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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Bureau Veritas appoints Nick Brown as Marine & Offshore Communications Director

Leading international classification society Bureau Veritas has appointed Nick Brown as Communications Director, Marine & Offshore Division. He will take up the post from November 2, 2016, replacing Philippe Boisson, who retires after more than 25 years in the role.

 Philippe Donche-Gay, President of Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore Division says, “We are constantly expanding our range of services, our client base and our geographical footprint.  Nick will bring us the energy and experience to build on Philippe Boisson’s good work, develop the Bureau Veritas brand and deepen communication with our clients, partners and the media.”

Nick Brown says, “I am looking forward to supporting BV's ambitions in marine and offshore at an interesting and challenging time for these vital sectors. This is the right time for me to take a step up to make the most of my abilities, my industry experience and my understanding of marine classification.”

Nick joins Bureau Veritas from Lloyd’s Register where he has spent the last nine years, most recently as Head of Brand & External Affairs, Marine & Offshore. Nick has 25 years shipping industry experience, starting as a commercial trainee with the Wallem Group in Hong Kong. A specialist in PR, communications and external affairs, he has worked in both consulting and corporate roles, including a period with INTERCARGO and as a director with the MTI crisis management network. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Moore Stephens says shipping must disclose or risk being exposed

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says the shipping industry must adopt a transparent, proactive approach to corporate governance or else risk exposure to business and reputational damage.

Corporate governance in shipping has been in sharp focus recently, particularly following publication of the research by Wells Fargo Securities into Shipping’s Corporate Governance War. Robert Noye-Allen, a partner in the Moore Stephens Governance Risk & Assurance team, says, “Businesses in today’s shipping industry are expected to fully comprehend the implications of inadequate management of conflict of interest arrangements, and to recognise the importance of independent directorship.

“The UK Corporate Governance Code, for example, stipulates that at least half the board of directors, excluding the chairman, should comprise non-executive, independent directors. The proportions should be sufficient to mount adequate challenge where appropriate, and should appear in the governance disclosures in the company’s annual report.

“Independent directorship, good practice and transparent management can improve the confidence of investors and other stakeholders. The ‘tone at the top’ is key . The board should make public when reporting any relationships or circumstances likely to affect the judgement of an independent director. Independent director recruitment ought to be transparent and skills-based. The reason for recruitment should be justifiable and the process auditable.

“Potential conflicts of interest should be investigated as part of recruitment due diligence, and the continued effectiveness of decisions to appoint should be tested annually through board evaluation and individual director appraisal. Conflict of interest may be about nothing more than third-party perception, so an annually updated register of interests should be open to external scrutiny by stakeholders.

“Independent directorships and good practice can facilitate the disclosure of actual and perceived conflicts in reports issued to stakeholders, and ensure that calls for declarations of interest are a standard board meeting agenda item.

“Good practice dictates that a nominated individual should be responsible for regularly scrutinising the register, and an escalation process put in place for managing concerns. This should be disclosed in the risk register and publicly reported. As part of wider risk management, a periodic independent review should be undertaken of the register of interests.

“These steps are an excellent way to inspire stakeholder and investor confidence in board transparency. Any shipping businesses which do not follow them should reflect that it is far better to disclose than to be exposed to potential reputational and share value damage.”

Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping, offshore maritime and transport & logistics adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 657 offices of independent member firms in 106 countries, employing 27,613 people and generating revenues in 2015 of $2.7 billion. www.moorestephens.co.uk

For more information:
Robert Noye-Allen
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

AKD to open office in Luxembourg

Amsterdam, 13 July 2016 – Leading Benelux law firm AKD has announced its intention to open an office in Luxembourg to meet growing demand for integrated,
international legal services in stable jurisdictions.

AKD’s new office in Luxembourg will expand its corporate, tax, banking and finance, and investment funds practices. This step is part of AKD’s international growth strategy
and allows the firm to support its clients with local offices throughout the Benelux region. With over 220 lawyers, civil-law notaries and tax advisors, AKD is the
internationally focused legal and tax firm for any business dealing with the Benelux countries.

With the hire of three experienced and renowned partners, Bernard Beerens, Ayzo van Eysinga and Rutger Zaal, and their respective teams, AKD’s
office in Luxembourg will immediately start with a dedicated team of six tax specialists and six lawyers. Until the formal approval from the Luxembourg Bar
Association, the services will be rendered in collaboration with the Luxembourg law firm Beerens & Avocats.

Erwin Rademakers, Managing Partner AKD, says the move is responding to a clear client trend: “Businesses have become more international and there is
an ever-increasing demand for solid international legal support for business transactions. Now, our clients are seeking ways to avoid the potentially difficult
and costly fallout of the Brexit vote. The Netherlands and Luxembourg are two EU member states with very stable political, economic and tax
climates. By adding an office in Luxembourg, we can offer our clients even more integrated international advice in the areas of company law, tax law and
financing. Luxembourg is one of the most important international centres for these kind of services.”

