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HFW Accompanies UK Shipping Minister on official visit to China

1 June 2018

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has accompanied the UK’s Minister for Shipping, Nusrat Ghani MP, on an official visit to China.

Ms Ghani, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport and Assistant Government Whip, visited the Shanghai headquarters of state-owned shipping and logistics company China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) on 30 May to discuss maritime opportunities in the UK.

HFW partners Nick Poynder and Stephen Marais, and senior manager Jenny Chester, formed part of a UK government delegation alongside Ms Ghani and senior officials from the UK Department for Transport, the UK Department for International Trade, and the British Consulate General.

The delegation met COSCO chairman Capt. Xu Lirong, professors from its maritime department and the heads of the company’s strategy and corporate management division, operating management division, capital operation management division, and public division.

Stephen Marais, Partner, HFW:
“We are honoured to have accompanied Ms Ghani MP on this important visit and would like to thank Capt. Xu Lirong and the rest of the COSCO team for their warm welcome. The UK and China are two of the world’s most important centres for the shipping and maritime industry, and the already strong ties between the countries are only likely to increase in light of Brexit. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of such a thriving sector.”

Shipping is one of HFW’s six core industry groups globally and the firm is widely regarded as the world’s leading maritime law firm.

The firm has over 200 shipping lawyers and 13 Master Mariners across 18 international offices, specialising in dry shipping, admiralty and crisis management, and transactional work. HFW represents the full spectrum of those involved in the industry, including shipowners and charterers, P&I Clubs, banks, international agencies, shipyards, marine insurance underwriters, governments and brokers.

HFW has a strong and longstanding Asia-Pacific network, having first established a presence in the region in 1978. In 2016, HFW entered into a formal association with Chinese law firm Wintell & Co, becoming only the second international law firm to enter into a local partnership under the Shanghai Free Trade Zone rules. HFW now has seven offices and more than 200 fee-earners across Asia-Pacific.


HFW is a leading global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors. The firm has almost 600 fee‑earners, including 180 partners, based in 18 offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. We take a progressive approach to our roles in commercial business – thinking creatively and pragmatically to support our clients. HFW prides itself on its deep industry expertise and its entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Johnson
Head of Communications
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Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson
Head of Communications