Spotlight on Canada’s Top 10 Maritime Lawyers Influencing the Shipping Industry in 2023

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Across the expanse of Canada, the shipping industry plays a pivotal role in both the national and global economy. With its vast coastline and pivotal location in global trade networks, legal expertise in the transportation and shipping industry is paramount. This article seeks to introduce some of the most esteemed shipping lawyers nationwide, providing critical knowledge of the legal underpinnings that drive one of Canada’s most fundamental industries.

These legal practitioners play a holistic role, dealing with a range of diverse issues, including but not limited to, maritime disputes, cargo claims, regulatory matters, environmental concerns, and insurance-related cases. Each is distinctive, offering unique skills, years of experience, and a depth of knowledge in the field of transportation and shipping law. The following list comprises established names in this industry, their accomplishments reflecting their commitment to the sector.

It is essential to note that even though this list encompasses a wide range of sector-specific legal talents, it isn’t exhaustive. Countless other legal professionals are doing remarkable work across the country and the industry. Nevertheless, the following picks showcase some of the leading names that shape and uphold the legal structure of the shipping and maritime industry in Canada.

Will Moreira KC

Stewart McKelvey in Halifax is where Will Moreira KC operates an extensive maritime practice. With his broad client base including ship owners, suppliers, and marine insurers, Moreira expertly handles marine litigation, particularly in pollution cases and matters causing the sale and seizure of ships.

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Frank Metcalf KC

Frank Metcalf KC, a Halifax-based maritime lawyer, doesn’t have a firm website. His client base predominantly consists of underwriters and P&I clubs. Metcalf is well recognized for his work related to insurance matters in the industry.

David Colford

David Colford, a seasoned shipping lawyer based in Montréal, doesn’t have a firm website. Known for his experience as an arbitrator, he exhibits a strong maritime practice with a particular emphasis on issues involving cargo disputes.

Rui Fernandes

Rui Fernandes, a Toronto-based legal expert, doesn’t have a firm website. Fernandes is widely recognized for his work involving the shipping and trucking industries. He mainly deals with related insurance matters and often represents marine surveyors.

Peter Swanson

One of the founding partners of an unnamed firm, Peter Swanson brings over three decades of legal experience to the fore. Respected in the shipping space, Swanson deals with a wide range of issues, including cargo transportation, pollution, and chartering disputes. He is a director and past president of the Vancouver Maritime Arbitrators Association.

Jean-Marie Fontaine

Jean-Marie Fontaine, based in Montréal and part of the legal team at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, is often engaged by clients for contentious cases. These cases often include matters involving cargo claims, collisions, and shipbuilding disputes, in addition to regulatory maritime matters.

Marc D Isaacs

Marc Isaacs, a Toronto-based lawyer, lacks a firm website but comes highly recommended for his proficiency in matters of cargo claims. He possesses further expertise in insurance-related cases, as well as ship arrests and ship casualty response.

Eric Machum

Eric Machum’s practice covers an array of maritime issues, including regulatory and contractual matters. Based in Halifax, his clientele includes ship owners, marine service providers, and exporters.

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Jean Grégoire

Jean Grégoire, a member of the team at Langlois Lawyers, LLP based in Québec City, is recognized for his involvement in marine cases. His hands-on experience includes handling personal injury and damages claims for clients ranging from port authorities to ship owners and charterers.

Dionysios Rossi

Dionysios Rossi, based in Vancouver, doesn’t have a firm website. However, deriving from his background in environmental law, he represents clients in various marine cases, including oil spills. Rossi routinely advises shipping organisations on the related regulatory matters.



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