Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its marine and international trade practice with the appointment of commodities specialist Emma Skakle as partner. She will be based in the firm’s London office.
Skakle specialises in resolving high value claims for clients across the shipping, trading and natural resources sectors. She regularly acts for the major players in the soft commodities industries, and has extensive experience representing clients in London arbitrations (LMAA, ICC, LCIA, GAFTA, FOSFA), the High Court – including the Court of Appeal – and mediation. Her practice also includes upstream oil and gas disputes, where she has acted for state-owned companies in complex, multi-jurisdictional arbitrations.
“We are thrilled to be joined by a lawyer of Emma’s calibre,” said Alex Davis, head of marine and international trade, Stephenson Harwood. “Her expertise in soft commodities complements our team’s existing hard commodities capabilities, bringing a new dimension to the offering we’re able to provide clients. This appointment comes at a time of renewed investment by us in this core sector, and her international experience, particularly in relation to Singapore, will be a real coup. When I took over as head of the department last year, I set growing our international capabilities as a key strategic priority; we have specialists across our global network of offices, and Emma’s appointment will add a new string to our bow when it comes to both soft commodities and international expertise.
“From the outset, I also committed to supporting a more flexible approach to working practices, something which the current Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus. As a management team, we’ve used this opportunity to reflect on capturing the best bits of the lockdown experience, and on making sure we retain them for the future. We know that, if we get this right, it will make us an even more attractive destination for the most ambitious and talented lawyers – like Emma – whom we want to bring with us into this next chapter of our firm.”
The Stephenson Harwood marine and international trade practice offers services to clients in the shipping, insurance, offshore and commodity sectors. Clients include many of the world’s largest shipowners, shipyards, major ship finance banks, marine insurers and IG P&I clubs, energy services companies, oil and gas companies and commodities traders.