After years of crisis, the shipping industry is undergoing steady and dynamic change, which is marked by a high level of digitisation and interconnectivity but also by great pressure to innovate as a result of changes in environmental legislation. In addition to this, the financing landscape is also rapidly changing: classic financing vehicles are being replaced with new, innovative financing products.
We provide comprehensive advisory services in the area of maritime business law and present maritime and offshore companies with individual and innovative solutions at all the development stages of their business. Our services include providing advice to domestic and foreign vessel owners, charterers, shipyards, banks, issuing houses and other (institutional) investors. A particular focus of our services is advising start-up companies. The areas in which we support our clients from the shipping industry include, without limitation.
One of the key issues in the maritime industry is the question of how to invest in a vessel as an asset. Many German and international banks that were involved in the financing of vessels have withdrawn from this line of business. At the same time, however, digitisation in the area of vessel financing has increased – either as a result of financing platforms on the internet or as a result of block chain products. In addition to this, there is an increase in investments from abroad, which are particularly driven by Asian leasing structures.
In the area of vessel financing, we advise on financing issues relating to “classic limited partnership models”, as well as on the financing of foreign structures (in particular, in Luxembourg and Norway) and on new types of leasing financing. Our services in this area include, without limitation:
We can provide legal advice and assistance throughout the lifecycle of a vessel, from the time it is built up until it is recycled. In addition, we can advise on all commercial issues in connection with the operation – in particular, the technical and commercial management – of vessels.
As vessels are used worldwide, questions arising in connection with the construction, the purchase and sale and the commercial and technical management of vessels often have an international dimension. We take this into account by relying on our own international offices and, in addition, our extensive international network of renowned partner law firms to ensure that our clients can receive competent and quick advice on all legal matters on site and have a direct local contact. Our services in this area include, without limitation:
As a result of the growing internationalisation of trade, but also of financing and investment structures, disputes need to be considered and dealt with in an international context. Our practice group which specialises in such proceedings takes this into account and combines both industry knowledge and many years of litigation experience. Our services in this area include, without limi-tation:
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Service IP and Copyright Law >>
In the maritime industry, we advise our clients comprehensively on all matters relating to the construction of new merchant vessels, offshore vessels and cruise ships (including river cruise ships). In addition to providing advice on financing during construction – which also includes advising on how to structure such financing – we can assist our clients during the construction period, in particular with regard to complying with the provisions of the construction contract, and advise them on the delivery/acceptance of the vessel.
Another focus of our team is providing advice to clients from the harbour and logistics industry, in particular with regard to harbour infrastructure. Our services in this area include, without limitation:
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The shipping industry is probably the one economic sector that suffered most from the financial crisis in 2008, and it continues to be affected. Our restructuring team develops solutions on how to restructure non-performing ship loans and/or portfolios. In addition, we can assist shipping companies with their restructuring and consolidation efforts. In cases where restructuring efforts are unlikely to be successful, we can help clients structure coordinated insolvency proceedings (insolvency plan proceedings, regular insolvency proceedings and protective proceedings). Our services in this area include, without limitation:
Service Restructuring and Insolvency >>