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Shipping dispute resolution

Hundreds of contracts are concluded every day to ensure that the world’s ships keep trading. Given the volume of ships trading worldwide, the vast range of cargoes carried and the fluctuations of the market, shipping is an industry where disputes arise every day of the year. Our lawyers have a deep understanding of the sector. They can help you with all your disputes, in arbitration, litigation or mediation.

Many shipping contracts provide for the resolution of disputes, in Court or arbitration, in different countries. Through our international offices, we can provide you with prompt and cost-effective advice wherever your dispute arises - and as soon as it arises.

We give you commercial and practical advice early so you know where you stand. Many disputes can be settled in a friendly way before they go to court. We will advise you on this if this is your best course of action. But if it makes sense to go the distance, we can provide you with all the guidance you need to get a successful judgment or arbitration award.

"They have a very broad and deep experience in shipping litigation." Chambers and Partners 
"They are fast and efficient at providing commercial and usable advice." Chambers and Partners 

There is also an increasing trend to mediate disputes – spending a day or more with an independent mediator to try to sort things out privately. This is something the Court will expect you to have considered. Our lawyers are experienced at handling mediations and understand how they work.

Things are not always straightforward; not every dispute in shipping arises under a contract. For example, what happens when two ships which collide on the open seas? The two shipowners have never met before. Their ships have hit each other by accident. They have no pre-existing contract telling them how or where to sort things out. Our lawyers have market-leading experience in shipping casualties. We have a team of ex-mariners who understand how ships operate and the issues that can arise. Our advice is practical, as well as legal.

If you have a claim, you may need security for it. We have long expertise in arresting and attaching ships and other assets in ports around the world. Once you get a judgment or arbitration award, we can help to enforce it so that your claim gets paid.

For more information and to discuss your requirements contact Paul Herring, Max Cross or James Wilson.

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