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Steven Wise

Managing Partner
Hong Kong

Lau, Horton & Wise LLP, in Association with CMS Hasche Sigle, Hong Kong LLP
8th Floor, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central,
Hong Kong
Languages English

Steven is a commercial dispute resolution lawyer with over 25 years’ experience (over 20 in Hong Kong) specialising in shipping, marine insurance and international trade litigation and arbitration. He advises clients on a full range of contractual and tortious disputes, in particular disputes arising out of charterparties, bills of lading, sale and purchase contacts and insurance policies. Steven acts for shipowners, operators, charterers, commodity traders, banks, cargo interests, port and terminal operators, brokers and other intermediaries.

Steven also advises property, trade credit, liability and legal expenses insurers including International Group and fixed-premium P&I Clubs, as well as commercial underwriters. In the corporate field, he has substantial experience of shareholder disputes and insolvency proceedings, acting for creditors and liquidators. Steven acts for clients across the Asia Pacific region, in particular Hong Kong, Mainland China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore. He handles cases in the Hong Kong Courts, in regional and international arbitrations, and also represents clients in mediations.

Qualified as a Solicitor in both Hong Kong and England & Wales, Steven is also admitted as a Notary Public in Hong Kong and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

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"Steven is a first-class intellectual and the brightest mind in shipping litigation in Hong Kong."

Chambers, 2021

"A 'Shipping Litigation Star' in Hong Kong."

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2021

"Recognised as a leading individual for Hong Kong – Shipping."

Legal 500, 2020

"One of the foremost shipping experts in the Asia-Pacific market. He is highlighted for his superb work on charter party disputes and insurance claims."

Who's Who Legal, 2019

"ranked in Band 2 for China – Shipping Litigation (International Firms)"

Chambers, 2020

"Steven was a finalist for the “i-law Maritime Law Award – Individual Lawyer of the Year”

Lloyd’s List Asia Pacific Awards, 2017

"Steven Wise is "an excellent lawyer – very academic and very bright." His approach to mandates is described by another interviewee as "very experienced, considered and circumspect."

Chambers, 2020

"The 'calm, detailed and reliable' Wise represents owners, P&I clubs and charterers across a myriad of contractual and tortious disputes, particularly in relation to litigation arising out of charter parties, bills of lading, sale and purchase contacts and insurance policies.”

Legal 500, 2020

Relevant experience

  • A Singaporean company in successfully opposing an application for restoration of a Hong Kong company (Re Trade Treasure Ltd [2019] HKCFI 2976)
  • Chinese charterers in relation to the successful defence of a claim for provision of security under the NYPE Inter-Club Agreement (reported as London Arbitration 18/18 – LMLN 1010).
  • Singaporean charterers in successfully pursuing a claim in London arbitration for breach of a vessel’s cargo capacity warranty.
  • A major Chinese conglomerate in a joint venture dispute regarding a Hong Kong ship operating company, including successfully obtaining and resisting injunctions, enforcing directors’ rights and defending arbitration proceedings brought by a minority shareholder.
  • Insurers of a major port and terminal operator on a series of recoveries against shipowners arising out of allisions with berths and shore cranes in several different jurisdictions.
  • Japanese shipowners on a charterparty dispute regarding oil major approvals.
  • The liquidators of a shipping company on the restructuring of a complicated chain of charterparties and unravelling a joint venture.
  • Greek shipowners in relation to disputes arising out of the disappearance of a fully laden bulk carrier.
  • A tanker pool operator in relation to a dispute between two sovereign states over the ownership of an oil cargo.
  • Korean charterers in successfully defending an unsafe port claim.
  • ING Bank on numerous claims arising out of the OW Bunker insolvency.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Chairman, Transportation and Logistics Committee, The Law Society of Hong Kong
  • Member, Supporting Members Liaison Committee (Asia Pacific), London Maritime Arbitrators Association
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member, Hong Kong Maritime Arbitration Group (HKMAG)
  • Panel Arbitrator, China Marine Arbitration Commission (CMAC)
  • Panel Arbitrator, Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA)
  • Panel Arbitrator, Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC)
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1995 – BA (Jurisprudence), University College, Oxford

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