Stephen left the Royal Marines in 1990, and prior to helping to found Tatham & Co, he has spent over thirty years working in the maritime sector including twenty five years at Ince & Co during which time he spent ten years in Piraeus.
Stephen was listed in the Lloyd’s List Top 10 Law Personalities in the past few years which lists the most influential people in shipping including in 2017 which was in recognition of his work in helping to release the Chennai 6 which was the group of maritime security wrongfully convicted in Mumbai. He was described as “ …an unsung hero, often securing the release of seafarers held hostage by Somali pirates.”
He is recognised as having particular expertise in dealing with issues arising out of piracy, war and terrorism
“He has carved out a niche in the field of piracy and marine terrorism, with sources saying he is “the go-to guy for tricky situations involving hostages and hijacks.”
Sources highlight his experience and say he is “very savvy about guiding clients on risk-reward.”Chambers and Partners 2015
‘Interviewees praise him as a confident and aggressive advocate who often advises on wet and piracy matters.’ambers and Partners UK 2014
“Stephen Askins is recognised for his knowledge of piracy matters and has advised extensively on the use of armed security.”Chambers and Partners 2013
Stephen’s primary area of expertise and experience is in complex environments as well as wet and dry shipping, acting for owners and their insurers in the aftermath of maritime incidents including salvage, wreck removal, collisions and piracy.
That has recently involved dealing with vessels captured and seized off Yemen by the Saudi Coalition Forces as well as in other capricious jurisdictions such as Venezuela, Algeria and Libya. In recent years he has become recognised as one of the leading experts advising on piracy particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, maritime terrorism and the use of armed guards. He has handled many hijackings and kidnappings on both east and west Africa working with owners and their Crisis Management Teams.
He was part of the GUARDCON drafting committee and appeared in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee looking into piracy off Somalia. He was also part of the Industry Advisory Panel working with the International Task Force set up to debate the legality and payment of ransoms.
Stephen has developed a strong following in crisis management in both the marine and non-marine sectors providing training, guidance and advice. His past military training combines well with a strong commercial and legal understanding of contractual and liability issues. He regularly lectures on this and general crisis management and speaks and writes extensively on the legal issues arising from piracy and hijackings.
- “Best Management Practice” – The English High Court Considers obligations on a Master
- Coronavirus – Issues and effects in relation to laytime and demurrage
- Nigerian Piracy – Have we reached a tipping point?
- Iran undertakes not to let Grace 1 cargo be delivered to EU Sanctioned entity
- Could BMP 5 and the use of a citadel have prevented the capture of the Stena Impero?
- Grace 1 – Gibraltar passes new law to seize ship and exposes “British” tankers to reciprocal action by Iran