Shipping 2018: Analysis

This year, we highlight 515 leading lawyers in the field of shipping law, who stand out for their exceptional work handling sector-related contractual and financial matters, as well as disputes and casualty cases. 


Thought Leaders
1. Jes Anker Mikkelsen Bech-Bruun, Copenhagen
2. Glenn Winter Winter Scott Solicitors, London
3. Johannes Grove Nielsen Bech-Bruun, Copenhagen
4. Faz Peermohamed Ince & Co LLP, London
5. Craig Cunningham Bowmans, Cape Town
6. Peter Appel Gorrissen Federspiel, Copenhagen
7. Jasamin Fichte Fichte & Co, Dubai
8. Tony Norton ENSafrica, Durban
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.

Leading Firms

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.

HOLMAN FENWICK WILLAN boasts the leading shipping practice across the region, achieving 14 nominations across four jurisdictions.
London-based Jonathan Webb draws widespread international praise for his top-tier shipping practice, and is renowned among peers for his market-leading expertise in related disputes and litigation.
James Gosling is a widely recognised figure in the European market, commended for his extensive experience across the shipping sector, including liability claims, collisions and contractual disputes.
Elinor Dautlich is “a very good operator” and is considered a “leading” name in the shipping finance space. She is recognised for her great transactional expertise, and notable work on behalf of shipowners, shipyards and operators.
Paul Dean gains international recognition as one of the leading shipping lawyers in the region. His impressive practice encompasses a wide array of sector-related matters, from shipbuilding through to total loss claims.  
Simon Chumas is regarded by market commentators as “an excellent lawyer”, widely respected for his expert handling of claims arising out of a broad range of marine accidents.
In Paris, Guillaume Brajeux is considered “brilliant” by market sources, who commend his first-rate work on shipping disputes as well as sector-related insurance matters.
Tien Tai in Dubai is a standout shipping and commodity finance practitioner highlighted for his excellent work handling major and high-value financings across the sector.

REED SMITH sees 12 leading practitioners highlighted for their impressive expertise across the shipping sector.
Andrew Taylor is “a big hitter” in the shipping space according to sources, who praise his “awesome abilities” when handling charter disputes, contracts and insurance matters.
Stephen Kirkpatrick is a highly visible figure in the European shipping market who “continues to be popular” among clients, including shipowners, insurers and charterers.
Lindsay East is widely recognised in the international shipping arena as a standout practitioner, highlighted for his strong expertise in dry shipping matters, including related disputes, insurance claims and transactional matters. 
Charles Weller is “a first-rate lawyer” considered a major player in the European shipping space. He boasts over 20 years’ experience in the field, and impresses with his expert handling of sector-related disputes.
Nick Shaw is “absolutely brilliant” according to market commentators, who highly recommend him for his work advising owners, banks and charterers on complex disputes before commercial courts and arbitration tribunals, and in mediation proceedings.
Paris-based Luc Grellet is widely recognised by international peers for his impressive work in relation to major shipping disasters and marine casualties.

We feature 11 standout practitioners at INCE & CO in this edition, who are highlighted for their excellent work in the sector.
Faz Peermohamed is one of the most prominent shipping practitioners in the region. He is “an outstanding rainmaker” who “is strong in all respects”, according to respondents.
Ian Chetwood wins high praise from international commentators, who note he is “extremely good” when it comes to contentious shipping matters and insurance claims.
Jonathan Elvey is “simply the best” according to respondents, who commend his exceptional disputes work across litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings.
Paul Herring continues to impress market sources who consider him “a complete star of a lawyer” and “one of the big names” in the shipping arena.
In Dubai, Brian Boahene is a disputes specialist well versed in handling shipping matters, most notably in relation to insurance claims.

