Paul Billowes

Admiralty Manager

Go to content

Paul is an ex-mariner having served as a navigating officer on general cargo, reefer, passenger vessels, bulk carriers, and tankers. He has worked at International Law firms for decades and joined Stann on their formation.

In his 40+ year career to date he has handled a diverse range of casualties, including many major losses, ports of refuge and unsafe port cases, involving all types of vessels and offshore structures. This included his investigation into the loss of the Costa Concordia on behalf of underwriters, and a fire on the ferry Norman Atlantic in the Adriatic, both with significant loss of life.

Since joining Stann his investigations include a number of collisions, engine failures and groundings, involving passage planning, unsafe port and pilot issues, as well as a gas cargo contamination, car carrier fire, a gantry collapse at Port Said, a chemical tanker explosion, a self-elevating drilling rig fire off Indonesia, the loss of an offshore vessel mid-Atlantic, a laden VLCC grounding in the Java Sea, and the scuttling of a laden Capesize bulk carrier off Brazil. The most high profile was the investigation of the Ever Given grounding in the Suez Canal on behalf of owners.

Paul is often the first on site, working with surveyors and experts of various disciplines, in co-operation with the local investigating Authorities and local lawyers. His plain language and informal outgoing style help him gain the confidence of the crew as well as the co-operation of the local Authorities and the trust of opponents in what can otherwise be an extremely stressful environment. He also has a concise reporting style which keeps the technical detail simple and the focus on the relevant issues.

Paul also has significant litigation experience, at home and abroad, dating back to the Abidin Daver (House of Lords) and Ikarian Reefer (Court of Appeal). More recent cases with Stann, in which leading counsel have praised his strong support, involve unsafe ports, passage planning, and a collision where we persuaded the Supreme Court of the proper interpretation and application of the crossing rule.

Paul's Career Highlights

Investigations PlusMinus

Paul has handled investigations into the following matters:

  • National Justice Compania Naviera SA v Prudential Assurance Co Ltd (The Ikarian Reefer) (No.1) F.S.R. 563 – Investigation into the scuttling of the Ikarian Reefer, and successful Appeal overturning the decision at first instance.

  • The Abidin Daver [1984] AC 398 – Appeal to the House of Lords for their judgment on forum non conveniens. 

  • Attendance onboard on behalf of underwriters, and subsequent investigation into the capsize of the passenger cruise liner the Costa Concordia.

  • Investigation of post-Hurricane Katrina losses including jack-up rigs.

  • Joint investigation following FPSO mooring failure in the North Sea.

  • Investigation into the loss of a bulk carrier off the Aleutian Islands.

  • Casualties in different locations in India, including a collision, fire and sinking of and Indian Warship in Mumbai; local arbitration proceedings following the breakaway of a laden tanker; and a number of Monsoon and fishing vessel casualties.

  • Secured clients’ recovery following the loss of their jack-up from a heavy lift ship.

  • Investigation into the sinking of a passenger vessel on a casino cruise off Singapore.

  • Owners successful claim following the loss of their Capesize off South Africa.

  • The sinking of a Bulk Carrier in the Red Sea.