Recognised nationally for our marine expertise and our work across ports, harbours and coastal developments.

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

We regularly advise on 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”.

An overview of the marine team

We also advise on a wide range of trade and Brexit related matters including commercial Terms and Conditions, the Common Transit Convention, Freeports and the Ports Infrastructure Fund.

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

Our marine experience

  • Acting in relation to over 25 Harbour Order applications in Great Britain during 2023.
  • Advising a government department in connection with the construction of a new Ferry Terminal in a UK port including, marine licensing, EIA deferrals and statutory harbour power related advice.
  • Acting for a major port on various property management matters at one of the largest logistics parks in Europe and the adjacent deep sea container port. Our work includes advice on landlord and tenant matters, acquisitions and disposals and development.
  • Advising a major UK Port in respect of the impact of the Common Transit Convention and the provision of Office of Departure and Destination, as well as the Office of Transit functions following the end of the Transition Period for Brexit.
  • Advising in respect of issues associated with obtaining a marine licence to permit disposal of dredged material, where a European protected species was present in the dredge area, including the correct interpretation by the MMO of sections 9 and 10 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in relation to the exercise of a statutory power to dredge. Successfully resolved issues with the MMO, resulting in marine licence being granted in accordance with the required timescales.
  • Advising and defending statutory harbour authority clients in relation to challenges against harbour dues, including claims in restitution in Court and section 31 Harbours Act 1964 challenges (Department for Transport and the Planning Inspectorate).
"Ashfords are recognised within industry as leaders in this field. The “go-to” firm for all things shipping, ports and harbours. Exceptional law firm."
Legal 500 2024
"Ashfords is the top firm for Port and Harbour clients in the UK. They have exceptional links with industry and advise on all aspects of law, servicing all of our legal needs."
Legal 500 2023
"The team we have dealt with at Ashfords are UK-leading maritime and ports lawyers and always provide an expert service that goes above and beyond."
Legal 500 2024

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Our team will be responsive and accessible – a valued partner ready to assist you every step of the way.

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Awards & Accreditations

Legal 500 Top Tier 2024

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