Our Shipping and International Trade team provides specialist advice for ship owners, charterers, P&I and Defence Clubs, international traders, freight forwarders, marine insurers, brokers and inspection companies. We are the only East Anglian law firm ranked in the top tier by the Legal 500 for our shipping practice.

Our team has wide experience of acting in complex, high value multi-jurisdictional and cross-border disputes for UK and international clients in all major jurisdictions. We are familiar with leading arbitral institutions and procedures and have a strong ethos of achieving commercially sound outcomes and ensuring minimum disruption to your business.

We can provide expert advice on dispute resolution relating to: 

  • Bills of lading and cargo claims, including: security; recovery claims; limitation; obligations under Hague/Hague-Visby and Hamburg Rules
  • Charterparties including Time charter issues (payment of hire; liens; off-hire; safe ports and places; vessel performance, ICA claims) and Voyage charter issues (laytime and demurrage; payment of freight; loading, stowage and discharge)
  • Contracts of Affreightment
  • International sales contracts, including: passing and retention of title; arbitration in chains of sales
  • Marine insurance, including: cover; double insurance; liability of brokers; duties of assured; effect of subrogation and assignment
  • Cruise and ferry line operation 
  • Passenger, crew and stevedore claims
  • P&I Club Rules
  • Ship arrest
  • Ship building

We have established a reputation as a leading UK-based shipping team. Many of us began our careers in London shipping firms, but our location in Ipswich now allows us to continue to offer City-style service at competitive, out-of-London fee rates.

Our 12 strong team has wide experience of acting in arbitrations under LMAA, LCIA, LME, ICC, GAFTA and Sugar Association rules and in the English High Court. We are able to assist in multi-jurisdictional disputes in most parts of the world and with enforcement of arbitration awards and judgments. We have also acted in major cross-border insolvency protection matters.

Nicholas Woo, who heads the team, speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese, has particular knowledge of and strong connections with the shipping industry in the Far East.

Alex Davey is an expert in disputes involving charterparties, bills of lading and international carriage of goods, both by sea and multi-modal transport. He has strong links with clients in Europe, the Middle East and India.

Henry Adams is a specialist in all aspects of cargo claims, marine insurance and international trade. He is fluent in French and Spanish and has a wide following among clients in Continental Europe.

Lisa Wortley has particular expertise in disputes relating to vessel performance, as well as all other aspects of time and voyage charterparties and bills of lading. She speaks and writes fluent French, reads Russian and German and is often instructed by clients in Europe.

See also details of our Transport and Logistics services. 

Key contacts

Meet the full team