Tony Riches

Solicitor / Mariner


Tony is a solicitor and ex-mariner.  He is skilled in providing legal and practical advice to ship owners, charterers, P&I clubs and property insurers concerning marine casualties, salvage, collisions, charterparty disputes and cargo claims. Tony has particular expertise in advising on and managing complex casualty situations, drawing on his experience as both a mariner and a lawyer. He is familiar with High Court and London arbitration procedure and has experience of cases involving multi-jurisdictional proceedings.

Tony was a Royal Navy officer for over eight years, during which time he served as Officer of the Watch in a variety of vessels including an aircraft carrier. He has experience of navigating with ECDIS and paper charts.  Tony was involved in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and has managed intelligence analysis teams. He is knowledgeable about cyber security procedures on board ships, having been the IT security officer in an aircraft carrier.

Work Highlights

  • Conducted numerous casualty investigations, obtaining VDR, ECDIS, documentary and witness evidence, and assisting owners/crew manage casualty situations on board vessels.
  • Acted for owners in unsafe port claims against charterers involving groundings in port limits, dock infrastructure  and significant delays to cargo operations.
  • Advised owners and insurers after vessel collisions on jurisdiction, general average, liability, limitation and quantum.
  • Advised owners in defending claims resulting from damage caused by vessels to subsea cables and pipes.
  • Acted for professional salvors in Lloyds Arbitration and non-LOF claims against vessels and cargo interests for salvage in connection with groundings, fires and immobilisation.
  • Acted for owners defending salvage claims from tug owners, tug crews and a pilot.
  • Acted for owners facing claims related to damaged cargo.
  • Advised owners and charterers in relation to damage caused to vessels during cargo operations, including ship damage during STS transfers and stevedore damage to vessels.
  • Acted in tug and tow cases where one party is claiming from the other for physical damage, delay and loss of business.
  • Advised parties to vessel sale contracts where post-delivery defects arise/are alleged.
  • Advised owners and charterers in relation to charterparty issues arising from vessel damage, including general average contributions, deviation and unseaworthiness.
  • Provided mariner knowledge in personal injury cases concerning seamanship.


Tony joined Thomas Cooper in 2018 from another leading shipping law firm in London. He has a first class law degree and obtained distinctions in both the GDL and LPC.  He served in the Royal Navy between 2001 and 2009.


  • Member of the Nautical Institute