Marine & Transport

We advise in respect of all aspects of marine related legal advice to a national and international client base representing ports, harbours, marinas, government agencies, property developers, insurers, banks, shipping companies, fishermen, and other marine businesses.

We advise in relation to all aspects of marine regulation, including harbour revision, empowerment and closure orders, marine licensing, harbour and pilotage dues, general directions, harbour directions and byelaws (including prosecutions), statutory harbour powers, removal of vessels and wrecks, harbour works licensing, oil pollution claims, other environmental matters and Maritime Safety (both “MCA” and “HSE”).

We are recognised nationally for our pre-eminent Coastal Development and Marine Licensing expertise and are currently advising on a number of multi-million-pound coastal developments.

We are also active in the commercial shipping and fishing industries advising on all aspects of marine and transport casualty work, fisheries matters, ship building and repair, charter contracts, offshore industry, crewing agency related and charterparty disputes, marine fatal accidents and personal injury claims. We will seek to resolve disputes without resorting to Court. However, when necessary we conduct significant Admiralty court cases and LMAA arbitrations, and arrest vessels to protect the position of our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a marine licence?

    Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009  a marine licence is required for 'licensable activities' taking place up to the mean high water spring tide mark (including tidal estuaries, rivers and channels) unless an exemption applies.  In addition the scope of activities requiring a marine licence has been significantly widened and includes:

    • Construction, alteration or improvement of any works in or over the sea or on or under the sea bed (this description can encompass the maintenance of existing works;
    • Dredging;
    • Deposit, removal or incineration of any substance or object;
    • Scuttling of any vessel or floating container

    Carrying out a 'licensable activity' without a marine licence (or in breach of its conditions) can result in an unlimited fine or up to 2 years in prison (for the most serious offences).

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Relevant Experience

Advising and acting for the RNLI in respect of the charity's marine licensing requirements for maintenance of all existing infrastructure across the UK. Successfully secured the grant of ground breaking ten year regional marine licences.

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