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Hill Dickinson boosts international casualty response team with hire of master mariner Helene Peter-Davies

Posted on: 2 March 2022

Law firm Hill Dickinson has boosted its international team of master mariners with the hire of Helene Peter-Davies to its London office. She joins an industry-leading legal team of master mariner/casualty specialists who together have more than 100 years of practical seagoing experience spanning most vessel types.

Helene Peter-Davies is a solicitor and master mariner with 30 years’ experience in the shipping industry. She entered the maritime legal profession in 2009 and qualified as a solicitor in 2012. She specialises in wet and dry shipping matters which have a technical nature where her previous seagoing and shore experience add to the understanding of cases. She has considerable experience of attending, managing, and investigating casualties, and handling cases through to resolution, including Lloyd’s Salvage Arbitration, LMAA Arbitration, High Court, Court of Appeal and mediation proceedings. Helene also regularly advises on policy and procedural issues concerning the UK Ports and Terminals industry.

Helene’s seagoing career commenced with a dual cadetship at the age of 17, after which she gained 12 years’ seagoing experience as both a deck and engineering officer on a variety of vessel types including VLCCs, product tankers, LNG carriers, containers ships, general cargo ships, oil field stand-by / anchor handling vessels, high speed craft and Ro-Ro vessels.

After leaving the sea, Helene was engaged in a senior role overseeing the vessel vetting and approval processes for an oil major, and lectured in Maritime Law at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies (now City of Glasgow College), where she became Head of School of Nautical Studies with overall responsibility for the Certificate of Competency Courses for Deck Officers. Through her professional memberships and volunteer roles, Helene is a champion of diversity within shipping. She was awarded the Victoria Drummond Award by Nautilus International in 2019 for her mentoring work and the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service in 2020 for services to Women in Maritime.

Phil Haddon, partner and master mariner, who heads up the London casualty response team, says: “We are very pleased to welcome Helene to the team. She is well known to us from her years of work in the industry including on high value, multi-jurisdictional and complex cases, and her expertise and experience, combined with her mentoring skills, make her a great addition to our team.”

Tony Goldsmith, head of Marine and Trade, and also a master mariner, said: “I am delighted that Helene is joining us. She has impressed us over the years and has always represented her clients’ interests well and in a manner that earns respect and trust. She is a perfect fit into our team, and we look forward to her starting with us in March.”

Hill Dickinson has been responding to emergency situations arising out of major marine casualties and disasters for over 200 years. Its team of mariners, all of whom are qualified lawyers, provide assistance in every type of casualty situation to clients around the globe, from offices in Europe and the Far East. The team provides marine casualty expertise 24/7, 365 days of the year, enabling early stage intervention whenever and wherever an incident occurs, and quickly identifying the potential legal issues, preserving and capturing all of the relevant physical, electronic and witness evidence.

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