Obituary: Nicholas Paines

Born in June 1954, Nicholas Paines (Nic to his friends and colleagues) felt the call of the sea early, joining the British India Steam Navigation Company as a deck cadet in 1972 and completing his early training with P&O on general cargo, reefer and heavy lift ships. While studying for his tickets, he did  seasonal service on cross-channel ferries, including hovercraft. He served as Second and Chief Officer with China Steam Navigation, mainly on bulk carriers, including forest product bulkers. From 1983 to 1986 he served as Master with Jardine Ship Management, again on bulkers and forest product carriers, which became a speciality.

In 1986, Nic came ashore and spent 9 years with TMC Marine Consultants, initially as a staff surveyor and consultant and later as a director.

In 1995, Nic felt the need to broaden his horizons into ship management and joined Orient Shipping in Rotterdam, initially as General Manager and from 1998 as Managing Director of Confidence Shipmanagement, the bulk carrier, tween-deck and container feeder division. His duties included the introduction of the ISPS and ISM codes into the company and overseeing a newbuilding project.

In 2004, faced with the option of a move to Piraeus, Nic decided to return to London and consultancy, joining Newman Giles (as we were then) as a consultant, surveyor and expert witness. In 2011, he took over the company and remained as Managing Director and principal consultant until his death. Among a broad range of activities, he specialised in charterparty performance claims, developing a logical standard approach which proved popular, except with the weather routeing agencies.

Nic was a member of several learned societies and took the livery of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners in 2019. He was an active member of the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association, sat on its Safety and Security panels and was a member of the working party drafting the Timber Deck Cargo code.

Nic faced his final illness with courage and optimism, keeping in touch with the activities of the company throughout and even turning out to take part in the Ancient Liveryman’s ceremony of driving sheep over London Bridge. He was always positive and focused on returning to work, but alas it was not to be. He died on 4th January 2020.

Nic was quietly sociable and humorous, tough but fair, focused and very hard working. He was intelligent and very knowledgeable, but careful not to stray outside his field of expertise. During his spare time, he exercised his dogs, tinkered with Jaguar cars and was often to be found on a Saturday encouraging the sporting endeavours of his sons from the touchline. He will be greatly missed.

Nic is survived by his wife Amanda and his three sons, Jonathan, Duncan and Harry.