All three partners have extensive experience in Luxembourg and are well known in the international legal market:

Bernard Beerens, lawyer, admitted to the Luxembourg Bar, established and has run his own successful law firm, Beerens & Avocats in Luxembourg for
the past six years. Bernard previously worked at Allen & Overy and Loyens & Loeff in Luxembourg and New York. Bernard is a specialist in company law,
corporate finance, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, transactional business law and other bank and financial matters.

Ayzo van Eysinga, specialised in international tax and private equity, was partner at Stibbe Luxembourg, where he established and headed a ranked tax
team since its inception. He advises prominent British and American private equity and venture capital clients, as well as American multinationals and sovereign
wealth funds in the Middle East. He previously worked at Loyens & Loeff Netherlands, New York and Luxembourg, where he became partner in
2009. Ayzo also teaches at the University of Luxembourg.

Rutger Zaal, specialised in Luxembourg and international tax law, was partner at Loyens & Loeff in Luxembourg. Previously, Rutger worked for Loyens & Loeff in
Amsterdam and New York. Rutger mainly focuses on international tax solutions for large multinationals and investment managers on a variety of transactions
including real estate investments, mergers and acquisitions, financing and joint ventures.

The new office will be located at 3, Rue du Fort Rheinsheim in Luxembourg.
Note to editors
For information please contact:
Esther van Tol Roel Laumans
Sr. advisor Communication Business Development & Marketing Manager
0031 88 - 253 5389 0031 88 – 253 5454 / 06 – 51 97 67 52


About AKD
With over 220 lawyers, civil-law notaries and tax advisors, AKD is the independent and
internationally focused legal and tax advisor for any business dealing with the Benelux
countries. AKD combines expertise in almost all legal practice areas, including shipping and transport,
with sector knowledge
and understanding of the clients’ business, both nationally and internationally. Outside the
Benelux, AKD partners with an extensive network of highly reputable law firms to form fully
integrated, experienced and multidisciplinary teams. With this collaborative approach, AKD
can comprehensively assist her clients in doing business around the globe. AKD has offices in
Amsterdam, Breda, Brussels, Eindhoven and Rotterdam.

AKD was named Law Firm of the Year: Benelux 2016 by the leading UK publication The


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Monday, 4 July 2016

Ship suppliers can now benefit from further EU integration

ROTTERDAM-based law firm AKD says suppliers of goods and services to the international shipping industry, such as bunker suppliers, can modify the jurisdiction clauses in their standard terms to explicitly include the Rotterdam Court, thereby making it possible to apply to the Rotterdam Court to issue trans-border arrest orders against debtors’ assets.

AKD partner Haco van der Houven van Oordt says, “Suppliers to the shipping industry are facing difficult times due to the present economic environment. Invoices remain unpaid and creditors, such as bunker suppliers, are often left with no option but to consider taking action against the ships to which they have supplied goods.

“It is, however, not possible or attractive to take action against ships in every jurisdiction. Significant counter-securities and all sorts of formal requirements are often necessary, meaning that it is not an option to arrest a ship.

“There are a few arrest paradises in the world, however, and the Netherlands is certainly one of those. In the Netherlands, no counter-securities are required and applications are commonly granted in a matter of hours without the need for the formalities required elsewhere. Thus it has been long possible to arrest, quickly, ships calling at Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and also those sailing to the port of Antwerp, which must first pass the River Scheldt in the Netherlands.

“EU Regulation 1215/2012, which provides for even further integration of EU jurisdiction, now makes it possible to also apply to the courts in the Netherlands to issue an order for a ship arrest elsewhere in the EU, an order which is to be recognised and enforced immediately in any other EU Member State, without further local court intervention.

“Indeed, the willingness of the courts in the Netherlands to allow seizure of assets in EU Member States other than The Netherlands was underlined very recently when the arrest of a seagoing bulker in the port of Castellon, Spain was authorised within a matter of hours. Last year, the Rotterdam Court also granted leave to arrest an inland barge in either Germany or Austria in a dispute involving non-payment of hire under a time charter.

“These decisions confirm that the courts in the Netherlands will not hesitate to issue trans-border arrest orders in the same way that they issue domestic arrest orders, the only proviso being that the courts in the Netherlands have jurisdiction on the merits of the case. For these reasons, suppliers around the world are therefore expected to modify the jurisdiction clause in their standard terms to include the Rotterdam Court, at least as an alternative forum.

“Once the Rotterdam Court has been added as a competent forum, creditors can arrest ships throughout the EU by making use of the efficient and liberal arrest procedures in Rotterdam and thereby avoiding the need to go through the less favourable arrest procedures applicable in some other EU Member States.”

AKD’s Transport & Energy team, which is ranked in the first tier by both Legal 500 and Chambers Europe, provides a full range of legal services. AKD is a full-service firm with over 220 lawyers, civil-law notaries and tax advisers. It was named Benelux Law Firm of the Year for 2016 by The Lawyer.


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