CLYDE & CO sees 10 practitioners recognised for their strong expertise in the shipping field.
Hatty Sumption is “a brilliant legal mind”, according to respondents, and is renowned in the region for her excellent work handling ship sales and purchases, charter party matters and sector-related disputes.
Tim Taylor is widely respected for his outstanding work handling shipping-related insurance claims, an area in which he boasts over 30 years’ experience.
Nick Austin is “very well known in the industry”, and is recognised by peers and clients alike for his exceptional litigation expertise in relation to shipping and trading disputes.
In Dubai, Christopher Mills is considered “a top-quality lawyer”, and is “highly rated” by sources as a leading shipping litigator in the region.   
Alec Emmerson is a long-standing fixture in the shipping space, recognised for his vast experience handling investment disputes, disaster litigation and insurance claims.

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT receives nine nomination this year across three offices.
In London, Harry Theochari “needs no more endorsements” according to sources who describe him as “the best ship finance lawyer ever”. He leads the firm’s global transport practice and is hailed for his “excellent work” handling a range of financings.
Patrick Foss is “a great lawyer”, highly sought after for the “practical advice” he delivers to clients on shipping-related insurance and reinsurance matters.
Durban-based Malcolm Hartwell is a highly respected shipping practitioner, noted particularly for his strong expertise in marine casualty and insurance claims.
Andrew Robinson leads the firm’s transport group in Africa and draws widespread praise from international peers for his commercial and litigation work across the shipping sector.

QUADRANT CHAMBERS boasts the foremost shipping offering at the UK Bar, with eight barristers highlighted for their exceptional expertise in the space.
David Goldstone QC is “extremely clever”, according to respondents, who commend him for his impressive work on trade and commodities, charter party and sale of goods disputes.
Simon Rainey QC is “excellent” when it comes to international trade and shipping law matters, an area in which he is considered to possess “unparalleled ability and skill”.
James Turner QC is “a superb advocate” and “absolute delight to work with” according to peers, who highlight him as a standout shipping specialist.
Nevil Phillips is “simply amazing” according to sources, who highlight his superb work on high-profile commercial shipping cases. One peer effuses: “He is a junior who works at the level of a QC.”

Norwegian law firm WIKBORG REIN & CO ADVOKATFIRMA is recognised for its strong domestic presence, achieving eight nominations this year.
Bernhard Haukali is a finance expert recognised for his impressive transactional work across the shipping sector, including joint ventures and loan agreements.
Trond Eilertsen leads the firm’s energy, shipping and onshore group, and is widely respected for his excellent work handling shipping-related insurance matters, financings and contracts.

Other Leading Individuals

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.


André Kegels at KEGELS & CO ADVOCATEN is a maritime specialist who gains international recognition for his first-rate work handling a wide array of commercial and finance matters across the shipping sector.


At ELIAS MARINE CONSULTANTS LTD, Imad Elias is “completely at the top of his game” according to respondents, who consider him “the best person for shipping matters into the Middle East”.  


At BECH-BRUUN Jes Anker Mikkelsen is exceptionally well versed in handling disputes across the transport sector and is noted for his particular expertise in the maritime field, dealing with both litigation and arbitration proceedings. 
Johannes Grove Nielsen comes highly recommended by international peers for his strong corporate practice in the shipping arena, including the sale and purchase of vessels, charter party agreements and related disputes.

Peter Appel at GORRISSEN FEDERSPIEL is “a highly knowledgeable practitioner” who continues to impress with the effective counsel he delivers to shipping clients on commercial and financial matters.  


Glenn Winter at WINTER SCOTT SOLICITORS is “a standout practitioner” in the region who wins praise for his expert handling of high-profile shipping disputes in relation to both litigation and arbitration proceedings. 

JACKSON PARTON’s Nick Parton is “very well known” in the shipping market and is highly sought after by clients for his “dedicated and inventive” approach to disputes.

Timothy Young QC at 20 ESSEX STREET CHAMBERS is “an excellent all-rounder” according to sources, who highly commend his exceptional knowledge of international trade, commodities and shipping law.


Henri de Richemont at RICHEMONT NICOLAS & ASSOCIÉS is a prominent figure in the French shipping market, widely recognised for his excellent handling of major accidents including collisions and groundings.


LEBUHN & PUCHTA’s Dieter Armbrust is a shipping specialist, highlighted particularly for his outstanding work on related complex insurance matters.


