The world of shipping law has been paying tribute to one of its best-known characters, Julian Clark.

The lawyer, whose final role was vice president and senior legal adviser at Norwegian protection and indemnity club Gard, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November.

Partner and head of global shipping at HFW, Paul Dean, said: “So sad to learn this morning that Julian has passed away. One of the most courageous people I have ever had the privilege to work with.

“RIP Julian — you will be sadly missed but never forgotten,” he added.

Clark posted on LinkedIn in February that he had been given 12 months to live in November.

In March 2023, TradeWinds reported that Clark was leaving his role as global senior partner at Ince as the law firm collapsed, taking up the Gard position.

Clark had joined Ince in September 2019 from his role as head of shipping at Hill Dickinson.

He was a founder of UK shipping law firm Campbell Johnston Clark in 2010.

Last July, the keen musician released a song to raise money for the people of Ukraine.

Clark said he was inspired to write and record the song, Putin’s War, after hosting two Ukrainian refugee families in his UK home.

‘Julian was authentic’

Ann Fenech, partner at Fenech & Fenech Advocates, said: “Rest in peace, dear Julian. The last time we met was when he had expertly handled a panel on cyber security at the CMI Colloquium in Montreal — less than a year ago and when he sang in his unique way with the Seven Seas band! So sad!”

Arbitrator Paul Aston said: “An authentic person is rare. Julian was authentic.

“We were partners for many years but lived in different places. Despite that, we worked closely. At the end of my time at HFW he gave me a great opportunity to work with his reconstruction of Ince. It did not happen but I got to know the amazing guy he was again,” Aston added.

“Irreplaceable, unique, kind, big-hearted and enabling. My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. A star who shone so bright. He still shines,” he said.

Former managing director of Shipping Corp of India Sabyasachi Hajara said: “RIP Julian. From what I read, it’s evident that Julian had an indomitable spirit till his end despite his known terminal illness.

“Such persons can really be inspirational to many others who are suffering from critical illnesses. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family and his erstwhile colleagues. God bless us all,” he added.

Clark posted in February: “It’s been a very severe and aggressive form of cancer. Add to that now a mini-stroke and a pretty nasty fall and things have not been great (although the NHS has).”

The lawyer also said his wife, Liz, had been doing an amazing job at shielding him.

Explaining the reason for his post, Clark added: “I have always been one of the ‘rip the sticking plaster off’ people so here it is. I hope I don’t cause you any undue upset.”