Archives: Contractual Issues

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Contracting out of waiver? Court of Appeal provides guidance on ‘no variation’ and ‘anti-oral’ variation clauses

The Reed Smith Shipping Group recently published a client alert that looks at the effectiveness of what are commonly termed “no variation” or “anti-oral variation” clauses (i.e. clauses which purport to prevent the contract in question from being amended absent compliance with specified requirements). They are commonly found in commercial contracts in numerous guises. Normally they specify … Continue Reading

The Global Santosh: The Supreme Court provides guidance on a charterer’s responsibility for its agents

NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) NV (Respondent) v Cargill International SA (Appellant) (“The Global Santosh”) [2016] UKSC 20 (overturning the Court of Appeal [2014] EWCA Civ 403) The Supreme Court last week handed down an important decision concerning the issue of when a charterer will be held responsible for its agents under a charterparty. Contractual position NYK … Continue Reading

Direct claims against insurers and anti-suit injunctions

In Shipowners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (Luxembourg) -v- Containerships Denizcilik Nakliyat ve Ticaret AS (The “Yusuf Cepnioglu”) [2016] EWCA Civ. 386, the Court of Appeal considered the juridical nature of a foreign statute which gives a victim (in this case, a charterer) the right to sue a defendant’s insurer (in this case, an owners’ … Continue Reading

Don’t trip up – a warning for owners

The recently decided case of SBT STAR BULK & TANKERS (GERMANY) GMBH & CO KG V COSMOTRADE SA (THE “WEHR TRAVE”) [2016] EWHC 583 (Comm) in the Queen’s Bench Division of the Commercial Court and before The Hon Sir Bernard Eder will, perhaps, come as a surprise. This was an appeal pursuant to section 69 … Continue Reading

Mitigation and the assessment of damages on early redelivery – “The New Flamenco”

Mitigation and the assessment of damages on early redelivery – “The New Flamenco”[1] Assessing the level of damages recoverable following the early redelivery of a vessel under a time charter can be a complex area of law to navigate, especially when there is no available market at the date of the termination of the charter. … Continue Reading

What is your broker up to? Broker found to have authority to enter into a fixture and guarantee

Posted on behalf of Christian Ayerst. Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd v Salgaocar Mining Industries Private Ltd (2015) (Unreported) After extensive negotiations, London brokers fixed a 10-year charterparty on behalf of their principals, the Charterers. The Charterers were named as a nominee with their performance guaranteed by the Defendant. Three years into performance, Charterers terminated, alleging … Continue Reading

Owners held not liable under charterparties signed by manager in breach of implied warranty of authority

Navig8 Inc v South Vigour Shipping Inc [2015] EWHC 32 (Comm) The claimant had chartered four vessels, the charterparties for which had been signed by the vessels’ commercial manager. Each charterparty contained the phrase “the disponent owners signatory in contract”, followed by the manager’s name. During the negotiations, the manager had made it apparent that … Continue Reading

Tribunal rules on incorporation of arbitration agreement into a charterparty and Owners’ entitlement to demurrage

London Arbitration 14/14 The vessel in question was chartered by way of a fixture recap. Owners brought a claim for demurrage against Charterers. Charterers argued that the charter did not contain a valid arbitration agreement/clause, and that although they had agreed to pay freight, they had not agreed to be liable for demurrage. Incorporation of … Continue Reading

Ebola fears impact on vessels travelling from West Africa

Ebola continues to spread in West Africa with the latest reports indicating that over 2,630 people have died since the outbreak began. Yesterday, Malta turned away a vessel travelling from Guinea to Ukraine over fears that a crew member may have been infected with Ebola. Fears were also raised in New Orleans in connection with … Continue Reading

Ebola and its effect on shipping contracts

More than 1000 people have died in West Africa following the current outbreak of Ebola which began in March 2014. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the worst affected countries but deaths have now also been reported in Nigeria, a major port for oil export. Tradewinds has reported that two bulker bookings for Guinea have … Continue Reading

Tribunals have no jurisdiction to hear Owners’ claims for “procuring or inducing” breach of arbitration agreement incorporated into bills of lading

Owners chartered their vessel by way of a charter containing a London Arbitration clause, for a carriage from Turkey to Liberia. The vessel was sub-chartered, and three bills of lading issued to cover the cargo, each naming the same consignee and incorporating the charter terms. The consignee claimed for cargo damage and commenced proceedings against … Continue Reading

Court rules on issues of contract interpretation and measures of damages in contract for the sale of fuel oil

Galaxy Energy International Ltd v Murco Petroleum Ltd (M/V “Seacrown”) [2013] EWHC 3720 (Comm). The Claimant buyer claimed against the Defendant seller for alleged late delivery of a cargo of fuel oil. The contract stated that the cargo was to “be delivered … in one lot … during period 15/17 January 2012”. It was common … Continue Reading

Court allows rectification of a Charter Restructuring Agreement on the grounds of common mistake

DS-Rendite-Fonds NR.106 VLCC Titan Glory GmbH & Co Tanschiff KG & Ors v Titan Maritime SA & Ors [2013] EWHC 3492 (Comm) concerned a Restructuring Agreement (CRA) entered into by the Claimant Owners and Defendant Charterers. The CRA provided (in Schedule 4 Article 2.1) that hire would be paid at the higher of the Floor … Continue Reading

Court rules on the formation of a sale contract and whether it contained an implied term as to the origin of the goods

In Proton Energy Group SA v Orlen Lietuva [2013] EWHC 2872 (Comm), the court was required to decide whether a binding contract had been agreed between the parties. If a contract had been agreed, the court was required to decide whether it contained an implied condition precedent that it would only be binding if the … Continue Reading
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