Cabinet d'avocat en droit maritime

Shipping Law

La mer est un espace de rigueur et de liberté.

Victor Hugo

With over twenty years of market presence we have a deep understanding of the shipping industry, the way it does business and the way it operates. Our lawyers have a great variety of expertise, which allows us to offer a full range of legal services to our clients, among whom are many of the world’s leading shipowners, charterers, builders, traders, ship managers, banks and insurers.  

Our firm benefits from a wealth of experience in relation to maritime incidents such as collisions, rescues and pollution, general contentious issues, both contractual and criminal. Our record in these matters is unrivalled. Our shipping lawyers advise on the whole range of questions arising in the shipping industry, including charterparty disputes, cargo claims as well as insurance related issues and shipbuilding contract disputes.

Our shipping transactional team works hand in hand with the litigation team, and advises on a full range of maritime projects, from construction to financing, chartering to sale and purchase, joint-ventures to ship management. We are dedicated to offering our clients a one-stop shop for all their shipping matters.

Shipbuilding contracts are complex by nature and usually involve technical and commercial constraints for both parties, over long-term projects. They are of major importance to the success of a  maritime project and should not be overlooked as they can easily put a party into a critical situation.

We have advised clients in relation to this type of contracts for years and we are therefore regularly retained by shipowners on newbuildings, repair and conversion projects for all types of vessels, from conventional commercial ships to more specialist vessels including LNG vessels, ropax ferries, platforms and pleasure vessels.  We have assisted shipyards and owners in contentious situations, and this helps us to identify the key risks faced by the parties to those contracts when negotiating a shipbuilding contract.

We regularly participate in negotiations between buyers and builders, draft and review contracts for newbuildings and associated agreements such as performance and refund guarantees, as well as financing and insurance aspects of these projects.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising Corsica Linea on the construction and purchase of a newbuilt LNG propelled ropax ferry;
  • Advising the purchaser of a 50 meter pleasure motor yacht;
  • Advising a shipyard on the construction contract and pre-delivery financing of a large cruise ship;
  • Advising a shipowner with respect to a dispute with an East European shipyard regarding the delayed delivery of a newbuilt oil tanker vessel.

Our lawyers deal with charterparties matters on a day-to-day basis, whether under French or English law, and on transactional or contentious matters. We advise our clients in the drafting and negotiations of complex charterparties or other types of charterparties (including NYPE, ShellLNG, Heavycon, Heavylift). We advise shipowners and charterers  on the risks and liabilities under these contracts, allowing them to  better manage their exposure when  negotiating the terms of vessel charter agreements.

Our team has long-standing expertise in charterparties disputes, before French or English jurisdictions and arbitration tribunals (LMAA, CAMP, ICC, LCIA, etc.). Renowned shipowners and charterers rely on our advice to guide them through the complexities of these disputes, which can have an important financial and commercial impact for the parties.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising EDF LNG Shipping on the negotiation of a long-term time charterparty for the chartering of a 174,000 cbm LNG carrier from NYK;
  • Assisting a shipowner with the wrongful termination of a time charterparty in respect of an oil tanker;
  • Advising a major industrial group in respect of the negotiation of charterparties under Heavycon terms for the transport of heavy cargos/platforms.

Financing is a key element of any shipping project. Stream advises clients in the shipping and offshore energy industries globally on all aspects of marine asset financing. Our team advises a diverse range of international clients including owners, operators and banks. Our finance lawyers work closely alongside our other teams to evaluate the whole range of risks and advise on strategies to secure financings and minimise exposure on transactions.

Our advice to clients covers the full spectrum of ship finance and leasing transactions, from straightforward bilateral bank facilities to more complex transactions such as tax leases (Crédit-bail fiscal français, JOLCOs, etc.), non-recourse facilities, equity financings and other forms of financings. We are used to dealing with cross-border transactions involving many different jurisdictions, with obligors based in multiple jurisdictions and securities governed by various laws.

We also assist our clients, whether borrowers or financiers, in default situations : we assist our clients in restructuring the loans, or when amicable solutions cannot be found, in protecting parties’ positions and if relevant enforcing relevant securities in whatever jurisdiction they may be (including vessel arrest, freezing orders, etc.).

