Marine Law

Bartons’ marine department has developed a reputation as a niche practice meeting the diverse needs of the industry.

Our clients range from UK and international marine insurers, P & I clubs, ship owners and operators to yacht clubs, local ports and harbours, marine related businesses and the fishing industry.

For contentious issues, we are fully committed to helping you resolve your dispute/claim using Alternative Dispute Resolution and mediation as preferred methods.  We can advise on defence claims, marine insurance disputes, surveyors’ negligence and salvage claims. We are experienced in dealing in international law.

For non-contentious issues we can provide a complete package of marine services, including advice on ship and yacht sale, purchase and registration, marine finance and mortgages, shipbuilding and crew issues.  For commercial marine matters, we can assist with the acquisition or sale of Marinas and their operating businesses, the sale or purchase of other marine businesses either by assets or shares, the grant and assignment of leases and underleases, the renewal of leases and deeds of novation.

We can provide quick advice in relation to ship arrest and detention, shipping casualties, collisions, personal injury and fatal accidents.

We have close links with marine insurers and the shipping industry and play an active role in the British Marine Federation.

Our marine advocacy department deals with the defence of criminal acts, including prosecutions brought by the MCA and MMO, and prosecutions for fisheries offences.

Lee Hassall of Bartons is viewed as one of the pre-eminent personal injury and yacht lawyers outside of London. Sources say he is “sensible, thoughtful and easy to deal with”.

Jo Pummery is cited as a ‘leading individual’ in the Legal 500 2021. In 2018, Bartons’ marine department were awarded the prestigious Firm of the Year (Regional) in transport by the Legal 500. The award citation states “Bartons is praised not only for its excellence in law, but for its impressive knowledge of the practicalities of the area”.

In September 2019 the department were pleased to welcome back barrister Alistair Tawse, who has expertise in personal injury and fatality claims, as well as experience in handling a breadth of marine insurance matters, including collision claims, shipping casualties and salvage, contractual disputes and professional negligence.

Chambers Guide 2019 listed Bartons as a recognised practitioner and Jo Pummery as a Band 5 lawyer: ‘Joanne Pummery serves as head of Bartons’ shipping department and offers expertise in a variety of marine matters, including passenger personal injury, salvage and negligence claims.  Her clients describe her as a “personable, practical and sensible” lawyer.’  Lee Hassall was a Band 5 lawyer: ‘He is a skilled mediator and continues to offer clients a wealth of experience in marine-related matters, with an emphasis on total loss claims’.

The department were awarded the Devon and Somerset Law Society Client Services Award in 2017 and were delighted to be recognised nationally by The Law Society in the Excellence in Client Service category at the prestigious Excellence Awards ceremony, which took place in October 2019.  The award citation states: “Bartons is praised not only for its excellence in law but for its impressive knowledge of the practicalities of the area”.

In 2020 the department won another national award; the Customer Focus category of the Lexis Nexis Legal Awards 2020.

The team are pleased that their commitment to client service has been recognised and they look forward to assisting you with your marine related enquires.

Marine Law Services

Get in touch…

Contact our Marine Law Team

Lee Hassall

Jo Pummery

Alistair Tawse

Mihaela Hyett

Legal 500 2018 cites Bartons as ‘one of the best in the region’.  All solicitors in the team are qualified as RYA accredited Day Skippers.  ‘True specialist’ Lee Hassall is managing director.  Jo Pummery heads the team and is ‘one of the best known lawyers in the field, enormously experienced and technically savvy’.   The firm ‘punches above its weight’, has ‘very few comparables’ and is ‘very prompt in responding to complex enquiries’.

Chambers 2019 cites Bartons as a Recognised Practitioner: Managing director Lee Hassall ‘is a skilled mediator’ and head of the marine team Jo Pummery ‘offers expertise in a variety of marine matters’, being described as a ‘personable, practical and sensible’ lawyer.

“I would like to put on record my gratitude for the professional manner in which you have dealt with this matter and brought it to a successful and speedy conclusion” – Mr K of Totnes

  • Shipping Casualties
  • Personal Injury & Fatal Accident Claims
  • Defence Claims
  • Marine Insurance Disputes
  • Collisions (including yacht racing)
  • Ship Arrest & Detention
  • Pollution
  • Salvage
  • Ship Sale/Purchase/Registration from yachts to fishing vessels
  • Ship Building & Repair
  • Marine Finance/Mortgages
  • Surveyors’ Negligence

  • PACE Interviews
  • Dockyard Health & Safety
  • Health & Safety Advice aboard Superyachts
  • Superyacht Crisis Management
  • Prosecutions/Defence: MCA, MMO, IFCA, EA or HSE
  • Marine Safety
  • Coroners’ Inquests
  • RYA Disciplinary Boards
  • Representation - MAIB Investigations under Caution
  • Fisheries/Quotas Advice