Martin Laughton

Managing Associate

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Martin is a solicitor and Managing Associate qualified in England and Wales. He worked at a leading London shipping firm for six years before joining Stann and has extensive experience of multi-jurisdictional matters and coordinating overseas lawyers in litigation and incident response.

He regularly represents clients in the Admiralty Court, Commercial Court, and Court of Appeal, and has worked on arbitral matters conducted according to LMAA, LCIA, LSSA and ad hoc procedures and a variety of ADR procedures.

Martin specialises in handling collision cases from initial incident to the point of litigation, including The “Wilforce” [2022] EWHC 1190, the first case in which the Admiralty Court had considered responsibility for a collision in a Precautionary Area, and the “Jag Pooja” [2018] EWHC 389,

Martin also advises on dry shipping matters and is particularly regarded by clients for his experience handling dangerous cargo cases. He has overseen a number of such cases across a variety of vessel and cargo types including chemical and fertiliser products, and timber cargoes. He has a strong record of advising on unsafe port matters, charter party disputes, and salvage claims.

Martin possesses a formidable ability to anticipate problems before they come to bear, furnishing clients with effective and commercial solutions that get to the heart of the matter to avoid lengthy drawn-out litigation.

Martin's Career Highlights

Emergency Response PlusMinus

Martin has handled the following live incidents:

  • Initial response to fire and explosion on board a chemical tanker in South Korea and attending during subsequent transhipment of cargo.

  • Initial response to thermal runaway in fertiliser cargo on bulk carrier off Canary Islands and aftermath at port of refuge in Spain.

  • A timber cargo fire in the North Sea.

  • A tanker grounding in Colombia.

  • A multi vessel collision in Algeria.

  • Coordinating the response to environmental protesters boarding a vessel off Portugal.

Dispute Resolution PlusMinus

Martin has assisted in the following:

  • Wilforce LLC & Awilco LNG AS v Ratu Shipping Co SA & Sea Queen Shipping Corporation [2022] EWHC 1190 (Admlty) – represented successful party in the first Admiralty Court judgment to consider responsibility for collisions in Precautionary Areas.

  • Al Khattiya v Jag Laadki [2018] EWHC 389 (Admlty) – decision considering forum non conveniens in the context of collision proceedings.

  • Bitumen Invest AS v Richmond Mercantile Ltd FZC [2016] EWHC 2957 (Comm) – successful claim under an on-demand guarantee.

  • Acting on behalf of Owners in an appeal to the Lloyd’s appeal arbitrator on a case arising from a grounding in Brazil, significantly reducing the first instance award.

  • Acting for charterers during a three week LMAA arbitral hearing concerning an explosion in dangerous drilling fluid cargo.

  • Acting for Owners during a two week LMAA arbitration arising out of a container vessel allision with gantry cranes.

  • Representing a shipowner in ongoing claims in the Admiralty Court against a tonnage limitation fund.

  • Acting for Owners in four ongoing collision proceedings in the Admiralty Court.

Investigations PlusMinus

Martin’s work in this area has included the following:

  • Coordinating the multi-party fire investigation on board a burnt out chemical tanker.

  • Investigating alleged insect investigation of a grain cargo.

  • Investigation into an Owner’s procedures for safe carriage of thermally unstable cargoes.

Advisory PlusMinus

Martin has advised on the following:

  • Coordinating the sale of an end of life chemical tanker to recycling purchasers.

  • Leading the sale of a bulk carrier.

  • Advising on the terms of ship-management contracts.

  • Advising an Owner on compliance and exposures in recycling sale of a vessel in EU waters.

  • Negotiating Lloyd’s Open Form and commercial salvage contracts.

  • Advising Owners and H&M insurers on the compliant disposal of a fire-damaged car carrier.

Consulting and Projects PlusMinus

Martin has experience on the following projects:

  • Coordinating the safe clean up of styrene monomer on board a fire damaged vessel, including drafting bespoke service contract and negotiations with contractors and local authorities.

  • Working on negotiations for safe release of a vessel arrested by Russian authorities following a dock allision.