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7KBW’s broad shipping law expertise includes admiralty, or “wet shipping”, with some of the most important recent Admiralty Court cases having been argued by members of chambers.

7KBW’s involvement in cases falling within the admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court, such as collision, salvage, shipowners’ limitation of liability and general average, is of very long standing.  7KBW counts amongst its former members one of the greatest admiralty practitioners of the 20th century, Henry Brandon.  Other leading admiralty lawyers have included John Franklin Wilmer QC and Timothy Brenton QC.   Present members of chambers continue this tradition by accepting instructions across the full range of Admiralty work including collisions at sea, salvage arbitrations, and disputes concerning unsafe ports, pilotage, towage and wreck removal.  7KBW have been responsible for 4 of the few reported decisions of the Admiralty Court in the period 2013 to 2016, 2 of which proceeded to the Court of Appeal.

Major admiralty cases in which members of 7KBW have been involved in recent years include the following:

  • “BP Thunderhorse PDQ” – LOF salvage of a semi-submersible drilling rig.  Believed to be the most valuable asset ever to have been the subject of such an arbitration.
  • The “Rena” – proceedings for the constitution of a limitation fund following the grounding of a containership on a reef offshore New Zealand.
  • The Owners of the “Stolt Kestrel” v The Owners of the “Niyazi S” – one of a string of decisions of the Admiralty Court upon the time limitation period applicable to collision proceedings argued by 7KBW members in recent years, this case now stands as the leading Court of Appeal authority on the in rem jurisdiction of the Admiralty Court.
  • The “Longchamp” – a rare decision in the law of general average, albeit decided in the Commercial Court.  This was the first general average case to proceed to the Court of Appeal since 1992.

Aside from cases falling within the admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court, members of chambers have considerable expertise in casualty work.  In one of the most famous casualties of recent years, “MSC Napoli”, a containership which was beached on Devon’s Jurassic Coast in 2007, the shipowners’ legal team included Timothy Brenton QC and Richard Sarll.