Shipbuilding and repair

The shipping team is excellent. Their lawyers combine a strong foundation in the law with legal creativity, and a high level of commercial acumen.

The Legal 500

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The fortunes of shipbuilding hubs around the world ebb and flow, with a number of nations, including the UK, seeking to revitalise their shipbuilding industries, but there is always a demand for specialist legal advice on shipbuilding and repair contracts. Penningtons Manches Cooper offers a global team of maritime lawyers with the expertise and experience to assist on the most complex and challenging initiatives.

As an international commercial law firm, we have been involved in multiple projects for tankers, bulkers, cruise ships, rigs (jack-ups and floaters), floatels, FSOs, fish farms and OSVs/PSVs and advise a wide cross-section of shipowners and shipyards on shipbuilding and repair contracts. Our dedicated team regularly negotiates contracts and deals with shipbuilding and repair disputes across a broad range of industries - from the offshore oil and gas and renewable energy industries to the tug and cruise ship sectors.

We work on build projects in shipyards worldwide. In China, lawyers from our London and Singapore offices have recently been involved in shipbuilding projects in yards operated or controlled by the two major Chinese builders, China State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, including yards in Taizhou (Jingjiang), Nantong, Zhoushan, Shanghai, Qingdao and Qinhuangdao.

In Korea, we have experience with building projects for the three leading Korean builders, Hyundai-Samho Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, as well as Daehan Shipbuilding (Hae-Nam Shipyard) and Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction.

Through our Spanish office, we have a strong presence in Europe, particularly in the Spanish shipbuilding and repair market, covering both Spanish and English law contracts.

Our maritime lawyers also have a good reputation for advising clients participating in the Spanish tax lease scheme. Their remit not only covers standard forms such as NEWBUILDCON, SAJ, NSF and AWES but also bespoke contract negotiations including financing and security contracts, bank guarantees, mortgages, subcontracts and supply contracts. We can provide contractual assistance during construction together with the required expertise for drafting and reviewing all delivery and registration documentation.

Where necessary, our maritime contracts lawyers assist with disputes in court and in arbitrations relating to shipbuilding, ship conversion, offshore platforms and FPSOs. We advise on contractual and technical disputes, disputed cancellations, financing disputes, claims under guarantees, insurance, delay and force majeure claims.

In Paris, where our team handles all aspects of maritime law, we are well-known for our handling of contentious matters relating to French shipyards. Our litigation specialists regularly appear before the French courts on behalf of yards, architects and consultant engineers involved in a broad spectrum of shipbuilding and yacht building disputes.

We offer expert advice on:

  • refund guarantees and payment guarantees
  • performance guarantees and bonds
  • ship mortgages
  • brokerage contracts
  • advice to subcontractors (engineering, supply of works and services, equipment supply contracts)
  • shipyard restructuring
  • refurbishment contracts
  • technical supervision agreements
  • builders’ insurance
  • ship repair liability insurance
  • warranty issues
  • grants and ECA backed build projects

Recent work highlights

Chinese semi-submersible contract

Drafting a US$50 million contract for a newbuild of an innovative semi-submersible vessel at the Chinese Institution of Marine & Offshore Engineering’s yard at Qingdao in China.


Five vessels for fishing company

Advising on contracts worth more than €250 million for a series of five vessels contracted by a Spanish shipyard for a fishing company in Northern Europe.


Cruise operator newbuild contract

Developing a €270 million contract for a cruise operator for a newbuild in a European yard which included sister vessel options.

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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