comprehensively yachts

our network

who we are

HFW is an international law firm with over 500 lawyers working across our global network. We advise clients on legal issues in relation to all aspects of international commerce and we are regarded as one of the world’s leading shipping law firms. The expertise, experience and reputation earned in commercial shipping is carried into our yacht practice.
Our yacht team has over 25 years experience of working in this intimate industry and our in-depth knowledge combined with our international reach ensures we are pre-eminent in the field.

Holman Fenwick has a market-leading yacht practice which draws on the experience of its world-renowned shipping team. Holman Fenwick is regarded as “one of the most prominent firms around,” with a “very high profile in the yachting world.” The firm represents some of the world’s leading shipyards as well as a number of prominent HNW yacht owners.

Chambers

Sources highlight the quality of the team’s work, with one lawyer noting that they are “a very solution-driven firm who always find a mutually beneficial result.” Holman Fenwick is also described as having an “extensive network of international contacts” and as being “one of the most visible firms in this market.”

Chambers

We are very pleased to have HFW’s yacht team assisting us with our Volvo Ocean Race matters and particularly impressed by their fast turnaround and commercial approach.

Estefania Esteve, Head of Finance & Legal - Volvo Ocean Race

It’s one of the top law firms in the world in this area of law, so you’re going to the right people with the right experience and the right knowledge.

Chambers 2018

what we do

Confidentiality and privacy are paramount in the yachting industry. We, of course, cannot disclose details of our clients or any of the projects we have been involved in. However, our team is positioned to assist with any aspect of constructing and operating a yacht and we are routinely involved in some of the largest and most complex projects in the yachting industry. We advise on the full lifecycle of yachting issues including, amongst other things:

  • Design agreements and intellectual property issues

  • Construction agreements

  • Financing and leasing arrangements

  • Yacht sale and purchase transactions

  • Ownership structures

  • Registration arrangements

  • Import and export formalities

  • VAT and other tax issues

  • Management agreements

  • Crewing and employment matters

  • Refit and repair contracts

  • Charterparties

  • Sale and purchase of berths

  • Restructuring of distressed loans for yacht owners, banks and builders

  • Physical and cyber security arrangements

  • Health, safety and regulatory compliance

  • Business jets and helicopters

our experts

Jay Tooker

Jay specialises in yacht and ship building, yacht and ship sale and purchase, yacht, ship and asset finance, corporate law and international trade.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Transactional

London
T: +44 (0)20 7264 8386
E: moc.w1544801861fh@re1544801861koot.1544801861yaj1544801861

Adam Shire

Adam has over 20 years’ experience in the industry and acts regularly for banks and other financial institutions as well as for owners, advising them on finance transactions and sale and purchase of yachts, as well as registrations, management and operating issues.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8264
E: moc.w1544801861fh@er1544801861ihs.m1544801861ada1544801861

Elinor Dautlich

Elinor has been advising on yacht related contracts at HFW for more than 20 years. This includes contracts for the design and construction of yachts, the financing, yacht sale and purchase, charters, and yacht management and refit/repair contracts.
Elinor has particular experience in physical and cyber security issues as they relate to yachts and is Co-Chair of the International Bar Association Maritime and Land Transport Committee.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8493
E: moc.w1544801861fh@hc1544801861iltua1544801861d.ron1544801861ile1544801861

Alistair Feeney

More information to come soon.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Disputes

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8424
E: moc.w1544801861fh@ye1544801861neef.1544801861riats1544801861ila1544801861

Alex Sayegh

Alex specialises in the transactional aspects of the commercial yachting industries; advising owners, shipyards and financiers on the construction, refit, repair, sale and purchase of various types of vessels. He has a particular focus on construction contracts for new builds and has extensive experience of negotiating with shipyards and yacht builders throughout the world. Alex also regularly lectures on the subjects of shipbuilding and sale and purchase contracts.

Position: Senior Associate
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8394
E: moc.w1544801861fh@hg1544801861eyas.1544801861xela1544801861

Jessica Taylor

Jessica specialises in the transactional side of yachting and commercial shipping, advising owners, shipyards, financial institutions, brokerage houses, and designers on all aspects of the construction, refit, sale and purchase, design, management, crewing and chartering of large yachts.

Position: Senior Associate
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8020
E: moc.w1544801861fh@ro1544801861lyat.1544801861aciss1544801861ej1544801861

William MacLachlan

William advises on a wide range of yacht related matters with a particular focus on VAT, design/intellectual property, construction, sale and purchase, charter, management, refit and repair. William also advises on physical and cyber security on board yachts and on the developing issues relating to the use of drones in the maritime environment. William spent 8 months seconded to a leading German yacht builder.

Position: Senior Associate
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8007
E: moc.w1544801861fh@na1544801861lhcal1544801861cam.m1544801861ailli1544801861w1544801861

Pauline Arroyo

Ian is a banking and finance lawyer with specialist experience in the shipping, superyacht, offshore and aviation sectors. Ian advises banks and other financial institutions, funds, Islamic investors, insurance companies and owners on a variety of matters including new financings, sale and purchase, leasing, restructurings, work outs and enforcements.

Position: Senior Associate
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8274
E: moc.w1544801861fh@se1544801861hguh.1544801861nai1544801861

Patrick Cheung

Thomas specialises in asset finance, with a particular emphasis on ship, superyacht and aviation finance.
He advises commercial and private wealth banks and other financial institutions, investors, owners, charterers and manufacturers in connection with pre- and post-delivery bilateral and syndicated financings and general banking arrangements.
His work also covers sale and purchase, leasing arrangements, restructurings and workouts.
Thomas has spent time on client secondment at a specialist transport finance bank.

