gunnercooke team works on revolutionary C02-netrual private boat event venue 

May 30, 2023
Michael Hatchwell


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gunnercooke Corporate & Commercial Partners Michael Hatchwell and Pania Charalambous recently worked on the revolutionary Ocean Diva.  

Ocean Diva will be operated by one of the duos clients, working with one of London’s leading events’ organisers, Smart Group. The business is part of United Rivers which owns and operates 150 large cruise vessels on the rivers of Europe. 

The Ocean Diva is the first all-electric large vessel built to operate on the river Thames. It is 86 meters long, state of the art and has been constructed for high level corporate entertainment, at a cost exceeding £20 million. It is powered entirely by lithium batteries and has its own waste treatment facility. It operates silently, is triple glazed and is entirely green. It will set the standard for vessels on the river Thames for the future and raises the bar considerably, as it is also built to the highest safety standards.  

In conjunction with the arrival of the Ocean Diva, another river-based client that the gunnercooke duo act for is electrifying key piers on the river Thames so that the Ocean Diva will be able to be charged when mooring alongside. This is the first time that electric boats have been able to use the river Thames and be charged at river piers. 

Michael and Pania have been involved in some of the financing aspects, registration of the vessel on the British Ships Register, securing the vessel to the Dutch State funder, negotiating the agreement with Smart, securing its home berth, and with getting all the permits and permissions necessary to operate the vessel on the river and in London. The duo has also worked very closely with lawyers in The Netherlands on this project. 

The team is also working on a number of river Thames Piers and berths, including acquiring a river-based business which will add to Michael and Pania’s earlier experience of acquiring Thames Luxury Cruises. During that transaction, the team negotiated a complex licence of Butlers Wharf Pier. 

The river Thames is a vital commercial artery and the duo are delighted to be doing more and more work for families and companies operating on its waters.  

The team are also determined to ensure that the NIMBRs (not in my back river and the nautical equivalent of the NIMBYs) who choose to live overlooking the River are limited in their ability to disrupt what is and must remain a vital carriageway (with all its different uses) through London. 

To contact Michael and read more about his practice, click here.  

To contact Pania and read more about her practice, click here.  

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