Squire Sanders launches international shipping team in London 

Squire Sanders is to launch a shipping team in London following the hire of three partners.

The new team will be led by Graham Harris and Dharmendra Nair, who both join the firm from shipping boutique Thomas Cooper, where they were partners.

They are joined by Linos Choo, who was most recently an associate at DLA Piper. The three lawyers all previously practised at legacy firm Richards Butler and Choo and Nair subsequently worked together at DLA Piper.

Harris will manage the London team, which will work in tandem with the firm’s New York-based maritime practice, which is led by global maritime head Brian Starer.

Starer originally set up Squire Sander’s maritime practice in 2008, when he joined legacy firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey alongside fellow Holland & Knight partners Douglas Burnett and Juan Anduiza. The three lawyers had previously worked together at Haight Gardner Poor and Havens prior to its merger with Holland & Knight in 1998.

Two associates, Anne Pickering and Ann Mazzucco, are also joining the London team from Thomas Cooper. Their appointments bring the team, which also includes transportation and regulation head Andrew Sanderson, to six. Other members of the firm, such as managing partner Peter Crossley, also dedicate a considerable amount of their time to shipping work.

Harris’ practice focuses on commercial shipping, with an emphasis on charterparties, bills of lading, shipbuilding, ship sale and purchase, and insurance. Nair is a shipping specialist and has worked in the shipping markets in both London and Singapore. Singapore-born Choo specialises in marine litigation and is a fluent Greek speaker.

Commenting on the new team, Harris told The Lawyer: “This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an international shipping practice from London, with the benefits of a larger firm which has a massive contentious side and there are a lot of areas of interest for shipping work.”

Harris added that the team’s connections and expertise across a range of shipping markets, including the Greek, Singaporean and Indian markets, would provide “a lot of potential synergy with the firm’s existing jurisdictions as well as jurisdictions where the firm is thinking of expanding”.

Commenting on the new team, Starer said: “This is an important new platform for us – one which takes our global maritime capabilities to another level. All of our London team, partners and associates, are highly experienced, well respected experts in all matters shipping and trade; they have consummate technical skills, deep commercial awareness and a flair for building relationships with clients. The strength of this London team is a key plank in our future strategic expansion.”

The news comes as the firm announces its plans to open an office in Singapore in March 2012 on obtaining a license from Singapore’s Ministry of Law (16 February 2012). The firm currently has 36 offices in 17 countries across the world. 

These are the latest moves in Squire Sanders international expansion following the merger of Squire Sanders & Dempsey and Hammonds in January 2011 (8 November 2010).

Since the merger, the firm has been known as Squire Sanders & Dempsey in the US and Squire Sanders Hammonds across Asia and Europe. A year on from the merger, in January 2012 the firm launched a unified global rebrand which will see it known as Squire Sanders across its offices worldwide.