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Marine casualty and response, admiralty

The firm has extensive experience in complex, high-profile casualty investigations and the management of collision, fire, total loss and salvage cases on behalf of ship, cargo and contractor interests.

We have developed particular expertise in dealing with unsafe port disputes involving both liquid and dry bulk vessels and concerning damage to the vessel, cargo and/or terminal facilities. We are experts in managing the technical and navigational aspects of these complex disputes as well as the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ legal issues.

Our casualty team offer an instant, practiced response from the moment a crisis arises, providing expert assistance and a dedicated service throughout the unpredictable and fast-paced casualty process, through to the satisfactory conclusion of any subsequent litigation.


Issues of Admiralty law, in general meaning maritime claims against a vessel as opposed to a corporate entity or person, can arise in almost every aspect of the work we do as a firm. Our clients may be seeking to issue a claim against and detain a vessel in UK territorial waters and our systems allow us to monitor and track vessels entering and leaving the jurisdiction.

Alternatively, we may be required to proceed against one or more vessels in foreign jurisdictions around the world, in which case we can draw on the firm’s years of experience of pursuing assets internationally, as well as the assistance of our global network of preferred foreign lawyers, which gives us far greater access and flexibility to instruct the right lawyer in precisely the right location than any ‘global’ law firm.


Bentleys is particularly proud of its role in developing the English law of limitation of liability in maritime claims, particularly with reference to the 1976 Limitation Convention, notably in the Court of Appeal decisions in the "HAPPY FELLOW" [1998] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 13 and the "LEERORT" [2001] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 291.

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Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless, International House, 1 St Katharine's Way, London E1W 1YL - Tel: +44 (0)20 7782 0990

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