Meet Our Team
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Quentin Bargate qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and has since spent his entire career in top City of London law firms, including running his own highly regarded firm, Bargate Murray, where he is head of the firm’s Superyacht and Dispute Resolution Groups as well as being the firm’s CEO. Client sources comment on the “huge amount of litigation experience” that Quentin has, adding that he is “very well connected” and “knows his stuff.” A satisfied client appreciates that “he does the work from the beginning to the end, providing a full and complete service,” and the source adds: “His advice is always helpful and he is very practical.” (Source: Chambers HNW Guide 2019)
Quentin says: “In 2004, I fulfilled a lifetime ambition when I set up my own law firm, Quentin Bargate & Co. (renamed Bargate Murray in 2006). We incorporated in 2013. I had been a partner in Simmons & Simmons and Head of its International Trade and Shipping Group and a member of the Litigation Department and Arbitration Groups where I developed specialist skills in superyacht contracts and disputes as well as commercial shipping and trade. Bargate Murray was a new challenge – to take all that knowledge I had gained over 14 years from a big City of London international practice, and offer it to clients who wanted a nimbler, more responsive service from a specialist firm.”
Bargate Murray is highly ranked in the Chambers HNW 2019 Guide for ‘Yachts & Superyachts’, and the Guide recognises Quentin as a Leading Individual for his expertise in this practice.
Quentin is an advocate for alternative dispute resolution (ADR), but he also deals with cases in court when required. He occasionally sits as an arbitrator.
Quentin is a member of the Baltic Exchange, the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands yacht committee. He holds a Master’s degree in Marine law, is a member of the LMAA, a Member of the Nautical Institute, a member of the IOD, a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, and a Freeman of the City of London.
His other interests include photography (Elsevier has published a technical book on stock photography “Microstock Photography” written by Quentin under his pen name Douglas Freer), music and his family.
Many large cases dealt with by Quentin and his team are arbitrations and thus confidential, so the following matters are merely some examples of the breadth of work as litigators that we handle:
- Goodwood Investments Holdings Inc. v Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG  EWHC 1056 (Comm). This was a large and complex arbitration that briefly went to court and has now settled (2019).
- A substantial cross border ad hoc international arbitration in which the client defeated a $30m counterclaim and settled its own claim for Euro 6 million for Euro 5 million, a near complete success (2019).
- Consolidated Contractors (Oil and Gas) Company SAL (acting by Mr. Lee Manning as receiver) v Canadian Nexen Petroleum Yemen & Others  EWHC 837 (QB).Cross border receivership litigation involving Yemeni, Lebanese and English law (amongst others), concerning the unprecedented attempt by an English court-appointed receiver to gain control of foreign assets located in the Middle East. The case eventually settled.
- Gamit Ltd v Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp & Anor  EWHC 989. Successfully defending the maintenance division of a jet engine manufacturer in a dispute over title to replacement jet engine parts.
- Madoff Securities International Ltd (In liquidation) v Raven & Ors  EWHC 3147. Defending a director allegedly involved in a global Ponzi scheme in litigation brought by the liquidator of an English Company.
- Street v Larkins  EWHC 1408 (Ch). Representing the Defendants in their successful defence of an interim application for a freezing injunction and the Defendants successful application for wasted costs. The Defendants were awarded their wasted costs on the basis of the Claimants’ unreasonable refusal to consent to an adjournment of the trial date. Claimants’ application for freezing injunction was dismissed on the grounds of failing to establish a “good arguable” case during the trial window.
- Charterparty dispute advice.
- Successfully litigating and eventually settling on favourable terms a highly complex and fractious corporate dispute between shareholders, where the majority shareholders sought to exclude our clients from their share of the profits in a real estate investment vehicle by devising elaborate commercial structures across a number of European jurisdictions. The settlement included payment to our clients of a substantial cash payment and the agreement on the part of the Defendants to pay our client’s costs on an indemnity basis.
- Successfully settling a professional negligence action brought by a high net worth individual with considerable real estate investments which were exposed by the repeated failures of a renowned top 20 law firm.
Some of Quentin’s recent transactions include:
- $200m new build contract advice for an award-winning superyacht.
- Advice on Seafarer Employment Agreements, including in regard to the first yacht successfully to pass an MLC audit for the Cayman flag.
- Advice in importation of several yachts in to the European Union for VAT purposes, and on Temporary Admission matters.
- Sale of a 61m superyacht to a Russian buyer.
- Purchase of a 48m Superyacht and its commercial registration and use.
- Yacht management agreements for leading yacht managers.
- Aviation and maritime advice in regard to a UHNW individual.
- Acting for a yacht builder in regard to construction agreements.
For more information, or to get in touch with Quentin, please email email@example.com
Director - Head of Aviation
Ilona Avramenko joined Bargate Murray as a Superyacht and Aviation Associate in October 2016. She focuses on advising UHNW individuals, companies, family offices and banks on various yachting and aviation matters, particularly within the executive jet sector.
Ilona has over ten years experience in the maritime industry having both worked in a shipping company and a private equity fund.
She grew up in both Canada and Ukraine and maintains strong ties to the Black Sea region.
Examples of Ilona’s work include:
- Sale and purchase, construction, registration and VAT/importation of yachts
- Sale and purchase of corporate aircraft including financing, registration and VAT/importation
- Construction of new aircraft
- More generally, advising clients on a wide range of commercial documents including share acquisition agreements, business and asset sale and purchase agreements, share transfer agreements, guarantees and security agreements
- Advising companies and banks on the sale and purchase, mortgage registration and enforcement of security documents
- Advising on various contractual matters both contentious and non-contentious including aircraft repossession
Ilona assisted in the founding of Black Sea Shipowners’ Club which is a non-profit organisation established by the major ship owners in Russia, Ukraine and Turkey with the aim of protecting and promoting ship owners’ interests.
