24 October 2019

Clydes boosts maritime practice with double hire

Clyde & Co appoints key maritime, commodities and transport partner in Australia and adds marine partner to strengthen Scottish practice.

In Australia, maritime, commodities and transport lawyer, Ernie van Buuren will join the firm as a partner in December 2019. Today, Stefanie Johnston joins Clyde & Co as a Glasgow-based Partner in its global marine and insurance teams.

“Big impression”

Mr van Buuren joins from Norton Rose where he was head of transport for Asia Pacific and the head of shipping for Australia. Aside from his extensive legal expertise, Mr van Buuren is a qualified master mariner. His clients include government agencies both State and Federal, financial institutions, insurers, cargo and ship owner interests, intermediaries, freight forwarders, mining companies and oil and gas companies. Maurice Thompson, partner, national group head (maritime & commodities), Clyde & Co, says “Ernie has extensive experience in providing advice on shipping, maritime, offshore and aviation matters in the Asia Pacific region. His deep client relationships and technical expertise are a welcome addition to the firm.” Commenting on the growth of the Australian partnership, Australia managing partner, Michael Tooma, says “Ernie's appointment is part of the firm's strategic objective to capitalise on the growth potential of the transport sector in the Australian market and across the region. Our strategy has been to lead in target sectors, and the addition of Ernie certainly underscores that approach.” Mr Tooma added, “Clyde & Co has made a big impression in the Australian market over the past five years. The growth trajectory of the firm, combined with its global reach and reputation in transport and marine, is very compelling.”

Building Scottish practice

Ms Johnston joins as a partner from Keoghs where she helped establish its Scottish presence and started up a dedicated UK wide marine practice as well as undertaking marine construction, regulatory and insurance work. She specialises in both wet and dry shipping and transport with insurers, P&I clubs, ports, cargo interests, freight forwarders and logistics companies. David Tait, managing partner at Clyde & Co in Scotland, comments “This is a fantastic hire for us in Scotland as Stefanie’s expertise complements and builds on our strategic focus on our core sectors. Attracting one of the few marine specialists in Scotland to our fold is a coup and extends our global strength in this sector.” Ms Johnston added, “Clyde & Co is the pre-eminent marine and insurance law firm in the world which is why I'm so pleased to be joining the team.” Stephen Mackin, a partner in the marine team in Newcastle, says “With Stefanie's hire we're fulfilling a long held desire to build a Scottish marine practice to complement our market leading UK and global offering where we have lawyers across the world working for all parts of the marine sector.” Earlier this year, in September, the firm hired Andrew Yarwood as a partner in its London marine cargo group from Kennedys. The Clyde & Co marine practice worldwide now comprises over 150 lawyers across 46 offices.