Shipping law claims regarding casualties are complex and highly sensitive by nature. For this reason, they demand technical expertise from specialist maritime lawyers capable of providing full-service case management and advising on all types of casualty investigation.
Internationally renowned for our skill in this sector and our unparalleled client service, SMA is best-placed to provide robust legal support in casualty response and investigation for vessel owners, charterers, cargo interests and their insurers based on numerous previous large casualties the team has already worked including a pollution case where SMA has handled with more than 11,000 claims at once.
How can we help?
Boasting a well-seasoned team of world-leading shipping lawyers, SMA is the firm to go for high-profile international clients and local organisations alike in relation to maritime casualties caused by vessel collisions, groundings, fires, explosions and pollutions.
Unlike other firms in this sector, the founding partner Leven Siano used to be a mariner and the team also works with Master mariners on board which makes it easier to deal with the crew of the vessel involved.
Our shipping law experts work with a vast range of clients within the maritime and offshore industries: ship owners, shipyards, P&I clubs, traders, oil majors and offshore contractors to name a few. In the face of a major maritime catastrophe, we can offer our expertise across the entire breadth of shipping law. Our expertise includes but is not limited to:
- Personal injury
- Wash damage
- Fatal injury
- Product liability – collisions between vessels and between vessel and jetty or other fixed structures
- Fire and explosions
- Unsafe Port
- Recreational and commercial vessel collisions
- Maritime commercial disputes
- Cargo damage claims
- Marine insurance coverage disputes
- Admiralty and maritime litigation
What to expect from our shipping lawyers
SMA is an innovative firm dedicated in delivering dynamic legal services in Maritime law. Our technology-led infrastructure allows us to have a global mindset, but it’s the personalised service we provide that has garnered us a reputation on an international scale.
The expertise of SMA is well recognised in a way that the founding partner Leven Siano was invited to lecture at the University of Southampton Maritime Law Summer Course about how to deal with collisions in South America and 12 steps to deal with casualties.
No matter the urgency or complexity of the case, we are committed in working closely with you to understand your unique situation and determine the best course of action. Whether you’re on the receiving end of an admiralty claim regarding a maritime casualty or are looking for a shipping lawyer to provide proactive support in mitigating risks, you can guarantee direct contact with the main partners of our firm throughout your case.
Our Casualty Response Team supports clients in crisis situations; we ensure prompt legal assistance is available as early as possible to prepare staff to deal with respective authorities and ensure mistakes aren’t made in the crucial collection of evidence including but not limited to interviewing the Master and the crew to collect evidence on board, analysing the ship’s documents and useful information, including the one contained in the VDR, identifying the pertinent parties and define a communication channel with the authorities, exercising the “crowd control” and the access to the ship, identifying the claimants and the real exposure of the case, tracing strategies to minimize damages and advise on the duty to mitigate – all while keep the costs controlled and a handle on the media.
Our experience in maritime casualties
Since its inception, SMA has dealt with almost every kind of shipping casualty and major maritime accident, including a severe oil spill from a ship in South of Brazil in 2004 that attracted over 11,000 complains, 6,000 law suits and required us to coordinate a team of 838 professionals and scientists. For catastrophes of this scale, our office has an emergency response service that consists of permanent staff and pre-selected local lawyers and correspondents in order to ensure the best cost-benefit ratio in responding immediately to emergencies.