Recent matters include:

  • Advising an investment fund in the refinancing of a loan facility covering several vessels;
  • Advising a shipowner on the financing of eight vessels in relation to a West Africa based project;
  • Assisting a French shipowner in the financing by way of French tax lease of two supply offshore vessels employed on offshore wind farms;
  • Assisting a bank in taking securities over French bank account with respect to the financing of several vessels;
  • Advising a bank on the sale of a distressed financed vessel involving various securities and on-going arrest and freezing order proceedings.

Our team has  unparalleled experience in handling casualties at sea, whether collision, groundings or other accident at seas involving ship casualties, injuries or loss of life, or pollution.

We have a strong and experienced network of ex-mariners able to attend any casualty and assist those involved to take the right decisions at the right time.

We advise on many high-profile casualties. Recent matters include:

  • Assisting owners of CSL VIRGINIA following collision with RORO ULYSSE off Corsica,
  • Representing French market cargo interests in stranding of containership KEA TRADER off Tuamotu in respect of salvage services contribution and recovery,
  • Successfully representing owners in the recovery of general average contribution implying the construction of rule of RYA,
  • Representing H&M and P&I insurers in major fire on board a passenger cruise vessel in the Falklands,
  • Representing H&M insurers following a fire on board a ROPAX in the Channel,
  • Total loss investigation following sinking of mega yacht in the Caribbean.

With over 200 international arbitrations and 100+ successful mediations over the past 15 years, our team is able to assist clients in any national or international disputes, arbitration and mediation within our core sectors, and in particular shipping.

Our clients will benefit from a tailor-made service from lawyers who know their industry inside out, always within our objectives of excellency and efficiency.

We are extremely active on maritime claims and matters brought before national jurisdictions, in France and in England , but also in foreign jurisdictions with the support of local counsel.

We have also handled numerous international arbitrations with the following institutions: International Chamber of Commerce, London Court of International Arbitration, Singapore Court of International Arbitration, London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association, Singapore Court of Maritime Arbitration, Chambre Arbitrale Maritime de Paris.

Recent matters include:

  • Successfully representing a French bulk operator in disputes against Indonesian coal miners before the SCIA and SCMA.
  • Successfully representing French shipowners in LMAA arbitrations.

Our team is led by dual qualified English solicitors/avocats and two accredited mediators

Our team of experts in employement law has a deep knowledge and experience in the shipping industry. We  are used to dealing with national and international clients on these specific aspects. We always aim at providing practical and clear advice,  and assist clients navigating the French complex employment law regime.  Our team has broad expertise in advising client on contentious and non contentious matters including conflicts between employers and employees/seafarers, French administrations, etc.

Our team has developed a specific expertise as regards seafarers’ matters, covering international contracts, MLC related matters, working time regulations, employment aspects of the sale of ships, social security matters, health and safety – more specifically serious work-related injuries, etc.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising a major luxury cruise operator within the takeover of the shipowner Paul Gauguin Croisières, specialised in cruises in French Polynesia, Fiji and the South, and its seafarers;
  • Advising an investment fund in the acquisition of the Sea Tankers fleet on maritime employment law issues;
  • Advising a major energy company on employment aspects of building and exploiting an offshore windfarm;
  • Advising a cruise operator in its change of ship manager;
  • Assisting a transport company following the severe electrocution of an employee;
  • Assisting a cross-border transport company in a contributions’ recovery of nearly 20 million euros.

Fishing activities have long been a privileged field of expertise of Stream. We can deal with all kinds of legal issues faced by fishing companies and fishermen throughout their activity. This may particularly involve:

  • Corporate and taxation issues;
  • Employment law for seamen and seafarers;
  • Administrative formalities: fishing licences, authorisations or permits; vessel registration; safety requirements; certification and classification requirements, etc.;
  • Customs and health matters relating to the import and export of fish products;
  • Commercial litigation relating to shipbuilding and ship repair issues, sales of vessels, etc.;
  • Insurance litigation for maritime casualties and incidents;
  • Administrative penalties and criminal proceedings for infringements to navigation and/or maritime safety rules, European and national catch limitations, environmental rules, etc.;
  • Liability for damage to public property; wreck removal;
  • Marine pollution;
  • Succession law.

