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Chris Hart

17 September 2019

Chris is Of Counsel at the Houston office of international law firm HFW.  His practice focuses on shipping, marine, and energy companies, including litigation and commercial transactions.  He is an experienced trial lawyer, resolving disputes in federal and state courts and in arbitration.  He advises clients in transactions involving charter parties, maritime contracts, offshore energy and master service agreements, and infrastructure projects with maritime law concerns.  Chris also advises on regulatory compliance, including Jones Act coastwise trade and shipping regulations. Chris has over 25 years of experience with charter parties, sale of goods and transport contracts, maritime liens, ship arrests and maritime attachment remedies, shipping casualties, bunker and cargo disputes, marine pollution, and many issues in the shipping industry.  In the energy sector, Chris has experience in upstream and midstream commercial disputes and casualties, onshore and offshore.  He has been a speaker and author on topics including bunker contracts, OSV charter parties, coastwise trade laws, offshore drilling, and many maritime law issues. Before practicing law, Chris sailed as a professional mariner on chemical tanker, crude oil tanker, and general cargo ships.

Elizabeth Sloane

05 November 2019

Elizabeth is Senior Associate at Stephenson Harwood Hong Kong.  Elizabeth is a lawyer qualified in Hong Kong, England and Wales, and Australia. She has been based in Hong Kong since 2008. Elizabeth has significant experience on the wet side of shipping, having worked on a number of high profile casualties and groundings across the Asia Pacific region. Other particular areas of expertise include jurisdictional challenges and forum disputes, limitation of liability, maritime insolvencies, disputes involving the carriage of goods by sea, and trade finance and banking disputes with maritime law elements. Elizabeth has litigated in the Courts of Hong Kong, England, and Australia. She has also acted in a large number of international arbitrations, and has managed litigation and enforcement proceedings on behalf of clients in jurisdictions including the PRC, Singapore, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India and the United States.  Legal500 describes her as “a knowledgeable and effective litigator”.

Mark Lakin

05 November 2019

Mark is Senior Associate at Stephenson Harwood, Dubai. He is a skilled litigator with extensive experience in shipping, commodities and trade finance disputes. Having trained in London and practiced there for the first five years of his career, Mark moved to Dubai in 2017 in order to focus on building the Firm’s shipping and commodities practice in the UAE. He continues to be heavily involved in arbitration and Court cases in England for clients based the Middle East whilst also becoming a specialist in matters before the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and arbitrations seated in the UAE. He has acted for a cornucopia of clients, ranging from oil majors, state-owned oil companies, trading houses, smaller independent commodities traders, shipowners, hedge-funds and banks. The majority of those matters have been arbitrations in the major shipping and commodities forums, including the LMAA, LCIA, DIFC-LCIA, DIAC GAFTA, FOSFA, ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, HKIAC and the first case before the newly formed Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC). The disputes have ranged from modest demurrage disputes to oil and gas disputes worth hundreds of millions of dollars. His reported Court cases in England include H&CS v RBRG Trading, Petrosaudi Oil Services v Novo Banco & Ors and Integral Petroleum SA v Perogat FZE & Ors. In Dubai he has recently acted in one of the leading cases on the enforcement of foreign judgments in the DIFC - Essar Global Fund Limited v Barclays Bank PLC & Ors.  Mark has also undertaken a number of secondments with both trading houses and trade finance banks, which has led to him being involved in non-contentious work such as advising on the structuring of trade finance facilities and “repo” sale contracts. 

Nina Stuhrmann

03 April 2019

Nina Stuhrmann is Manager in the Contracts & Clauses Department at BIMCO. Her main role is to develop, revise and promote BIMCO’s wide range of standard contracts and clauses. She is a German qualified lawyer and holds a LL.M. in Shipping Law from the University of Cape Town. She worked with a P&I and FD&D insurer and as an inhouse counsel for a leading German ship owner. She is specialised in international and commercial dispute resolutions in the marine sector and has a broad experience in drafting, negotiating and advising on charter parties, contracts of affreightments, bills of lading, sale contracts, MOAs, shipbuilding contracts, bunker contracts and all kinds of corporate contracts. Nina has considerable experience in handling offshore projects with a special focus on anti-bribery legislation and sanctions compliance. Nina is fluent in German, English and French.

