Stuart has almost 30 years’ specialist experience in all aspects of transactional shipping matters. His expertise includes advising clients on ship finance and sale and leaseback transactions, ship sale & purchase, newbuilding contracts, resale contracts, bareboat charters, ship and mortgage registration, management contracts, novations and related corporate and commercial matters.
He is vastly experienced with all aspects of the sale and purchase of shipping and offshore assets and guides clients through the process from drafting and negotiation of the sale contract, delivery documentation, vessel registration and the closing procedure, including the registration and/or discharge of ship mortgages and the flow of funds through multiple jurisdictions and time zones.
He is a contributor to “Strong and Herring – Sale of Ships: The Norwegian Saleform”, the leading publication on the law of the sale and purchase of ships.
"Ship sale and purchase requires not only legal nous but also a pragmatic approach so as to ensure ultimate success and minimal deviation at the lowest possible cost. As an experienced non-contentious shipping lawyer I strive to provide my clients with a service that espouses both those tenets."
What you may not know about Stuart
Stuart is an amateur racing driver with over 20 years’ experience. He was Britcar Production Champion in 2006, MG Owners’ Club Champion in 2009 and runner-up to a professional driver in Lotus Cup UK in 2013. Stuart is currently campaigning an MGF in the 2019 MG Owners’ Club Championship.
My matter highlights
Transactions involving the sale and purchase of merchant vessels including tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, MODUs, drillships, anchor handling and supply ships and all other types of commercial and offshore vessels. Drafting and negotiating a contract for the sale of a US$20,000,000 well stimulation vessel by a major American client. Liaising with all the parties, convening and chairing the closing meeting in London and co-ordinating simultaneous closing meetings in Aberdeen, New Orleans, Bermuda and Panama.
Registration and Parallel Registration of vessels, mortgages and finance documentation, including liaising with clients, lenders, international ship registries and foreign lawyers and subsequently having sole responsibility for the co-ordination and execution of all procedural requirements. Extensive experience of all major ship registries.
Sale and leaseback transactions. Negotiating and co-ordinating the sale and leaseback of a US$8,000,000 oil tanker and a US$55,000,000 cruise ship.
Escrow Arrangements. I am solely responsible for the operation of all sale and purchase deposit and balance escrow services offered by Ince & Co. I developed bespoke escrow agreements and the very streamlined procedure in use today which provides for minimum work and maximum profit. I alone administer all escrow transactions of which there are a significant number each year. I was also a member of the BIMCO Drafting Sub-Committee for production of the BIMCO Deposit Escrow Agreement that was published by BIMCO in November 2017.
Bareboat charter and management contracts. Negotiating and drafting the lease of an Italian cruise liner. Advising a longstanding major French offshore contractor client on the terms and conditions of its standard marine and technical oil rig and drillship management contracts.
Joint Venture Agreements. Co-ordinating, meeting with and advising clients on the mechanics of setting up a joint venture for the construction and financing of six offshore drilling units valued at US$1,000,000,000 and subsequently being jointly responsible for negotiating and drafting joint venture documentation.
Offshore corporations. Advising clients on jurisdictional issues, liaising with foreign agents, setting-up corporations in numerous jurisdictions including Bahamas, Liberia, Panama, Netherlands Antilles, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and the Marshall Islands. Acting from time to time as secretary for various offshore corporations administered by Ince & Co. Acting for a major Japanese shipowner in connection with its entry into the offshore market, including having sole responsibility for advising on and setting-up an offshore corporate structure involving several companies of differing jurisdictions in relation to the ownership of nine new build offshore anchor handling tug supply vessels.
My testimonials and accolades
“Stuart has spoken at several conferences on the legal aspect of ship sale and purchase and ship registration organised by Lloyd's List and Informa UK Limited.”
“Author of several articles published in the ship finance annual dealing with the interpretation of shipping contracts and financing documentation.”
“Contributor to 'Sale of Ships, Norwegian Saleform.'”
My recent publications
News / Legal update from the Maritime team
31-03-2020 / Maritime
Last week we successfully completed the first post onset of Covid-19 mortgage amendment for one of our ship owning clients on the Marshall Islands Ship Registry.
News / Ince Co advises Fugro on US130 million sale and lease back of two vessels
12-01-2016 / Maritime
International law firm Ince Co has announced today that it has advised Fugro on a sale and lease back agreement with ICON Investments regarding two of its geotechnical drill ships Fugro Scout and Fugro Voyager