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Meet the Team: Paul Hall, Marine Director

Across LOC, Longitude, Innosea and JLA, our teams are united by a shared commitment to support clients globally with practical and pragmatic solutions, de-risking operations across energy and oceans, and driving energy transition in shipping, renewables and oil and gas markets. You know our teams, but do you know our people?

This week we talk to Paul Hall – marine director, marine superintendent, specialising largely in marine and vessel surveys, inspections and audits, with LOC London.

What do you do at LOC?

I joined LOC in Nov 2000 and have spent the last 20 years learning all aspects of our Energy and Shipping business. From a wet behind the ears consultant I have progressed to being the Marine Director with LOC and managing a team of Master Mariners and Marine Engineers dealing with all types of Shipping matters be it Marine Casualty, General Consultancy, various condition and prepurchase Surveys, Claims, Litigation and Disputes, and also assisting the Energy teams with MWS work.

I particularly enjoy Navigational Analysis work using MADAS, VDR and AIS and have been very involved in marine incident investigation.

I tend to specialise on Surveys, Inspections and Audits in general, I also enjoy providing advice on tug selection and towage approvals, tanker incidents and unsafe berth /port scenarios.

What excites you the most about our industry?

What excites me the most about LOC and our industry is the variety of work and locations we operate in and variety of work scopes. I enjoyed arriving at a location and using my knowledge and experience to either investigate possible causation or ensure safe operations and fulfil client expectations. I enjoy meeting people, travelling to different places, seeing different cultures and making new friends.

I think the best place I’ve been sent to is the most remote island of Tristan Da Cunha, a tiny island in the South Atlantic that only has 300 inhabitants with only 8 surnames and a monthly boat service from Cape Town. I was there to observe salvors look for the remains of a bulk carrier that ran aground the year before on neighbouring Nightingale Island, which is a nature reserve full of wild birds, penguins and seals. “It’s only  3 weeks and you’ll be back for Xmas”, is the way the late Peter Holloway sold it to me. Well 5 weeks later, it was one of the best times I‘ve had, surveying the seabed around Nightingale Island, meeting some of the locals of Tristan Da Cunha and seeing the wildlife up close. I even got the T shirt and I feel very priviledged to have been somewhere where I know there won’t be many people who will ever get the chance to visit.

What made you join LOC?

After 15 years on a variety of ships mainly sailing around India and Africa on Clan boats, a few tours on the Scottish Eagle in the Falklands conflict, and a few years on coastal tankers  and then doing 10 years ashore in a Shipowner’s London office as Marine Superintendent, Operation and Quality Manager, I was looking for new challenges in my life.

LOC were looking for Tanker experience in the London office and I liked the idea of doing investigations and expert witness work.

I learnt a lot about unsafe berths and ports from David Pockett and I have since extended my learning using MADAS and doing Navigational analysis which I enjoy doing today.

What I have liked most at LOC is the friends I have made over the years, the variety of work, the characters I have worked with and the great depth of knowledge to be found amongst my colleagues that have helped me to meet the demanding requests from clients with Expert Reports.

What do you do when you are not working?

Before lockdown you could find the wife and I out a few days each week dancing modern jive and teaching others how to do modern Jive with a franchise called CEROC.  I hope to be able to resume the dancing this year with a dance holiday planned in November 2021.

I am an avid DIYer and enjoy building, fixing and renovating things and have often provided DIY advice to those less with no DIY skills in the office.

I have recently purchased a 1938 Austin 10 Cambridge car I call “Betsy” which, although a runner needs a bit of TLC to keep her purring, I hope to show her at a few rallies this year. Betsy was 83 yrs old in February.

I also enjoy taking part in charity events with colleagues at LOC:-  2007- 100 mile cycle around New forest area , 2010 Wilderness Challenge , 2017 15,000ft Skydive,  2021 Race the Thames.

Bottom right photo of Paul Hall participating in the ongoing Race The Thames 2021 challenge for charities London Youth Rowing and The Mission to Seafarers. If you would like to support Paul and the teams, we are raising money here.