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Preston Turnbull

London Office

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Preston Turnbull was established in October 2019 following a breakaway from the London shipping and international trade team of an international firm, and has since grown to a 25-strong team of lawyers.

Its lawyers are very well-known in the market with well over 100 years of collective experience in core sectors. It represents ship owners, charterers, insurers and traders, with particular expertise in wet and dry shipping, complex litigation, international arbitration and shipbuilding disputes.


Shipping: The Preston Turnbull team has huge experience across all areas of shipping disputes including charterparty, bill of lading, offshore and bunker disputes. It offers assistance in all admiralty areas, such as collisions, vessel fires, salvage/wreck removal and casualty response. Preston Turnbull regularly represents owners and charterers in charterparty and COA disputes, including matters such as wrongful termination, cargo contamination, safe ports, redelivery, off-hire, speed and performance, and piracy. It also acts in disputes related to ship management, such as alleged breaches of a ship manager’s duties, and disputes under pool agreements.

International Trade: Preston Turnbull offers unrivalled experience of trade and commodities dispute resolution. It regularly acts for clients in international arbitration and in the English High Court proceedings on matters such as title to goods, specification and quantity issues, problems originating in storage, both at in-land warehousing and at port terminals, and disputes over market value. It has long standing client relationships with numerous global trading companies.

Shipbuilding Disputes: Preston Turnbull has a strong shipbuilding, offshore construction and superyacht building disputes practice, regularly acting for many of the largest shipbuilding companies across the world, from South Korean shipyards to European superyacht builders.

Sanctions: Preston Turnbull also offers assistance with development of sanctions compliance programmes, and assessment of risks of particular transactions. Recent instructions include acting for traders on sanctions compliance in the context of vessel vetting, P&I Clubs on compliance steps in respect to high risk members and charterers relating to OFAC sanctions imposed on Cuban receivers and port authorities in Latvia.

Marine Insurance: Preston Turnbull provide assistance on all aspects of marine insurance, including hull and machinery, ports and terminals, charterers’ liability insurance, war/terrorism insurance, builders’/ repairers’ liability, trade disruption and strikes and protection & indemnity


The Preston Turnbull team has represented some of the world’s leading shipping companies and trading houses in hundreds of disputes involving LMAA, LCIA and ICC arbitrations, and High Court litigation, from Commercial Court through all appellate levels. Below is a snapshot of cases that the team have worked on:
■ SK Shipping Europe PLC v Capital VLCC Corp and Capital Maritime and Trading Corp – acting for owners in a complex matter relating to 4 time charter repudiations
■ “Vasco de Gama” and “Columbus” – acting for a successful lead creditor in Admiralty proceedings which resulted in three leading judgments relating to issues arising out of ship arrest, admiralty sale and Admiralty Court process
■ Scipion Active Trading Fund v Vallis Group Ltd – acting for a successful claimant in obtaining a recovery from the bailor of goods following a significant loss of goods
■ “Achilleas” – leading case on late redelivery of a ship and assessment of damages
■ Osmium Shipping Corporation v Cargill International SA – one of the leading cases on piracy, payments of hire following hijack and the impact of conwartime clauses on charterparty obligations
■ “Raysut II” – acting for Owners and their P&I insurers in relation to the salvage/wreck removal issues after the vessel beached in Oman
■ “Songa Winds” – advising owners in a leading case on the construction and operation of P&I letters of indemnity for delivery of cargo without production of the original bills of lading
■ “New Flamenco” – Supreme Court authority on mitigation and damages
■ “Atlantik Confidence” – representing owners following loss of vessel, dispute over application of tonnage limitation
■ Nobiskrug GmbH v Valla Yachts Ltd – Acted for Shipyard in disputes arising out of the construction of the world’s largest sail assisted luxury motor yacht
■ “Glencore Energy UK Ltd v Cirrus Oil Services Limited” – dispute arising from the assessment of the market value of crude oil from a Nigerian oilfield
■ Vitol SA v Beta Renewable Group SA – Sales contract dispute arising from seller’s failure to provide bio-fuel
■ “The Star Polaris” – Acted for shipyard in the leading case on the effect of shipbuilding warranty clauses and consequential loss
■ “Reborn” – Court of Appeal case dealing with the test by which terms are to be implied into commercial contracts

LANGUAGES English, French, Greek, Spanish and Turkish.