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Admiralty & Maritime Law

Pirate Attacks Keep Law Firm’s Hotline Ringing Off the Hook

Posted Dec 10, 2008 4:09 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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What do you do when an oil tanker you own carrying cargo worth more than $100 million is hijacked by pirates on the high seas?

You call your lawyer, of course. And such calls to a 24-hour hotline maintained by Holman Fenwick Willan, a London law firm specializing in maritime matters, have been coming more frequently than usual as pirate attacks in Somalia and elsewhere throughout the world spiked in recent months, reports the Wall Street Journal. Throughout the world, there were 83 reported attacks by pirates in the third quarter of 2008, up significantly from a total of 116 in the first half of the year.

"Over the past three months, the rise in piracy has kept about a half-dozen lawyers at Holman Fenwick working nearly full-time for clients with potentially dozens of lives and tens of millions of dollars at stake in hijackings," the newspaper writes. "To some degree, the work has helped Holman Fenwick offset other maritime practices hurt by the global economic slowdown."

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