We sound out
and think la­te­ral­ly.

LE­BUHN & PUCH­TA is one of the lea­ding law firms in the ship­ping sec­tor in Ger­ma­ny.

Our ex­pe­ri­en­ced la­wy­ers have a com­pre­hen­si­ve know­ledge of the in­dus­try and of the mar­ket as well as very ac­ti­ve con­nec­tions to ma­ri­ti­me law ex­perts world­wi­de and are thus ab­le to pro­vi­de first-class ad­vice across the full ma­ri­ti­me law spec­trum, in­clu­ding ca­su­al­ties, sal­va­ge, ship buil­ding, ship ma­nage­ment, sa­le and purcha­se and ship fi­nan­ce.

Our re­co­g­nis­ed ex­per­ti­se in ship­ping law and cor­po­ra­te law en­ables us to of­fer 360° ad­vice to ship­ping com­pa­nies, co­ve­ring the en­ti­re life cy­cle of a ship from the plan­ning and fi­nan­cing pha­ses right up to a vessel’s re­cy­cling.

Our ex­perts in ship­ping and ma­ri­ti­me law form the team of aut­hors of Cham­bers Glo­bal Prac­ti­ce Gui­de Ship­ping 2019 for Ger­ma­ny.



In cer­tain cir­cum­s­tances a cre­di­tor is en­tit­led to ar­rest a ship in or­der to se­cu­re its cla­im.

Ship ar­rest is a long-stan­ding and in­te­gral part of the ship­ping law prac­ti­ce at LE­BUHN & PUCH­TA.

Sin­ce the re­form of Ger­man ma­ri­ti­me law which took ef­fect in 2013, the ar­rest of ships has gai­ned in im­portance in Ger­ma­ny. We co­ope­ra­te clo­se­ly wi­th num­e­rous law firms in all si­gni­fi­cant port ci­ties and ju­ris­dic­tions world­wi­de in or­der to ob­tain or de­fend ship ar­rests in for­eign count­ries.

  • Ac­ting for a Ger­man ship­ping com­pa­ny to as­sert a lar­ge cla­im for loss of char­ter hi­re un­der a long-term time char­ter agree­ment, in va­rious par­al­lel pro­cee­dings con­duc­ted in Eng­land, South Af­ri­ca, Aus­tra­lia, Chi­na, Sin­ga­po­re and Ma­lay­sia. In this con­text, ba­sed on our ad­vice, rights of li­en we­re exer­cis­ed in se­ve­ral ca­ses and ap­pli­ca­ti­ons fi­led for the ar­rest of ships. Com­plex is­sues had to be re­sol­ved un­der Eng­lish law as to re­pu­dia­to­ry brea­ches of con­tract and un­der South Af­ri­can law as to ques­ti­ons of as­so­cia­ti­on of ves­sels for the pur­po­se of an as­so­cia­ted ship ar­rest.
  • Ac­ting for a ship­ping com­pa­ny to de­fend lo­an re­pay­ment claims amoun­ting to se­ve­ral hundred mil­li­on US dol­lars and brin­ging da­ma­ges claims against the ori­gi­nal len­der; coor­di­na­ti­on of all le­gal work in the va­rious ar­rest ju­ris­dic­tions.


LE­BUHN & PUCH­TA is one of the lea­ding law firms in Ger­ma­ny in the in­land wa­ter­ways ship­ping sec­tor.

Wi­th our ex­pe­ri­en­ced team built around Dr. Jo­han­nes Trost - men­tio­ned in The Le­gal 500 as an “emi­nent ex­pert on in­land wa­ter­ways ship­ping” - we are ab­le to hand­le high­ly com­plex and con­tro­ver­si­al ca­ses.

