Video: Clyde & Co partner John Leonida shares tips on buying a superyacht

27 June 2017 • Written by Elizabeth Finney

If you're embarking on a new superyacht purchase and you're worried about the potential legal and financial pitfalls, consulting Clyde & Co, the superyacht law firm, for legal advice should be your first step.

Originally founded by Scottish lawyer Richard Arthur Clyde in 1933 with the intention of filling a role at heart of international trade and commerce, Clyde & Co has been advising superyacht owners for more than 30 years.

Partner John Leonida, formerly a development economist for the Foreign Office’s overseas development administration, is an expert in international marine transactional work. He has advised on approximately $4 billion worth of superyacht transactions since 2005, as well as on the design and build of a luxury yacht over 120 metres. In this interview, he shares his initial tips on entering the world of superyachts.

“If I had to create a checklist for buying a superyacht, what would be on it?” says Leonida, speaking to Boat International. “Why am I buying a superyacht in the first instance? How would I use it? Where would I go? Am I someone who wants to spend weekends on the Côte d’Azur or am I looking forward to travelling the world?”

While the Balearics, the South of France and Italian Riviera lead the way in terms of summer destinations, the desire for luxury explorer yachts that can reach more remote destinations is increasing. Understanding what you expect from your yacht is key in the initial moves towards purchase.

“The most common mistakes that people make when they’re buying a yacht, the biggest mistake, is they become over-enthusiastic,” Leonida says. "They are in their mind, often sitting on the aft deck, drinking their cocktail and they overlook some of the problems because they are so excited about buying a yacht.”

Well-versed with both first-time and repeat buyers, Clyde & Co can offer extensive legal advice regarding all aspects of the superyacht industry, from the design and build to finance and insurance.

Monaco Yacht Show 2016 – Clyde & Co can offer expert legal advice regarding all aspects of the superyacht industry. Picture courtesy of / Drozdin Vladimir.

“If I had one message to anyone wanting to enter into this adventure that is superyachts, it is becertain that you want to do it,” says Leonida. “Don’t do it because your friends do it. Do it because it is what you want to do and it’s part of your lifestyle.”

Clyde & Co, 020 7876 5000,