Our people

With approaching 35 years as a marine solicitor, TugAdvise founder Simon Tatham has come across pretty much every legal problem and solution affecting the tug and OSV business. He has put together a growing team, including some of the most experienced people in shipping law, who really understand the operational, technical and legal issues you face – people who know how to give clear advice and cut through to the right solutions.

Simon TathamPartner


+44 (0) 20 7929 0548. Mob +44 (0) 7885 026554

Simon Tatham is one of the UK’s most experienced Admiralty solicitors, a partner in Tatham & Co and founder of TugAdvise.

He has spent approaching 35 years working for leading shipping firms in the City of London, helping clients to make better-informed business decisions, offering advice and working to resolve their problems – from answering routine contractual questions to co-ordinating major incidents. Much of his work has been with operators in the tug and offshore support sectors, which are his particular passion.

Pooling his experience with other senior members of the legal profession, he has created a new style of legal service that focuses exclusively on the tug and offshore support vessel sectors – TugAdvise.

Plaudits from clients include:

“Even if an accident like this is very much undesired, it is a true pleasure to be supported by such dedicated competence, available when needed, during the entire process.”

“Your skillful handling of Members’ expectations and a notoriously difficult opponent led to a realistic solution and is much appreciated by the Club. Look forward to working with you again soon.”

His varied workload covers matters such as:

  • Towage contracts
  • Barge, semi-submersible and heavy-lift
  • Salvage – from fishing vessels and yachts to large tankers and container ships
  • ISU subcontracts
  • Apportionment of salvage awards for crew
  • Wreck removal contract negotiation
  • Fires, collisions, allisions and groundings
  • Safe port disputes
  • Charterparty terminations
  • Marine insurance coverage
  • Knock-for-knock clause disputes
  • Limitation of liability
  • Cross-border litigation and forum shopping
  • Ship arrests and attachments

Contact Simon: +44 (0) 20 7929 0548
Mobile: +44 (0) 7885 026554

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Stephen AskinsPartner


+44 (0)20 7929 4830. Mob +44 (0)7841 098858

Stephen Askins who left the Royal Marines in 1990, joined TugAdvise in April 2015 after twenty five years at Ince & Co during which time he spent ten years in Piraeus.

Stephen was listed in the Lloyd’s List Top 10 Law Personalities in the past three years which lists the most influential people in shipping.

‘Interviewees praise him as a confident and aggressive advocate who often advises on wet and piracy matters.’ Chambers and Partners UK 2014

“Stephen Askins is recognised for his knowledge of piracy matters and has advised extensively on the use of armed security.” Chambers and Partners 2013

Stephen’s primary area of expertise and experience is wet and dry shipping acting for owners and their insurers in the aftermath of maritime incidents including salvage, wreck removal, collisions and piracy. He advises on all areas of Admiralty law as well as on contractual issues arising out of charterparties and bills of lading. He acted for the owners of the Voutakos, a LOF salvage case which went to the High Court and considered the controversial issues arising out of rescue tow cases and the “disparity principle”.

In recent years he has become recognised as one of the leading experts advising on piracy, maritime terrorism and the use of armed guards. He advises on the legal and practical issues that arise for clients operating in complex environments including Libya, Crimea, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea. He has handled many hijackings and kidnappings on both east and west Africa working with owners and their Crisis Management Teams.

He was part of the GUARDCON drafting committee and appeared in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee looking into piracy off Somalia. He was also part of the Industry Advisory Panel working with the International Task Force set up to debate the legality and payment of ransoms.

More recently he has been advising on the issues arising out of trading to areas affected by Ebola working with insurers and owners to develop specific charterparty clauses to cover this.

Stephen has developed a strong following in crisis management in both the marine and non-marine sectors providing training, guidance and advice. His past military training combines well with a strong commercial and legal understanding of contractual and liability. He regularly lectures on this and general crisis management and speaks and writes extensively on the legal issues arising from piracy and hijackings.


Contact: +44 (0)20 7929 4830
Mobile: +44 (0)7841 098858

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John ReederQC


+44 (0)20 7929 2957. Mob +44 (0)7785 737056

John Reeder is a leading silk

John Reeder QC is a leading counsel, editor of the 5th edition of Brice on Salvage and he is a former Lloyd’s Salvage Arbitrator and Appeal Arbitrator. He is also co-editor of the current edition of Lowndes & Rudolf on General Average and consultant editor of Halsbury’s Laws of England, Shipping and Maritime Law. John is the UK government appointed expert on navigation issues and dumping in the context of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He is an expert in treasure salvage law.

John is a litigation barrister with many years of advocacy and strategic case handling.

He is recognised for his technical knowledge and grasp of the practical aspects of shipping and maritime law, gained largely through his experience as the Lloyd’s Appeal Arbitrator and of public enquiries, including the Penlee Lifeboat, the Herald of Free Enterprise and the Marchioness incidents. Legal 500 has described him as “highly rated” and “phenomenally talented.”

John drafts pleadings, provides specialist counsel’s opinion on complex matters and is a core team member in both wet and dry cases.

Contact John: +44 (0)20 7929 0268
Mobile: +44 (0)7785 737056

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Michael HowardQC


+44 (0)20 7929 0268

Michael Howard QC joined in September 2019 bringing to TugAdvise his enormous experience both as an active Admiralty counsel and as a former Lloyd’s Arbitrator. In addition to salvage and wreck removal he advises on ship sale or construction contracts, charterparties and marine policies. As counsel, he has appeared in the Admiralty Court in disputes ranging from […]

Michael Howard QC joined in September 2019 bringing to TugAdvise his enormous experience both as an active Admiralty counsel and as a former Lloyd’s Arbitrator.

