Prof. Nicholas Gaskell

Practice Overview

Since September 2009, Nicholas Gaskell has held the post of Professor of Maritime and Commercial Law at the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Prior to that, Professor Gaskell worked for some 33 years at the University of Southampton and, from 1994, held the titled post of “David Jackson Professor of Maritime and Commercial Law”. From 2003-2007 he was the Head of the School of Law. He was a founder member of the Institute of Maritime Law at the University and, from 1996-1999, served as Director of that Institute. He continues to be a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton.

Professor Gaskell has taught maritime law to students and practitioners within the maritime legal and shipping professions both within the UK (e.g. in Southampton and London) and internationally (e.g., Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and Yugoslavia).

He has represented the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) at the International Maritime Organisation’s Legal Committee and the IOPC Funds. He has attended and participated in many diplomatic conferences which have produced international maritime law Conventions, including the 1989 Salvage Convention, the 1992 Protocols to the CLC and Fund Convention, the Hazardous and Noxious  Substances Convention 1996, the LLMC 1996, the Arrest Convention 1999 and the Bunker Pollution Convention 2001. He was a member of the U.K. delegation at the 2002 diplomatic conference which agreed the Athens Convention 2002.

He is a Titular Member of the Comité Maritime International (CMI) and has been a member of the Executive Committee of the British Maritime Law Association (BMLA) and various Sub-Committees (including those on Environmental Damage, and Limitation of Liability). He has been a BMLA representative on numerous U.K. Government Consultative Committees on CMI/IMO draft Conventions, including the HNS Convention 1996, the Arrest Convention 1999 and the revisions to the Athens Convention 1974 and has acted as a consultant to the U.K. Department for Transport (previously the DETR) on salvage, wreck, passenger liabilities and limitation of liability. He is now a member of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ).

His professional practice as a barrister has mainly been in the form of consultancy, often in cases where opinions are required about the application of English law in proceedings before foreign courts. He has advised in a wide range of disputes concerning bills of lading, charterparties, pollution liabilities and limitation of liability. 

He has written widely on areas of maritime law, including carriage of goods by sea (bills of lading and charterparties), collisions and liabilities (including pollution damage, salvage, passenger claims, and limitation of liability) and shipping regulation. He is the main author of Bills of Lading: Law and Contracts (Informa, 2000, 852 pp; 2nd edition in preparation) and his writings on bills of lading have been cited with approval in the courts in the U.K. and internationally, including the House of Lords in The Starsin [2003] UKHL 12. He has written extensive commentaries on U.K. merchant shipping legislation since 1988, and on new areas of law such as that applicable to autonomous underwater vehicles.


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Publications


  • “Bills of Lading in an Electronic Age” (forthcoming (2010)
  • “Charterers’ Liability to Shipowner – Orders, Indemnities and Vessel Damage” in, Modern Law of Charterparties (2003)
  • “Marine Pollution Damage in Australia: Implementing the Bunker Oil Convention 2001 and the Supplementary Fund Protocol 2003” (with Forrest C.) (2008) 27 University of Queensland Law Journal 103-165.
  • “Private Law Rights Applicable to Seafarers” (with C. Smith), Chapter 5 (pp. 169-226), in Seafarers’ Rights D. Fitzpatrick, M. Anderson (eds.) OUP 2005
  • The Law Relating to Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (with E. Brown)(2000), 182 pp.
  • “Limitation of Liability and Division of Loss” in Marsden on Collisions at Sea (13th ed., 2003)
  • “Merchant Shipping Act 1995” (482 pp) and “Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997” (157 pp). Current Law Statutes
  • Limitation of Shipowners Liability-the New Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 1986): Editor
  • Chorley and Giles Shipping Law  (with C. Debattista and R. J. Swatton) (8th ed., London: Pitman, 1987), 704 pp.
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