Shipping and International Trade

"Howse Williams consistently demonstrate a high level of expertise. Their strategic approach to problem solving and attention to detail instils a high level of confidence."  Client testimonial in Chambers and Partners 2024


"They have good commercial sense and are always proactive."  Client testimonial in Chambers and Partners 2024


"The team is led by Chris Howse and David Coogans, who are two highly experienced and capable shipping lawyers."  Client testimonial in Legal 500 2024


"Chris Howse is very responsive and practical with his advice. David Coogans is very knowledgeable about a wide range of shipping matters."  Client testimonial in Legal 500 2024


Our shipping practice specialises in maritime dispute resolution; mergers and acquisitions; competition and regulation and infrastructure.

Our shipping team handles a wide range of disputes both in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. The team (which includes solicitors with seagoing experience) has considerable experience in all types of wet and dry shipping litigation. We handle shipbuilding, sale and purchase, collision, salvage, wreck removal and pollution cases, as well as charterparty, bill of lading and other contract of affreightment disputes. We advise ship-owners, P&I Clubs, Hull and Machinery insurers, salvors, charterers and freight forwarders.The team has particular expertise in handling problems arising from the shipment of steel, coal, iron ore, nickel ore and fluorspar.

Our clients include charterers, shipowners and their insurers (P&I Clubs), cargo owners, freight forwarders, recovery agents, logistic companies, godowns, terminals, port authorities, commodity traders and their insurers and other organisations in the marine transport and insurance industries.

Key areas of practice include: 


  • P&I and Defence Club work.
  • Policy terms and disputes (e.g. war risk, breach of warranty, insurable interest, material non-disclosure etc.).
  • Charterparty and bill of lading disputes.
  • Collision, salvage and wreck removal.
  • Commodity and sale of goods disputes.
  • Marine insurance disputes (cargo and hull policies).
  • Arbitration in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and the PRC.
  • MOA disputes.
  • Personal injury, employee's compensation and crew claims.
  • Sale and purchase of vessels, including commercial vessels such as bulk carriers and tng boats, as well as yachts and oil rigs.
  • Shipbuilding contracts for standard and specialist vessels, including offshore structures and complex engineering projects.
  • Competition/regulatory work
  • Mergers & acquisitions, IPOs, debt and equity capital markets, privatisations, international joint ventures, restricting and financial services.
  • Development, investment and financing of port projects working with a diverse range of organisations including governments, port authorities, developers and lenders.
  • Regulatory issues on Customs & Excise, Labour Department (safety) and environmental matters including defending the relevant summons/charges.
  • Container terminals defence work. Yacht policy disputes.

Key Partners:

Chris Howse; David Coogans; William Leung