Tel: +44 (0) 207 375 1393
Graham had a long career in banking starting in 1970. He spent 44 years in various roles and managerial positions.
During his career, Graham held positions in Marketing & Sales, organising representation at such profile events as Dunhill British Masters Golf, Burghley Horse Trials and East of England Show.
He went onto to become a successful Relationship Manager / Director working with SME businesses and Corporate Clients.
During this time he specialised in a wide number of sectors including :
• Property development / house building .
• Accountancy and Legal Professions .
• Restaurant and Pub Trade.
• Nuclear Industry
Personal Highlights of his career included presenting a daily financial report for local radio and specialist training as a presenter for one of the banks major national change programmes.
Graham retired from banking in 2014 and shortly after established a consultancy business with his wife. He has undertaken project work which has included:
• Establishment of a Hong Kong Office for a London based company.
• Board representation for a High Tech print business which included assisting with an eventual merger .
• Working with an accountancy firm providing a banking perspective for its clients, along with overseeing various projects.
Outside of work, Graham likes to keep fit and active He enjoys walking and gardening .
His hobbies include photography / reading and ultimately would like to write a book (Perhaps finishing the one he started when he retired) He and his wife enjoy travelling.
Dom is a Director in the Firm’s superyacht group based in London. Dom advises owners and their representatives on all aspects of superyacht ownership and management.
This includes the negotiation of new build and refit contracts, interior design contracts, contracts for the purchase of toys, tenders and lifeboats, sale and purchase agreements and sale and charter agency agreements, as well as matters relating to the employment of crew members and operational staff.
Dom also has significant experience in the negotiation of yacht finance agreements and re-financings, having started his career in the transportation finance group at Clyde & Co before moving to Bargate Murray in 2019.
Dom is often called upon to offer real-time support for Captains and yacht managers as matters requiring immediate attention arise onboard.
A life-long sailor himself, Dom has a practical understanding of the reality of life on the water and is able to apply his personal experience as both an owner and a charterer to offer clients practical, pragmatic, and realistic advice.
Dom has been involved in projects ranging from the design and construction of some of the largest new-builds in the superyacht fleet to the complex modification and repurposing of older vessels.
With an undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology, Dom has a keen interest in the preservation of marine ecosystems and sustainable use of the World’s waters for recreational purposes. This passion also spills into day-to-day life at Bargate Murray where Dom has championed a number of “green” initiatives to help reduce the Firm’s impact on the environment.
When he is not in the office, Dom can often be found sailing on the south coast of England or enjoying the warmer climes of the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas.
Hannah qualified as an Associate at Bargate Murray in May 2020, specialising in Disputes Resolution. Throughout her time at Bargate Murray, Hannah has gained significant experience in a number of complex dispute resolution matters having been closely involved in multiple high value arbitrations spanning the superyacht and aviation sectors. Hannah also has experience in mediation, negotiation and tax investigations, and continues to expand her work in High Court litigation.
In addition to her work in the Disputes team, Hannah is experienced in general commercial matters, having previously worked in the trade and commodities sector, and works closely with both the Aviation and Superyacht teams. Prior to joining Bargate Murray, Hannah worked within the Commodities and Shipping industry, specialising in the negotiation of commercial chartering and physical commodity contracts.
In her spare time Hannah is a keen linguist, speaking fluent French and is currently working to master Spanish. She also enjoys reading, particularly history books, yoga and going on long walks around London.
Lauren Stephens is Head of Administration, and enjoys a high profile role as one of the firm’s compliance officers and manages the firm’s finances. Additionally, Lauren is ILex trained. She assists the directors in the management of the Firm.
Lauren, who joined Bargate Murray in 2009, is in charge of the smooth day to day operation of the firm and works alongside the CEO and directors to ensure that each client receives the high level of client care that epitomises Bargate Murray.
Lauren also assists with the organisation and preparation of a number of key events, a number of which have been held over consecutive years at the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show.
For more information, or to get in touch with Lauren, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jemma Robinson joined Bargate Murray in September 2018 and is the firm’s Administrator. Jemma works front of house, meeting and greeting clients and visitors to Bargate Murray Head Office. Jemma also assists the Head of Administration and Fee Earners in the daily operation of the Firm.
Jemma has extensive experience in other front of house roles, including at a busy London airport.
In her spare time, Jemma enjoys listening to an array of music, acting, and taking care of her horse.
Edd joined Bargate Murray in May 2013 as a part-time office assistant, fulfilling clerical and administrative duties to help keep the firm running smoothly behind-the-scenes. Since then his role has evolved to include a variety of specialist subjects such as graphic design, marketing, information technology, promotional material manufacturing and website administration. He also assists with the logistical planning of Bargate Murray’s promotional events and parties.
Outside of work, Edd is a keen car enthusiast, DJ and music producer.
For more information, or to get in touch with Edd, please email email@example.com
Alex Bargate joined the firm in September 2013 after completing his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Warwick. His mission is to raise the online profile of Bargate Murray through a diverse range of marketing tactics.
In his spare time, Alex is a keen classical and fingerstyle acoustic guitarist, as well as a budding entrepreneur in the tech start-up world, to which his web development skills make him ideally suited.
For more information, or to get in touch with Alex, please email firstname.lastname@example.org