Beth Larkman

Legal Director

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Beth is consulted by clients for her expertise across the full range of maritime claims, having previously held a senior position at an International Group P&I Club.

Beth practised from 2009 at a leading London shipping firm where she specialised in shipping and admiralty law, predominantly handling all types of marine casualties and resulting litigation or arbitration, including unsafe port claims and limitation of liability. During this time, Beth also advised on bill of lading, charterparty and shipbuilding disputes.

During her time as a Syndicate Manager at an International Group P&I club, Beth worked with Owner and Charterer Members across both P&I and FDD claims. This role required Beth to handle complex claims across many jurisdictions, as well as supervise and support her team’s claims handling. Beth regularly advised Members on contractual matters, such as cover for offshore contracts and slot/vessel sharing agreements. As a result of this significant experience, Beth is well versed in Club cover, International Group Rules/Pooling.

Today, Beth excels at the management of complex and multi-jurisdictional claims, combining her substantial experience in the P&I club setting with considerable private practice background. She has a flair for strategy and problem-solving in a commercially sensitive manner, executing strategy with a high degree of skill whether advising Owners, Operators, P&I insurers, H&M insurers, or Charterers.

Beth is also routinely requested to advise on non-contentious matters, such as ship sale and purchase agreements and review of commercial contracts in the maritime sector.

Across all of her work, Beth prides herself on providing clients with clarity of advice on complex matters, drawing from her broad experience across the maritime legal industry to anticipate client needs and present commercial solutions. Her input is responsive and fast-paced, recognising the importance of rapid turnaround time to clients with immediate disputes to resolve.


Beth's Career Highlights

Emergency Response PlusMinus

Examples of major incidents handled by Beth include:

  • Collision between containerships in China, involving total loss, loss of life and limitation of liability.

  • Collision between oil tanker and gas carrier in Chennai, India, requiring clean up management and environmental claims.

  • Grounding of laden bulk carrier in Suez Canal, requiring salvage and transhipment of cargo.

  • Collision between containership and car carrier in North Sea, leading to total loss, loss of life, wreck removal claims and limitation of liability.

  • Collision between containership and seismic streamers being towed by offshore vessel, leading to limitation of liability.

  • Collision between containership and Indian naval vessel, including total loss and limitation of liability.

  • Collision between bulk carrier and Indian coast guard vessel, including limitation of liability.

  • Breaking up of containership in Indian ocean, involving lengthy casualty period and ultimate total loss of vessel and cargo.

  • Grounding of laden bulk carrier at Tristan da Cunha, requiring clean up management and assessment of environmental claims.

  • Acting for owners of vessel following fire in port after unloading of grain cargo.

Dispute Resolution PlusMinus

Beth’s work in this field involves the following:

  • Litigation management in relation to numerous casualty limitation proceedings abroad, including in China, India, Isle of Man, Netherlands.

  • Multi-million dollar ship conversion contract dispute arbitration and subsequent appeal: Guangzhou Dockyards Co Ltd (formerly known as Guangzhou CSSC-Oceanline-GSW Marine Engineering Co Ltd) v ENE Aegiali I (’The Aegiali’) [2010] EWHC 2826 (Comm).

  • Collision liability dispute in multiship dispute before Admiralty Court – Nordlake v Seaeagle [2015] EWHC 3605.

  • Collision quantum dispute before Admiralty Court: Astipalaia cw Hanjin Shenzhen [2014] EWHC 210 (Admiralty).

  • Refrigerated cargo claims arising from containership engine fire and blackout.

  • Dispute and mediation in various matters, including tripartite collision in Malacca Straits.

  • Dispute for Charterer in relation to engine breakdown and offspec bunkers.

  • Anti suit injunction proceedings The Kishore [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 427.

  • High Court proceedings arising from fatal helicopter and light aircraft collision.

  • High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings relating to aircraft sale and purchase dispute.

  • Applications for Freezing Orders and Search Orders in High Court (and also numerous related jurisdictions of Channel Islands and Caribbean) in charter commission fraud dispute.

  • Anti suit injunction proceedings before the High Court – The Marielle Bolten [2009] EWHC 2552 (Comm).

Investigations PlusMinus

Beth’s experience in investigations has included the following:

  • Investigation into safety management systems of various Owners in Germany and Crew Managers in Cyprus, for purposes of limitation of liability.

  • Incident investigation following collision in Hull, UK.

Advisory PlusMinus

Beth has advised on the following matters:

  • Review of various contracts including charterparty, connecting carrier/NVOCC, contracts of affreightment, offshore contracts, ship management and ship pooling agreements.

  • All aspects of P&I insurance review for contracts.

  • Drafting bespoke charterparty clauses.

  • Recyclecon review and negotiation, followed by documentation management.

  • Sale and Purchase of vessels.

  • Advisory on legal aspects of IMSBC code compliance.

Consulting and Projects PlusMinus

Examples of Beth’s work in this area:

  • Safety Management procedure review and preparation of new legal procedure for Vessel Owners of large gas carrier fleet

  • Emergency Response Planning for Vessel Owners of large gas carrier fleet

  • Ownership/Chartering Business Risk Assessment.

  • Ownership Restructuring Project.

  • Insurance Review for large feeder container operator, consulting on overlap between P&I and other types of insurance held, particularly container/cargo insurance.