maritime and transport

Bowman Gilfillan’s Maritime and Transport department is a leader in its field, and has a solid reputation for providing fast and effective advice in all the major areas of South African maritime law and practice.

Emergency Response

[available 24 hrs a day on +27 21 480 7920]

Southern Africa’s dangerous coastline is notorious for serious high profile losses. We strive to provide immediate legal and practical assistance in an emergency. Our lawyers have been involved in many of the most significant local casualties of the past decade including:

The Smart, Kiani Satu, Ioannis NK, Boundary, Gulser Anna, Alexandros T, Safmarine Agulhas, Anangel Splendour and Kiperous

Bowman Gilfillan is the listed legal correspondent in the ports of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth for most of the International Group of P&I Clubs

Admiralty Litigation

South Africa’s liberal arrest and attachment procedures – notably the associated ship arrest and “security arrest” - make it a favoured admiralty jurisdiction for enforcing maritime claims and obtaining security for court and arbitration proceedings worldwide.

We regularly act for a range of international and local clients in bringing and defending claims, such as major shipowners, charterers, P& I Clubs, marine underwriters, and banks. 

The firm has acted in numerous High Court cases of legal and practical importance. Recent examples include the Rio Caroni, Silver Star, MSC Gina, Vasi, Deep Venture and Alina II.

Commercial Services

We advise businesses involved in shipping and trading on commercial matters such as ship building and repair, ship sale and purchase, international sales contracts, customs and excise issues, standard business terms, charterparties and bills of lading. We also act for local and foreign banks in shipping finance transactions, including ship and mortgage registration.

Our Expertise Covers The Whole Range Of Maritime Legal Services, Including:

  • Arrest
  • Bills of Lading
  • Bunker disputes and arrests
  • Cargo claims
  • Charterparties
  • Carriage of goods
  • General average
  • Hull and cargo insurance
  • Liens
  • Maritime casualties – collisions, grounding and salvage
  • Marine resources
  • Mortgage foreclosures
  • P&I
  • Personal injuries
  • Pollution
  • Salvage and stowaways
  • Shipbuilding and repair
  • Ship sale and purchase
  • Ship finance
  • Wrecks and wreck removal

The Maritime and Transport Department is available 24 hrs a day (+27 21 480 7920) and in case of emergency, the following people will be available:

Craig Cunningham - +27 82-806-6001

Jeremy Prain - +27 72-596-7658



In association with Bowman Gilfillan Africa GroupMember of Lex MundiMember of Employment Law AllianceWe Support The Global Compact