Legal implications of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome on the performance of charterparties

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been described as a new form of SARS, and the deadly viral outbreak in South Korea will undoubtedly carry implications for the performance of charterparties which call to ports in South Korea. If the situation worsens, it could have implications on vessels calling also at ports in other parts of east Asia.1

Trade

Wreck Removal Convention in force

The International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, adopted at a Diplomatic Conference organised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in Nairobi in 2007, entered into force on 14 April 2015.

Pollution & Salvage, Regulation

Carriage cases: overview

The beginning of 2015 has been an unusually productive time for cases dealing with charterparties and bills of lading. A large number of cases have each contributed in minor ways to the law. A brief overview of all the cases is therefore in order.

Trade, Contracts, Bills of Lading

The future of cross-border litigation in Europe

On 24 March 2015, the one-day conference “Jurisdiction and Arbitration in Commercial and Maritime disputes after the Recast Regulation” was organised by the Institute of Maritime Law, University of Southampton, at the London office of Reed Smith LLP.

Practice and Policy, Arbitration, Jurisdiction, Regulation

Insurance Act 2015 – a new beginning or business as usual?

The Insurance Act 2015 received royal assent on 12 February 2015, having been sped through the Houses of Parliament under a special procedure for non-controversial Law Commission Bills.

Insurance, Regulation

“No cure, no pay” or “best endeavours”: the shifting risk paradigm of commercial salvage

As long as there are ships, there will be marine casualties and, as a result, salvage companies. Salvors have traditionally worked under the “no cure, no pay” ethos, and the mature thread of common law that has developed over its long history. Since then the Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF), among others, has developed, ensuring “reasonable compensation” for efforts to protect the environment, and bringing a degree of contractual certainty to common law salvage.

Pollution & Salvage

Volcafe Ltd and Others v Compania Sud Americana de Vapores SA [2015] EWHC 516 (Comm)

Carriage of goods by sea – Bill of lading – Hague Rules, article III rule 2 – Carrier’s duty to properly and carefully perform its duties – Inherent vice – Burden of proof

Carrier’s duty to properly and carefully care for the goods

Carriage of Goods, Bills of Lading, Regulation

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsuibishi UFJ Ltd v Owners of the MV Sanko Mineral (“The Sanko Mineral”) [2014] EWHC 3927 (Admlty)

Claim against proceeds of judicial ship sale - Can statutory claims in rem be issued against the proceeds of sale of the res?

Finance and Banking

Hua Tyan Development Ltd v Zurich Insurance Co Ltd and Another (The “Ho Feng 7”) [2014] HKCFA 72

Marine insurance – Deadweight warranty – Rectification – Knowledge of the insurer – Waiver and estoppel – Non-disclosure

Insurance

Compania Sud Americana de Vapores SA v Hin-Pro International Logistics Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 401

On exclusivity: English jurisdiction clause in bill of lading

Exclusive English jurisdiction clause – Anti-suit injunctions – Contempt

Bills of Lading

Arnold v Britton and Others [2015] UKSC 36

The Supreme Court adopts a literal approach to the construction of a commercial contract

“Reliance placed in some cases on commercial common sense and surrounding circumstances should not be invoked to undervalue the importance of the language of the provision which is to be construed.”

Contracts

Case roundup – anti-suit injunctions

Anti-suit injunctions, the sharp litigation tool that had reached its nadir with the judgments of the European Court of Justice considering them an unjustifiable derogation from the principle of mutual trust between the courts of respective member states even in the context of arbitration, have recently resurged to produce some interesting case law.

Arbitration

Why an action in rem does not merge with an action in personam: the case of The Ursus

In The Ursus, Assistant Registrar Justin Yeo in the Singapore High Court held that the issue of a writ in rem is insufficient to invoke the court’s in rem jurisdiction before the writ has been served on the vessel. This decision underlines the continuing substantive differences between the actions in rem and in personam in common law jurisdictions.

Practice and Policy, Jurisdiction