Fields of Law

Shipping and Transport Law


Shipping and transport law has always been one of the core areas of Ahlers & Vogel. In Hamburg, shipping law is a particular focus. The lawyers working here are specialized in this field.

Thanks to our multi-annual experience, we are able to tackle most diverse problems of shipping and transport law in a focused and legally secure manner. In advising our clients, in drafting contracts and, of course, in disputes. Nationally and internationally.

Ahlers & Vogel maintains a large number of close cooperations with foreign law firms and university institutes to ensure fast and up-to-date information on foreign legal systems and local support. Our priority is to provide practice-oriented solutions, taking into account the needs of our clients in this fast-developing field of law.

With our long experience and through the competence of our lawyers, we have build an international reputation as experts in shipping and transport law. Our clients are correspondingly diverse. They include shipping companies, P & I Clubs, financing institutes, shipyards, ship and transport insurers, freight forwarders, carriers, warehouse and logistics companies, insurance brokers as well as claims’ handlers.

Shipbuilding and S&P contracts can be the subject of a wide range of disputes. Thorough risk assessment and careful contract drafting help to ensure the proper delivery of ships and to avoid costly arbitration and litigation.

Ship financing and ship investments require a variety of other contracts in addition to ship loans, precisely formulated security instruments and the choice of a safe flag state: For example, we advise on the drafting of ship management and employment contracts, on the preparation of partnership agreements as well as ship mortgages and accompany the takeover and registration or deletion of the ships in the respective register.

Charter contracts for the employment of ships are of a varied nature and often lead to disputes. The fact that contracting parties of different nationalities are involved is an aggravating factor. Careful and precise contract wording is therefore of the essence.

Bill of lading disputes arise not only from cargo damage, but also from ignorance and uncertainty about bill of lading details or the identity of the contracting parties. Especially in this area, there is no substitute for many years of experience.

Ship arrest is an internationally widespread legal instrument for securing claims. This measure can severely disrupt ship operations and requires fast and flexible action. When we are dealing with an arrest abroad, our reliable worldwide contacts are of utmost assistance.

Ship and transport insurance is designed to cushion the financial consequences of a claim. In view of the complex forms of cover, the defence against liability claims, but also the enforcement of one’s own claims, requires the support of well-versed lawyers experienced in the international insurance markets.

Arbitration is a frequently chosen alternative to state court proceedings with greater consideration of commercial interests. Many lawyers in our team have multi-annual experience as arbitrators.

At Ahlers & Vogel, transport law covers all aspects of the transport of goods by water, land and air. In addition to classic forwarding and freight law, this also includes the areas of warehousing, stevedoring and transshipment, as well as logistics.

Yachts are more than sea, sun and holidays: They are a big business investment and have to be looked after properly – technically, commercially and legally.

The team at Ahlers & Vogel is happy to take on this task. With our offices in Bremen and Hamburg we are located in the center of the German yacht industry. All major German newbuilding and repair yards are located in Northern Germany. Years of experience in the shipbuilding, ship repair and yachting industry means that we have excellent relationships with key market players, such as shipyards, suppliers, insurers or other lawyers.

Our lawyers in this field of law