Marine casualty

Stephenson Harwood is recognised as having one of the world’s leading marine casualty practices, acting primarily for Clubs and owners. We advise our clients on all aspects of marine accidents, including salvage, GA, pollution, collision liability and container stack collapses.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

Our offering is based upon three key features:

  • First class, swift and pragmatic initial legal advice with regard to tactics and probable outcomes.
  • On scene attendance by our own experienced staff to protect your interests, supported by our network of expert surveyors and investigators.
  • Robust and responsive case management with a focus on costs and outcomes.

Our offering is supported by a market leading shipping practice. We advise shipping client on a wide range of matters from high value, complex disputes, to day to day queries. 

“Stephenson Harwood has an excellent casualty response team.”
The Legal 500 UK 2021

Collision between general cargo vessel and LNG carrier

Acting for owners and P&I club in relation to loss, pollution clean-up, wreck limitation fund and wreck removal order from the Belgian authorities. Required management of proceedings brought in England and Belgium.

Grounding of a gas carrier 

Advising hull insurers in relation to the grounding of a gas carrier in Indonesia. Working with Salvors to plan a successful refloating.

Container ship salvages

Advising in relation to the salvage of various container ships, including one with a salved fund approaching USD 300 million.

Sinking of anchor handling tug

Actual Total Loss of an anchor handler connected to a rig. Advising Owners and insurers in subsequent proceedings, including a public enquiry.

Major container ship fire and loss of life

Fire leading to loss of life and abandonment of the vessel, followed by an LOF. The removal and processing of the toxic cargo remnants is one of the biggest and most complex operations of its kind.

High profile oil pollution claim

Advising P&I club on a bunkering vessel which sank in Piraeus. Advised on managing oil exposure, coordinated with IOPC and ITOPF, administered limitation fund, dealt with the media.

Stack collapse

A stack collapse off the USA leading to cargo claims before the SDNY courts and potential indemnity claims under the charter chain following loss of up to 76 containers in a storm. The ‘Nike Shoe’ case.

European shipowner

Acting for a major European shipowner to set up the biggest limitation fund of its type in terms of claimants – US$202 million.


Acting for an FPSO Contractor and P&I Club on recovery of umbilical and related claims following winch wire failure during installation in Brazil.
© 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.