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With decades of experience at major City firms and practical, hands-on knowledge gained as Master Mariners, in the Royal Marines, in operations, ship surveying and in naval architecture, Tatham Macinnes lawyers have what it takes to understand your business inside out – legally, operationally and technically.

Stephen Askins


Stephen Askins who left the Royal Marines in 1990, joined Tatham Macinnes in April 2015 after twenty five years at Ince & Co during which time he spent ten years in Piraeus.

Stephen was listed in the Lloyd’s List Top 10 Law Personalities in the past three years which lists the most influential people in shipping.

“He has carved out a niche in the field of piracy and marine terrorism, with sources saying he is “the go-to guy for tricky situations involving hostages and hijacks.”

Sources highlight his experience and say he is “very savvy about guiding clients on risk-reward.”

Chambers and Partners 2015

‘Interviewees praise him as a confident and aggressive advocate who often advises on wet and piracy matters.’

Chambers and Partners UK 2014

“Stephen Askins is recognised for his knowledge of piracy matters and has advised extensively on the use of armed security.”

Chambers and Partners 2013

Stephen’s primary area of expertise and experience is wet and dry shipping acting for owners and their insurers in the aftermath of maritime incidents including salvage, wreck removal, collisions and piracy. He advises on all areas of Admiralty law as well as on contractual issues arising out of charterparties and bills of lading. He acted for the owners of the Voutakos, a LOF salvage case which went to the High Court and considered the controversial issues arising out of rescue tow cases and the “disparity principle”.

In recent years he has become recognised as one of the leading experts advising on piracy, maritime terrorism and the use of armed guards. He advises on the legal and practical issues that arise for clients operating in complex environments including Libya, Crimea, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea. He has handled many hijackings and kidnappings on both east and west Africa working with owners and their Crisis Management Teams.

He was part of the GUARDCON drafting committee and appeared in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee looking into piracy off Somalia. He was also part of the Industry Advisory Panel working with the International Task Force set up to debate the legality and payment of ransoms.

More recently he has been advising on the issues arising out of trading to areas affected by Ebola working with insurers and owners to develop specific charterparty clauses to cover this.

Stephen has developed a strong following in crisis management in both the marine and non-marine sectors providing training, guidance and advice. His past military training combines well with a strong commercial and legal understanding of contractual and liability issues. He regularly lectures on this and general crisis management and speaks and writes extensively on the legal issues arising from piracy and hijackings.


James Hickland


James Hickland is a shipping, trade/commodities and aviation lawyer, advising on and negotiating contracts and resolving disputes in these industries.

James acts as trusted advisor to a number of close shipowners, charterers, traders and insurers on claims and non-contentious contract issues.

Prior to joining Tatham Macinnes he spent 11 years at another leading firm in his practice areas, rising from trainee to partner.

James has huge experience of London arbitration and High Court litigation. His trademark is responsive, creative and cost effective pursuit of litigation / arbitration, and securing results that beat the odds. He has brought several long running “heavyweight” cases to successful judgment, award or settlement in recent years, and is known for cutting to the heart of the issues in smaller disputes to drive them to efficient conclusions.

James’s work includes the following:

Shipping: Charter and contract of affreightment negotiation and disputes, bill of lading disputes, shipbuilding contract negotiation and disputes, cargo claims, dock damage and unsafe port claims, fire cases, sale and purchase disputes, guarantee issues;

Commodities / International Trade: Sale contract negotiation and disputes, letter of credit issues, GAFTA and FOSFA arbitrations;

Aviation: Airline total losses, ground damage claims, product liability, lease return disputes, cargo claims, insurance coverage disputes.

Alex Macinnes


Alex Macinnes is a solicitor and the Managing Partner of Tatham Macinnes.

Formerly of Ince & Co and Holman Fenwick Willan, with a degree in naval architecture and offshore engineering from University College London and a law degree from Southampton University, he combines practical and legal experience.

As a naval architect, he trained as a ship surveyor with Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, carrying out ship inspections, shipyard new-building surveys and ship plan approvals. He also has first hand experience of building ships in Far Eastern yards.

Alex specialises in shipping law and marine insurance-related matters and is adept in dealing with technically complex shipping and offshore disputes.

He regularly lectures on marine law and marine insurance.

His specialities include:

  • Marine casualty cases, including collisions, groundings, wreck-removal, stability/total loss, pollution, piracy and fires
  • Technically complex dry matters, including claims relating to engine and machinery damage, steering-gear, shaft and sternseal failures, container stack collapses and corrosion-induced failures
  • New-building and repair disputes concerning vessel types including drilling ships, FPSOs and semi-submersibles
  • Marine insurance
  • Sale and purchase.

