Marine insurance
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Marine insurance

The marine insurance group (MIG) acts for major insurers in both the London (Lloyd’s and Company) and International markets.  It offers expertise across all areas of marine insurance, including hull and machinery, cargo, war, liability, ports and terminals, and mortgagee interest. We advise on drafting, coverage and subrogated recoveries and specialise in marine casualty
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We have considerable experience in dealing with major international casualties for and on behalf of insurer clients (both property and liability), including ATLs, CTLs, collision, allision, fire, grounding, salvage and wreck removal. Our clients particularly value our assistance in providing novel solutions to unique problems; we will deploy the right response, be it legally or commercially driven.

We are known as go-to lawyers on complex coverage issues, especially in the hull and machinery, war, cargo/commodity and mortgagee interest sectors.

The MIG offers a dedicated casualty response team which includes master mariners, an experienced marine surveyor and specialised casualty investigators with experience in all shipping sectors.

We have market-leading expertise in marine cyber risk issues and security, both from a risk management and legal liability perspective.

We also advise the market on pre-inception risk assessments in relation to general marine risk as well as in specialised sectors such as geo-seismic exploration.  Marine underwriters are frequently asked to consider novel and complex projects and policies where more mainstream risk indicators and claims histories are unable to inform the risk pre inception. The marine insurance casualty response team is able to assist underwriting decisions by providing an in depth legal and technical assessment of the risks, which is focused and commercial. The team can also advise on policy wordings and structure in the light of the technical risk assessment so the underwriters and their assureds have a clear understanding of how the policy will respond in case of need.

“A very strong professional group who know their subject matter and the applicable law.”
The Legal 500 UK 2021

General marine liability

Advised major international underwriters on the conduct and consequences of multiple investigations into a multi-million dollar loss carried out by various interested parties. 

Due diligence pre risk

Examined full spectrum of marine activities of international facilities management company for underwriters as a precondition of policy inception, including advice on the construction of additional terms.

Safe berth warranties

Advised underwriters on the merits of a claim for damage and loss of hire based upon an alleged breach of a safe port warranty, including deficiencies in the evidence supporting the claim.

Coverage under Marine Contractual Risks Policy

Advising London Company market insurers in relation to non-disclosure issues arising out of claims relating to cracking in a fleet of naval vessels resulting in the claim being withdrawn in its entirety.

Major fire and total loss

Advising London Market liability underwriters in relation to a major fire and total loss of a naval vessel during repair.

Constructive total loss

Advising London Market insurers in relation to issues arising out of the CTL and subsequent negligent transfer of the World’s largest dredger.  Successfully recovering and taking possession of the vessel and arranging for its subsequent sale.

Salvage guarantee policy

Advising London Lloyd’s insurers in relation to coverage under a salvage guarantee policy covering the vessel for the London Market.

War policies – seizures on the high seas

Advised in relation to a claim for total loss by the insured owner of cargo after a vessel and its cargo were seized and sold by the Georgian coastguard.

War risk – detention of vessels

Advising Lloyd’s War Risk insurers in relation to the detention of a vessel in Kuwait.  Subsequently facilitating the release of the vessel through commercial channels.

Piracy incidents

Advising London Market Cargo insurers following West African piracy incidents.

Mortgagee Interest Policies

Advising Lloyd’s Market Underwriters in relation to coverage issues under Mortgagee Interest Policies.

Alex Davis Practice group leader

T:  +44 20 7809 2671
M:  Email Alex | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

25 Jun 2019

From Insights

Escalating tensions in the Gulf – Implications for shipping

This bulletin looks at some of the issues arising for shipowners and charterers operating in the Gulf of Oman area in light of recent developments.


15 Oct 2018

From News

Stephenson Harwood recruits renowned marine and energy insurance specialist Joe O'Keeffe

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its marine and international trade practice with the addition of Joe O'Keeffe as a partner in its London office. O'Kee..


25 May 2018

From News

Stephenson Harwood secures landmark Supreme Court judgment

The Supreme Court’s decision in Atlasnavios – Navegacao Lda ("B Atlantic", [2018] UKSC 26) was handed down on 22 May 2018.


23 May 2018

From Insights

The B Atlantic – Stephenson Harwood secures Supreme Court victory

The Supreme Court’s decision in Navigators Insurance Company Ltd and others v Atlasnavios – Navegacao Lda ("B Atlantic", [2018] UKSC 26) was handed down on 22 May 2018..


15 May 2017

From Insights

The Ocean Victory judgment - A cause for concern for insurers wishing to pursue subrogated claims

The Supreme Court’s recent judgment on safe port warranties includes a decision on the insurance cover of The Ocean Victory which is a cause for concern for insurers w..


04 Aug 2016

From Insights

Atlasnavios – Navegacao Lda v Navigators Insurance

The Court of Appeal in the 'B Atlantic' case has allowed insurers' appeal and held that there is no cover under the standard war risks policy for vessels caught smuggl..


01 Aug 2016

From Insights

Can shipowners waive their right to limit their liability?

We discuss the judgment in Bahamas Oil Refining Company International v Owners of The Cape Bari, a decision which has attracted considerable interest in the shipping i..


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.