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Cargo and goods in transit

The loss, damage or theft of cargo in the course of carriage impacts everyone involved in the logistics chain, including carriers, intermediaries and agents.

With an in-depth understanding of multiple party arrangements, cross border carriage, and the overlapping of different liability regimes, by way of convention, statute or standard conditions of contract, at Weightmans we have extensive experience in dealing with the complex contractual arrangements involved in such incidents, whether at home or overseas.

Examples of situations requiring urgency and complexity regularly handled by the team (but by no means restricted to) include: 

  •  Consideration of demands to provide general average or salvage security
  •  Investigation at loss incidents to enable informed views (e.g. on policy coverage, or rights of limitation)
  • Quick decision as to jurisdictional advantage
  • The obtaining of statements from appropriate witnesses
  • Preservation of evidence, and appointment of surveyors/experts in relation to enhancing prospects of third party recovery.

Indeed, from the first call our experienced team can help you with the tactical decisions needed to maximise the likelihood of a successful outcome. And at every step we will provide you with both control and certainty; be that by:

  • Taking urgent legal action (e.g. vessel arrest proceedings)
  • Drafting and negotiating security arrangements 
  • Reviewing carriage documentation and advising on carrier liability or coverage matters
  • Best use of time by way of commencement of court or arbitration proceedings
  • Obtaining foreign law advice via our network of worldwide Marine & Goods transit legal correspondents
  • Providing over the phone or written advice with regards to issues arising under the myriad of conventions and statutes which may be applicable to any cargo claim (Hague Visby Rules, Hamburg Rules, Merchant Shipping Act, CMR Convention – as well as standard trading terms such as RHA,  BIFA , UKWA or non standard terms).

Above all, you will benefit from our team's clear thinking and practical commercial advice in an often complex and fast moving area.

Our Marine team is contactable 24/7 for urgent advice and assistance following any maritime incident.

They have a very broad knowledge of all issues relating to Port Authority and vessel operations, as well as stevedoring issues.


Their particular strength is in contracts for carriage and bills of lading matters.

Chambers & Partners 2016

Weightmans LLP's team has 'strong business acumen and industry knowledge'. Department head Phil James has 'excellent working knowledge of legislation'.


Weightmans LLP handles contentious and non-contentious marine, logistics and transport matters, and acts for names such as Peel Ports Group, Bibby Line Group, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, British Marine, AIG, and Champion Tankers.

Legal 500 2015

Mike Burns
"We have extensive experience in dealing with the complex contractual arrangements involved in such incident."
Mike Burns

Direct dial: +44 (0)151 242 6527
Email me
Meet the team