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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Portrait of Nick Donnelly


Nick is a partner in the shipping group in the London office and a key member of our emergency response team. His clients include salvors, shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, hull and property insurers. He specialises in advising on and handling claims relating to marine casualties, collisions, salvage, towage, wreck removal, cargo damage, machinery breakdowns and general average. This includes advising on contractual matters.

Nick also has experience of criminal offences at sea matters and regulatory investigations, including Police, MCA and MAIB, following accidents, fatalities and breaches of the collision regulations. He has investigated casualties in the UK, Europe, Africa and South Asia.

Prior to becoming a solicitor, Nick worked as crew in the yachting industry and still races regularly. This insider industry knowledge well qualifies him to advise on yachting claims, including racing rule disputes, collisions, product defects, and marina and yard liabilities. Nick joined Thomas Cooper in 2006 and worked in the firm’s office in Greece between 2008 and 2009. He continues to visit Greece regularly working with owners and P&I clubs.

Recent work highlights

  • Acting for shipowners in various collision-related claims, including a collision between two vessels caused by the navigation of three vessels and a collision following two vessels dragging their anchors.
  • Obtaining anti-suit injunctions against cargo interests for pursuing claims for cargo damage in breach of the law and jurisdiction clauses in the contracts of carriage.
  • Acting for a tug owner following a crewmember fatality, including advising in connection with Police, MCA and MAIB investigations, as well as the inquest and civil claims.
  • Handling claims arising from the transfer of a tow between two tugs resulting in a propeller fouling, including issues where the Towhire knock-for-knock principles did not respond to all the alleged losses.
  • Dealing with claims arising under a charterparty and sale and purchase agreement relating to the seaworthiness of tugs on delivery. This involved complex engineering issues and the interpretation of the contracts.
  • Acting for salvors in claims relating to the refloating of an ultra-large container ship.

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 under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP