Mills & Co. Maritime & International Trade Specialists Background


Our Admiralty team is one of the largest in the UK and includes a number of legally qualified ex-mariners. The team has extensive experience in casualty response and investigation for ship owners, charterers, cargo interests and their insurers. We are available to respond to maritime incidents and their consequences anywhere in the world.

Our services include investigation; liaising with authorities and casualty response teams (including port state control, flag state officials and salvors); obtaining and negotiating the provision of security; advising on issues under contracts of carriage (including transhipment) and marine insurance policies; and advising on jurisdiction, liability and apportionment, General Average, salvage, pollution and environmental liability, wreck removal and scrapping.

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Bills of Lading and cargo claims

We advise on issues ranging from description of cargo, clausing, blending and co-mingling through to inter-relationship with charterparties and/or letters of credit, problems in transit, delivery without presentation of bills of lading, fire, damage, infestation and shortage claims.

On cargo damage claims we deal with a range of bulk, reefer, unitized, containerised, liquid or heavy lift and project cargoes. We draft bills of lading or individual clauses for insertion in a particular bill of lading.

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Much of the advice we provide is in connection with charterparties and related agreements.

Most of this concerns disputes under charterparties, COAs, slot charters and vessel sharing agreements including off-hire, laytime and demurrage, withdrawal and termination, re-delivery issues, speed and performance claims, unsafe port claims indemnity claims for damage to ship or cargo and Inter-Club Agreement issues.

We can also offer advice and assistance in drafting a specialist charterparty or a specific clause for inclusion in a charterparty and have previously advised on a wide range of charterparties from bareboat (both operating and finance), voyage, time and tanker charterparties to contracts of affreightment, slot charters and related agreements such as pooling agreements and consortium agreements.

For advice or assistance please contact any of the directors who will ensure that your query is dealt with by the most suitable person.

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Commodities and Energy

We have a depth of experience advising clients involved in the trading, financing, storage or transportation of a variety of commodities around the world. These include crude oil and petroleum products, biofuels, metals (from concentrates and ores to refined metals), grains, seeds and other soft commodities.

Our clients include sellers, buyers, charterers and ship owners in connection with issues arising out of sale contracts, charterparties, bills of lading, letters of credit and related agreements.

We help clients to protect their position from the moment a potential dispute arises through to handling matters in legal proceedings. These can encompass High Court actions or trade arbitration such as LMAA, LCIA, ICC, GAFTA, FOSFA, Refined Sugar Association and LME.

We also prepare appropriate documentation to govern the relationship with counterparties, whether for specific transactions or as template document suites.

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Marine-Related Personal Injury

We act for owners, employers and operators and also individuals in relation to claims arising from injuries and fatalities occurring on board ships and offshore installations.

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We advise contractors, sub-contractors, operators and suppliers both in relation to the drafting and negotiation of contracts and in dispute resolution across the oil & gas sector and wind farms. Our experience includes fabrication contracts, FPSO conversion and repair contracts, build contracts for specialist vessels and off-shore supply contracts.

Our Admiralty team can assist in respect of damage to rigs, FPSOs, oil terminals and other offshore craft and structures (including collision and wreck removal).

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Shipbuilding, Repair and Conversion

A properly structured contract can help to minimise the likelihood of disputes. We provide advice to owners, operators and shipyards on all aspects of shipbuilding, conversion and repair contracts. When disputes happen they are frequently complex and usually costly for all parties. We will work with you to try to resolve disputes whether through mediation, litigation or arbitration.

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Ship Sale & Purchase and Ship Finance

We act for sellers and buyers on the sale and purchase of new and second-hand vessels and in relation to any associated disputes. We also advise owners on loan agreements, ship mortgages and other finance documentation.

We also have experience in leasing documentation, joint venture agreements and special projects and ship management agreements.

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We act in relation to the sale and purchase of new-build and second-hand yachts and their financing (on behalf of owners and banks).

We also provide advice in relation to the chartering of yachts and any associated disputes and on collisions, salvage and marine insurance policy recoveries.

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