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credible difference

We are legal experts in shipping law in Africa, offering comprehensive solutions to a wide range of legal problems in and around Africa's waters.


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Proven track record

We have advised on some of the most prominent African shipping matters.

Our clients include Protection and Indemnity (P& I) clubs and marine insurers, liner clients, and owners and operators, as well as fishing majors and players in the logistics space.


Commercial savvy

We focus on avoiding and minimising loss that occurs in the business of shipping.

Where loss is inevitable, we help to recover it in a commercially sensible and effective way.

We offer a complete casualty response following incidents of collision, allision, grounding, sinking, fire and explosion, pollution, wreckage and loss of and damage to cargo.

For vessels in distress, we also facilitate salvage and entry into bays and ports.

In addition, we have extensive litigation experience.


African footprint

Multi-jurisdictional businesses face significant risks, as well as the challenge of complying with vastly different laws and regulations.

We are Africa’s largest law firm, with offices in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa, and an ever-growing presence in African harbours, including the major ports of Cape Town, Durban, Accra, Port Louis and Walvis Bay.

With more than 600 specialist practitioners, we have deep expertise and the capacity to solve all your legal, tax, forensics and IP requirements, and help you navigate regulatory hurdles, no matter where in Africa you do business.

Because we have had many years of practical experience working on the ground throughout the continent, we have developed a proven track record and a solid understanding of local cultural, commercial and geopolitical contexts, as well as long-standing partnerships with trusted firms with whom we work.


Bills of lading
Cargo claims and stow collapse
Charterparty disputes
Collisions and wreck
Environmental degradation
Export trade
Fishing appeals and reviews
Fishing rights
Import trade
Marine insurance claims
Mortgage foreclosures
Personal injury / death claims
Purchase and sale of ships
Salvage and towage
Ship and trade finance
Ship building agreements
Ship building disputes
Wrongful arrest

always readily available and approachable
Legal 500 EMEA Guide
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your team

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awards and rankings

ENS is recognised by leading international ranking agencies, including Chambers Global, Legal 500, IFLR1000 and the World Tax Guide, for achieving consistently high standards.

Furthermore, the firm is a regular recipient of regional awards such as DealMakers and the African Legal Awards.

Chambers GlobalLegal 500IFLR1000Dealmaker Awards
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ENS houses a renowned admiralty team frequently called upon to respond to casualties, including collisions, groundings and pollution, as well as arrests … remarkable strength in salvages and diverse maritime claims, as well as enforcement mandates ... clients also benefit from the department’s logistics and ports expertise
Chambers Global Guide
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the group services a stellar array of shipping lines, P&I clubs and international law firms, which benefit from its presence in ports outside South Africa
Chambers Global Guide
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prominent in marine matters with expertise in casualty response and insurance
Legal 500 EMEA Guide
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the firm handles disputes relating to various jurisdictions around Africa and the world, with involvement in London arbitration proceedings
Chambers Global Guide
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the team are dedicated, hard working, commercially minded, reliable and personable
Legal 500 EMEA Guide
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Arrests Attachments Bills of lading Cargo claims and 
stow collapse
and wreck
Export trade Fishing appeals 
and reviews
Fishing rights Import trade Litigation Marine insurance 
Personal injury 
/ death claims
Pollution Purchase and 
sale of ships
and towage
Ship and 
trade finance
Ship building 
Ship building 
Wrongful arrest
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USD200-million London arbitration claim for alleged breach of a safe port warranty following the grounding of a bulker at Richards Bay and resultant loss of cargo and ship, and wreck removal liability.
Arrest of a vessel for amounts owed in damages for breaches of various bareboat charter parties and subsequently defending applications (referred to trial) to set aside the arrest and for security in respect of the alleged wrongful arrest.
USD42-million in claims for high wind damage after extensive damage to various vessels and port facilities at Durban Harbour.
USD40-million inter-ship collision damages claim following a collision in the port of Beira channel between a container ship and the port dredger.
USD20-million claim following a collision of a vessel under compulsory pilotage with a bulk loading appliance at the port of Durban, with complex arguments relating to the interpretation of the provisions of the National Ports Act, No. 12 of 2005 insofar as they relate to pilotage.
ZAR16-million damages claim by a major oil company that owns a rigid pipeline running along the seabed of Mossel Bay, against the owners of a vessel and others after the vessel’s anchor snagged the pipeline.
Governmental enquiry into abandonment by crew of a sinking trawler and resultant loss of life in which the owners were exculpated.
Salvage claim after a vessel lost power near Durban and the South African Maritime Safety Authority ordered that it accept tug assistance, alleging it was a pollution hazard.
Acting for time charterers in a matter involving a fire and explosion on a vessel and in which general average was declared by owners.
Towcon dispute, mandated by Tug Owner and P&I insurers. Casualty investigation, evidence collation and liaison with relevant environmental and safety authorities following a parted tow wire incident off the South Africa coastline giving rise to a dispute under the Towcon, and potential exposure under applicable environmental legislation.
Casualty investigation and liaison with port, safety and environmental authorities following a stow collapse and resultant loss of containers overboard; attended to reporting obligations under applicable environmental legislation and mitigation of penal sanctions, liaison with authorities and contractors to salvage lost containers and cargo, and defence of cargo claims.
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