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Paolo Ghirardani



Friary Court
65 Crutched Friars
London EC3N 2AE
United Kingdom

Office Telephone: +44 (0)20 7264 8000
Office Fax: +44 (0)20 7264 8888

Direct Dial (London): +44 (0)20 7264 8090

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Paolo spent the first seven years of his career at HFW, having joined as a trainee in 1983. He has been a partner within the profession for almost 30 years, including 15 years as the head of a global Marine and International Trade practice. He rejoined HFW in 2020.

Paolo specialises in managing high profile and complex wet and dry shipping disputes, and has significant experience acting on major fires, explosions and groundings.

His expertise in handling major incidents and difficult situations, has seen him assist shipowning and insurance clients with marine casualties, piracy, kidnap and ransom in some of the world's more challenging places. He advises clients across the maritime industry, including P&I Clubs, charterers and shipowners as well as major corporations, insurers, investment funds and traders.

His practice also includes multi-jurisdictional trade and commodity litigation often involving major, business critical disputes, fraud investigations and asset tracing, such as:
Advising an International Group P&I Club and its shipowner member in relation to the two year illegal detention in Nigeria of the vessel DUBAI VALOUR and its crew members.
Representing the world's largest independent oil trader in a dispute in the Courts of the UAE. Successfully defending his client against a fraudulent claim in excess of US$100,000,000.
Advising numerous cargo underwriters on their position after the explosion and total loss of the vessel YTHAN.

He is recommended by the legal directories and is described by the Legal 500 UK as a “very good strategic thinker”, “result-focused and imaginative” and a “very experienced and a good tactician”. Clients say that he “keeps his eye on the prize and is not distracted from pursuing that aim”; and that he is a “very commercial lawyer with a great instinct” and “incredible tactical awareness”. He is ranked in The Legal 500's 'Hall of Fame' as one of the market's leading shipping lawyers.

He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

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The London office is the firm's largest, with over 250 lawyers.

It offers the full range of services that HFW provides globally, with partners from the London office working closely with all the other HFW offices, as well as in many jurisdictions around the world. HFW moved to its current premises in September 2008, having previously been in nearby Lloyds Avenue for almost 100 years.

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