Alessio Sbraga

16 August 2019

Alessio is a Partner at the London office of International law firm, HFW.  He specialises in international commercial dispute resolution in the marine and offshore sectors, and has over 12 years' experience of advising in respect of charterparties, bills of lading, sale contracts, shipbuilding, MOA, grounding, unsafe port, off-shore (FSO, FPSO, rig, floating accommodation units), bunker and cargo disputes.  He also advises regularly on international maritime regulatory issues, including those relating to MARPOL.  Alessio has an international practice, which involves him advising and representing the main stakeholders in the physical shipping and off-shore chains across the globe. This includes shipowners, charterers, freight forwarders, shippers, bunker suppliers, P&I clubs and underwriters, as well as cargo owners, banks and traders.  He handles large, complex and multi-jurisdictional disputes, and litigation in both the English High Court and in arbitration. More recently, Alessio was a member of the BIMCO sub-committee responsible for drafting the organisation's standard time charterparty clauses in response to the 2020 sulphur cap and related sulphur emission regulations, and is currently advising extensively on the legal and commercial implications arising out of these new regulations to shipowners, charterers, ship managers, P&I clubs and hull underwriters.  He also presents regularly on behalf of BIMCO on this topic. Alessio is qualified in England and Wales, and speaks fluent Italian.

Nicholas Kazaz

01 March 2019

Nicholas Kazaz is an Associate at HFW, where he focuses on international commercial dispute resolution, specialising in offshore oil & gas, energy, and marine. Nicholas handles disputes arising from installation contracts, charter parties, bills of lading, shipbuilding, rig disputes, towage, collisions, salvage, general average, groundings, total loss, and limitation. Among others, he acts for and advises shipowners, charterers, energy companies, contractors, shipyards, ship managers, and P&I Clubs. Nicholas has particular experience of drafting and negotiating a range of contracts in the shipping and offshore sectors, including BIMCO SUPPLYTIME, TOWCON and BARGEHIRE and other standard contracts, as well as bespoke OSV vessel charter parties. Since joining HFW, Nicholas has undertaken secondments in Australia (to HFW's Perth Office with a focus on the Offshore / Oil & Gas / Commodities sectors), to the in-house legal team of a major international tanker owner, to two International Group P&I Clubs / Insurers, and a leading insurance broker. Nicholas is qualified in England and Wales.

Richard Neylon

02 August 2019

Richard Neylon is Partner at HFW in London. Richard specialises in shipping and crisis response. He acts for a range of shipowners, charterers and insurers, in wet and dry shipping disputes. A large proportion of Richard's work involves resolving disputes arising from marine casualties and he has been involved in many of the recent high profile incidents. He has particular experience of collisions, fires/explosions, salvage, piracy, capture/seizure, groundings and unsafe port claims – often involving complex multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. Whilst he works in the Admiralty & Crisis Management department, the complexity of modern marine casualties necessarily involves him in a mix of wet and dry work. 

Alistair Loweth

20 December 2019

Alistair advises clients on a wide range of marine, commercial and international matters in the offshore and energy sectors. He has extensive practical experience of both transactional and contentious work including more than 5 years working in-house for a global oilfield service company. Alistair’s work comprises advising on regulatory issues, day-to-day operational matters, contracts (including charters, offshore service contracts, drilling contracts, shipyard agreements, ship agency agreements, equipment leases, product sales and license arrangements), bespoke complex projects and restructurings, disputes and crisis response.

Mike Phillips

03 June 2019

Mike is a partner and head of Stephenson Harwood’s marine and international trade practice. He specialises in shipping, carriage of goods, contentious ship finance disputes and ship and offshore vessel construction. Mike’s clients include banks, shipowners, traders and P&I clubs/insurers. Acting for some of the world’s largest and most well-known shipowners, he has experience of dealing with a wide range of matters from cargo claims and off-hire disputes to groundings and vessel fires. On the contentious ship finance side, Mike represents leading ship finance banks in a wide array of disputes arising from both pre and post-delivery finance.

Toby Stephens

26 August 2019

Toby is HFW’s Singapore Head of Shipping and APAC Head of our global Crisis Management team. Toby’s work involves managing major marine and energy disasters, which are often complex, involving a number of interrelated actions in a number of jurisdictions. He is also recognised for insurance coverage and other marine and energy related commercial and contractual disputes.  Toby has practical experience of working as a marine surveyor in Houston. He has also acted as head of the legal team at a leading Lloyd’s syndicate dealing with marine, energy and war risks.  Toby is qualified in England and Wales and joined HFW as a solicitor in 2001. He became a Partner in 2007 and relocated from our London office to Singapore in 2017.