"SH are the closest thing to having an extended in-house legal team. Their commercial advice fits seamlessly into our business."

Chambers UK 2012

"It's the teamwork which impresses most. It's a seamless and effective operation and there's no other team I'd rather work with."

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2012

"A fabulous presence in Asia"

Legal 500 UK 2012


PeopleSean Gibbons

Sean Gibbons

commercially minded with a hands on client approach

Chambers UK 2013

Sean is a shipping partner specialising in shipping, shipbuilding and offshore disputes.

He has extensive experience of advising shipowners on charterparty and bill of lading disputes, jurisdiction issues, reefer claims, disputes involving carriage of oil for tanker operators and MOAs.  He is also regularly instructed in matters involving investigation and defending of fraudulent cargo claims made against shipowners, insurers and banks and has spent extensive time in West African countries investigating such claims.

Sean also has particular experience in representing Korean shipyards in shipbuilding and offshore disputes and also advising in contract negotiations relating to newbuildings. 

Shipping litigation

Sean is regularly instructed by shipowners, charterers, insurers, P&I clubs and banks in the High Court and in arbitration in relation to charterparty and bill of lading disputes, disputes relating to the carriage of high value oil cargoes for tanker operators, reefer claims and MOAs.

Sean also has substantial experience of jurisdiction disputes.  A recent example is the successful granting of an anti-suit injunction by the English Court preventing the continuation of proceedings in Canada which led to Court of Appeal proceedings in both jurisdictions and a House of Lords appeal in London.

Shipbuilding and offshore construction

Sean has extensive experience of advising shipyard clients on shipbuilding and offshore disputes.  He also advises in contract negotiations relating to newbuildings.

Recent high profile cases include a multi-million dollar dispute relating to the construction of a specialised drilling tower for installation off the coast of West Africa and the conversion of VLCCs into FPSOs for a Brazilian project. 

Sean has substantial recent experience of advising shipyards in relation to issues arising out of potential cancellation of shipbuilding contracts.

Sean has spoken on shipbuilding and offshore contractual issues at conferences in Korea and the UK.

Fraud and asset tracing

Sean has been a member of the Stephenson Harwood fraud team for 15 years.

He has substantial expertise in the investigation and defending of fraudulent claims against shipowners (both for bulk goods and container cargoes), insurers and banks.  Sean has spent extensive time in West African countries investigating such claims and is a specialist in obtaining freezing/inspection/disclosure orders and anti-suit injunctions in the English Courts as part of the 'counter attack' and asset tracing process against fraudsters.

Specialist areas

    Contact Sean

    Stephenson Harwood LLP
    1 Finsbury Circus
    EC2M 7SH
    United Kingdom

    Find us >

    T: + 44 20 7809 2613

    Email Sean