The effective handling and preparation of cases for court or arbitration is an essential part of your continued success in the maritime industry. At Reed Smith, our dry shipping lawyers are focused on achieving commercial and cost-effective outcomes for you. You will benefit from the deeper understanding of the way your business works that many of our associates have developed from in-house secondments to our clients.
In the current climate it is more important than ever that your operational documents – whether charterparty agreements, bills of lading, shipbuilding contracts or joint venture agreements – are properly drafted thus offering the right level of protection and commerciality. Our lawyers are at the forefront of many of these industry changes and understand the challenges that you are facing. We offer you innovative and intelligent ways of managing your documents.
Both our Dry and Wet Shipping teams are very experienced in dealing with all aspects of vessel arrest in ports around the world. With an unparalleled network of foreign offices and, where necessary correspondent lawyers, we can swiftly and efficiently help you manage any claims facing your business. The teams also regularly deal with associated ship arrests in South Africa (and elsewhere), seeking security and defending claims there as well. Further, we have access to a number of IT and vessel monitoring services to assist in checking the location of vessels and analysing ownership structures.
Advice on Charters, MOAs, Shipbuilding, and Bills of Lading
The charter relationship is at the center of commercial shipping and often gives rise to disputes. Our lawyers can assist you in managing disputes and advise on hire issues, termination, frustration, construction of clauses, those issues with a technical bent (such as cargo damage, groundings, breakdowns, fires and explosions, unsafe ports and indemnity claims), shipbuilding, conversion and repair disputes, ship sale and purchase disputes, and other contentious matters such as personal injury and tortious claims.
Dispute resolution is as much about recognizing risk, and when and at what level commercial settlement is appropriate, as it is about courts or arbitration. Our lawyers have daily experience of LMAA and other arbitration bodies (e.g., LCIA, GAFTA and FOSFA) and are skilled at progressing claims. Our commercial approach to disputes gives you the support you need to manage not only the dispute itself but your reputation as well. We have worked to develop the support skills and resources to carry out claims efficiently and cost-effectively.
Drafting agreements correctly from the outset is an essential element of avoiding future disputes. Our leading shipping lawyers use their practical understanding of this industry and lessons learned from previous disputes to help you create commercial documents. We can assist with drafting or reviewing bills of lading, tanker, dry cargo and specialist charter parties, shipbuilding contracts, MOAs, maritime joint venture agreements, shipping agency agreements and P&I club rules.
Our Dry and Wet Shipping teams are very experienced in dealing with all aspects of vessel arrest in ports around the world. With an unparalleled network of foreign offices and, where necessary, correspondent lawyers in other locations around the globe, we can manage claims swiftly and efficiently for you. We also regularly deal with associated ship arrests in South Africa (and elsewhere) both in seeking security and defending claims there. The team even has access to a number of IT and vessel monitoring services to assist in checking vessels' locations and analyzing ownership structures.
Our Dry Shipping and Finance teams regularly get asked to handle disputes or set up ship management structures for clients like you. In a world where there has been, at least in part, a move away from traditional ship owners having their technical and operational management in house, third-party vessel management has become more the norm. We have considerable experience looking at all sides of the vessel management relationship between owners, financiers and managers, as well as with the many sub-contractors who get involved in such management.
Perhaps the best testament of the team’s knowledge in this area is that one of our partners was recently asked to become CEO of a leading global ship management company.