Malcolm Hartwell


Malcolm Hartwell


T:+27 31 582 5622

F:+27 31 582 5700

M:+27 83 287 8126

Malcolm is a shipping lawyer based in Durban.

He specialises in admiralty shipping, international trade, marine insurance and all aspects of maritime casualties, in particular investigating the maritime aspects of cases involving salvage, collisions, grounding, flooding, fires, anchor dragging and cargo claims.

Malcolm acts for the majority of South African marine insurers and for numerous international insurers, law firms, shipowners and P and I Clubs. He has experience in claims relating to water ingress, shortages, fires, refrigerated cargo, lashing failure, latent defects and insufficiency of packaging. These cases involve urgent Admiralty court proceedings to obtain arrest, interdict, discovery, production and access orders in South Africa and arbitration proceedings, particularly in London. He has obtained an arrest order for a US$40 million charter party dispute, carried out due diligences on South Africa's leading ship repairers for a foreign investor and acted for cargo interests in investigating an engine room fire and subsequent transhipment exercise. He has run litigation and arbitration in New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo and the DRC in the past few years alone. He has been involved in numerous disputes with and appeals to SARS on customs related problems. He also specialises in regulatory work having drafted regulatory regimes for terminals in Southern Africa and for the ports of South Africa.

Malcolm spent ten years at sea serving mainly on general cargo, bulk, refrigerated and container vessels on worldwide trades. He obtained his Master Mariner's Foreign Going Certificate of Competency before reading for his law degree at the University of Witwatersrand. He is currently the only master mariner in South Africa who is a director at a law firm.

In addition to being a Master Mariner and an attorney in the High Court of South Africa, he is a non-practising solicitor of the courts of England and Wales. He is also a member of the Master Mariners Society, Durban Marine Insurance Association and the Maritime Law Association (MLA). He has also served as president of the MLA and he used to sit on a number of its technical sub-committees.

Malcolm is a director in the Admiralty Trade and Transport Division based in the Group’s Durban office and has been with the Group since 1994.

Malcolm was listed as a leading lawyer in the Transport industry by Who's Who Legal Transport 2015 (Aviation contentious & Shipping). He is also listed as a recommended shipping and transport lawyer in Legal500, 2015

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  • Selected client work
    • Acting for operators of high speed cargo ships in financing new builds and establishing liner service.
    • Acting for insurers of a cargo of coal when a Capesize was lost off Richards Bay.
    • Acting for global commodity company in pursuing claims by way of London arbitration and action against defaulting buyer.
    • Drafted regulatory regimes for terminals and South African ports.
    • Acted for owners and insurers of ore cargoes co-mingled by Transnet.
    • Acted for South African insurance market in mediation in New York following loss of container vessel off Cape Town.
  • Publications

    BBBEE Transport Sub-Sector Codes

    The new generic codes will emphasise the net value of black shareholders’ interests and the classification of ownership as a priority element, many companies will fi.

    February 04, 2015


    Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice able to provide the full range of services.

    November 25, 2014

  • News

    Public may fork out for ship aground

    South African taxpayers face having to foot a bill running into hundreds of millions of rand if efforts at refloating a tanker aground on the North Coast prove un....

    August 01, 2011

    Salvage cost of stranded tanker soars

    Stormy seas could drive up the cost of salvaging the stranded MT Phoenix — an oil tanker which ran aground north of Durban on Tuesday — to R30m, the South African....

    August 01, 2011