WFW enhances maritime disputes practice with new hires in Dubai and London


Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) is pleased to announce that maritime disputes experts Natalie Jensen and Khalid Hamed have joined the firm in Dubai as partners. Both were previously at Ince in Dubai.

In addition, maritime disputes expert Nikki Chu has joined the firm as a Partner in London. She was previously a Managing Associate in the Marine and International Trade group at Stephenson Harwood.

Natalie has a wealth of expertise in the maritime, international trade and energy sectors, with extensive experience in both the UK and UAE markets. Having started her career at an International Group P&I Club, Natalie has invaluable experience advising on all aspects of contractual and charterparty disputes which is reflected in the commercial advice she offers clients. She advises on disputes arising out of charterparties, bills of lading, contracts of affreightment and other contracts of carriage, as well as those involving collisions and allisions. Her clients include shipowners, charterers, cargo interests, P&I clubs and insurers.
Qualified in Egypt, Khalid has over 30 years’ experience advising banks, insurance companies and manufacturing and trading companies throughout the Middle East. He is particularly well versed in insurance and re-insurance disputes His maritime insurance practice entails advising on numerous insurance coverage disputes before the UAE courts, principally for hull and machinery and marine cargo insurers.

WFW Dubai Office Head Charlotte Bijlani commented: “I am delighted to welcome Natalie and Khalid to the firm. Enhancing our maritime disputes offering is one of the firm’s key strategic goals across our global network and especially in a growing international hub such as Dubai. They are exactly the right hires at just the right time”.

Natalie added: “Khalid and I are very excited to be joining WFW. The firm’s pedigree of excellence in the maritime sector is second to none and represents a fantastic platform from which we will be better able to support our clients. We are also excited to help further build up and expand WFW’s maritime disputes practice alongside colleagues old and new”.

Nikki has over 11 years’ experience as a disputes lawyer in the maritime and international trade sectors. She specialises in dry shipping, including charterparty, bill of lading, cargo and shipbuilding disputes and advises clients on LNG shipping issues. Nikki has also advised on commercial disputes including injunctive relief and issues arising from ship finance contracts. She has worked on cases involving major incidents such as container stack collapses and fires. On the non-contentious side, she advises on the drafting and negotiation of shipping contracts (including LNG charterparties).

She has acted for a wide range of client including owners, charterers, P&I Clubs, insurers, traders, cargo interests and maritime investment companies. She adopts a practical and commercial approach to ensure that disputes are resolved efficiently. Having spent a year at an International Group P&I Club in London, she is well-experienced in dealing with FD&D and P&I matters, often with a real-time element.

London Dispute Resolution Co-Head Rob Fidoe commented: “I am delighted to welcome Nikki to WFW. Her expertise in marine disputes and LNG shipping is invaluable and contributes greatly to our growing maritime disputes practice”.

Nikki added: “I am thrilled to be joining WFW whose reputation in the maritime sector is globally renowned and WFW are experts in the LNG market. This is the perfect firm for me to service my clients and to reach out to new contacts as WFW represents many of the biggest names in the shipping industry. I am looking forward to working with old and new colleagues in London and contributing to WFW’s growing reputation in maritime disputes.”