Archives: Case Law

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Court of Appeal clarifies that term in trade recap stating that certificate of quality is final and binding is not qualified

BP GTCs 2007: Septo Trading Inc v Tintrade Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 718   Introduction In Septo Trading Inc v Tintrade Limited ([2021] EWCA Civ 718) the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court decision ([2020] EWHC 1795 (Comm)) that a term in a trade recap which provided that an inspector’s results were “binding on the … Continue Reading

No Oral Modification clauses

We have previously dedicated blog posts to so-called “No Oral Modification” or “NOM” clauses. You can find our previous post focusing on the Supreme Court judgment in MWB Business Exchange Centres v. Rock Advertising [2018] UKSC 24 here. The validity of contractual modifications is a recurring theme in commercial disputes. A recent English Court of … Continue Reading

Assignment of insurances: The secured lender’s obligation to obtain proper recovery

In a late 2020 judgment (Aegean Baltic Bank SA v Renzlor Shipping Ltd and Ors [2020] EWHC 2851 (Comm)), the High Court provided important guidance on the position of a bank under security documents relating to a loan agreement, and its obligations when exercising its rights as assignee to the insurance policies over a vessel. … Continue Reading

Damages in addition to demurrage – long standing debate settled in owners’ favour

Public today: an important judgment handed down by the English High Court this morning has re-opened the door to recovering damages in addition to demurrage for losses caused by exceeding laytime in cargo operations. In today’s 43 page judgment in K Line Pte Ltd vs Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd (The Eternal Bliss) [2020] EWHC … Continue Reading

Shipper’s presentation of bill of lading for signature is merely an invitation to master to make his own assessment of cargo’s apparent condition on loading: Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd v Noble Chartering Inc, Tai Prize [2020] EWHC 127 (Comm)

On appeal by the charterer, the High Court overturned the award of a London tribunal ordering the charterer to indemnify the disponent owner for the payment it had made to the owner of the vessel in settlement of the latter’s claim for a 50% contribution to the sum paid to cargo receivers for damage to … Continue Reading

Demurrage time bar: The importance of providing supporting documents in demurrage claims

Summary Charterers successfully appealed an arbitration award under section 69 Arbitration Act 1996 on the basis that Owners did not submit all supporting documents for a demurrage claim within the 90-day time bar under the charterparty. Mr Justice Robin Knowles ruled that as the calculation of demurrage was pro-rated under the charterparty where another parcel … Continue Reading

Safe-berth clauses bind to a warranty of safety: The U.S. Supreme Court brings into agreement U.S. and English law

CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. et al. v. Frescati Shipping Co., Ltd. et al. On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the plain language of the parties’ safe-berth clause establishes a warranty of safety.” The decision brings U.S. law into alignment with the long-standing position under English law, as established by Leeds Shipping … Continue Reading

Demurrage claims

There seem to be endless variations of the clauses in voyage charterparties requiring owners to provide copies of the relevant or supporting documentation with demurrage claims. We receive a surprising number of queries relating to what is required. In Amalie Essberger, a Commercial Court decision of 11 December 2019, the charter was on an amended … Continue Reading

Rubicon Vantage International PTE Ltd v. Krisenergy Ltd [2019] EWHC 2012 (Comm)

Summary This case provides useful guidance on the application of rules of construction in relation to guarantees that display characteristics of both an “on-demand” guarantee and a “true guarantee,” and where obligations are undertaken by a non-bank entity. In such cases, there is no requirement for a narrow construction of the guarantor’s obligations. For information … Continue Reading

Force majeure clauses: what matters is not the label but the content of the tin!

The Court of Appeal in Classic Maritime Inc. v Limbungan Makmur SDN BHD and Another [2019] EWCA Civ 1102 contrasted the circumstances in which an exceptions clause and a contract frustration clause would operate. The appeal concerned the charterer’s failure to ship five cargos of iron ore from Brazil to Malaysia in the period following … Continue Reading

The “Atlantic Tonjer” – the first glimpse of the judicial approach to interpreting SupplyTime 2017

Summary The “Atlantic Tonjer” [2019] EWHC 1213 (Comm) is thought to be the first reported judgment on SupplyTime 2017. The decision clarifies the meaning of clause 12(e) of the standard form, which requires Charterers to notify Owners by no later than the due date of an invoice, if they reasonably believe that the invoice is … Continue Reading

MV “ARCTIC” – Obligation to “keep vessel in class” is an innominate term

Summary The Court of Appeal’s decision in Ark Shipping Co LLC v. Silverburn Shipping (IOM) Ltd, “ARCTIC”  [2019] EWCA Civ 1161, provides a clear statement of the principles of construction, and how they are applied in ascertaining whether a term is a condition or an innominate term. This decision provides guidance on the proper interpretation … Continue Reading

No hindsight for implied terms

In Robert Bou-Simon v. BGC Brokers LP [2018] EWCA Civ 1525, the Court of Appeal considered deleted provisions and implied terms. Although in the context of an employment contract, the decision obviously has wider application. The Court held that the judge at first instance had not properly applied the legal test for the implication of contractual … Continue Reading

Update on recent developments in the Shipping Industry

For an update on recent developments in the Shipping Industry, click here to listen to our recent webinar. During the webinar, we cover some of the key shipping cases in the last 6 months. We also take a look at electronic bills of lading including how they work, common benefits and pitfalls, as well as … Continue Reading

Venezuelan drug smuggling – CTL and recovery for detention under Institute clauses

Navigators Insurance Company Limited v Atlasnavios-Navegacao LDA [2018] UKSC 26 In a decision handed down yesterday (22 May) the Supreme  Court  held that where a vessel was used by unknown third parties in an unsuccessful attempt to export cocaine from Venezuela (by strapping a parcel of drugs to the vessel underwater), leading to a detention … Continue Reading

Settlement of claims

The Court of Appeal case Khanty-Mansiysk Recoveries Limited v Forsters LLP [2018] EWCA Civ 89 considers the ambit of settlement agreement wording and the extent to which this can cover future claims. Background facts Forsters LLP (“Forsters”) were solicitors who had been instructed by Rupert Galliers-Pratt (“RGP”) to assist with preparatory work required to incorporate … Continue Reading

Safe berth: meaning of “always accessible”

In the Aconcagua Bay [2018] EWHC 654, the Commercial Court Judge differentiated “always accessible” from “reachable on arrival”, holding that the term berth “always accessible” refers not only to entry, but also to the departure of the vessel from berth. On the facts of the case, a bridge and lock were damaged whilst the vessel … Continue Reading

Shipowners face risk of criminal liability for illegal demolition of end-of-life vessels

A Rotterdam court has found Dutch reefer operator Seatrade and two of its directors criminally liable last week for illegally selling vessels for demolition in South Asian yards in breach of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation. The decision appears to be the first time an EU shipowner has been held criminally liable for the illegal … Continue Reading
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