Gregory Timagenis at TIMAGENIS LAW FIRM is “very well known” for his work in the shipping space, winning international recognition for his fantastic work on related corporate matters and disputes.

HILL DICKINSON’s Patrick Hawkins is “one of the best-known shipping lawyers” in Greece, noted for his strong expertise in disputes in relation to both wet and dry shipping matters.


Helen Noble at NOBLE SHIPPING LAW is “brilliant” according to respondents. She boasts over 20 years’ experience in the field of maritime law, an area in which she is considered a real specialist.


At SICCARDI BREGANTE, Corrado Bregante stands out among peers as “a very experienced lawyer in shipping-related matters” who is recognised for his impressive work handling insurance disputes.


Ann Fenech at FENECH & FENECH ADVOCATES wins high praise from sources for her vast experience and superb capabilities in maritime litigation matters.


Ton Jumelet at DOCK LEGAL EXPERTS is a shipping disputes specialist who remains a firm favourite among clients, who include P&I clubs, underwriters, shipbrokers and yacht owners.

BOONK VAN LEEUWEN’s Michiel van Leeuwen is “one of the strongest lawyers” in the shipping space, recognised for his “excellent” work on related litigation matters.

South Africa

At BOWMANS, Craig Cunningham leads the firm’s shipping practice and receives plaudits from wide-ranging international sources for his expert handling of both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Tony Norton at ENSAFRICA is “a stunning practitioner”, who focuses his impressive practice on maritime litigation, policy issues and shipping casualties. One source effuses: “He is the best and cleverest shipping lawyer I know.”


Javier Portales at ALBORS GALIANO & PORTALES is “a very talented lawyer with years of experience” in the field. He is highlighted by peers as “a very well-recognised name” when it comes to shipping litigation and arbitration matters. 

United Arab Emirates

Sources “would not hesitate to recommend” Jasamin Fichte at FICHTE & CO when it comes to complex litigation matters. She stands out as one of the leading maritime specialists in the region.

North America

Thought Leaders
1. Rui Fernandes Fernandes Hearn LLP, Toronto
2. Richard Desgagnés Brisset Bishop, Montreal
3. Marc de Man De Man Pillet, Montreal
4. Marc Isaacs Isaacs & Co, Toronto

Leading Firms

US law firm BLANK ROME sees seven practitioners highlighted as leading shipping experts in the region.
John Kimball is a standout name in the US shipping market. He chairs the firm’s maritime and international trade group and is highly sought after by clients for his “well-prepared” approach to litigation.
Jonathan Waldron is a well-established figure in the region, highlighted by sources for his excellent work on a range of domestic and international maritime law matters including compliance, environmental risk and trade.
Thomas Belknap is widely recognised for his top maritime litigation practice and boasts vast experience handling related commercial and insurance disputes in litigation and arbitration settings.
Michael Bell possesses over 40 years’ experience in the maritime space. He is renowned for his expert handling of transactional matters and disputes on behalf of shipping companies and other industry players.

Canadian maritime specialist BRISSET BISHOP sees four practitioners highlighted this year.
Richard Desgagnés is one of the most prominent maritime lawyers in the region. He comes highly recommended for his impressive handling of both international contentious and non-contentious shipping matters.
David Colford is “an absolute must for inclusion” according to sources, who highlight his extensive experience representing clients before both civil and admiralty courts.
Victor DeMarco is a well-established name in the Canadian market who wins high praise from international peers for his top-tier handling of maritime litigation matters including collisions, groundings and cargo claims.
Danièle Dion also stands out for her strong expertise across the shipping sector, most notably when it comes to dispute resolution across a range of litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings.

HOLLAND & KNIGHT achieves four nominations from three of its US offices.
Michael Frevola is a world-class litigator, recognised by market commentators for his expert handling of shipping disputes before both state and federal courts as well as arbitral tribunals.
James Hohenstein boasts “a wealth of experience” in the shipping sector, and is a firm favourite among clients who consider him “thoughtful and measured in his approach”.

