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A leading set specialising in commercial, construction, insurance and property law

Shipping & Trade

Our team is experienced in shipping, commodities and international trade. Much of this work is conducted in the Commercial Court and in arbitration, including specialist arbitral tribunals  such as the LMAA, SIAC, LCIA, LME, GAFTA, and FOSFA.

We provide expert advice and representation in relation to every aspect of international trade. This work includes the sale, import and export of physical commodities on standard forms and bespoke contracts (CIF, FOB, and all other types, including INCOTERMS). It also involves advising on futures and derivatives, including contracts on the ISDA 1992 and 2002 Master Agreement,  trade finance and letters of credit, and trading in natural resources such as “repo” agreements.

Freezing injunctions, anti-suit injunctions, challenges to jurisdiction and other interim measures are regular features of both domestic and international trade practice and our barristers are experienced in drafting and obtaining all kinds of injunction, often at short notice and out of hours.

A number of our barristers specialise in shipping and carriage by road, rail and air, and in a very broad range of marine and off-shore activities. Members work for leading specialist solicitors and for P&I clubs.

We offer specialist expertise relating to bills of lading and charterparties, including: cargo claims, unsafe ports/berths, demurrage and off-hire disputes, indemnity claims and apportionments under the Inter-Club Agreement, speed and consumption claims, and damages claims for late and premature redeliveries. We deal with freight derivatives (FFAs) of all forms. We advise regularly in relation to all types of standard form and bespoke contracts.

We also handle all types of Admiralty matters, including: Collisions, salvage, towage and pilotage, general average, liens, the registration of vessels and priorities. Members regularly advise and appear on matters relating to the arrest of vessels and injunctions.

Our barristers have experience of marine vessels and structures of all types, from the largest (including oil and gas rigs and platforms) to the smallest (yachts and pleasure craft). We also advise and act in relation to the financing of vessels (including ship mortgages), their construction, repair, and sale.

Carriage by road in general, aviation, multi-modal transport, and warehousing forms a regular part of our work.

Individual members also have particular expertise in relation to personal injury on board, aloft, and dockside, and relevant international conventions (Warsaw, London, Athens).

Who we act for

  • Cargo owners and insurers
  • Commodities traders
  • Cruise lines and package travel operators
  • Hull and Machinery underwriters
  • Insurance brokers
  • Marine surveyors and naval architects
  • P&I Clubs
  • Passengers and crew
  • Sellers and purchasers of vessels
  • Ship and yacht brokers
  • Shipowners and charterers
  • Shipyards
  • Yacht owners

Our areas of work include: 

  • Arbitration
  • Construction of contracts
  • Documentary credits
  • Factoring
  • Forfeiting
  • Freezing injunctions
  • Futures and derivatives
  • Import and export of commodities
  • Letters of credit
  • Performance bonds
  • Rejection of goods
  • Retention of title clauses
  • Trade finance


  • Admiralty
  • Arrest of vessels
  • Aviation
  • Cargo claims
  • Carriage by road (including CMR) and rail
  • Charterparty disputes of all classes 
  • Cruise liner claims
  • Collisions
  • Demurrage and hire disputes
  • Financing, construction, repair and sale of vessels
  • Freight derivatives 
  • General average
  • Indemnities and apportionments
  • Injunctions
  • Liens
  • Limitation claims
  • Marine insurance
  • Off-hire disputes
  • Personal injuries of passengers and crew
  • Pilotage
  • Piracy
  • Premature and late redeliveries of vessels
  • Priorities
  • Registration of vessels
  • Sale and purchase, including under SALEFORM
  • Salvage
  • Ship mortgages
  • Speed and consumption claims
  • Towage
  • Unsafe ports/berths
  • Warehousing and multimodal transport
  • Yachts and superyachts

Contact us

If you need any assistance in any of these areas, please contact a member of our Practice Management Team on +44 20 7242 2523 or e-mail enquiries@hardwicke.co.uk.