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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Portrait of Chris Ward
Areas of expertise: Marine, trade and energy


Chris is a knowledge lawyer supporting the marine, trade and energy team, where his responsibilities include organising training for fee earners and drafting and maintaining the department’s precedent documentation. He specialises in the shipping and insurance sectors. Chris has experience across a broad range of charter party and bill of lading disputes, and maritime incidents. He has frequently advised on matters of disputed hire and demurrage, stevedore damage, force majeure, cargo damage and shortage, speed and performance, collisions, and groundings.

His notable instructions have involved a piratical cargo theft, a bill of lading fraud, the termination of a pool agreement involving an extensive bunker consumption reporting fraud, a series of container floods and fires, and toppled container stacks. Chris has seen cases through arbitration, and English and foreign proceedings. His areas of particular expertise include liquid cargo claims, unsafe ports, and the developing field of electronic bills of lading.

Chris joined Penningtons Manches Cooper in 2022 having spent twelve years in other maritime litigation roles. He has worked with another leading UK shipping law firm and in-house with both an International Group P&I club and a commercial marine insurer. Chris regularly lectures and writes for the legal press.

Recent work highlights

  • A series of instructions involving Covid-19-related charter party delays and crew fatalities.
  • Advising on the termination of several charter parties following the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.
  • A USD 20 million business interruption claim arising out of a contact incident between a vessel and Mississippi grain terminal.

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