- 1st May 2018
Why become an England and Wales certified Maritime Solicitor?
With an average salary of £60,000 for a newly qualified England and Wales certified Maritime Solicitor working in a law firm, there’s a lot to be said for a career in Maritime Law. 
While there is a lot of training involved, being a solicitor is a very rewarding and satisfying job role. A study conducted by the Law Society found that over three-fifths (62%) of Solicitors are satisfied or very satisfied in their role and three-quarters say they feel proud to work for their organisation.
What is Maritime/Admiralty Law?
Very few people know that the laws relating to the sea, differ from those that apply to land. Because of this, a different kind of solicitor is needed when problems arise at sea.
Shipping law is one of the most developed areas of commercial law. It is segmented into two parts: contentious and non-contentious. Contentious (dry) shipping involves contractual matters such as bill of lading and charter party disputes. Non-contentious (wet) shipping involves issues of tort, insurance law and collisions.
While the shipping industry is international, London is a worldwide hub for Maritime insurance organisations and dispute resolutions, and English law is the legal system of choice.
Where do I start?
A career as a solicitor starts with a relevant degree, there are a number of different degrees which will give you a route to becoming a Maritime Solicitor; Law, Maritime Law and Maritime Business & Law.
Once you have successfully completed your bachelor’s degree and vocational stages of training, you can then apply to be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This register is referred to as the roll of solicitors in England and Wales.
Once registered, you can apply for your first practising certificate. This entitles you to practice as a solicitor, and it is at this stage you become a member of the Law Society of England and Wales.
Now that you are certified, you can work in a legal practice for 1 year as an NQ (Newly Qualified) Solicitor.
Working in a private practice, the common progression route will be from Junior Associate to Associate, Partner, Senior Partner and onwards. Each of these stages will involve you growing your experience and knowledge of Maritime Law.
Working as a Solicitor in-house (large organisations who have in-house legal employees), you will gain commercial experience, and progression routes often tie-in with key strategic goals of the organisation you’re working for.
In April 2017 the Solicitors Regulation Authority confirmed that it would be going ahead with a new ‘super exam’ which all prospective solicitors will have to pass in order to qualify and practice as a Solicitor.
The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is to be introduced in 2020 but all current students and trainee solicitors will still be able to qualify via the current route. Those who commence training before or at the point at which the SQE is introduced will also be able to continue via the traditional route.
All those who begin legal education and training once the SQE has been introduced will have to train under the new process and pass the SQE.
Navis Consulting wants to hear from you!
Navis Consulting works with Maritime Solicitors at all stages of their career, from getting their first placement to finding their next role as partner and even stepping into an in-house role. We want to hear from you, about your experience as a Maritime Solicitor and what advice you’d give to anyone thinking about a career in Maritime Law.