Henry Adams
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Henry is a Partner and Head of our Shipping and International Trade Team.

Henry specialises in shipping, transport and marine insurance work. His core practice involves handling Charterparty disputes and pursuing and defending cargo claims. He also regularly advises on marine insurance coverage issues, international sale contract disputes and conflicts of law/jurisdiction. His clients include traders, charterers, carriers, brokers and their respective insurers. Henry has wide experience of court litigation from Admiralty and Commercial  Court through all appellate levels and arbitration work within the LMAA, LCIA, CAMP and ICC. Henry qualified as a Solicitor in September 2001 and worked at Clyde & Co for eight years before joining Birketts in 2007.

Reported cases include:

  • ‘SIBOTI’ – Incorporation of Charterparty jurisdiction clause into Bill of Lading
  • OT Africa Line Ltd v Magic Sportswear Corporation and Others – Anti-suit injunction upheld by Court of Appeal
  • ‘AZUR GAS’ – Meaning of ‘laycan’ in the context of a CIF sale
  • Santa Isabella [2019] EWHC 3152 (Comm) – legal test for ‘usual and customary route’ and the obligation on carriers properly and carefully to ventilate cargo in accordance with a sound system

Henry is recommended and named as a ‘Leading Individual’ by Legal 500 [UK 2022]. Clients in this edition say “Henry Adams and the shipping team are efficient, provide good and quick advice, and understand clients needs. Henry speaks good French, which makes thing easier for our French clients”. In the previous edition, clients note “Henry Adams’ communication skills, ability to think outside the box and understand technical issues are important factors when considering complex trade relationships and contracts”.

He is also ranked by Chambers [UK 2022]. Clients in this edition say: “Henry is fantastic on cargo work – a match for anyone”. Another adds “he is a great lawyer. His knowledgeable and practical approach to problem solving is impressive.”

The previous edition notes “he is very responsive and easy to talk to.” In an earlier edition clients say “he is very attentive and very persuasive while always being very calm, which is a powerful tool in a lawyer”.

Henry lectures widely on issues relating to shipping, international trade and marine insurance. He chairs the Lloyds Maritime Academy Courses on both Marine Cargo Claims and Laytime and Demurrage. He is also one of the authors of the Informa Professional Academy Certificate in Marine Claims. He has an MA in French and Spanish and is fluent in both languages.

In 2008-9 he completed a 900 mile unsupported expedition to the South Pole with two team-mates. The team followed in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 Nimrod Expedition and arrived at the South Pole after 66 days’ travelling across Antarctica.

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He is a great lawyer. His knowledgeable and practical approach to problem solving is impressive.

Chambers [UK 2022]