MLA Site Additions

  • The Maritime Law Association of South Africa was established in February 1974 as a result of concern among maritime lawyers and the shipping industry that legislation in South Africa regulating maritime affairs did not appear to be keeping pace with developments elsewhere in the world.



The 2019 MLASA Conference proved to be another successful event under the banner: “Trials, tribulations and towards the future”.

16 August

After a hearty welcome from Gavin Gitzmaurice (president) and Lerato Maboea (vice president), the traditional keynote address was subsituted for a “bingo quiz evening” which was an excellent ice breaker – followed by a much appreciated dinner.

17 August

The first session of the day was appropriately led by Mr Dumisani Ntuli, the Deputy Director General: Department of Transport.

His update on the Comprehensive Maritime Policy brilliantly set the scene for the sessions that followed.

The MLASA has developed a strong working relationship with the DOT over the years and is most grateful for the continued input of Mr Dumisani.

The ever present Captain Alan Reid then captivated the delegates with a practical look at “Investigating Navigational Accidents

Very inspiring and informative sessions followed from Mr Prasheen Maharaj (CEO of SA Shipyards) and Yinita Ramsakkan (of UKZN) on the Armscor hydrographic vessel and the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks respectively.

After the tea break, an uplifting presentation on the Litterboom Project in KZN  by Cameron Service showed what can and needs to be done to restore the health of our river estuaries.

Aquatic drones and “autonomous ships” were the order of the day for the following sessions (Mr Prabhu Naidoo and Captain Ken Ellam respectively).

Once again Captain Ian MacLean of Hill Dickinson solicitors entertained us with his talk on “Major Container vessel fires: contractual and practical issues”.

At this juncture, it bears mention to extend our sincere gratitude to Mr Maclean and Hill Dickinson Solicitors for their sponsorship which allowed for 2 young students from the Lawhill Maritime Centre in Cape Town to travel to and attend this year’s conference. This gesture further strengthens the ongoing transformation intuitive of the MLASA.

Post lunch, it was an honour for the MLASA to have Andy Pike (past president) present his new book about the Oceanos Rescue: “Against all odds: The epic story of the Oceanos Rescue”. Andy’s depiction of the event certainly made us proud as South Africans.

Another proud moment of the conference was the interview of Johnathan Webb (ex Shepstone’s lawyer) now heading up shipping at Holman Fenwick Willan in London. A very humbling account of his journey and experience, with him giving much credit to his South African mentors.

On the more technical side, Patrick Holloway’s presentation on IMO Sulphur Emissions Limits was a reminder to industry of some important compliance issues which need to be dealt with in the future.

The final session of day 2 comprised more of a workshop on Maritime Arbitration in South Africa. It was another privilege for the association to have one of the presenters Mr Mark Hamsher make a presentation. Mr Hamsher is an LMAA Arbitrator and former president of the LMAA (UK). Still with the arbitration theme, Advocate Alex Jeffery SC also gave a presentation on the benefits of associating with the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa should we elect to proceed full steam ahead with maritime arbitrations in South Africa.

This topic is to be further work shopped by the MLASA and its subcommittees with a view to initiating maritime arbitration in South Africa on a more consistent basis.

Gala Dinner

This year’s Gala Dinner had an 80’s Cruise Ship theme. A fantastic occasion of socialising and catching up. However, the highlight was Captain Roy Martin being this year’s honouree duly presented by Mr Andy Pike. Mr Martin is truly a legend in SA shipping circles and who has contributed greatly in his field over the years.

18 August

As always, the MLASA AGM was held on the Sunday Morning. This was dealt with efficiently and effectively by President Gavin Fitzmaurice. For further details on the business attended to, the AGM minutes will also be uploaded on the website.

Next year’s conference will be in Cape Town (or its surrounds) with the venue still to be announced. “Watch this space”