Admiralty, Litigation and Arbitration
Besides all non-contentious shipping legal work that we highlighted earlier, we also do all the areas of contentious shipping work. This is the mainstay of most of our shipping law firm rivals but as you can see, it is only part of what we do. For contentious shipping work, English shipping law firms traditionally draw the divide between wet work and dry work.
Wet work refers to ship collisions, salvage and other marine casualties.
‘Dry work” will typically include every other type of maritime claims or shipping claims such as cargo claims, charterparty disputes, claims arising from bill of lading disputes, enforcement of ship mortgages, bunker disputes, claim for unpaid supplies, etc.
‘Wet’ and ‘dry’ specialisations are outdated concepts
We can do both but we believe in this modern age, it is no longer right for one to merely specialise in one at the expense of the other. Marine casualty work cannot be merely a ‘wet’ lawyer or his admiralty manager or master mariner taking statements and collecting evidence for liability for the collision. The same lawyer should be well schooled in the business of shipping and in the multiple angles of liability involving different parties who are contracted to the shipowners in question. In other words, being a wet lawyer and being less well schooled in other areas of maritime law and risks and liabilities involving multiple parties will not be sufficient. We therefore believe that P&I Clubs should stop the practice of contracting such work to one or two exclusive English law firms with lawyers in charge who specialise in ‘wet’ work. They are not doing their members any favour whether in terms of costs savings as well as value for money.
We look at litigation work holistically from your business perspective.