Partner – Holman Fenwick Willan
T: +44 (0)20 7264 8424
What sort of clients do you advise?
I advise superyacht builders, designers, buyers, sellers, owners, charterers and brokers in contentious matters, including in court and arbitration proceedings.
How did you end up in superyacht law?
I have handled superyacht disputes for about 15 years. I began by assisting HFW’s superyacht transactions team, and still work closely with Elinor Dautlich and Jay Tooker in particular.
What makes a good superyacht lawyer?
A good superyacht disputes lawyer should always aim to get clients out of disputes. If a dispute cannot be avoided, the aim should be to put the client in the best position to get a good settlement. The aim should never be to take a case through court or arbitration proceedings: that should be the last resort.
What do you most like about your job?
Our clients are market leaders in the superyacht sector, so cases are big and the stakes are high. It’s never boring.
What one piece of advice would you give to potential yacht buyers?
I would advise potential yacht buyers (and everyone involved in the market) to put as a much as possible in writing. A lot of important business is done in restaurants or bars (or on yachts). It never does any harm to follow up with a quick email, just in case things don’t work out as planned.
Alistair joined HFW in 2000. He specialises in litigation and arbitration. He has acted for clients in many disputes, including in relation to crude oil, petroleum products, LNG, shipbuilding, ship sale and purchase, and vessel charters. His clients include international and national energy companies, international trading companies, investment banks, ship owners and operators, and utility companies. Alistair has acted for clients in numerous proceedings before the High Court in London and in ICC, LCIA, SIAC, LMAA and ad hoc arbitration. He also has a strong record of managing and, where possible, resolving disputes without the need for proceedings.
Alistair also handles transactional and advisory matters relating to crude oil, petroleum products and LNG. His oil experience covers long-term sale and purchase, joint ventures, storage, compulsory stock obligations, spot trading and related shipping matters. His LNG expertise includes SPAs, MSPAs, terminal access contracts, and terminal capacity sharing agreements. Alistair is consistently recommended for physical commodities work by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.
Alistair is qualified in England and Wales.