Senior Associate – Holman Fenwick Willan
T: +44 (0)20 7264 8007
What sort of clients do you advise?
I advise clients across the spectrum from yacht designers and builders to owners, financial institutions and brokers. This broad spread of exposure and experience gives me the ability to understand transactions from the prospective of all sides and thereby anticipate the arguments that are likely to be run by the various parties and the solutions to them.
How did you end up in superyacht law?
As a transactional lawyer focussed on commercial shipping with a background, outside the office, in sailing, the move into yachts when I joined HFW in 2008 was a natural step. A yacht owner may make a decision concerning his yacht in a different way or for different reasons to the owner of a commercial vessel but ultimately many of the issues (legal and otherwise) we see in commercial shipping are mirrored in yachting.
What makes a good superyacht lawyer?
A good superyacht lawyer should have a firm understanding of the law and the ability to apply it to the market custom and practice of the yacht industry in a way that best protects the client but also ensures the deal is not unnecessarily held up or over-complicated by the lawyers.
What do you most like about your job?
The variety and the people. It is fascinating to meet the characters one finds in the yacht industry, be intimately involved in their projects, learn about the things that worry them and assist in the resolution of such worries.
What one piece of advice would you give to potential yacht buyers?
Learn about the industry and the options available by talking to your broker and chartering a variety of vessels. Once you are ready to take the plunge into ownership, focus – with your lawyer – on the fiscal arrangements and ownership structure and ensure they really do fit with your aims and aspirations for the yacht. Such prior planning will greatly increase your enjoyment of the yacht in the years to come.