Maritime Law

Maritime Law

Whether you realise it or not, the sea plays an integral part in the lives of all New Zealanders. From an economic point view the importance of the large body of water that surrounds us in respect of trade, commercial fishing, transport and shipping cannot be overstated. From a recreational perspective, when the sunshine beckons many Kiwis head out in a dizzying array of watercraft on our waters and lakes to take advantage of all that Aotearoa (and sometimes further afield) has to offer.

The sea and those that operate on it are governed by and subject to an oftentimes complex matrix of domestic legislation, Maritime Rules, Bylaws and International Conventions. When and what specific legislation applies can sometimes seem murky even to seasoned operators (and occasionally to our Regulators).

Maritime ventures (whether private or commercial) are inherently risky with many pitfalls for the unwary. Obtaining sound, pragmatic advice from experienced practitioners will often prove invaluable.

Why Choose Turner Hopkins?

  • We have experience in virtually all aspects of marine commercial matters.
  • Our commercial partners draw on over 40 years combined experience in advising on all aspects of business and commercial law.
  • We understand that in order to facilitate a transaction sometimes less legal formality is more. Working with you we strive to find solutions that meet your objectives whilst effectively managing risk.
  • Our inclusive team culture allows us to draw on the expertise of all of our practice areas from Litigation to Employment to provide a complete solution. In addition we have a strong network of other experts including accountants and other specialist advisors.

Some Of The Areas We Cover

Sales And Purchases

We can assist our clients in reviewing and drafting Sale and Purchase Agreements for new or second hand boats from yachts to container ships. We are familiar with most international standard agreements from the MYBA to the Norwegian Saleform or can assist with a more bespoke approach.

Ensuring clear and encumbrance free title is paramount to avoid issues down the track and we can assist in due diligence requirements in this respect.

Ownership Structures

In the marine environment when things go wrong the ramifications both financial and otherwise can be quite serious. Ownership of a vessel by a company (domestic or offshore) or trust isn’t restricted to those conducting commercial activities and can assist private individuals and/or companies in protecting assets when correctly handled.

Vessel Registration

Choosing where to flag your vessel is driven by varying factors ranging from tax imperatives, status attached to a particular flag, ease of dealing with a Registry, flexible manning requirements or operational considerations to name a few. We have experience in dealing with most major registries along with some of the more obscure, and can work with you in selecting the most appropriate flag and managing the registration process.

Charter Arrangements And Disputes

Companies and individuals enter into chartering (hire/lease) arrangements for numerous reasons, whether it’s hiring a yacht for a family cruising holiday to getting products from point A to point B. We’re familiar with most forms of charter-parties and can assist with drafting or review. If things unfortunately don’t go according to plan we can advise on disputes and assist with seeking resolution whether by formal Court process or more informal mediation or arbitration mechanics.