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1. James Gosling

Holman Fenwick Willan

Gosling was winning plaudits and awards like the Who’s Who Legal Shipping & Maritime Lawyer of the Year well before the Somali piracy situation came to dominate his agenda. But since then, few lawyers have been able to match his expertise in the area and he has become acknowledged as an industry authority on piracy, working tirelessly behind the scenes to resolve many of the highest profile cases. 

2. Mario Jacovides

Allan Overy

Allen & Overy was singled out in this year’s Legal 500 for its expertise in ‘complex and important transactions’. The group, led by Jacovides, handled a significant number of ship finance restructurings and was involved in the new capital market structures developed to provide finance for export credit agency deals. 

3. S. Venkiteswaran

Senior advocate, India

‘Venky’ was handed the Varuna Award for Services to the Indian Shipping Community for his extensive involvement in all aspects of shipping law. His CV and list of associations is an impressive document by itself but that does not fully reflect the scope of his positive influence as an advisor to government and the industry.

4. Dr Jan-Holger Arndt

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Arndt has a specific focus on structured asset investments through closed-end funds – skills that have come in useful during the recent crisis. As a highly respected advisor to both banks and shipping companies, he suggests that the crisis has been a leveller, with the biggest liners and owners seeing fortunes sink in unison. Luckily for both sides he has been on hand with his own brand of very practical expertise to deal with the problems that have arisen.

5. Colin de la Rue

Ince & Co

Leading marine pollution expert de la Rue joined Ince & Co in 1977 and became a partner in 1986. He has since gone on to become a highly respected industry name, acting in most major pollution incidents since Exxon Valdez and representing industry interests in the process of changes to international law.  

6. Harry Theochari

Norton Rose

Theochari’s main specialisation is international shipping finance and he has been involved with the financing of both second-hand and newbuilding vessels, oil rigs, platforms and other floating structures all over the world. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in the financing of LNG vessels and he and his team have been awarded with just about every legal gong in the business. 

7. Rosita Lau

Ince & Co, Hong Kong

Described by those in the know as the leading maritime lawyer in China and Hong Kong, Lau handles all types of charterparties and cargo carriage disputes. She acts for shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, ports and terminal operators, freight forwarders, cargo interest and logistics operators. All of which goes some way to explaining why she has been ranked by Asia Pacific Legal 500 since 2000 and voted by clients in the Asia Law practice survey for six consecutive years from 2004 as a leading lawyer in shipping.

8. Simon Lew

Clifford Chance

Lew’s expertise in ship finance has gained him much respect in the business and he can rightly take some credit for the description in this year’s Legal 500 that put Clifford Chance as being “excellent in all measurements of service quality”. The firm’s shipping highlights this year have included advising Overseas Shipholding Group on the $389m financing by Exim Bank of China.

9. Gary Wolfe

Seward & Kissel

A highly respected lawyer and industry speaker, Wolfe specializes in corporate securities and capital markets transactions. While the IPO window may currently be closed, that has not stopped shipowners from seeking advice from the man they regard as the pre-eminent expert in the field.

10. Hidetaka Moriya

Braun Moriya

Referred to simply as the doyen of Japanese maritime lawyers, Hidetaka is a hugely respected legal mind and international expert on shipping law. LL 10

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