Stream also advises its clients on business prospects and legal strategy options according to ongoing Brexit negotiations between EU and UK.

Shipbuilding

Shipbuilding contracts are complex by nature and usually involve technical and commercial constraints for both parties, over long-term projects. They are of major importance to the success of a  maritime project and should not be overlooked as they can easily put a party into a critical situation.

We have advised clients in relation to this type of contracts for years and we are therefore regularly retained by shipowners on newbuildings, repair and conversion projects for all types of vessels, from conventional commercial ships to more specialist vessels including LNG vessels, ropax ferries, platforms and pleasure vessels.  We have assisted shipyards and owners in contentious situations, and this helps us to identify the key risks faced by the parties to those contracts when negotiating a shipbuilding contract.

We regularly participate in negotiations between buyers and builders, draft and review contracts for newbuildings and associated agreements such as performance and refund guarantees, as well as financing and insurance aspects of these projects.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising Corsica Linea on the construction and purchase of a newbuilt LNG propelled ropax ferry;
  • Advising the purchaser of a 50 meter pleasure motor yacht;
  • Advising a shipyard on the construction contract and pre-delivery financing of a large cruise ship;
  • Advising a shipowner with respect to a dispute with an East European shipyard regarding the delayed delivery of a newbuilt oil tanker vessel.
Chartering

Our lawyers deal with charterparties matters on a day-to-day basis, whether under French or English law, and on transactional or contentious matters. We advise our clients in the drafting and negotiations of complex charterparties or other types of charterparties (including NYPE, ShellLNG, Heavycon, Heavylift). We advise shipowners and charterers  on the risks and liabilities under these contracts, allowing them to  better manage their exposure when  negotiating the terms of vessel charter agreements.

Our team has long-standing expertise in charterparties disputes, before French or English jurisdictions and arbitration tribunals (LMAA, CAMP, ICC, LCIA, etc.). Renowned shipowners and charterers rely on our advice to guide them through the complexities of these disputes, which can have an important financial and commercial impact for the parties.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising EDF LNG Shipping on the negotiation of a long-term time charterparty for the chartering of a 174,000 cbm LNG carrier from NYK;
  • Assisting a shipowner with the wrongful termination of a time charterparty in respect of an oil tanker;
  • Advising a major industrial group in respect of the negotiation of charterparties under Heavycon terms for the transport of heavy cargos/platforms.
Ship Finance

Financing is a key element of any shipping project. Stream advises clients in the shipping and offshore energy industries globally on all aspects of marine asset financing. Our team advises a diverse range of international clients including owners, operators and banks. Our finance lawyers work closely alongside our other teams to evaluate the whole range of risks and advise on strategies to secure financings and minimise exposure on transactions.

Our advice to clients covers the full spectrum of ship finance and leasing transactions, from straightforward bilateral bank facilities to more complex transactions such as tax leases (Crédit-bail fiscal français, JOLCOs, etc.), non-recourse facilities, equity financings and other forms of financings. We are used to dealing with cross-border transactions involving many different jurisdictions, with obligors based in multiple jurisdictions and securities governed by various laws.

We also assist our clients, whether borrowers or financiers, in default situations : we assist our clients in restructuring the loans, or when amicable solutions cannot be found, in protecting parties’ positions and if relevant enforcing relevant securities in whatever jurisdiction they may be (including vessel arrest, freezing orders, etc.).

Recent matters include:

  • Advising an investment fund in the refinancing of a loan facility covering several vessels;
  • Advising a shipowner on the financing of eight vessels in relation to a West Africa based project;
  • Assisting a French shipowner in the financing by way of French tax lease of two supply offshore vessels employed on offshore wind farms;
  • Assisting a bank in taking securities over French bank account with respect to the financing of several vessels;
  • Advising a bank on the sale of a distressed financed vessel involving various securities and on-going arrest and freezing order proceedings.
Casualty and crisis management

Our team has  unparalleled experience in handling casualties at sea, whether collision, groundings or other accident at seas involving ship casualties, injuries or loss of life, or pollution.

We have a strong and experienced network of ex-mariners able to attend any casualty and assist those involved to take the right decisions at the right time.

