Our Services

Cargo claims

When it comes to the transportation of cargo, things aren’t always plain sailing. If the cargo is damaged, contaminated or lost during its voyage, disputes can arise and quickly transform into costly claims.

Whether you are a carrier, P&I club or insurer, gaining specialist legal advice and representation from an expert shipping lawyer is paramount in reducing the exposure of a cargo claim.

At SMA, our expert legal team has dealt with all manner of cargo claims. Through this vast experience, we have sharpened our skills in this often-complex area to take on high-value work for a growing body of international clients, including but not limited to defending arbitration or foreign forum choice changes.

How can we help?

The nature of international transport means disputes regarding the damage of cargo are often multi-jurisdictional and rarely straightforward. Cases such as these require the legal expertise of an international shipping firm – one that can advise you no matter where in Brazil the issue has occurred.

If your company is involved in the carriage of or insurance of cargo, being on the receiving end of a claim can be incredibly damaging and disruptive to operations. In these circumstances, you can count on our industry-leading team of award-winning shipping lawyers to provide the advice and representation you need to achieve swift and effective dispute resolution. We’re well-equipped to advise you on the full range of claims regarding cargo problems. Our service includes:

  • Insurance coverage and policy advice – Identification of the applicability of arbitration or foreign forum choice changes;
  • Uninsured loss recovery – Applicable allowance in accordance with the place of the claim;
  • Negligence claims – Technical assessment on causation of the contamination, damage to or loss of cargo;
  • Breach of contract claims – Checking if required formalities for a cargo claim were observed by the claimant;
  • Subrogated recoveries – Explore limitation of liability when applicable.
  • Litigation services

What to expect from SMA shipping lawyers

At SMA, we’ve been around the block enough to know that things don’t always go to plan in the transportation of goods by sea. As experienced shipping lawyers, we have dealt with practically every cargo-related misfortune and represented clients throughout the world. Nevertheless, we recognise that each claim is unique; each individual case requires tailored advice and technical expertise from a reliable and highly responsive team.

Where possible, we will always strive to achieve resolution outside of court. However, should this be unavoidable, you will have direct access to advice and representation from the main partners of the firm to give you the best chance at limiting the damage and secure a fair outcome.

As well as reactive support, we offer advice on preventative measures and risk management to lower the chances of a similar claim arising in the future.


For further information or to speak to one of our experts please contact us