Page 18 - Linkline Yearbook 2018
P. 18

 “There’s Fresh Enthusiasm to Move the Institute Forward”
The new President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is Helen Noble, who took over stewardship of the Institute on the first of October for a two-year term. She talks to Linkline about her work in the maritime sector and her ambitions for her presidency.
With almost a quarter a century of experience in the complex, and ever-evolving, sphere of maritime and transport law, Helen Noble is used to dealing with unique challenges and the requirement to evolve to stay relevant. For her, the challenge of taking the Institute forward, developing the membership of CILT and ensuring it is fully representative of the sector is a natural one.
Helen has been involved on the Council of CILT on and off for several years. “I firmly believe in the importance of our industry having an active membership body organisation where we can collectively harness the vast body of knowledge we have all as members developed over the years to embrace development and change, a forum where we can all enhance our knowledge further, a medium through which we can mentor new entrants to our industry and an assembly where we can ensure our industry maintains consistently high professional standards and education.”The logistics, transport and supply chain have so many different components, but we are all interdependent on one another to differing extents. “It is therefore critical in my view for the industry that we have a collective and fully representative body.”
Helen set up her Shipping & Transport Law practice in Ireland in 2004, building upon the career she had previously established in shipping law firms in London and Singapore. Helen’s firm, Noble Shipping Law, is now located in Arklow, where she practices with her assistant, Hazel Dalton. She is currently looking for a third person to grow the team further. The dual Irish and English practise specialises in all areas of maritime and transport law, such as cargo claims, bill of lading issues and disputes, ship arrests, insurance issues, marine casualties, personal injury claims, road transport disputes and freight forwarding claims. “I feel so privileged to work in this industry. To me it is as thrilling today as it was 25 years ago. No one day is the same. I can be dealing with a highly contentious dispute one moment and be handing the drafting of a complex commercial agreement in the next. Unlike other areas of law, there is a huge commercial focus to what we do. We solve problems in a way that enables our clients to get on with their business with the least disturbance possible. As a truly international practice we are afforded a rich and unique opportunity to work with many different countries, companies and cultures.”
Challenges and Brexit
“One of the biggest challenges for my practice has been recruiting professionals who either have a legal background in the industry or who possess a good commercial acumen
combined with a willingness to specialise in a niche area of law,” explained Helen. Trusting in her instinct and putting time into mentoring individuals however has paid off in Helen’s experience and there are many individuals who have trained under Helen that continue to work in this area of law at an international level. “Some of them now instruct me here in Ireland which confirms you get out what you put in and it always brings a slightly droll smile to my face.”
When Helen first arrived in Ireland in 2004, the Irish economy was booming and, working in conjunction with bodies such as the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO), there was a real impetus, drive and enthusiasm for building on Ireland’s strong record of attracting foreign direct investment and encouraging international shipping business to Ireland. There was a core group of people working hard to establish a “Maritime Cluster” in Ireland. Ireland had a great story to sell. First and foremost, maritime transport is the absolute lifeblood of the Irish economy in terms of both imports and exports, the overwhelming majority of goods coming to or leaving the island do so by sea,” she explained, “it wasn’t difficult therefore to describe our maritime roots and establish our authenticity as a maritime nation.” Putting that aside, Ireland is an easy place and tax efficient area to do business. It’s English speaking with a legal system based on the Common Law making it an attractive hub for major shipping corporations looking to establish an EU foothold for example corporations from countries such as India and Singapore. Ireland already had a proven track record with its success in the aviation industry and it was felt we could emulate that in the maritime sector.
Unfortunately jump forward just a few years and the boom had gone bust and attracting new international business became difficult and was to a large extent on the back burner as we fought fires for our clients and all dug deep to deal with the economic crash.
  18 The CharTered InsTITuTe of LogIsTICs & TransporT

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