Dr. Aleka Mandaraka-Sheppard (LLB, LLM, Ph.D, Dip. I.A.CIArb)
Maritime Arbitrator, Mediator, consultant on risks and maritime law, Chairman LSLCWith over 30 years of experience in the practice and teaching of shipping law, Aleka enjoys applying the law as a maritime arbitrator since 2006 in cases involving disputes arising out of charter parties, bills of lading, marine insurance, shipbuilding contracts, sale and purchase. She accepts appointments under the LMAA Terms.
Memberships: CIArb.; the Baltic Exchange; LCIA; LMAA (aspiring full member).
Commercial/ legal experience and practice
After her studies in law at Athens University (LLB, 1st Hons.), her qualification as a barrister (1974), her study in shipping law at UCL (LLM, merit), and the award of Ph.D (KCL), Aleka gained her experience in shipping legal and commercial business in the City of London and through her private practice in advising ship-owners on risk management and delivering seminars in-house. She has pioneered education in risk management since 1997.
She started her career in 1979 as claims’ assistant with Sedgwick Forbes (insurance brokers), then with Richards Butler (solicitors), and the Britannia P & I club. Having qualified as a solicitor (taking all the papers prior to the establishment of conversion courses for European lawyers), she practised shipping law with Holman Fenwick and Willan, where she dealt with a wide range of disputes in litigation and arbitration: such as, those arising under charter parties, bills of lading, shipbuilding and MOA disputes, as well as claims of multifaceted nature arising from the total loss of ships, either due to a collision, or fire on board, or extreme weather, or the shifting of cargo, or other reasons.
Teaching and development of further education
In 1993 she joined the Faculty of Laws of University College London to pursue her interest in teaching and writing. Being appointed as the Director of the postgraduate shipping law studies, she:
• Developed the courses,
• Taught and examined students in Admiralty law, marine insurance, and carriage of goods by sea,
• Set up the Shipping Law Unit,
• Founded the London Shipping Law Centre for further education of professionals.
She resigned from her full-time faculty position in 2006 to devote time to her developing arbitration practice, and was appointed as a Visiting Professor.
• Books: ‘Modern Maritime Law’, 3rd ed 2013, vol 1 on Risks and Jurisdiction, vol 2 on Managing Risks and Liabilities (Informa law from Routledge); (1st ed 2001 and 2nd ed 2007 used widely by many professionals and students).
• ‘Marine Perils in Perspective’ in ‘Modern Marine Insurance’ ed. R. Thomas;
• ‘The ISM and its Effect on owners’ and managers’ liabilities’ in ‘Liability and Compensation under International Maritime Law’, 2001, 4th International Symposium, Piraeus Bar Association;
• ‘Termination issues under Shipbuilding contracts’ in ‘International Maritime Law’ IMLI book, expected to be published by OUP within 2014.
• Articles in journals and the maritime press cover a variety of subjects: ‘jurisdictional issues and risks’, ‘the duty of good faith’, ‘charterers’ lawful or unlawful orders’, ‘indemnities under charter parties’, ‘without guarantee’, ‘economic duress’, ‘The Starsin’, ‘the ISM and risk management, ‘safety issues and EU law’, ‘criminalisation’, ‘dispute resolution’ case law analysis, and review of books.
More recent notable articles include:
• ‘Demystifying the Right of Election in Contract Law’, SALJ (March 2006) and JBL (June 2007) referred to by judges in Singapore;
• ‘When is a serious risk of piracy serious enough for the law?’ JIML(2011), issue 6;
• ‘Wrongful Arrest of Ships – a Case for Reform’, JIML (2013) vol 19, issue 1;
• ‘New Trends in Piercing the Corporate Veil’ paper delivered at the Athens 8th International Conference in Maritime Law’ (October 2013) and in London (LSLC event, December 2013), published in BLR February 2014.
Contribution to the legal profession and the shipping industry
She serves the industry by leading the activities of the LSLC, that is: promoting the advancement of, or reform in, the law and regulation, multidisciplinary knowledge in shipping, risk management, and career development of many professionals involved in the Centre.
She addresses conferences in the UK or abroad on maritime topics, when time permits.