FREEHILL HOGAN & MAHAR sees four lawyers from its New York office recognised for their impressive expertise in the sector.
Managing partner William Juska Jr is well versed in the whole gamut of shipping matters, including cargo damage cases, sale contracts and charter party disputes, and is regarded by sources as “excellent when it comes to arbitration proceedings”.
Peter Gutowski is “a top pick”, according to respondents, who describe him as “a first-class litigator” and commend his “creative” approach to shipping disputes.

At BERNARD, Gary Wharton is a fantastic shipping lawyer, recognised for his extensive experience handling related litigation, from collisions to marine insurance claims.
Founding partner Peter Swanson boasts over 25 years’ experience in the field, winning high praise from sources for his first-rate shipping practice which encompasses regulatory and contentious matters.
David Jones is also recognised for his excellent litigation work in relation to commercial shipping disputes.

Raymond Burke Jr at BURKE & PARSONS “has seen it all” according to respondents, who commend his invaluable experience across the shipping sector.
Keith Heard is a well-established figure in the maritime space and is highly sought after by clients who highlight his ability to “always take a wide view of the case”.
William Dougherty wins international recognition for his excellent work in the shipping sector, most notably in relation to disputes and claims arising out of casualty cases.

Other Leading Individuals


Rui Fernandes at FERNANDES HEARN is the foremost maritime practitioner in North America in our research. He stands out among peers for his exceptional work handling insurance policies, coverage disputes and related litigation before various domestic tribunals.

At ISAACS & CO, Marc Isaacs is a top-notch shipping lawyer, highly sought after by clients who consider him “a brilliant legal mind and really user-friendly”.

Marc de Man at DE MAN PILLET is an extremely well-regarded lawyer, highlighted for his vast experience in maritime law, where he has represented shipowners, underwriters, charterers and P&I clubs.

At STEWART MCKELVEY, William Moreira QC is “the go-to guy on the east coast”, according to sources, who also consider him “an incredibly strong lawyer in the maritime space”.


Bruce Paulsen at SEWARD & KISSEL is “truly excellent” according to respondents, who consider him a top choice when it comes to handling commercial and maritime disputes.

At CHALOS & CO, founding member and principal George Chalos boasts over 20 years’ experience in maritime law, and is recognised particularly for his expert handling of related insurance matters.

Robert Bocko at HOLMES WEDDLE & BARCOTT is a finance expert highlighted for his strong work throughout the shipping space, most notably when it comes to maritime trade.

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
1. Frazer Hunt Mills Oakley, Sydney
2. Robert Springall Holman Fenwick Willan, Melbourne
3. Joe Hurley HWL Ebsworth, Sydney
4. Andrew Tulloch Colin Biggers & Paisley, Melbourne
5. Julian Clark Hill Dickinson, Singapore

Leading Firms

HOLMAN FENWICK WILLAN’s Robert Springall is a major figure in the Australian shipping market who boasts “heaps of experience and good judgement”, according to sources, who also commend his “very well-rounded knowledge of maritime law”.
Gavin Vallely is “a dynamic practitioner”, recommended for his impressive work handling both contentious and non-contentious shipping matters.
Hong Kong-based Henry Dunlop is a firm favourite among clients who “have a lot of time for him” and praise his expert handling of major shipping disputes, notably in relation to arbitration proceedings.
Henry Fung is renowned among peers for his top-tier shipping practice which encompasses both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Richard Crump is “one of the best lawyers based in Singapore” according to sources. He specialises his impressive practice in dispute resolution in the shipping sector.
Paul Apostolis is “an extremely experienced lawyer”, highly respected by peers, who note, “He is the guy we see the most on the other side of significant casualty cases.”
In China, Peter Rees Smith is “a top choice”, according to sources, when it comes to shipping disputes involving charter parties, collisions and total loss.

