HFW strengthens shipping practice with senior promotions


Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has strengthened its shipping practice with the promotion of Claire Womersley to Partner and Caroline Murphy and Katherine Noble to Legal Director, effective 1st April, 2020.

Ms Womersley’s practice encompasses all aspects of crisis response and ensuing “wet” litigation arising from marine casualties.  She has supported clients with large scale casualty management for a number of the firm’s high profile cases, particularly those involving mass fatalities and natural disasters. She is a Master Mariner and a core member of HFW’s Travel and Leisure Team, based on her seagoing experience, having spent nine years at sea on large passenger vessels and ro-ro freight ferries before joining HFW.

Ms Murphy deals with a wide range of dry shipping disputes, involving charterparties and bills of lading, as well as on shipbuilding disputes and the dry aspects of shipping casualties. She also acts on contractual disputes arising out of sale and purchase contracts involving oil.

Ms Noble specialises in asset finance with a particular emphasis on ship finance. She acts for financial institutions, export credit agencies and owners on shipping and offshore loans, and her work also covers yacht financing, ship sale and purchase, shipbuilding contracts, charterparties, ship registration and other commercial shipping matters. She also acts for financial institutions and insurance providers in relation to bank facilities for the provision of corporate capital at Lloyd’s and other corporate insurance matters.

The promotions continue a period of sustained growth for HFW’s global shipping practice, following its launch in Monaco with the hire of a market-leading team and the addition of two senior experts in Singapore: renowned former shipbroker Chris Jones and dry shipping expert Christopher Metcalf.

HFW was recently named by Lloyd’s List as the world’s leading shipping law firm and has been serving clients in the industry for more than 135 years.

The promotions are part of HFW’s annual promotions round, which also includes new partners and legal directors across the firm’s offices in US, Europe and Australia, and its global industry groups for aerospace, commodities, energy and resources, and insurance.

Richard Crump, Global Senior Partner, HFW, said: “We continue to expand and strengthen our business across our international network and our global industry groups, and that all starts with investment in our people. Our newest partners and legal directors have already made significant contributions to the growth and success of the firm, and I would like to congratulate them on their well-deserved promotions.”

Jeremy Shebson, Managing Partner, HFW, said: “We are lucky to have so many talented and dedicated lawyers at HFW, and I am delighted to see another group progressing to the next stage of their careers at the firm. They each have a proven track record of providing outstanding service to our clients, and embody the very best of our creative, entrepreneurial and collaborative culture. I am also very pleased to see balance between male and female promotions – gender equality is a key priority for us as a business, and we are committed to improving female representation at all levels of the firm.”