Simon Tatham


Simon Tatham is one of the UK’s leading Admiralty solicitors, and is Senior Partner of Tatham Macinnes.

For 35 years, and as a partner from 1989, he has worked in the City of London, as well as in Hong Kong, advising an international clientele on issues ranging from routine contractual questions to the coordination of major shipping casualties. He is an active mediator and adept at bringing about a commercial solution.

Plaudits from clients include:

“Even if an accident like this is very much undesired, it is a true pleasure to be supported by such dedicated competence, available when needed, during the entire process.”

“Your skillful handling of Members’ expectations and a notoriously difficult opponent led to a realistic solution and is much appreciated by the Club. Look forward to working with you again soon.”

His varied workload covers matters such as:

  • Casualty investigation and case coordination
  • Collisions, groundings and fires
  • Wreck removal
  • Heavy-lift capsizes and incidents
  • Salvage – for salvors, owners or charterers
  • Towage and Supplytime contract issues
  • Unsafe port disputes
  • General Average incidents
  • Charterers’ liability
  • Marine insurance coverage
  • Knock-for-knock clause disputes
  • Limitation of liability
  • Cross-border litigation and forum shopping
  • Ship arrests and attachments

Cameron Shepherd


Cameron Shepherd is a dual qualified English and Australian solicitor, who joined Tatham Macinnes in November 2017 after spending six years with a leading shipping and aviation practice in Sydney, Australia.

Cameron’s previous experience includes:

Dry Shipping:

  • Acting in numerous cargo damage claims (both on claimant and defendant side)
  • Disputes over delivery of goods without presentation of bills of lading
  • Experience of acting in vessel arrests
  • Advising charterers on liability to owners for damage sustained during carriage of dangerous cargoes

Wet Shipping:

  • Advising P&I Club on relying on “pay to be paid” rule to avoid payment of claim brought in a direct action against the Club
  • Advising insurers on owner’s liability to pay salvage reward after recovery of vessel and quantum of reward
  • Acting on behalf of P&I Club and its member in respect of liability and damages issues resulting from barge’s anchor becoming snagged on submarine cables.


  • Advising airlines and insurers regarding passenger claims
  • Disputes between airlines and ground handlers in respect of standard ground handling agreements


Sora Jeon


Before joining the firm in 2013, Sora worked in the legal department of one of the largest shipping companies in Athens. Sora qualified as a solicitor at Tatham Macinnes in March 2016.

Sora’s education and work history spans four countries: Korea, Greece, the USA and the UK, and she is trilingual.

Sora’s achievements include:

  • Admission to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York
  • LLM in International Commercial Law

Fluency in:

  • Korean
  • Greek
  • English

Sora is Tatham Macinnes’ representative on the Junior Admiralty Solicitors Group, and Vice-chair of Lloyd’s Marine U35s Committee.

Tobias Alexander


Tobias joined Tatham Macinnes in November 2015 after completing a masters of law degree in maritime law at the University of Southampton. Prior to reading at Southampton, Tobias practised as a solicitor for two years in Melbourne, Australia.

Tobias’ work includes:

  • Resolving commercial shipping disputes including LMAA and High Court litigation
  • Assisting owners, insurers and salvors following casualties including LOF arbitration
  • Advising on hull and war risks insurance coverage
  • Advising on international law of the sea and maritime archaeology/underwater cultural heritage issues

Tobias’ achievements include:

  • Conjoint history and laws degree from the University of Auckland (2010)
  • Qualified solicitor in New Zealand, Australia and England/Wales
  • LLM (maritime) with distinction from the University of Southampton (2014)
  • Working in-house with a leading shipping logistics provider
Tobias's Recent Knowledge

Lydia Makariades

Trainee Solicitor

Lydia is Greek-Canadian, educated in Athens, Montreal and London. Prior to joining Tatham Macinnes, Lydia obtained a History and Art History degree from McGill University (Montreal). She later went on to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law and the LPC at The University of Law (London) before joining the firm in February 2016. Lydia assists the partners with shipping and aviation litigation and arbitration matters.

Tracey Sellors

Trainee Solicitor

Tracey joined Tatham Macinnes in 2017 after completing a Masters of Maritime Law at Southampton University.  She originally studied law at Nottingham before spending 13 years living in the expatriate shipping community in South Africa, South Korea and PRC China. Tracey is the Godmother of the Seaspan Vancouver.

Isobel Barling

Trainee Solicitor

Isobel Barling joined Tatham Macinnes in June 2017. As an undergraduate she read Classics at Oxford University, after which she completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course with distinction at BPP University in London. Before joining Tatham Macinnes she spent ten months as a PSL Paralegal at Slaughter & May. Isobel assists the partners with shipping and aviation cases.

