It is easy to assume that the only place, or the easiest place, in which to obtain an associated vessel arrest to obtain security for a claim is South Africa.

However, we had a case recently where we were able to obtain a Rule B Attachment over an associated vessel in the US. This led to the owners of the associated vessel providing security by way of a Club LOU, which was subsequently replaced by security provided by the owners of the subject vessel, i.e. that in respect of which the claim arose.

Even if the LOU cannot be exchanged, the position is the same as the attachment of an alter ego EFT was in 2010. Accordingly if you obtain an award or judgment, and the party against whom you obtain your award/judgment does not effect payment of the sums due, you can seek to enforce the award/judgment in the US by establishing that the party against whom you have obtained the award/judgment, and the party from whom you have obtained the LOU, are alter egos. In practice it does not become an issue, but if the party against whom the award/judgment is obtained is for some reason not creditworthy, then at least you have the LOU.

Equally, if the opportunity to attach an asset directly of the party against whom you have the claim presents itself, you can do this and “retire” the LOU obtained against the associated company.

Certainly worth thinking about, therefore, with the use of Gray Page or Infospectrum to show the connecting links and as long as neither party is obviously present in the jurisdiction where the Rule B Attachment is to be obtained.

Further evidence, if needed, that Rule B Attachments are far from dead.