In addition to salvage and wreck removal he advises on ship sale or construction contracts, charterparties and marine policies.

As counsel, he has appeared in the Admiralty Court in disputes ranging from oil pollution to collision and limitation actions and in the Commercial Court in a wide range of contractual disputes, primarily of a maritime nature. In arbitration Michael has acted as advocate in salvage cases, charterparty and bills of lading disputes, marine insurance, general average, shipbuilding and ship sale disputes.

Michael has been the Leader of the Admiralty Bar of England & Wales since 2000 and also continues to practise from Quadrant Chambers.

Michael being part of this specialised team enables TugAdvise to provide a broader, seamless, focussed and efficient legal service to the tug and offshore vessel community.

He is well-known for his longstanding experience in shipping work.”

(Legal 500, 2020)

  • “Extremely well regarded.”

(Legal 500, 2019)

  • A silk with vast experience…”

(Legal 500, 2017)

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Ian PerrottConsultant


+44(0) 20 7929 0548 Mob: +44(0) 7719 648 37

Ian Perrott is acknowledged as a leading expert in the chartering and operation of offshore vessels. Ian teaches, presents and writes on the subject, often through BIMCO, and recently was Chairman of the BIMCO drafting committee for SUPPLYTIME 2017. He is now involved in the drafting of a series of specialist activity Annexes for BIMCO that will complement the SUPPLYTIME 2017 form.

Our business philosophy at TugAdvise is that, as lawyers, we should understand our clients and their needs, whether supporting them in contract drafting or the resolution of disputes and claims. Ian’s abundant knowledge, practical experience and his understanding of the industry’s contracts brings a unique depth to the work we do, saving clients time and money.

Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers having worked at Stewart Offshore Services before being seconded to Mobil Oil as their advisor in the chartering and commissioning of a Rapid Intervention Vessel for the Beryl Oil Field.

From there he joined the Maersk Co. Ltd. in Aberdeen with responsibility for the chartering of their fleet of eighteen PSVs, AHTS vessels and a DSV.

He then joined Sealion Shipping as their chartering manager for its fleet of PSVs, AHTSs, ROV support vessels, Saturation DSVs, cable-layers and a well-testing vessel. Promoted to Commercial Manager in 2000, he assumed responsibility for the fleet’s contractual and legal issues overseeing, as a hands-on client, numerous LMAA arbitrations. In 2004 he joined Sealion’s board as the Commercial Director and de-facto Joint Managing Director with responsibility for their fleet and new-building program of PSV’s AHTS, ROV Support and DSV’s, for marine insurance, chartering, contracts and legal issues.

In 2009 he relocated to Hamburg after being appointed the Managing Director of ER Offshore GmbH’s fleet of 13 new PSVs and AHTS vessels.

Returning to the UK in 2015, Ian Perrott has since worked as consultant advising vessel owners, charterers, insurers, lawyers, financiers, government agencies and specialist brokers involved in the offshore support vessel industry. He continues to speak regularly at industry events and to participate in seminars world-wide on BIMCO’s offshore suite of contracts, including Supplytime.

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Keith HarperConsultant, Solicitor/ Master Mariner


+44 (0)20 7929 2957. Mob +44 (0) 7391 123007

Keith Harper is Solicitor/ Master Mariner, Consultant and has been involved in shipbuilding, sale and purchase and charterparty disputes and his areas of expertise are in tendering, salvage and towage.

Keith Harper graduated from Cardiff University; holds a British Foreign Going Master’s certificate; and is qualified as an English lawyer.

During more than 40 years in the Shipping Industry he has served at sea on a wide variety of vessels with P&O and the Swire Group (with whom he had command experience on several offshore vessels).  Keith then worked in private practice for Watson Farley and Thomas Cooper as a shipping lawyer in London.

From the year 2000 he was an in-house lawyer for Wijsmuller, then A. P. Moller – Maersk’s towage and salvage division, SVITZER, then Ardent.  He was based with SVITZER in the UK, Denmark and The Netherlands; where he also worked for Smit Lamnalco before returning to the UK in 2016.

He was the Director of Group Legal Affairs for SvitzerWijsmuller A/S in Copenhagen and on the Supervisory Board of SVITZER Salvage BV.  He has lectured to the Copenhagen Business School MBA in Shipping and Logistics; was a speaker at the WISTA conference in London at IMO, BIMCAT Bahamas and the Dublin Marine Claims Conference.

Keith has been involved in shipbuilding, sale and purchase and charterparty disputes and his areas of expertise are in tendering, salvage and towage.

His case experience also includes:

  • Shipbuilding
  • Sale and purchase
  • Charterparty disputes
  • Tendering
  • Salvage
  • Towage

Contact Keith: +44 (0)20 7929 0268
Mobile: +44 (0)  7391 123007

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Adrian HandMarine Manager


+44 (0)20 7929 2957. Mob +44 (0) 7831 419120

Adrian began his career in what is today known as The Salvage Arbitration Branch at the Corporation of Lloyd’s. Primarily involved in the administration of Lloyd’s Form of Salvage Agreement, collecting salvage security, appointment of arbitrators, and publication and collection of awards.

He moved to the legal profession, working initially at Elborne Mitchell and then for thirty years at Shaw and Croft, where he was Senior Marine Manager, followed by five years at Waltons & Morse before joining TugAdvise in 2016.

Adrian specialises in all aspects of marine salvage, having represented many major members of the International Salvage Union, as well as shipowners, and more recently, cargo interests.

His case experience also includes:

  • Salvage (under contract or at common law)
  • Collision
  • Wreck removal on BIMCO terms
  • General Average
  • Unseaworthiness disputes

Contact Adrian: +44 (0)20 7929 2957
Mobile: +44 (0) 7831 419 120


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