Steffen Pedersen



Steffen’s experience covers the full range of shipping and offshore matters, from collisions, to charters, cargo claims, construction contracts and financing projects. He has handled both contentious and non-contentious cases with an emphasis on contentious work (arbitration, litigation and, increasingly, mediation) throughout the Far East and in London. Steffen advises throughout the Asia-Pacific on a variety of yacht and superyacht matters, including yacht construction and sale and purchase contracts.

Steffen has spent his entire career in Asia and has particular expertise in relation to China acting both for and against major Chinese yards, financing institutions and state-owned and private companies. In recent years, in the wake of the global financial crisis and sudden plunge in oil prices he has developed a particular expertise in investigations and obtaining security against counterparties in the Far East and particularly China.

Steffen accepts appointments as arbitrator. He is highlighted as a leading lawyer in Chambers Asia 2017.

Work Highlights

  • Assisting major Scandinavian shipowner investigating a major Chinese conglomerate, obtaining security and getting paid US$50m in settlement of charterparty defaults
  • Negotiating contract terms for Western clients with Chinese yard for purchase of distressed offshore assets
  • Advising on the first ever container sale and leaseback for a major Chinese financier at over USD50m
  • Acting for one of world’s largest commodities trading houses in a dispute with shipowners over liens and unpaid hire in China.

Publications & Articles

Steffen has written for key maritime publications and produced articles on topics such as:

  • “First test for Reciprocal Enforcement Law in Hong Kong”, Thomas Cooper LLP/China Maritime and Commercial Law Group (Bilingual), 1 June 2016
  • “Getting Drawn Into China’s New Litigation Laws”, Maritime Executive, 28 March 2015
  • “Bending with the Wind”, SinoShip, Autumn 2012
  • Relationships outweigh regulations in Chinese charter party negotiations”, Maritime Risk International, February 2012
  • “Repudiators beware”, SeaTrade Asia Week, Issue 108, 25 May 2012.


Steffen has been appointed to the Panel of Arbitrators of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA), the German Maritime Arbitrators Association (GMAA), the National Indonesian Arbitration Centre (BANI) and the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA).  Steffen is currently the only arbitrator listed in Singapore on the GMAA. In addition, he is listed as a Supporting Member of the LMAA and on the database of arbitrators at the MIAC in Mauritius.

He is a member of the Hong Kong Law Society, Law Society of England & Wales, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He speaks Danish and Mandarin.

Steffen holds a Master’s Degree in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He passed the Hong Kong bar exam with Distinction going on to complete his training as a solicitor in Hong Kong in 2007 and qualifying in England & Wales in 2008. In 2016 he was appointed by the government of Tuvalu as a Tuvalu qualified lawyer, and in 2017 by Niue and Kiribati as well.   He is therefore able to advise on Hong Kong, English, Tuvalu, Niuean and Kiribati law.   Before joining Thomas Cooper he spent 4 years in the Singapore office of an international law firm, making partner, and before that spent 6 years with Ince & Co in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Steffen Pedersen highlighted as a Recognised Practitioner.
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2019
The 'very commercial, smart and quick' Steffen Pedersen, provides 'a very good level of service'.
Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2019
Steffen Pedersen highlighted as a recommended lawyer.
Legal 500, 2018
Steffen Pedersen has a growing reputation in the market, with clients describing him as "very amenable and easy-going" and "very thorough."His broad practice covers litigation, arbitration and mediation in relation to charter party and cargo disputes, as well as ship collisions.  
Chambers Asia, 2017