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Tugs and towing law

The team at Tatham & Co have a strong following in this specialist market.  They are acknowledged experts with a deep understanding of the industry and have a very commercial approach. 


Encompassing TugAdvise, our legal service dedicated to this market, the firm provides a ground-breaking package to operators in this industry.

The team led by Simon Tatham includes a retired Admiralty QC, who was formerly the Lloyds (LOF) Appeal Arbitrator, a Master Mariner Admiralty solicitor with command experience in offshore who worked 12 years as in-house counsel with one of the world’s largest tug and salvage companies, and Ian Perrott, a leading luminary on SUPPLYTIME.

Our legal practice is truly international. We represent harbour tug, salvage, offshore and deep-sea towage operators across the globe.

Routinely we advise on sale and purchase, TOWCON and TOWHIRE, SUPPLYTIME, UK Standard Towage Conditions and related ad-hoc or long-term service agreements. Our familiarity with the industry and technical understanding of the issues enables realistic and business-driven solutions to be found.

We have excellent relations with the leading tug and salvage brokers.

We also support our clients when their operation runs into trouble, providing the legal advice they need on a 24/7 basis.

Those problems might simply involve the recovery of disputed hire or delay payments and expenses.  In other cases, the tow wire may have broken or the tow grounded or sinking. We have also handled girdings and capsizes (involving loss of life), collisions, groundings, port of refuge detentions, salvage claims and so on. We know our way around the legal complexities of knock for knock provisions.

In the larger cases we coordinate casualty management and strategy. Our investigation team travels frequently to site taking evidence and protecting the interests of clients.

The leading P&I providers instruct us and recognise the value we can bring.

Firm with TugAvise is an associate member of the International Salvage Union, the European Tugowners Association and the British Tugowners Association


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