Richard Sayer is to take over at the head of the firm from Patrick Griggs at the end of next year.
Griggs remains at the firm as a consultant and will stay a major player in the maritime law arena.
He will still be involved with the British Maritime Law Association and the Comite Maritime International, the parent body of the international maritime law associations.
Griggs, a specialist in marine and aviation disaster litigation, has worked on a string of high-profile cases, including the Marchioness and the Herald of Free Enterprise disasters for the plaintiffs.
He worked on the Piper Alpha oil rig fire and the 1985 Manchester air crash for the defendants.
“Seeing cases like these from both sides has been a very valuable experience, though it has caused the occasional raised eyebrow,” Griggs says.
Sayer also has a strong track record which includes acting in the Braer disaster in the Shetlands.
He is the chair of the City of London Admiralty Solicitors Group.
Sayer says he plans to build on the firm's niche reputation, “as well as promoting our finance and corporate capability”.