Mike Phillips is a partner in the Dispute Resolution group.

Mike specialises in shipping, contentious ship finance and ship and offshore vessel construction. Mike’s clients include shipowners, traders, insurers, banks, funds and shipyards.

With over 20 years’ of practice in the marine and international trade sector, Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience which he brings to bear to help clients resolve their most complex and difficult problems. Representing some of the largest and most well-known companies in the marine and international trade sector, Mike is known as both an exceptional lawyer and a clever strategist. Equally at home in London arbitration or multi-jurisdictional Court proceedings, Mike has a strong record of success for clients in a wide range of matters from shipping and cargo claims, groundings and vessel fires through to complex multi-vessel finance enforcement. On the construction side, Mike represents shipyards and buyers on a range of construction projects from super-yachts through to complex offshore vessels and rigs.

Mike regularly delivers training to industry professionals, on a bespoke basis for clients, and through the leading industry association, BIMCO.

The Legal 500 2019 has called Mike “outstanding” and Chambers 2019 says that he is “confident, practical and good at reading his opponents’ minds”.

Mike was shortlisted as Legal 500 Transport Lawyer of the Year in 2019. He was recognised as one of the Top 10 Maritime Lawyers of 2017 in Lloyd’s List Top 100 most influential people in the Shipping Industry and won the UK Client Choice Awards for Shipping & Transport in 2015.

Show key areas
  • Advising buyers and financiers on construction contracts for two state-of-the-art DP3 offshore support vessels. Non-performance by yard resulted in termination and successful arbitration through to award.
  • Advising buyers of a series of complex dredgers in connection with builder in default of performance. Successful termination and recovery against Refund Guarantee security.
  • Advising mortgagee bank on fleet loan facility, defaulting because of sanctions. Acceleration of loan, detection and arrest of ships, Court sale and recovery in China of all outstandings, interest and costs.
  • Advising charterers on the grounding of a bulk carrier during passage out of port in South America. Matter went to full arbitration hearing including evidence from Master and experts. Successful outcome for clients.
  • Advising clients on a JV Partnership Agreement with long-standing inter-partner accounting disputes. Forensic review of accounts and a full hearing of preliminary issues in arbitration achieved a positive settlement for clients.


  1. 1995-1996 College of Law, Store Street, London – Postgraduate “Common Professional Examination” and Solicitor’s “Legal Practitioner’s Course”.
  2. 1991-1994 University of London, BA (Hons) History

Memberships and associations

  1. Law Society of England and Wales