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The University of Southampton
Institute of Maritime Law

Wednesday Practitioner Seminar Series

The Wednesday Seminar Series has now run for over twenty years. It is a seminar programme with expert speakers who kindly give up their valuable time to come and share their experience with our students. The general theme is practical knowledge helpful to lawyers, how the law operates in real life and an insight into the various professions involved in the maritime, commercial and insurance sectors. The seminars are aimed at our maritime and commercial law students, however we are happy to welcome a wider audience – if interested please turn up to the seminar of interest.

Unless otherwise specified, the seminars take place on Wednesdays from 14:00 pm until 15:00 pm. There will be an opportunity for questions.

For more information please see the below schedule for the rest of current semester and follow @imlsouthampton on Twitter for up to date details on any changes.


24th February at 3pm

Harry Theochari

“Shipping and Maritime Industries – where will the money come from during these extraordinary times?”

Harry Theochari is a Senior Consultant at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, a shipping and asset finance lawyer based in London.

He has wide experience of syndicated facilities, structured financings, private equity and capital market transactions. His main focus is international shipping finance and he has been involved with the financing of both new building and second-hand vessels and offshore assets all over the world. In recent years Harry's practice has focused on advising new investors, such as private equity funds and hedge funds on their entry into the shipping industry. He has also been involved in the restructuring of a number of listed shipping companies.

Harry has been named by Lloyd's List as the most influential shipping lawyer in the world. He has been recognized by Tanker Shipping & Trade as one of the 50 most influential people in the tanker industry, is cited by Chambers Global 2020 as a leading individual for shipping finance and is named by Best Lawyers as a 'lawyer of the year', 2021. He is currently Chair Emeritus of Maritime UK, Vice Chair of Maritime London and sits on the Institute of Maritime Law Advisory Board of the University of Southampton.


3rd March at 3pm

Richard Coles

International Maritime Conventions: To what extent do they apply to superyachts?

Richard is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Maritime Law and a Consultant to Gateley Plc, a national commercial law firm. Since the mid 1990’s, his work has focused on the superyacht sector, representing yacht owners, brokers, trade associations and banks. During the course of his professional career, Richard sat on a number of external shipping industry  committees, including the UK Chamber of Shipping Small Ship Issues and Defence and Security Issues Committees, the Shipping Defence Advisory Committee and most recently, the Cayman Islands Shipowners’ Advisory Council - Yacht Committee.  From 1998 to 2014 he advised a leading superyacht industry trade association in connection with the world-wide activities of the Association and continues to be involved in the training of its members.

Richard served for 24 years in the UK Reserve Forces, spending his last nine years of service as a part-time legal staff officer. For two successive years he attended a review conference at the United Nations in Geneva convened under Amended Protocol II of the 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, “the CCW Convention” as a member of the UK Government legal team. He retired as a reservist in 2007.

Richard is the author of Ship Registration: Law and Practice published in 2002, the second edition  written jointly with Ed Watt in 2009 and the consulting editor of the third edition published in 2018. He is jointly with Filippo Lorenzon the author of the first and second editions of The Law of Yachts and Yachting published in 2012 and 2018 respectively. In 2019 he contributed a chapter in Codification of Maritime Law edited by Justyna Nawrot and Zuzanna Poplowska- Dabrowska and with Andrew Serdy jointly penned an article, Ship Registration and Brexit, published in Vol 43, TMLJ. He continues to research, write and lecture in his particular areas of interest.


For any specific questions, please contact Dr Filip Saranovic (the coordinator of the Wednesday Seminar Series) by email

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