Adrian Hand


Adrian Hand


Adrian began his career in what is today known as The Salvage Arbitration Branch at the Corporation of Lloyd’s. Primarily involved in the administration of Lloyd’s Form of Salvage Agreement, collecting salvage security, appointment of arbitrators, and publication and collection of awards.

He moved to the legal profession, working initially at Elborne Mitchell and then for thirty years at Shaw and Croft, where he was Senior Marine Manager, followed by five years at Waltons & Morse before joining Tatham Macinnes in 2016.

Adrian specialises in all aspects of marine salvage, having represented many major members of the International Salvage Union, as well as shipowners, and more recently, cargo interests.

Case experience includes:

  • Salvage (under contract or at common law)
  • Collision
  • Wreck removal on BIMCO terms
  • General Average
  • Unseaworthiness disputes

Nicholas Phillips

Solicitor Consultant

Nicholas Phillips

Solicitor Consultant

Nicholas has in excess of 30 years’ experience in the maritime sector and has acquired a wide knowledge of most aspects of ship and superyacht construction and their ownership and employment. He also acts for a core client base of shipyards and ship/yacht owners, charterers and insurers, many of which are based in Russia and Eastern Europe.

He also advises businesses in the energy sector and is a renowned commercial dispute resolution lawyer in the maritime industry. He is recognised as such by Legal 500, for many years, as being “highly recommended”.

Nicholas is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.

Case experience includes:

  • Marine
  • Trade
  • Energy
  • Marine insurance and reinsurance
  • Ship and superyacht sale and purchase
  • Ship and superyacht construction and repair
  • Charterparties
  • Bills of lading
  • Litigation
  • Arbitration

John Reeder QC


John Reeder QC is a leading counsel, editor of the 5th edition of Brice on Salvage and he is a former Lloyd’s Salvage Arbitrator and Appeal Arbitrator. He is also co-editor of the current edition of Lowndes & Rudolf on General Average and consultant editor of Halsbury’s Laws of England, Shipping and Maritime Law. John is the UK government appointed expert on navigation issues and dumping in the context of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He is an expert in treasure salvage law.

John is a litigation barrister with many years of advocacy and strategic case handling.

He is recognised for his technical knowledge and grasp of the practical aspects of shipping and maritime law, gained largely through his experience as the Lloyd’s Appeal Arbitrator and of public enquiries, including the Penlee Lifeboat, the Herald of Free Enterprise and the Marchioness incidents. Legal 500 has described him as “highly rated” and “phenomenally talented.”

John drafts pleadings, provides specialist counsel’s opinion on complex matters and is a core team member in both wet and dry cases.

Martin Watson

Master Mariner Solicitor Consultant

Martin Watson

Master Mariner Solicitor Consultant

Martin Watson is a Master Mariner and was formerly a partner and Head of London Marine at the specialist insurance law firm Kennedys.

Martin brings to the firm not only his considerable technical expertise and ship command experience, but also his specialist knowledge gained over 20 years in the marine insurance market handling policy coverage disputes.

He is also an experienced case investigator. He attends on board ships to take evidence from crew members typically in collision, grounding, salvage and total loss cases and to ensure the clients’ interests are protected in the aftermath of an incident.

Martin spent 16 years at sea sailing on cargo, reefer and container vessels, VLCCs and product tankers, including in command, and brings that experience to bear in navigational or ship handling as well as cargo handling cases.

Keith Harper

Master Mariner Solicitor Consultant

Keith Harper

Master Mariner Solicitor Consultant

Keith Harper graduated from Cardiff University; holds a British Foreign Going Master’s certificate; and is qualified as an English lawyer.

During more than 40 years in the Shipping Industry he has served at sea on a wide variety of vessels with P&O and the Swire Group (with whom he had command experience on several offshore vessels).  Keith then worked in private practice for Watson Farley and Thomas Cooper as a shipping lawyer in London.

From the year 2000 he was an in-house lawyer for Wijsmuller, then A. P. Moller – Maersk’s towage and salvage division, SVITZER, then Ardent.  He was based with SVITZER in the UK, Denmark and The Netherlands; where he also worked for Smit Lamnalco before returning to the UK in 2016.

He was the Director of Group Legal Affairs for SvitzerWijsmuller A/S in Copenhagen and on the Supervisory Board of SVITZER Salvage BV.  He has lectured to the Copenhagen Business School MBA in Shipping and Logistics; was a speaker at the WISTA conference in London at IMO, BIMCAT Bahamas and the Dublin Marine Claims Conference.

Keith has been involved in shipbuilding, sale and purchase and charterparty disputes and his areas of expertise are in tendering, salvage and towage.

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