Video: Clyde & Co partner John Leonida's advice on building a superyacht
by Elizabeth Finney
John Leonida, partner at the superyacht law firm Cyde & Co. and a familiar face in the industry, has already shared his wisdom regarding buying and selling a superyacht as well as defining the custom yacht. In this interview, he gives his expert advice regarding the build process of a yacht
At the Cannes Yachting Festival in September 2017, Boat International met with Leonida to enjoy the late summer sunshine and to talk about the importance of a well put together legal contract.
While many clients may want to get stuck into the building process straight away, there are more important things to consider before that gets underway. “The most important element to consider legally when building a yacht is to get the contract right,” explains Leonida. “It’s not just the terms and conditions at the front end of a contract, but it is the design, the general arrangement and the specification.”
Knowing exactly what you want from your new vessel is crucial, so it’s important that the more precise details are included in your contract. "It’s impossible to build a really good yacht without having a full specification,” Leonida continues. “A full specification will tell an owner what he is getting in absolute detail so it’s important to get a solid contract.”
Well-known for his unparalleled expertise in the industry and for his signature snappy attire, Leonida has advised on approximately $4 billion worth of yacht transactions since 2005. Formerly a development economist for the Foreign Office’ overseas development administration, he has overseen and guided the design and build of a 120 metre superyacht.
“If I was going to give an owner one piece of advice before he embarks on building his own superyacht it would be take your time, don’t rush,” says Leonida. “Be certain about what you want and gather the right team around you.”
The superyacht firm Clyde & Co. has been providing expert legal services to superyacht owners for more than 30 years and was originally founded in 1933 by Scottish lawyer Richard Arthur Clyde. Now a staple business at the heart of the luxury yachting industry, it should be the first port of call for those seeking guidance with their luxury yacht.
Clyde & Co., 020 7876 5000, thesuperyachtlawfirm.com