Dr. Christian Finnern LL.M.
Partner, Maritime


T: +49 40 800 084 0
D: +49 40 800 084 414
M: +49 151 440 48 627

EmailE: cfinnern@wfw.com

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Dr. Christian Finnern LL.M.>


Christian Finnern

Summary Open

Christian is a Partner in the global Maritime Services group of Watson Farley & Williams, based in Hamburg.

He acts for ship-owners, managers, investors and other market participants in the maritime industry.

His practice comprises in particular advice relating to ship-building, the sale and purchase of second hand tonnage, advice regarding all flag and registration matters as well as on the employment, operation and management of ships.

Another strong focus of his practice lies on investments, joint ventures and M&A transactions in the maritime industry.

He also represents parties in insolvency and enforcement proceedings, including advice to insolvency administrators relating to shipping matters as well as in contentious matters.

Furthermore, Christian has broad experience in advising international and domestic clients on all matters of ship finance. This includes advice on complex syndicated financing structures, and on a number of high-profile restructurings as well as in respect of warehouse and platform solutions.

Christian is described in Legal 500 as having “in-depth knowledge of the industry, a hands on approach as legal advisor and always quality results“.

Experience Open

    Christian’s experience includes advising:
    • ZEABORN Group on its project and heavy-lift cargo joint venture with Houston-based Intermarine Group, ZEAMARINE, entailing the transfer of all relevant multi-purpose and heavy-lift assets and operating entities with worldwide offices into the joint venture.
    • ZEABORN Group on the acquisition of E.R. Schiffahrt and Harper Petersen, the ship-management and brokerage arms of E.R. Group, and related entities with offices and employees in Hamburg, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cyprus, and Philippines.
    • ZEABORN Group on the acquisition of Rickmers Shipmanagement and their related entities with offices and employees in Hamburg, Singapore, Romania, Cyprus, Shanghai, Isle of Man, Sri Lanka, Philippines including advice on joint venture structure of the consortium acquiring the targets.
    • ZEABORN Group on the acquisition of the entire business of Rickmers Line from Rickmers Group, Rickmers Line being a break bulk, heavy-lift and project carrier with liner services around the world, in particular via the eastbound “Round-the-World-Pearl-String” service.
    • Isle of Man based owners on the sale of nine 13,000 TEU vessels including all contractual agreements, de-registration, termination of charter arrangements as well as closing and payment procedures.
    • MPC Container Ships ASA on the acquisition of a ten container vessel fleet from Cido Shipping of South Korea for USD 130m as well as on their further fleet expansion in the container vessel segment, including contractual negotiations, charter aspects, delivery and registration procedure.
    • Bremen based owners on the acquisition of six heavy lift vessels from Rickmers group, including advice relating corporate matters, the management agreements for the vessels, the registration aspects (dual registration with flagging out to Marshall Islands) as well as the financing of the fleet.
    • Various transactions regarding the sale and purchase of vessels and fleets (e.g. Norwegian ship owner on the sale of two river cruise ships to a ship owner based in Switzerland; owner based on the Bahamas on the sale of a fleet of four multi-purpose vessels to a Dutch ship owner; various insolvency administrators on the sale of various types of vessels).
    • Various investors based in Germany, USA, UK and Luxembourg on corporate, finance and maritime law matters in connection with their investments and/or joint ventures to acquire vessels.
    • Various ship-management companies on corporate, commercial and maritime law matters (in particular relating management and employment of vessels).
    • German federal state bank in regard to the financing granted to a German ship owner for ten multi-purpose vessels (six floating and four under construction) as well as six container vessels with a total volume of $400m.
    • German business bank on the restructuring of a €52m financing for six container vessels with German ship owners as borrowers.

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • German Society of the International Law of the Sea
  • German – South African Lawyers Association
  • Nautical Society of Hamburg
  • Chinese European Legal Association
  • German Maritime Arbitration Association

Employment Record Open

  • 2010 – present: Partner, Watson Farley & Williams
  • 2011: Secondment with legal department of Deutsche Bank AG (Deutsche Shipping)
  • 2007 – 2010: Ince & Co., Hamburg
  • 2007: Admission as German attorney (Rechtsanwalt)
  • 2005 – 2007: Trainee/Intern, shipping law firms in Hamburg and Cape Town as well as with Hapag-Lloyd AG

Publications Open

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