Leading shipping lawyers Mike Lax and Stuart Dench have rejoined former colleague Robert Pollock-Hill at London’s Hannaford Turner.

The duo have become partners there, after leaving rival Rosling King.

The two litigation and arbitration specialists joined forces with Rosling King in 2021 when Lax merged his law firm Lax & Co into the bigger legal group.

Hannaford Turner said Lax needs little introduction to the London shipping market.

He has more than 40 years of experience in dealing with shipping and maritime law matters.

Lax represented Russian shipowner Yuri Nikitin in a mammoth High Court fraud trial in the UK involving Russian state shipping company Sovcomflot.

Following the trial verdict in 2010, Lax was considered to have boosted his reputation, TradeWinds reported at the time.

Six Lax & Co lawyers joined Rosling King in 2021.

Pollock-Hill was one of these, but left for Hannaford Turner in October last year.

Team back together

The latest moves reunite “a significant part of a highly successful litigation team”, Hannaford Turner said.

“Their arrival marks a considerable expansion of the firm’s maritime dispute resolution offering and continues the development of the practice,” it added.

Lax is the former head of shipping and international trade at Lawrence Graham, where he spent 18 years. In 2007, he founded Lax & Co with Dench, also an ex-Lawrence Graham man.

Lax qualified as a solicitor in 1977, becoming a partner at Lawrence Graham in 1979. He has been contacted for comment.

Dench has more than 25 years of experience dealing with shipping and commodity issues, acting on behalf of shipowners, charterers, pool operators, commodity traders, ship managers and their insurers on a wide range of dry shipping matters.

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