Gavin Fitzmaurice
Gavin Fitzmaurice
Position: Partner, Cape Town Managing Partner
Practice: Dispute Resolution
Office: Cape Town
Telephone: Tel:+27 21 431 7279
Cell:+27 82 787 3920

Gavin Fitzmaurice is a partner in the Dispute Resolution Practice at Webber Wentzel. He is also the managing partner of Webber Wentzel's Cape Town office.

He has been involved in major maritime litigation resulting from disasters and casualties on land and sea since 1992. He has also been involved in clarifying and extending the law in relation to orders for access including to masters and crew, ships and their equipment, cargo and documents.

Gavin has extensive experience in arrest work, having represented parties in relation to the enforcement of arbitration awards and judgments, obtaining of security for litigants and both effecting and setting aside associated ship arrests. During his career he has been involved in precedent-setting legal decisions and numerous judgments.

He also has experience in the commercial side of shipping including financing, mortgage foreclosures and related commercial work.

Gavin currently chairs the Cape Chapter of the Maritime Law Association of South Africa and has chaired portions of the African Ports Evolution Conference in 2013 and 2012. He is an accomplished international speaker.

His expertise has been recognised by various international research organisations including Legal 500 (Shipping) and Who's Who Legal (Transport - Shipping).

Gavin has BA and LLB degrees from the University of Cape Town, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma from the same institution.

Areas of expertise
  • Admiralty and maritime litigation
  • Marine insurance and shipping casualty work
  • General maritime and commercial litigation
  • Carriage of goods by land and sea
  • Insurance litigation
  • Named by:
    • Who's Who Legal 2015 (Transport - Shipping)
    • Legal 500 2011 - 2017 as a legal expert (Shipping & Transport).
    • Legal 500 2014 as highly recommended (Shipping).
    • Legal 500 2013 as highly recommended (Shipping).
    • Legal 500 2012 as highly recommended (Shipping).
    • Legal 500 2011 as highly recommended (Shipping).
  • Member of the:
    • Ex officio member of Maritime Law Association of South Africa's National Executive Committee (2006 to 2014).
    • Elected member of the Maritime Law Association of South Africa's National Executive Committee (2014 to present).
  • Involved in numerous precedent-setting legal decisions:
    • Kiani Satu judgment establishing a commission to take the evidence of the master and crew.
    • F Elephant v Gulf Sheba Shipping Ltd judgment of the Western Cape High Court which extended the meaning of the associated ship arrest provision deeming charterers to be owners.
    • Banglar Mookh judgment where the Appeal Court rejected a pilotage claim from owners upholding the pilot's indemnity.
    • Snow Crystal judgment where the Appeal Court (confirmed by the Constitutional Court) examined the overlay of contractual and administrative issues related to the operation of the Port.
    • South Seas Driller judgment in relation to pure economic loss.
    • Bos 400 (mt Tigr) judgments including in relation to access, attachments and forum non conveniens