Position: Senior Associate
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8544
E: moc.w1544801861fh@na1544801861lliw.1544801861samoh1544801861t1544801861

Lucy Greenish

Position: Associate
Specialism: Transactional

London
T
: +44 (0) 20 7264 8502
E: moc.w1544801861fh@hs1544801861ineer1544801861G.ycu1544801861L1544801861

Pauline Arroyo

Pauline has a broad experience in yacht-related Customs matters. She advises on EU and French customs issues in all types of yacht transactions and assists in the context of customs controls and litigation in France.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Insurance and Disputes

Paris
T
: +33 1 44 94 40 50
E: moc.w1544801861fh@oy1544801861orra.1544801861enilu1544801861ap1544801861

Stéphanie Schweitzer

Stéphanie has a broad experience in yacht-related employment and personal injury matters. She regularly advises yacht owners and insurers in relation to passenger’s claim, crew contracts and claims, social security issues. Stéphanie also often assist clients of the yachting industry in relation to contract of carriage, charter party and yacht arrests.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Disputes and Personal Injury

Paris
T
: +33 1 44 94 31 64
E: moc.w1544801861fh@re1544801861ztiew1544801861hcs.e1544801861inahp1544801861ets1544801861

Tien Tai

Tien has extensive experience in our non-contentious practice, with special focus on yacht building, sale and purchase, registration, crewing and finance in all the major yacht registries including the UAE. His recent experience includes negotiation of yacht refit contracts with GCC yards. Tien has spent time on client secondment at the ship finance team of an international bank.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Transactional

Dubai
T
: +971 4423 0555
E: moc.w1544801861fh@ia1544801861t.nei1544801861t1544801861

Patrick Cheung

Patrick has extensive experience in our non-contentious practice, with special focus on
(i) yacht building, sale and purchase, registration and finance,
(ii) private jet finance, registration, management and operation agreements and
(iii) cruise and leisure industry.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Transactional

Hong Kong
T
: +852 3983 7778
E: moc.w1544801861fh@gn1544801861uehc.1544801861kcirt1544801861ap1544801861

24/7 Crisis Management

Universally regarded as one of the world’s leading crisis management law firms, we advise on all legal issues arising from yacht related emergencies, including collisions, grounding, pollution, fire and explosion, salvage, wreck removal and towage, as well as security, political violence, piracy, kidnap and ransom and cyber breaches. Our admiralty and crisis management team is available 24/7 to attend emergencies worldwide and with our global network, a bespoke team can be assembled and, if needed, on location within 24 hours practically anywhere in the world.

Our expertise in managing crisis of all types, combined with our understanding of the specialised and sophisticated operations involved in yachting and the yachting industry’s specific concerns regarding confidentiality and privacy, enable us to protect our clients’ interests in the most appropriate and timely manner.

We operate a dedicated crisis management suite in our London office, which can be immediately utilised by our clients and become an extension of their own in-house team. Our admiralty and crisis management team are media trained and on hand to offer:

  • Immediate response to an incident

  • Advice on regulatory and compliance issues arising out of an incident

  • Reputation management / media response

  • Advice on post incident claims handling

In addition, we recognise the importance of preparation in mitigating liability and we regularly advise clients on their crisis management procedures and emergency response policies, including ensuring that their appetite for risk and potential contractual liabilities dovetail with their insurance coverage and internal crisis management procedures.

Our Admiralty and Crisis Management Team

Our admiralty and crisis management team includes experienced casualty response lawyers, a former naval architect experienced in the design of large yachts and master mariners with experience of navigating and operating large yachts and passenger vessels. Our core yacht admiralty and crisis management team consists of:

Tom Walters

Tom graduated in 1995 after which he worked for a naval architecture practice on the UK’s south coast designing superyachts. He joined HFW in 2002 and became a Partner in 2014. Tom regularly deals with yacht casualties, insurance claims and transportation disputes. His technical background means he has also been involved with a number of technical cases and construction disputes concerning yachts. Tom advises on the use of Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) technology in the marine sector in response to the increasing demand for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASVs). Tom is a member of The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and also works with the Society of Underwater Technology (SUT) advising on various legal issues as well as being a member of various SUT Sub-Committees, including Salvage & Emergency Subsea Response and Technology and Innovation.

Position: Partner
Specialism: Insurance and Admiralty and Crisis Management

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8285
E: moc.w1544801861fh@sr1544801861etlaw1544801861.mot1544801861

Alex Kemp

Alex specialises in marine insurance and crisis response and has advised both yacht owners and insurers on a variety of insurance and affecting large yachts including fires, groundings, missing vessels, damage sustained whilst being transported, structural defects, main engine damage and damage to gel coatings. He has advised on yacht casualties including those requiring salvage assistance. Alex has also undertaken a secondment at a leading London marine insurer.

Position: Senior Associate
Specialism: Insurance and Admiralty and Crisis Management

London
T
: +44 (0)20 7264 8432
E: moc.w1544801861fh@pm1544801861ek.xe1544801861la1544801861

Mark Thompson

More information to come soon.

Position: Master Mariner
Specialism: Admiralty and Crisis Management

London
T
: +44 (0) 20 7264 8528
E: moc.w1544801861fh@no1544801861spmoh1544801861T.kra1544801861M1544801861

24 hour emergency telephone number
+44 020 7709 7702

our network

We have a strong international brand and a rapidly growing network of offices. Our 17 offices (plus 3 alliance/association offices) provide us with resources across the globe and we have presence in many of the major centres of yacht ownership and operation in the world. Frequently we resource our matters with team members drawn from different offices and time zones and this allows us to provide our clients, wherever they are, with the resources of a truly global superyachts team.

We speak 40 languages across the firm.

Contact us
HFW Worldwide Offices