HFW continues to strengthen global shipping practice with Singapore Master Mariner Hire

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Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has continued to strengthen its market-leading shipping practice with the hire of Master Mariner Mark Myles.

Mark has more than 20 years’ experience in the shipping industry as a mariner and lawyer, and joins HFW’s Singapore office from Reed Smith.

This follows the arrival in of mariner Joel Cockerell, who spent 12 years in the Royal Australian Navy and joined HFW’s Singapore office in 2020.

HFW now has nine Master Mariners in what is the world’s largest specialist marine casualty practice, with more than 35 lawyers – including fifteen mariners and other industry experts – based in offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The team operate as part of HFW’s global shipping group, which comprises almost 200 specialist lawyers around the world.

Toby Stephens, Head of Shipping, Singapore, HFW:

“I am very pleased to welcome Mark to HFW. Mark has a huge amount of industry experience – particularly with tankers, which will be of great benefit to our clients. We have an extremely strong and diverse shipping and admiralty team in Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region, and we feel that our expert mariners really set us apart in the market. There are only a handful of dual-qualified solicitor-mariners in the whole of Singapore, and we’ve now got two at HFW, as well as the most senior casualty investigator in the region in Robert Spearing.”

Mark previously spent more than a decade at sea with Shell on LPGCs, VLCCs, LNGCs and product tankers, reaching Chief Officer, as well as in shore-side roles with the company including Ship Quality Assurance and Building Yard Safety Officer.

He was also Quality Assurance and ISM Manager at Norbulk Shipping, overseeing the internal and external audit schedule for the office and a fleet of approximately 80 vessels, and worked at V.Ships as both Marine Safety & Quality Superintendent and Divisional Vetting Manager, tracking the company’s performance in relation to SIRE and TMSA audits.

Since qualifying as a solicitor, Mark has been undertaking a broad range of maritime work including investigating and handling major collisions, groundings, salvage, total loss and cargo disputes, and also advising clients on international trade, marine insurance, charterparty, admiralty and maritime matters, including ship management and vetting.

He is a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute.

Mark Myles, Master Mariner, HFW:

“I’m delighted to be joining what is the unquestionably the premier shipping practice in Asia-Pacific. HFW has the largest casualty team in the region, including several experienced mariners, enabling it to respond quickly to crisis situations and attend vessels. I’m looking forward to utilising my seagoing and industry experience to help the firm’s clients resolve their legal issues – both marine casualties and contractual disputes arising through the course of trade.”

Mark’s arrival continues the growth of HFW’s Singapore office, following the recent hires of climate change finance expert Peter Zaman and energy, resources and commodities partner Dan Perera. The firm has operated in Singapore for over 30 years and now has 19 partners and more than 40 lawyers in total in the country.

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