Ohio-based law firm Squire Patton Boggs partners with The Baltic Exchange to provide a vessel sale and purchase (S&P) transaction closing service.

The service will be led by SPB’s 30 strong Commodities & Shipping Group, co-chaired by Chris Swart and Barry Stimpson, and will be underpinned by the Baltic Exchange’s independent Singapore based escrow operation.

It will be driven by a team of SPB specialists with a track record in maritime finance, and acquisition of maritime assets, including Singapore-based partners Kate Sherrard and Brian Gordon.

In accordance with the Baltic´s press release, they form part of the firm’s market-leading Commodities & Shipping Group that advises on all aspects of international trade and shipping across key markets, including Singapore, London, the Americas, Australia and the Middle East.

The Baltic Exchange’s escrow service is already used for a wide range of transactional work, including the sale and purchase of vessels.

“The Baltic Exchange’s support in providing corresponding escrow services means that shipowners will have access to a trusted, independent and efficient means of holding and exchanging funds when purchasing and selling vessels. This will give all parties confidence that the necessary and compliant due diligence checks are performed, funds are held securely, and the exchange of funds is executed smoothly and professionally with close attention to detail,” as the Baltic Exchange says today.

SPB partner Brian Gordon said in a statement: “We are launching this service to provide a one-stop service for shipowners and offer support for every aspect of a vessel sale or purchase. These include preliminary negotiations, inspection and the due diligence of the vessel, advising on and finalising a Memorandum of Agreement, preparation of documents and vessel for delivery as well as closing of the transaction. In partnering with the Baltic Exchange, an independent and renowned provider of trusted shipping benchmarks, we are able to offer a secure, best-in-class service where we can act in the best interests of shipping clients and provide the high standard of service they deserve.”

The Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Mark Jackson said: “This partnership will deliver a vessel S&P transaction closing service which is second to none. As an organisation which is owned by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) Group and compliant with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) anti-money laundering requirements, users of the service are assured of a high quality and independent escrow support from the Baltic Exchange for their transactions. Secure escrow accounts are maintained with two leading AA-rated banks in Singapore.”