Charles Buss



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Charles Buss>

Charles Buss

Summary Open

Charles joined Watson Farley & Williams in 1995 and specialises in commercial, banking and maritime litigation and arbitration.

In the ship finance sector, Charles has acted for a large number of lending banks, bank syndicates and financial institutions in disputes, security enforcements, restructurings and insolvencies. In the maritime and offshore oil and gas sectors, Charles regularly acts for ship owners, charterers, contractors and others in relation to commercial disputes arising from construction contracts, charters and drilling contracts, ship sale and purchase contracts as well as cargo and marine insurance disputes.

Charles has at various times represented most of the leading players in the ship finance lending market, including the main UK, US, Japanese, French, German and Scandinavian banks as well as the leading private equity entrants into the sector.

He also is well known to the ship-owning community throughout Europe, in particular in Greece, Turkey, Italy and Germany.

In 2016, following his return to London from a secondment to the firm’s Athens office, he co-authored the second edition of “The Law of Ship Mortgages”, the industry’s most comprehensive book on English law on the topic.

Charles is recommended in the latest edition of Legal 500 UK, where he is described as “energetic, creative and never gives up in trying to get a result for the client” and as a litigator who “looks at every case from every angle”.

Experience Open

    Charles’ experience includes acting:
    • Successfully for a shipowner in a US$40m arbitration claim for consequential losses arising out of the repudiation of a long term time charter contract for the hire of a large bulk carrier vessel.
    • For a number of ship owners in cancelling their newbuildings contracts and recovering the refunds following shipyard insolvencies (including Franco Compania Naviera SA, Angelakos Hellas SA, XT Holdings and Navig8).
    • For a geophysical survey company in a dispute with a US oil major under a drilling contract.
    • For AM Nomikos in relation to the attachment of a bulk cargo in South Africa over which title was asserted by an African liberation movement.
    • Successfully for the owner of a fleet of box containers attached in Antwerp by a creditor of the container manager.
    • For a major private equity group in relation to the acceleration of a US$26m loan facility and subsequent enforcement action over a vessel in Penang, Malaysia.
    • Acting against a major Chinese ship construction yard in an LMAA arbitration arising out of the cancellation of shipbuilding contracts for four Panamax bulk carrier vessels, as well as disputed demands made under guarantees issued by the shipyard’s bank.
    • For a European bank in relation to the acceleration of loan facilities granted to companies in a UAE listed shipping group, the subsequent enforcement of ship mortgages over two VLCCs (very large crude carriers) and in connected English Commercial Court proceedings.
    • Successfully for two shipowners in relation to a dispute with a time charterer which involved allegations of illegality and fraudulent misrepresentation.
    • For a German bank in relation to the repossession, repositioning, arrest and judicial sale of four bulk carriers that were eventually sold in Gibraltar, Rotterdam, the Bahamas and South Korea, one being laden with a maize cargo that required the negotiation of terms with charterers, bill of lading holders and insurers for the apportionment of liabilities pre- and post-sale.

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • Co-author of “The Law of Ship Mortgages” (2nd edition), Informa Law.
  • “Current offshore and newbuilding disputes”, LSLC event.
  • “Offshore restructuring”, Marine Money.
  • Quoted in IHS Fairplay article ‘How a PDVSA default could impact the crude tanker industry’, November 2017.

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • London Shipping Law Centre (LSLC)
  • London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA)

Employment Record Open

  • 2000 – present: Partner at Watson Farley & Williams
  • 1995: Joined Watson Farley & Williams
  • 1993: Qualified at Slaughter and May

Publications Open

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