Michael Ritter

Michael Ritter

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Michael Ritter is a partner in the HFW shipping and transport team. Mike predominantly advises shipowners, their insurers and salvors on issues arising from marine casualties (collisions, fires, groundings, etc.), in particular in relation to jurisdiction, limitation of liability and wreck removal. Post casualty response, he also advises on the underlying liabilities both in tort and any underlying contracts of carriage, the defence of cargo claims and prosecution of general average and inter-ship collision recoveries. He also increasingly advises on dry shipping issues.

In relation to his hostile environment work, Mike was heavily involved in the release of the crews of eight vessels kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea and in two of the Fujairah anchorage attacks in 2019, and a further seven Gulf of Guinea kidnappings and two Persian Gulf attacks in 2020, as well as various non-marine kidnap, extortion and related risks and vessel detentions. In connection with these cases, he has advised both owners and insurers in relation to the Terrorism Act 2000. He most recently assisted those affected by a December 2021 West African incident.

Mike was recognised as a ‘rising star’ in 2019 by The Legal 500 for his handling of casualty response work, in 2020 for casualty work, including hostage matters, and is part 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.

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