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Ship sale and purchase

Experienced in acting for both sellers and buyers of commercial vessels, yachts, super yachts and pleasure craft, lending banks, at Weightmans we ensure that the vessel sale and purchase process is as straightforward as possible.

Our experienced and professional team can help you with:

  • The handling and negotiation of commercial sale documents, including new build contracts (see shipbuilding and repair) and second-hand sale contracts
  • Bespoke vessel sale contracts and associated transactional documentation, including novation of existing charter arrangements
  • Advice in relation to standard sale forms and MOAs as well as the identification of any key issues and pitfalls attached to such documentation.
  • Dealing with UK and international ship registries and their requirements with regard to ownership registration, deletion/registration of mortgages and mortgagee priority.

Of course vessel sale and purchase often requires loan finance and as such we can also help you with the drafting and negotiation of marine mortgages, deeds of covenant and release, and any related documentation.

Our experience in this area is complemented by our unique claims expertise, and where any disputes over vessel sales do arise (such as structural defects, warranty repairs, ownership, payment default or breach of maintenance covenants) we help our clients through the arbitration, court and mediation process as smoothly as possible.

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
"At Weightmans we ensure that the vessel sale and purchase process is as straightforward as possible."
Mike Burns

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