Business law as a general topic can be confusing to those of us not gifted with a legal mind, but law becomes all the more challenging when it is applied to specialist industries, such as shipping. And with increasing regulatory and financial demands on companies or individuals involved in shipping, the legal consequences of getting something wrong can be huge. Add to this the rising costs of ships, and the need for a Maritime Lawyer becomes clear.
The knowledge and expertise that such a specialist brings to any finance deal in the industry cannot be overstated. Those looking to invest in ships or shipping infrastructure today must look at innovative financing techniques and have knowledge of the benefits of different fiscal regimes, looking at which incentives are best suited to the purchase or sale – all areas that the maritime lawyer will be able to assist with.
In terms of the workload, these specialist lawyers might find themselves drafting legal agreements for the sale and distribution of ships, and/or commercial ship finance, including drafting/negotiating mortgages and loan agreements and handling vessel and mortgage registration. A law degree is usually required, although many firms will consider applicants with law conversions with industry experience.