Qwest Legal

Qwest Legal offers a unique approach to legal and claims support for the maritime community. 

Under an annual service agreement structure, Qwest Legal provides clients with pre- and post-fixture advice on all maritime or trade enquiries – whether it be contract wordings, claims or legal advice and general in nature or on a specific claim or dispute – as well as the option to have in place up to US$1 million legal fee protection in addition.


We tailor our support packages to the individual client’s needs and ensure they are competitively priced under an annual retainer structure. There is no limit to the number of enquiries that can be made under the retainer nor is there any deductible. Clients can call on their dedicated team for advice whenever a problem arises.

Qwest Legal is targeted at those who would benefit from an experienced claims and legal team, but without the associated costs of an in-house team, and those who may have existing teams who would benefit from additional support. 

Key features

  • High quality advice from experienced commercial maritime lawyers who understand your problem, can see things from the operator’s perspective and are well-versed in working alongside in-house teams

  • Available 24/7/365 from our global network of experts

  • Competitive annual fees with flexible arrangements to fit your requirements and all agreed in advance

  • Unlimited advice up to the point that proceedings are commenced

  • Legal fee support scheme available in addition, providing up to US$1 million for English Law disputes (other jurisdictions can be agreed) - backed by Lloyd’s security

  • For those clients that do not purchase legal fee support, discounted rates are available for handling the matter through to conclusion

The types of enquiry regularly dealt with include:

  • Advice on maritime contracts including charterparty wordings, bills of lading, proforma clauses etc

  • Advice on cargo claims, charterparty and bill of lading disputes

  • Advice on hire, freight and demurrage claims

  • Advice in respect of first and third party damage claims

  • Drafting correspondence, letters, wordings and demands

  • Liaising with insurers and third parties

Who is it for?

  • Ship owners and operators
  • Time and Voyage Charterers and traders
  • Ship Managers
  • Freight forwarders
  • Brokers

How does it work and what does it cover?

Service Level Agreement

  • An annual service agreement for all nominated ships for an annual fee starting from US$2,500 per vessel per annum
  • Unlimited legal and claims advice in relation to any maritime or trade query, pre- or post-fixture and at any time up to the commencement of legal proceedings
  • No deductible and no limit on the number of times the service can be used

Legal fee support cover

  • Option to extend the Service Level Agreement to include from US$250,000 up to US$1 million of legal fee protection
  • 25% deductible applies to claims under the legal fee support cover

Product Guide

FAQ - Qwest Legal

A second opinion can be sought which, if it convinces the legal costs insurers, will be paid for by the insurer who will then cover the cost of the legal action or arbitration. If however it is not convincing then a separate arrangement can be made with Qwest Claims to pursue the matter.

This will be handled in strict accordance with established conflict procedures - separate claims handler, management layers and complete confidentiality - ensuring the interests of both parties are properly protected.

This is an annual retainer agreed much like a traditional insurance cover with an agreed annual fee.

1. Qwest Legal is primarily a legal advice service offering help on pre and post fixture issues and queries covered by English Law - 90% of all maritime contracts.

2. Qwest Legal service is unlimited advice from experienced maritime solicitors and without deductible or time/cost recorded against your record.

3. Qwest Legal can advise on other jurisdictions at cost.

4. Qwest Legal can bolt on legal fee protection from Lloyds underwriiters for the costs of formal legal proceedings (English Law only). This is flexible but usually $500k per dispute.

5. Like traditional Defence cover, support for these costs are discretionary and subject to a deductible (25%).

6. Qwest legal is structured to provide legal advice first with a bolt on cover for legal costs protection. This structure means we can design a flexible needs driven package at a competitive price.