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Ian is a senior member of the firm's shipping group. His practice embraces shipping cases and large scale commercial disputes in court proceedings, arbitrations and ADR for clients around the world.


Recommended for shipping work by the Legal 500 and Chambers directories, Ian has extensive experience across all aspects of the firm’s contentious shipping practice, including wet cases (collisions and other casualties, salvage and pollution incidents) and dry (cargo claims, charterparty disputes, ship repair claims and marine insurance claims).

Ian acts for shipowners, P&I Clubs and hull insurers and has also represented clients in some of the leading oil spill cases of recent years. He is a member of Ince’s international emergency response team.

Ian has acted in many significant cases including the Haven, (oil tanker explosion off Genoa); the Sea Empress (grounding and oil spill off Milford Haven); the Indian Grace (the House of Lords on estoppel and the nature of an in rem action); the Limburg (exploded off Yemen); the Key Singapore (disputed salvage of an oil rig); the Front Comor Allianz v West Tankers [2009] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 413 and case C-185/07 (The House of Lords and European Court of Justice on anti-suit injunctions); the Athena [2011] EWHC 589 ( jurisdiction and establishing contract terms); the Rena (containership grounding off Tauranga, New Zealand); and the Ocean Victory [2017] UKSC 35 (The Supreme Court on a US$170m unsafe port claim).  

Ian is distinguished as a leading shipping and maritime lawyer by Who's Who Legal 2018.

“'Knowledgeable, sensible and reasonable,' Ian Chetwood stands out as 'a tough negotiator' and a provider of 'good, accurate advice.'” Chambers and Partners 

Brilliant” Legal 500 

“excellent on commercial disputes"Legal 500 2017

“a 'very intelligent and thoughtful practitioner' who is 'a real pleasure to deal with'"chambers and partners 2018

Insurance & Reinsurance

Ian’s expertise in dispute resolution for the shipping industry extends to P&I and marine insurance claims. He has investigated insurance claims (such as claims for total loss) and provided advice on the interpretation of insurance clauses. He has given evidence on English insurance law in overseas proceedings. He regularly acts for shipowners, P&I and hull insurers in insurance cases.

Shipping, Insurance