Top 10 Pioneering Shipping Lawyers Transforming Maritime Law in South Africa 2023

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South Africa is a significant player in the global shipping industry, and this is in part due to the country’s pool of legal experts in the field. From well-established, experienced veterans to fresh, innovative practitioners, the South African legal landscape is teeming with professionals specialising in maritime law. They handle a wide range of areas, including shipping disputes and casualties, maritime insurance, charter party agreements, and admiralty and cargo claims, to mention a few. This post will explore some of the most notable shipping lawyers in South Africa, providing insights into their achievements, specialisms and the law firms they represent.

Equipped with extensive maritime knowledge and years of legal practice, these selected lawyers have made significant contributions in shaping the landscape of South African maritime law. They have consistently delivered exceptional services to their clients, which include prominent shipping companies, financial institutions and maritime insurers.

Their practices span across various South African cities with Cape Town and Durban acting as critical shipping gateways. Here’s an overview of these accomplished shipping lawyers who continue to make waves in the shipping industry with their unparalleled expertise and dedication to the field.

Andrew Robinson

Working for Norton Rose Fulbright, Andrew Robinson has established himself as one of South Africa’s leading shipping law specialists, particularly for his significant contributions to insurance work within the industry. He holds vast knowledge in legislative changes and charter party-related mandates.

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Andrew Pike

Another notable lawyer, Andrew Pike of Bowmans, heads the firm’s ports, transport and logistics team. He is regularly commissioned for casualty and cargo disputes and has seen a rise in esteem due to his successful involvement in major mandates.

Krish Reddy

Based in Durban at Shepstone & Wylie, Krish Reddy is known for his exceptional handling of various maritime matters including ship arrests, admiralty claims and charter party disputes. His expertise in maritime law makes him a prominent figure in the industry.

Jeremy Prain

Jeremy Prain from Bowmans operates a practice that covers a broad range of shipping issues, including search and rescue and ship collisions. Based in Cape Town, he is known for his advisory to numerous P&I clubs and financial institutions on the financing and sale of vessels.

Tony Edwards

Tony Edwards at Shepstone & Wylie has earned a notable reputation for his extensive expertise in shipping, particularly in the areas of ship arrest and casualties. His well-established shipping practice is rooted in the enforcement of maritime claims.

Malcolm Hartwell

Malcolm Hartwell leads the shipping team at Norton Rose Fulbright from its Durban office. With a wealth of experience in the field, he skillfully manages casualty and recovery mandates, in addition to other crucial areas such as arrests, groundings and collisions.

Mark Van Velden

Mark Van Velden, of Bowmans, is highly knowledgeable in commercial transactions related to shipping, and in contentious issues like arrests and charter party disputes. Based in Durban, he offers expert counsel in matters related to environmental damage as well.

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Patrick Holloway

Patrick Holloway co-leads the practice at Webber Wentzel from their Cape Town office. He has a deep client base among maritime insurers and provides expert counsel on claims related to collisions and allisions.

Andre Bowley

Also at Webber Wentzel, Andre Bowley co-leads the firm’s shipping practices from Cape Town. He specialises in handling transactional and contractual matters in shipping law.

Tony Norton

Tony Norton heads the shipping department at ENSafrica. Renowned as one of South Africa’s distinguished shipping lawyers, he is often engaged by P&I clubs, shipping companies and vessel owners for high-profile cases related to collisions, ship arrests and groundings.


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