We have par­ti­cu­lar ex­pe­ri­ence in the fields of ca­su­al­ties, fire, cap­si­zing and sal­va­ge as well as wreck re­m­oval and en­vi­ron­men­tal da­ma­ge. We al­so re­gu­lar­ly hand­le ca­ses con­cer­ning the con­ta­mi­na­ti­on of car­go and other car­go da­ma­ge as well as tech­ni­cal da­ma­ge (coa­ting, cor­ro­si­on, vi­bra­ti­on). We are one of the few law firms in Ger­ma­ny wi­th spe­ci­fic ex­pe­ri­ence of es­tab­li­shing li­mi­ta­ti­on of lia­bi­li­ty funds (CLNI) and li­ti­ga­ting is­sues as to the scope of the li­mi­ta­ti­on the­se funds pro­vi­de.

Our suc­cess in ac­ting for our cli­ents is ba­sed on a pro­found know­ledge of the AVB terms for the insu­rance of in­land hull risks and know­ledge re­sul­ting from deal­ing wi­th ma­ny claims for P&I clubs and hull insu­rance com­pa­nies as well as a de­tail­ed un­der­stan­ding of tech­ni­cal and nau­ti­cal mat­ters.

  • We have ad­vi­sed a pri­va­te equi­ty com­pa­ny in con­nec­tion wi­th the purcha­se of 13 ri­ver crui­se ves­sels and the foun­ding of a joint-ven­ture ship ma­nage­ment com­pa­ny. We ad­vi­sed bo­th in re­la­ti­on to the in­vest­ment in­to the new ven­ture and on ship­ping law mat­ters such as re-flag­ging, char­ter, sa­le and han­do­ver of the ves­sels; we car­ri­ed out the due di­li­gence wi­th spe­cial re­gard to ship­ping law aspects.
  • Cap­si­zing of the tank bar­ge “ENA 2” in Ham­burg.
  • Pol­lu­ti­on and li­mi­ta­ti­on fund “AN.KA”.
  • Cap­si­zing of the tank bar­ge “WALD­HOF” on the ri­ver Rhi­ne.
  • Ex­plo­si­on of the tank bar­ge “AL­PS­RAY” in Lin­gen.
  • Cap­si­zing and sal­va­ge of the bar­ge “LAR­VIK ROCK”.
  • Sin­king of the work boat “ZAN­DER” off Nor­der­ney.
  • Ex­plo­si­on on board the tank bar­ge “JU­LI­US RÜT­GERS” in Duis­burg.

ca­su­al­ties /

Ma­ri­ti­me ca­su­al­ties and sal­va­ge are part of the co­re are­as of com­pe­tence of LE­BUHN & PUCH­TA.

Our in­di­vi­du­al teams are de­ploy­ed fle­xi­bly and are ex­pe­ri­en­ced. So­me of our la­wy­ers al­so have nau­ti­cal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons. This en­ables us to prepa­re the ground for the ap­pro­pria­te stra­te­gic de­cis­i­ons and se­cu­re va­luable evi­dence for la­ter use in court, du­ring the par­ti­cu­lar­ly im­portant in­iti­al re­ac­tion pha­se. This in­cludes sea pro­tests as well as the ta­king of state­ments from crew mem­bers, the se­cu­ring of do­cu­ments and VDR re­cords and can ex­tend if ne­ces­sa­ry to the ar­rest of sea-go­ing or non-sea-go­ing ves­sels as well as to the es­tab­lish­ment of lia­bi­li­ty funds.

We aim to avo­id li­ti­ga­ti­on.  Ho­we­ver this is not al­ways pos­si­ble, espe­ci­al­ly as com­plex ca­ses ty­pi­cal­ly in­vol­ve flag­ged out ves­sels and off­shore com­pa­nies. From the out­set, we the­r­e­fo­re prepa­re for pos­si­ble le­gal pro­cee­dings.

We are ex­pe­ri­en­ced wi­th the es­sen­ti­al coor­di­na­ti­on work in­vol­ving port aut­ho­ri­ties, the po­li­ce and en­vi­ron­men­tal aut­ho­ri­ties as well as the me­dia in or­der to mi­ni­mi­se con­se­quen­ti­al da­ma­ge in­clu­ding re­pu­ta­tio­nal harm.