We advise on many high-profile casualties. Recent matters include:

  • Assisting owners of CSL VIRGINIA following collision with RORO ULYSSE off Corsica,
  • Representing French market cargo interests in stranding of containership KEA TRADER off Tuamotu in respect of salvage services contribution and recovery,
  • Successfully representing owners in the recovery of general average contribution implying the construction of rule of RYA,
  • Representing H&M and P&I insurers in major fire on board a passenger cruise vessel in the Falklands,
  • Representing H&M insurers following a fire on board a ROPAX in the Channel,
  • Total loss investigation following sinking of mega yacht in the Caribbean.
Dispute resolution

With over 200 international arbitrations and 100+ successful mediations over the past 15 years, our team is able to assist clients in any national or international disputes, arbitration and mediation within our core sectors, and in particular shipping.

Our clients will benefit from a tailor-made service from lawyers who know their industry inside out, always within our objectives of excellency and efficiency.

We are extremely active on maritime claims and matters brought before national jurisdictions, in France and in England , but also in foreign jurisdictions with the support of local counsel.

We have also handled numerous international arbitrations with the following institutions: International Chamber of Commerce, London Court of International Arbitration, Singapore Court of International Arbitration, London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association, Singapore Court of Maritime Arbitration, Chambre Arbitrale Maritime de Paris.

Recent matters include:

  • Successfully representing a French bulk operator in disputes against Indonesian coal miners before the SCIA and SCMA.
  • Successfully representing French shipowners in LMAA arbitrations.

Our team is led by dual qualified English solicitors/avocats and two accredited mediators

Employment law

Our team of experts in employement law has a deep knowledge and experience in the shipping industry. We  are used to dealing with national and international clients on these specific aspects. We always aim at providing practical and clear advice,  and assist clients navigating the French complex employment law regime.  Our team has broad expertise in advising client on contentious and non contentious matters including conflicts between employers and employees/seafarers, French administrations, etc.

Our team has developed a specific expertise as regards seafarers’ matters, covering international contracts, MLC related matters, working time regulations, employment aspects of the sale of ships, social security matters, health and safety – more specifically serious work-related injuries, etc.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising a major luxury cruise operator within the takeover of the shipowner Paul Gauguin Croisières, specialised in cruises in French Polynesia, Fiji and the South, and its seafarers;
  • Advising an investment fund in the acquisition of the Sea Tankers fleet on maritime employment law issues;
  • Advising a major energy company on employment aspects of building and exploiting an offshore windfarm;
  • Advising a cruise operator in its change of ship manager;
  • Assisting a transport company following the severe electrocution of an employee;
  • Assisting a cross-border transport company in a contributions’ recovery of nearly 20 million euros.
Fishing law

Fishing activities have long been a privileged field of expertise of Stream. We can deal with all kinds of legal issues faced by fishing companies and fishermen throughout their activity. This may particularly involve:

  • Corporate and taxation issues;
  • Employment law for seamen and seafarers;
  • Administrative formalities: fishing licences, authorisations or permits; vessel registration; safety requirements; certification and classification requirements, etc.;
  • Customs and health matters relating to the import and export of fish products;
  • Commercial litigation relating to shipbuilding and ship repair issues, sales of vessels, etc.;
  • Insurance litigation for maritime casualties and incidents;
  • Administrative penalties and criminal proceedings for infringements to navigation and/or maritime safety rules, European and national catch limitations, environmental rules, etc.;
  • Liability for damage to public property; wreck removal;
  • Marine pollution;
  • Succession law.

Stream also advises its clients on business prospects and legal strategy options according to ongoing Brexit negotiations between EU and UK.

LAWYERS

Shipping Law

All lawyers

Laurianne Ribes

Avocate au Barreau de Marseille

Partner

Marie-Nöelle Raynaud

Avocate au Barreau de Paris

Counsel

Jihène Bensassi

Avocate au Barreau de Paris

Associate

Jérôme de Sentenac

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Partner

Ingrid Bourbonnais

Avocate au Barreau de Marseille - Docteur en Droit

Associate

Frédérique Heurtel

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Associate

Fabien d’Haussy

Avocat au Barreau de Marseille

Partner

Cyrille de Salins

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Associate

Aymeric de Tapol

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Partner

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