Passenger shipping

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper are consummate professionals and can be counted on when difficult situations arise.

Counsel, international cruise line

Penningtons Manches Cooper's specialist team of passenger shipping lawyers offers genuine sector expertise from our network of offices in key jurisdictions around the world. Our multi-disciplinary practice provides a 24/7 service to cruise lines, ferry operators and their insurers on the full range of commercial issues and disputes.

With many years of experience at the forefront of this rapidly evolving market, we are able to deliver an unrivalled service to clients. Our lawyers, some of whom have previously worked in-house, fully understand the organisations we support, putting forward practical legal solutions to the wide-ranging challenges that they face. A combination of strong technical skills and deep sector knowledge enables us to supply comprehensive legal guidance and to appreciate the importance of brand and reputation in this dynamic field.

Lawyers in all of our international offices advise on incident investigation, regulatory compliance, personal injury and fatality claims. We frequently help our clients navigate the international regulatory regime relevant to passenger shipping including advising on the operation of the Athens Convention and the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations.

We also assist clients on their commercial and passenger contracts. Our specialists are engaged by businesses in the passenger shipping sector to offer expertise on their ship finance and leasing requirements as well as on sale and purchase, new-buildings, refit contracts and charterparties.

Marine employment law, including the Maritime Labour Convention, is another area in which we demonstrate a strong track record. Our team has been involved in leading English cases relating to employment at sea and we have particular experience of advising clients on trade union recognition. We are also respected for our ability to negotiate the right outcome for clients facing reputation and crisis management issues.

In the UK, our passenger shipping lawyers regularly act on criminal matters including breaches of health and safety regulations and allegations of crime at sea. We have significant knowledge of investigations by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and can handle any subsequent prosecutions.

Our integrated team places great emphasis on working closely together and includes both English and locally qualified lawyers in each overseas office. We are able to visit clients and their vessels at short notice, instruct local experts and carry out investigations in local jurisdictions to ensure they receive prompt and efficient support that fully serves their needs.

We offer expert advice on:

  • The Athens Convention and the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations
  • marine accidents and casualty response
  • new-build and refit contracts
  • ship finance
  • passenger tickets and terms and conditions of carriage
  • passenger disputes and commercial disputes
  • personal injury and fatality claims
  • coroners’ inquests
  • alleged breaches of health and safety and environmental legislation
  • investigations by local authorities
  • commercial contracts
  • employment contracts, the Maritime Labour Convention and trade union issues

Recent work highlights

Regulatory guidance on cruise ship travel

Advising a number of major international cruise lines in respect of their obligations under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations following the coronavirus outbreak.


In-depth employment law expertise

Assisting cruise and ferry operators on employment law issues concerning their crew including issues relating to trade union recognition and restructuring.


Multi-faceted passenger claims advice

Successfully acting for numerous passenger ship operators and international cruise brands on claims by passengers following accidents and outbreaks of illness as well as under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP