Prior to moving to Southampton, Russell worked for 12 years at one of the specialist shipping law firms in London, where he qualified and subsequently became a partner. He relocated to the South Coast and joined Lester Aldridge in October 2000 as one of the founding members of LA Marine.

Russell’s long and broad experience across both the commercial shipping and the leisure marine and superyacht sectors means that he can provide detailed and client focused advice on a broad range of issues. He will not be unsettled no matter what a client or opponent may throw in his direction.

Over the years he has dealt with many and various interesting cases, ranging from multiple injuries and deaths following an explosion in the pump room of a tanker, a long and technical dispute between the builders and the purchasers of 3 naval offshore patrol vessels, the prosecution of owners and operators of various ships, yachts and RIBs, the negotiation of a contract with the Moroccan Government for off-shore exploration of the continental shelf and the building and financing of many different types of vessel.

Russell has also handled many transactions for the sale and purchase of vessels of all sizes and values, a number of which have involved complicated ownership structures with completion taking place offshore.

Although Russell now focusses more on the non-contentious side of LA Marine’s practice, advising particularly on vessel sale and purchase, marine finance and new build and refit contracts, he does still deal with regulatory matters, such as the investigation and prosecution of vessel owners and operators following breaches (or alleged breaches) of the many Merchant Shipping Regulations, and with insurance claims and other disputes. He is also part of the firm’s team advising port and marina operators.

Russell has also been advising clients in relation to disputes arising under the contracts for the design, build and sale of vessels ranging from a chain ferry to luxury tenders for superyachts, sports boats and cruising yachts.

A measure of his reputation and standing in the market is the fact that he is frequently invited to speak at industry events and is retained by several trade bodies to advise on industry precedent documents and membership matters generally.

Recent examples of work or case studies:

Russell has recently been dealing with several large international loan facilities, including:

  • Advising a Dutch bank in connection with a Secured Term Loan Facility to finance the borrower’s acquisition of a fleet of 6 vessels, the facility being guaranteed by a UK company; and
  • Advising a Portuguese client in respect of a loan facility for the financing of 3 specialist cruise ships under construction in Portugal.