Henry Adams

Partner, Head of Shipping and International Trade
  • Experience
  • Other Information

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 advising on marine insurance coverage issues and handling cargo claims and charterparty disputes.  He also regularly advises on 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, GAFTA 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:

  • Star Axe I LLC v Royal and Sun Alliance Luxembourg S.A. & Others (The “Star Antares”) [2023] EWHC 2784 (Comm) – Incorporation of York-Antwerp Rules into Bills of Lading
  • Siboti v. BP France (The “Siboti”) [2003] 2 LLR 364 – Incorporation of Charterparty jurisdiction clauses into Bills of Lading
  • OT Africa Line Ltd v Magic Sportswear Corporation and Others [2005] EWCA Civ 710– Anti-suit injunction upheld by Court of Appeal
  • SHV Gas Supply & Trading v Naftomar Shipping & Trading ( The “Azur Gaz”) [2006] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 163 – Meaning of ‘laycan’ in the context of a CIF sale
  • Alianca Navegacao e Logistica Ltda v Ameropa SA (The “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 2024]. Clients in this edition say “Henry Adams – Brilliant lawyer. With excellent know-how and results in wet and dry shipping matters.” Another adds “Henry Adams is very experienced, provides valuable advice and speaks fluent French.”

In the previous edition, a client said “Henry Adams is one of our preferred lawyers in the UK. Particularly in complex multijurisdictional cases, c/p, bills of lading disputes, as well as major accidents. He is very rigorous, a very clever lawyer.”

An earlier edition noted “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.”

He is also ranked by Chambers [UK 2024]. Clients in this edition say “Henry is a sensible and practical lawyer.” Another adds “His pragmatic approach and his ability to digest and devise a strategy are a winning combination for us.”

In the previous edition, a source noted “Henry is a top lawyer who is extremely experienced in complex shipping matters.” Another added “Henry is a very accessible person and is always reachable. He is comfortable in guiding the client through complex casualties, knows the right person in the right place and has strong technical knowledge.” Henry was also described by clients as “A great lawyer who is very open to sharing knowledge.”

In an earlier edition, a source noted “Henry is fantastic on cargo work – a match for anyone.” Another said “He is a great lawyer. His knowledgeable and practical approach to problem solving is impressive.”

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.


Legal 500 Leading Individual 2024 logo
Henry Adams Chambers logo 2024

Henry Adams – Brilliant lawyer. With excellent know-how and results in wet and dry shipping matters.

Legal 500 [UK 2024]

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