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HFW strengthens Asia Pacific shipping team

28 July 2017

From 1 August 2017, the HFW’s Asia Pacific shipping team will be enhanced by the arrival from London of partners Toby Stephens and John Forrester. They join at a busy period for the Singapore office and will combine with our strong existing team to boost specific legal services we offer our clients in Singapore and the region.

John has 30 years experience in international ship, offshore and energy finance in Asia and Europe, acting for banks and export credit agencies on their shipping and offshore credit agreements and other marine finance products and for shipbuilders, ship owners, operators and investors on shipping and offshore related transactions. On the non-marine side, he advises on the provision of bank facilities to insurance companies, on trade finance and general banking deals. John’s arrival coincides with the hiring of Manik Verma, who will be joining HFW Singapore from WFW Singapore to further strengthen our excellent offering in ship finance. Together with David Brotherton and his team, who joined HFW Singapore last year, HFW now offers one of the largest asset finance teams in the Asia Pacific region with teams in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sydney.

Toby is a stalwart of HFW’s global Admiralty and Crisis Management team and will join Paul Apostolis, Robert Spearing, Andrew Shannon and William Pyle to strengthen further our casualty and response crisis management capability in Singapore and the wider region. He brings particular strength in the marine insurance and offshore energy markets together with his experience of dealing with complex marine and energy casualties worldwide. The move demonstrates HFW’s commitment to maintain its position as the leading global crisis management team.

Paul Apostolis, Head of Shipping in Singapore said that “their arrival is timely, coming when the department was involved in several significant marine casualties and, at a time when we are expanding our transactional legal offering. Their personalities and experience will contribute positively to forging a strong, vibrant marine team.”

HFW’s Global Head of Shipping, Offshore and Logistics, Craig Neame, commented “It’s an exciting time for the maritime sector in the Asia Pacific region and the relocation of John and Toby really enhances our offering in Singapore across Ship Finance and Admiralty and Crisis Management. These moves also demonstrate the firm’s continued commitment to growing our local, regional and international client base at HFW”.