What we do
Our core business is support to the legal process, in which we have comprehensive in-depth experience. Three of us are qualified lawyers, with a fourth part-qualified – and three of us have experience as arbitrators and of expert determination. We have experience of expert witness work in Court and arbitration in many jurisdictions including the UK, France, USA (New York, Florida and Alaska), Canada (Quebec and British Columbia), Argentina, China (PRC), Hong Kong and Yemen. We also have experience of Mediation, usually by providing support for the instrucing party’s legal team before or during the Mediation.
We also have experience of ship survey work, sometimes as a stand-alone activity but often in support of expert witness work. For some of us, surveying is our main activity; others are now mainly office based but with a past in- depth history of surveying. Most of us also have extensive operational and management experience, including health, safety, environmental and security.
We have acted as experts in many types of legal case, backed up by relevant experience and qualifications. The main generic case types are:-
- Collision and Putting By (including angle of blow and speed, simulation and plotting and analysis of automatically recorded data)
- Grounding and refloating; salvage, including risk assessment
- Total loss, including CTL and Sinking / Foundering
- Fire and explosion, ship and cargo
- Unsafe port/berth
- Seakeeping, including loss of deck containers
- Seaworthiness and due diligence (charterparties and insurance)
- Structural failure (hull and outfit)
- (Mis) Description of vessel
- Bunker disputes (quality and quantity)
- Marine machinery failures, including propulsion, auxiliaries, cranes and other deck equipment; control systems
- Resistance and propulsion, including controllable pitch propellers
- Speed and consumption / performance disputes (charterparty and newbuilding)
- Dry and liquid cargo disputes, including damage and contamination, refrigerated cargo damage, timber deck cargo losses and pumping disputes
- Ship management, including health, safety, environment and security
- MOA disputes (condition and procedure)
- Charterparty and Bill of lading disputes in general
- Shipbuilding disputes and repairers’ liability
- Steering gear failures, including rudder structural failure
- Pollution; prevention and clean-up
- Tank cleaning / preparation for hot work
- Personal injury (passengers and crew, including lifts)
The above list is not comprehensive. If your requirement is not listed above, please contact us. Often two apparently different case types are in fact covered by the same or overlapping disciplines. We also have experience of providing more than one expert on the same case, to cover different specialities unlikely to be found in one person.
In addition we carry out non-contentious work, including operational advice (often live at a port or on board ship), management audits of owners and operators’ office operations, calculation and research.
Our expertise is supported by appropriate IT and communications capability, including writing our own computer software to service client requirements if the need arises. We are also licencees of proprietary software such as Autohydro (ship stability and longitudinal strength), Autocad (and other graphics packages) and Mathcad. We also have specialised survey equipment including thermometers, hygrometers, vane anemometer, welding radiograph viewer, ultrasonic hatch cover testers (based in Rotterdam and Buenos Aires) and an Infra-red thermography camera (Rotterdam).
We have acted for most of the major London maritime law firms, P&I clubs and many underwriters (directly or indirectly) and also overseas lawyers, clubs and underwriters. We have represented most interests in the marine industry including shipowners, charterers, cargo interests, port and offshore installation operators, shipbuilders, repairers and equipment suppliers. Since most of our work is in arbitration and therefore confidential, we do not cite specific cases or clients in this Profile. We can provide details of particular cases on request, with information redacted as necessary to preserve confidentiality.
If in doubt, please ask.