International commercial law firm INCE & CO boasts a strong presence across Asia.
In Hong Kong, Su Yin Anand is “a very proactive lawyer”, recognised for her “growing” shipping practice. She is particularly highlighted for her strong disputes and dry shipping work.
In Shanghai, managing partner Paul Ho is widely recognised throughout the region for his excellent contentious and non-contentious shipping practice, an area in which he is considered a specialist.

HWL EBSWORTH’s Joe Hurley is a widely recognised name in the Australian market, described by sources as “a top-class lawyer” who boasts “a wealth of experience” in the shipping sector. 
Jesper Martens possesses over 25 years’ experience handling commercial shipping matters, and regularly acts on behalf of ship owners, charterers and insurers.
Simon Liddy is highly commended by market commentators who note, “He is very knowledgeable, particularly in injury work.”

At HILL DICKINSON in Singapore, Julian Clark is internationally recognised as a leading shipping practitioner. He is global head of the firm’s shipping practice and receives plaudits for his outstanding work on related litigation and transactional matters.
Tony Goldsmith is a “very experienced” practitioner who impresses market sources with his strong expertise handling marine casualties.
Hong Kong-based Damien Laracy draws praise from across the Asia-Pacific region for his litigation and arbitration capabilities in the shipping arena.

At top-tier Panamanian law firm PATTON MORENO & ASVAT Brett Patton is a highly respected and long-standing fixture in the Central American market, and is commended by sources for his leading shipping and shipping finance practice.
María Teresa Díaz is a maritime law specialist, recognised for her excellent work handling commercial and corporate sector-related matters.

Other Leading Individuals


Frazer Hunt at MILLS OAKLEY is “very experienced on the cargo side” according to sources, who regard him as one of the leading maritime practitioners across the Asia-Pacific region.

COLIN BIGGERS & PAISLEY’s Andrew Tulloch is “an experienced and reliable lawyer”, highlighted for his particularly strong expertise in marine insurance law.
Stuart Hetherington is a widely recognised figure in the Australian maritime market. He is described by one impressed peer as “one of the most experienced and practical solicitors in this field”.

At NEW CHAMBERS, Gregory Nell SC stands out to peers as “the pre-eminent shipping barrister in Australia”, impressing them with his “excellent and thorough work” in the space.


The “well-respected” Pedro Calmon Filho at PEDRO CALMON FILHO & ASSOCIADOS, boasts “the best knowledge in the maritime industry” according to respondents, who note, “He manages to always provide prompt and reliable feedback.”


CLYDE & CO’s Ik Wei Chong heads the firm’s shipping, insurance and dispute resolution practice in China, areas in which he truly excels. He is particularly noted for his strong experience handling shipping arbitrations under various rules, including HKIAC, ICC and SIAC.

Hong Kong

Jon Zinke at KEESAL YOUNG & LOGAN is “the go-to lawyer on any issues with an American angle”, according to respondents, who praise his expert handling of commercial maritime disputes.


Tetsuro Nakamura at YOSHIDA & PARTNERS wins widespread international praise for his excellent work in the wet shipping space, most notably when it comes to collisions, environmental matters and cargo claims.  

Sotaro Mori is a well-established name in the Japanese market, highly respected for his impressive expertise across a wide array of shipping matters including collisions, salvage and charter party disputes.


Byung Suk Chung at KIM & CHANG is well versed in shipping, ship building and related insurance law, and is highly sought after by clients for his strong disputes work in the sector.
Tam Hee Kim is a transport law expert, recognised for her impressive representation of P&I clubs, insurers and ship-owners.


Juan David Morgan Jr at MORGAN & MORGAN enjoys “a fantastic reputation” in the international shipping world and leads the firm’s maritime litigation group, an area in which he considered a real specialist.


Valeriano del Rosario at VERALAW is internationally recognised as the leading maritime expert in the Philippines, and is renowned for his exceptional handling of major disaster claims.


Vivian Ang at ALLEN & GLEDHILL is an outstanding maritime practitioner, recognised particularly by respondents for her superb expertise in disputes.

RESOURCE LAW ASIA’s S Mohan stands out as “a tough and focused litigator” who is considered “a big name” in the Asian shipping market. 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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