Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Mr Richard Coles LLB (Hull), Solicitor (England and Wales), Solicitor (Ireland)

Visiting Fellow

Mr Richard Coles's photo

Richard Coles is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Maritime Law and a Consultant to Gateley, a national commercial law firm.

He was admitted as a solicitor in 1972, joining the ship finance department of Holman Fenwick and Willan the following year.  In 1977 he moved to Carter & Co, a smaller City law firm, becoming a partner a year later. In 1990 he joined the niche maritime law firm, Shaw and Croft to develop the non-contentious side of the shipping practice, serving as Senior Partner from 2003 until the merger of the firm with HBJ Gateley Wareing (now Gateley Plc) in 2007. Between 2007 until 2014, Richard was the lead partner responsible for transactional superyacht work in the Yacht Team, part of the Gateley Shipping Unit.

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.

Research interests

The ownership, construction, financing and registration of ships of all kinds, in particular yachts, towage, maritime conventions and the law of armed conflict.

Affiliate research group

Institute of Maritime Law

Mr Richard Coles
Southampton Law School, Building 4 University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings