Meet Our Team
Tel: +44 (0) 207 375 1393
Mark is a specialist superyacht and luxury asset lawyer with significant experience acting for HNW individuals, family offices, owner’s representatives, trustees and fiduciaries of some of the most significant superyachts in the world as well as superyacht related businesses.
Mark’s superyacht practice is comprehensive and includes advising on sale and purchase transactions, yacht construction projects, refit, conversion and paint projects, VAT / Tax (and the associated structuring), yacht finance/re-finance, flagging, crew employment, berth sale and purchase, regulatory compliance (including MLC 2006), tender and support ship sale and purchase, insurance, security arrangements as well as drafting and negotiating a wide variety of superyacht related agreements such as yacht management, technical management, project management, yacht design, furniture supply, charter, sales and central agency agreements.
Clients and contacts describe Mark as a “great marine lawyer”, “diligent, professional”, as someone who can “take charge of a transaction” and who “above all gets the job done in a no nonsense manner”. Mark was voted Superyacht Lawyer of the Year 2017 by The Lawyer International and one of the ‘Six Biggest Names in Superyacht Law’. He prides himself on being available to his clients and in forging strong, long lasting relationships with them which is why he can count some of the wealthiest individuals in the world as close friends.
To complement his superyacht practice, Mark also assists clients with the sale, purchase and ownership of private jets, helicopters, aviation engines and other luxury assets including classic cars. Mark has also advised on the short term lease of luxury private islands.
As well as having a strong transactional / advisory practice, Mark also holds Higher Rights of Audience before the senior civil courts of England and Wales (rights which are held by less than 5% of all English solicitors) and acts for clients in both litigation and arbitration.
Mark grew up in the Cayman Islands and as such has friends and business contacts in a number of international jurisdictions including the Caribbean, Canada and the USA.
Examples of Mark’s work include:
Yacht/Ship Sale and Purchase:
Mark is regularly instructed on the sale and purchase of yachts and ships. Recent transactions include:
- 59.4m, Lurssen, Cayman Islands Flagged Yacht
- 23.7m, Baia Atlantica, French Flagged Sport Yacht
- 22.3m, Azimut, Belize Flagged, Motor Yacht.
- 23.7m, Baia Atlantica, Italian Flagged Sport Yacht.
- 92m, Jansen Schiffswerft, Italian Flagged, Roll on/Roll off Ship.
- 61.5m, Amels, Cayman Flagged Superyacht.
- 27.1m, Nautor Swan, Isle of Man Flagged Sailing Yacht.
- 48m, Oceanfast/Austal, Cayman Flagged Superyacht.
- Acted for the purchaser in the construction of a custom 130m+ superyacht including preparing, drafting and negotiating the shipbuilding contract with the shipyard.
- Acted upon the successful delivery of a 50m motor yacht.
- Negotiated the shipbuilding contract for the build of a 40m yacht currently being built in Italy.
- Advised a UHNW Russian individual on the tax consequences of becoming UK tax resident with regard to his ownership of two large (44m and 50m) superyachts and a Global 8000 private jet. Thereafter, restructuring the ownership of the same so as to mitigate the application of EU VAT.
- Advised, in concert with a Russian tax lawyer, an UHNW Russian individual on changes to the Russian tax rules and introduction of the Russian Controlled Foreign Companies Law.
- Advised an UHNW individual upon the tax consequences of the carriage of works of art across borders on-board a yacht.
- Advised an UHNW industrial magnate on the restructuring of his ownership of an 80 metre superyacht.
- Advised the owner of a 48 metre superyacht upon its import into the EU via the Maltese Commercial Exemption.
- Advised the owner of a 60 metre yacht on tax efficient funding strategies in order to the fund the operation of the vessel.
- Mark provides regular day-to-day advice on superyacht operations and important tax planning issues.
Yacht / Jet Asset Finance
- Acted as part of the legal team for the owner of a 90 metre superyacht and private Airbus to secure a USD $90,000,000 cross collateralised asset backed liquidity facility, including negotiating the head loan agreements, deed of covenants, general assignment, mortgage and manager’s undertakings.
- Advising on and structuring the ownership of superyachts and private jets in order to safeguard clients from potential liabilities whilst ensuring tax efficiency and long term stability.
- Advised on the re-structuring of the ownership of a newly delivered 50m motor yacht.
Ad-hoc / Luxury Asset Advisory
- Negotiating a $1.5m luxury private island rental agreement.
- Re-structuring a charter party between an American billionaire and an UHNW Russian yacht owner, in order to bring it in line with local law in the jurisdiction in which the charter was to take place.
- Providing detailed advice on the terms of insurance policies for a yacht with a value exceeding €200m and placing the insurance on-behalf of the client.
International Dispute Resolution
- Acted for the billionaire owner of large superyacht in London Maritime Arbitration Association proceedings brought against the builder in relation to a claim for breach of warranty and defective workmanship.
- Acted for the purchaser of a 32m sport yacht in a dispute with the seller in relation to non-performance of contract terms and a failure to convey clean title. Successfully settled the dispute on terms confidential to the parties.
- Acted for a commercial client in a contractual dispute with the owners of one of tallest buildings in Europe. The dispute was settled successfully on confidential terms.
- Acted for a multinational aviation company in connection with the successful recovery of debts owed to them by national airline of an island nation and separately in litigation in the commercial court in enforcing the terms of a settlement agreement with an Indian airline.
- Headed the negotiation of a multi-million pound, five year, partnership between the UK subsidiary of an Italian listed entity and a house-hold name, UK price comparison website. Advised the Managing Director and board on the deal and negotiated the terms with the price-comparison websites in-house legal team.
- Advised a technology company on and re-negotiated the contractual terms for the provision of services to a significant exhibition centre venue.
- Advised on and re-negotiated the contractual terms for the provision of services to a world renowned racecourse.
- Acted for a technology company in the collection of a debt owed to it by a Turkish theme park operator.
- Acted for a yacht technical management company in preparing their standard terms and conditions of business.
- Advised an aviation engine manufacturer on the terms of their sale of aviation parts.
For more information, or to get in touch with Mark, please email email@example.com