Harry Theochari has succeeded David Dingle as Chair of Maritime UK.
Theochari will start his tenure by co-chairing the Maritime Ministerial Working Group tomorrow, followed by meetings with other politicians at Westminster, including the Shadow Transport and Scotland Secretaries.
He said: “I am very honoured to be taking the Chair of Maritime UK and being given the opportunity to serve the UK’s maritime industries, with which I have worked for the past 33 years. Together with Sarah Kenny, I am looking forward to continuing the excellent work of David Dingle, the secretariat and, indeed, all of the members of MUK.
"Never, throughout my career as a shipping lawyer, have I seen so many issues converge on the maritime industries – both at sea and ashore – at the same time. There are many immediate challenges that MUK must tackle for the good of our sector – these include a lack of funding, environmental issues, the advent of disruptive technologies, and the issues surrounding Brexit. These will require a lot of hard work, resilience and innovative thinking to ensure the sector makes the most of emerging opportunities.
“The maritime industries of the United Kingdom have a long and proud history, and I am very confident that by pulling together and working effectively with Government, the sector will emerge from these challenging times – including the longest and most difficult recession the sector has faced in living memory – in a much more confident and stronger position. I will certainly do all that I can to ensure that the UK’s world-leading position in the maritime sector is maintained and, where possible, enhanced.”
On the UK's withdrawal from the EU, he added: "For almost three years the national debate has been focused on the intricacies of our relationship with the European Union. Brexit, as a process, has proved very divisive for the nation and for government. The uncertainties to which it has given rise have been damaging to the British economy and to British business. Now that we have a withdrawal deal on the table, MPs should give the deal their support so that we can look beyond the Brexit process, and to the future opportunities that wait for our country."
Harry Theochari is global head of transport at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, and will continue to practice as a lawyer in addition to his Maritime UK role. He has been named by Lloyd's List as the most influential shipping lawyer in the world, has been recognised by Tanker Shipping & Trade as one of the 50 most influential people in the tanker industry and is cited by Chambers Global 2018 as a leading individual for shipping finance. He is currently the Vice Chairman of Maritime London and was recently appointed a Visiting Professor by Tongji Shanghai University and sits on their Expert Committee and Institute for Urban Risk Management.