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Richard Neylon


Richard specialises in shipping and crisis response.

More about Richard

Richard specialises in shipping and crisis response.

He acts for a range of shipowners, charterers and insurers, in wet and dry shipping disputes. A large proportion of Richard's work involves resolving disputes arising from marine casualties and he has been involved in many of the recent high profile incidents. He has particular experience of collisions, fires/explosions, salvage, piracy, capture/seizure, groundings and unsafe port claims – often involving complex multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. Whilst he works in the Admiralty & Crisis Management department, the complexity of modern marine casualties necessarily involves him in a mix of wet and dry work.

Richard also handles major incidents and disputes for liability, war, kidnap & ransom, cyber and special risks underwriters and their assureds. He has particular expertise in managing and resolving incidents in hostile environments. He has played a central role in co-coordinating and resolving over 100 hijacking and kidnapping cases over the last ten years, dealing with the initial incident through to managing the release and post-release phases. He also regularly deals with unlawful detentions, extortions, drug seizures and similar complex problems that companies which operate globally can become exposed to.

He has addressed various governments, law enforcement agencies, and governmental and non-governmental organisations on industry's response to incidents of this nature, and has developed a network of contacts in government, the military, private military, financial institutions and intelligence agencies.

Richard lectures regularly in the UK and internationally on crisis response, shipping, and insurance topics, and has contributed articles to various publications.

Chambers and Partners recognised Richard as receiving "substantial praise from the market" and reported that clients said he "has a vast wealth of knowledge" and "readily adapts to the ever-changing challenges" that his work throws up and that "he is quick to respond to requests and proactive in anticipating potential problems and solutions.”

Richard leads HFW's global marine piracy team, who were awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the Lloyd's List Global Awards 2015 ceremony. The award celebrates excellence in corporate, social, ethical and environmental activity, and seeks to identify the company or organisation that best exemplifies the social and community spirit which is at the core of the shipping industry. The Award was presented in recognition of the outstanding pro bono work the firm's global marine piracy team undertook to secure the release of the "forgotten" seafarer hostages in Somalia.

Richard is also a principal member of the Hostage Support Partnership, which was commended by the United Nations Security Council on 7 November 2017 in Security Council Resolution 2383 (2017) for its work securing the release of the 26 hostages from the vessel "NAHAM 3", who were held for four and a half years in Somalia.

In September 2012, Richard won the prestigious Lloyd's List Global Maritime Lawyer of the Year Award for his work in resolving hijackings and kidnappings. The judging panel described Richard's work as "outstanding" and "crucial".


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 8100

Mobile: +44 (0)7786 266919

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