Global, sector-focused law firm HFW is launching an office in Monaco with the hire of a market-leading team to be led by partners Ian Cranston, Andrew Charlier and Marco Crusafio.
The team, which will also include legal directors Ian Fisher and Ruth Monahan, associate George Kaye and trainee legal executive Laura Pike, specialise in shipping, yachts, business aviation, international trade, commodities, energy and insurance.
They will join HFW in early September 2019 from Ince, where Ian Cranston was Monaco Office Head and Andrew was Global Head of Yachts.
HFW will have added seven shipping partners and a senior consultant in the past four months, following a record internal promotions round and the recent hire of renowned former shipbroker Chris Jones in Singapore.
Paul Dean, Head of Shipping, HFW, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to welcome Ian, Andrew, Marco and the team to HFW. We’ve been interested in the Monaco market for quite some time, but we were only ever going to make a move if we could bring them on board – they’re the clear market leaders and we wouldn’t settle for anything less. These hires further enhance our ability to provide first-class advice to shipping, maritime and yachting clients in key markets around the world, and illustrates our deep and longstanding commitment to the sector.”
Jay Tooker, Partner, HFW, said: “This is a major development for our global yacht practice. It isn’t every day that you get an opportunity to bring in the number one yacht team in Monaco, the centre of yachting in Europe. Andrew has vast experience and expertise, and rightly enjoys an outstanding reputation with clients across the industry.”
The Monaco team is ranked in the top tier by legal directories The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.
Ian Cranston has been advising shipping clients for more than 30 years and is described by client testimonials in Chambers and Partners as “a genius in maritime law”. He advises clients in Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Greece and worldwide on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious dry and wet shipping issues, with particular expertise incharterparty and bill of lading disputes, carriage of goods by sea and cargo claims, ship sale and purchase and MOA disputes, and admiralty matters. Ian also has a strong international trade and commodities practice spanning oil and gas and other commodities. His clients include major shipowners, charterers, ship managers, brokers, insurers oil and gas traders, oil majors and energy contractors.
Andrew is one of the world’s leading yachting lawyers, providing full-service advice to clients across the sector, including on the sale and purchase, construction, financing, chartering and registration of large yachts. He has more than 30 years’ experience advising on transactional yacht, business aviation, and corporate and commercial matters.
Marco is an experienced litigator with a focus on shipping, international trade and commodities disputes, including those relating to the sale and purchase of ships, carriage of goods by sea, charterparties and bills of lading, ship management, trade of petroleum products and related transactions, piracy and collisions. His clients include shipowners, charterers, traders, ship managers, brokers and insurers.
Ian Fisher specialises in dry shipping disputes and issues relating to shipbuilding contracts. He also advises clients on offshore oil and gas, international trade and commodities disputes, construction disputes and insurance. Ian is highly experienced in international arbitration and has previously worked in London, Tokyo and Singapore.
Ruth has practised in Monaco since 2011 and acts for shipowners, charterers, operators, traders and insurers on a broad range of commercial disputes. She has particular expertise in issues relating to chartering and operations, and has experience of litigation, arbitration and mediation. Ruth also advises on transactions in the international trade and commodities sectors.
Ian Cranston, who will be Monaco Office Head, HFW:”We are very excited to be joining what is unquestionably the world’s top shipping, maritime and yacht practice, with an unmatched international network of top class lawyers and an enviable client base. We’ve always been impressed with HFW whenever we’ve worked together on matters, and look forward to helping the firm strengthen its position as the go-to advisor for the industry.”
The move continues a period of sustained international expansion at HFW. The firm will have completed 11 international office openings, mergers and associations since 2016, including a fully-integrated US merger and other moves in Brazil, China, Indonesia and the Middle East.
Richard Crump, Global Senior Partner, HFW, said: “Monaco has always had a strategic interest for us because of its strong trading, shipping and yachts business, which are core parts of our practice globally. The arrival of this excellent team will continue the significant international development of HFW. We have changed beyond all recognition as a firm over the past four years, thanks to the support of our clients, and will now have 20 offices across five continents. We have ambitious plans to continue that growth and will actively pursue strategic opportunities across our core sectors, services and geographies.”