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Claire Womersley

About Claire

Claire’s practice encompasses all aspects of crisis response and ensuing “wet” litigation arising from marine casualties, including jurisdiction, limitation and apportionment of liability, with a particular focus on collisions, groundings and salvage as well as personal injury and cyber. She also advises shipowners and financial institutions on their emergency response procedures for physical trading, including planning and conducting table-top exercises.

Claire has supported clients with large scale casualty management for a number of the firm’s high profile cases, particularly those involving mass fatalities and natural disasters resulting in high value multi-jurisdictional disputes. In 2022, Claire has been recognised as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ by Legal500 UK. In 2021 Claire was recognised in Lloyd’s List 100 most influential people in the maritime industry as one of the global market’s Top 10 maritime lawyers, and also received a Merchant Navy Medal – a state award within the British honours system – for services to women and diversity in the maritime industry throughout her careers at sea and ashore.

As one of the firm’s casualty investigators, Claire regularly travels overseas to attend vessels/companies in the immediate aftermath of an incident to collect evidence and provide logistical support.

Prior to joining the firm, Claire spent nine years at sea with P&O/Princess Cruises, obtaining her Master Mariner qualification. As such, Claire is a subject matter expert on the navigation, stability and safety management of large cruise vessels and is a core member of HFW’s Travel and Leisure Team. She has also completed a secondment to an International Group P&I Club.

In the Legal500 2022 directories clients described Claire as ‘an extremely thoughtful yet tenacious litigator who was formerly a mariner on a cruise liner. She has extensive experience of the practical and technical aspects of cruise operation as well as being an excellent lawyer’.