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

Subrogation to charterparty liabilities – explained at last

The judgment of Teare J at first instance in Gard Marine & Energy Ltd v China National Chartering Co Ltd (The Ocean Victory) ([2015] EWHC 2199 (Comm)) has been criticised both from the insurance (Smiley, (2014) 26 ILM 5 3) and the charterparty perspective (Todd, [2014] LMCLQ 1, who labelled it “very pro-owner”). The Court of Appeal ([2015] EWCA Civ 16) has now reversed that judgment.

Shipping, Contracts

“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


Mitsui OSK Lines (Thailand) Co Ltd v Jack Fair Pty Ltd [2015] FCCA 558

Carrier’s rights against fraudulent bill of lading holder

Mitsui: the facts

The plaintiff was the carrier MOL, which shipped two containers of jasmine rice from Bangkok to Sydney under a bill of lading issued in Bangkok. On arrival in Sydney, the defendant produced a non-negotiable copy of the bill of lading. The bill of lading produced by the defendant was endorsed on the reverse side with the corporate seal of the defendant, and signed by the director of the defendant.

Bills of Lading

Public Company Rise v Nibulon SA [2015] EWHC 684 (Comm)

Interpretation of GAFTA 78, clauses 11.3 and 17 – arbitration

Public Company Rise: background

The dispute between the sellers (claimants) and the buyers (defendants) arose out of three contracts for the sale of 158,000 mt in total of Ukrainian feed corn. The contracts incorporated Incoterms 2000. The sellers were to obtain export licences and each contract incorporated the provision of GAFTA 78.


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

Caresse Navigation Ltd v Zurich Assurances MAROC and Others (The “Channel Ranger”) [2014] EWCA Civ 1366

Conflict of laws – Carriage of goods – Incorporation of charterparty terms into bills of lading – Contractual interpretation – Jurisdiction clauses

Carriage of Goods, Contracts, Bills of Lading, Conflict of Laws, Jurisdiction