experienced in handling arbitrations in Hong Kong and London. His clients include shipowners, builders, logistics companies and charterers. He is well regarded in the industry for his ability to tackle a wide range of matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Hill Dickinson

From the Chambers Global guide

Patrick Hawkins is based in Piraeus and is managing partner of the firm's Greek office. He is an experienced litigator in both wet and dry shipping matters, regularly handling charter party, marine insurance and bill of lading disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

RPC

From the Chambers Global guide

Andrew Horton is based in the Hong Kong office of RPC and is an experienced litigator and arbitrator. His clients include trading companies, P&I clubs, insurers and recovery agents.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

HFW

From the Chambers Global guide

George Lamplough is based in Hong Kong and handles both wet and dry shipping disputes. He is a well-regarded litigator with experience in piracy matters as well as trade disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

HFW

From the Chambers Global guide

Paul Apostolis is a respected and experienced litigator, with one interviewee describing him as "a standout mariner." He is based in Singapore and tackles both significant casualty cases and dry shipping disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Paolo Ghirardani is an experienced litigator who handles international disputes for shipowners, banks and insurers. He is based in London and works on casualty cases, as well as matters concerning fraud and asset tracing.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Clyde & Co LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Martin Hall specialises in maritime disputes, acting for insurers, salvors, shipowners and P&I clubs. A deeply experienced practitioner, he heads the firm's marine casualty team from the UK and also spends time in the firm's Piraeus office. A source describes him as "a guru on salvage matters."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Global guide

Jim James is based in Hong Kong and handles a wide range of commercial disputes, including those relating to shipping and shipbuilding. He is an experienced practitioner who acts for a mix of local and international clients. James is a consultant at the firm.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Reed Smith Richards Butler

From the Chambers Global guide

Li Lianjun heads the firm's shipping group in Hong Kong and is experienced in a wide variety of contentious shipping matters, including ship purchase and sale, bill of lading, and charter party disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Ernest van Buuren

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers Global guide

Ernest van Buuren is a master mariner and handles a variety of shipping and maritime disputes spanning the Asia-Pacific region. Based in the firm's Brisbane office, he is its head of transport for Asia-Pacific and head of shipping for Australia.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Clyde & Co LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

John Woods is based in New York and earns praise for his ability to represent insurers in marine insurance litigation and arbitration. His work covers a range of disputes, from environmental claims and pollution matters to war risk and loss of earnings cases.

^ See whole ranking table

Up and Coming

Christopher R Nolan

Holland & Knight LLP

From the Chambers Global guide

Christopher Nolan is a New York-based litigation specialist who regularly represents clients in significant shipping and insolvency disputes. "Chris has expertly guided us through the pitfalls in the litigation process," said a source, adding: "I trust his judgement and ability to lead others on his team."

^ See whole ranking table