Nick Barber


Nick is a partner based in the firm's London office, where he advises clients on casualties and contractual disputes arising from equipment failures and damage. His clients include major shipowners and insurers.

Prior to joining Stephenson Harwood, Nick spent time at sea as a deck officer on platform supply vessels (PSVs), anchor handlers (AHTs) and seismic survey vessels.

Very knowledgeable and knows the market well.

Chambers UK 2019


  • Advised in relation to contractual liability for repeated washouts in an ultra deepwater drilling project.

    Advised as to liability for the recovery of a dropped BOP stack, both under the drillship services contract and the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks.

    Advised owners of a drillship in relation to a damages claim following redelivery.

    Advised builders on a claim for damages following the late delivery of a drilling platform, with cost overruns.

  • Advised owners and insurers of an FPSO in relation to third party liabilities and potential recoveries arising from the failure of yard-installed equipment during the commissioning phase.

  • Advised owners and insurers of an AHT which capsized and sank with loss of life during anchor handling operations in adverse conditions. The vessel was a total loss and issues included liability for the removal of the wreck and owner / charterer liabilities under an asymmetric knock-for-knock regime.

    Advised charterers of a tug which capsized and sank during towing operations. Issues included liability under the charterparty, liability for recovery of the tug and managing the enquiry by the local authorities.

    Advised owners and insurers of a tug which lost the connection to a semi-submersible drilling rig, which subsequently grounded. Issues included liability under an amended TOWCON, applicability of exclusions from liability and salvage-related issues.

    Advised owners and insurers of a tug which capsized during escort duties on the removal of the wreck, and the validity of claims by contractors for Variation Orders.

    Advised the builders of a semi-submersible drilling rig following an uncontrolled flooding incident shortly after delivery.

    Advised the owners and insurers of a PSV following a main engine breakdown which resulted in a collision. Issues included the seaworthiness of the vessel following failure mode analysis and the potential for an indemnity claim against a shipyard. 

    Advised hull underwriters following the capsize and subsequent total loss of a jackup barge under tow. Issues included salvors’ obligations under LOF and availability of ports of refuge.

    Advised hull underwriters following the capsize and salvage of a dumb barge under tow. Issues included warranties as to seaworthiness in the hull policy, and prospects of recovery from the tug under a TOWCON.