As an international business with hundreds of transactions taking place on a daily basis, the maritime industry needs a mountain of the legal paperwork and support to ensure that the buyer, seller, owner or charterer gets what they asked for, when they asked for it at the agreed terms and price. Here, the support of a Lawyer, or legal practitioner, is indispensable.
A lawyer is a person certified to give legal advice and whose training enables him or her to draw up legally-binding paperwork, such as contracts. Often lawyers will specialise in maritime law, as getting to grips with the national, regional and international legislation relevant to the maritime industry is a full-time job in itself. Maritime lawyers will also represent clients in law courts and in other forms of dispute resolution, such as arbitration.
Activities a lawyer might be expected to perform include leasing transactions, marine incident litigation or arbitration, sales and purchases of ships, negotiating charter parties and cargo claims. They will also be able to offer expert advice, based in part on the outcome of past legal cases, covering topics from competition issues to employment rights and from tax to regulatory matters.