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Wreck removal

Some wreck removal operations are straightforward, practically and legally, and the operation and contract flow smoothly. Others are complex, and each brings its own demands and legal challenges. Drafting these specialised contracts calls for foresight, knowledge and skill.  Where difficult choices have to be made, there is simply no substitute for experience.

You will want people who have been deeply involved in both routine and high profile operations, on either side of the fence, acting for contractors or as legal counsel to owners and P & I. We have the experience, coordinating the whole process or simply playing our part as legal advisors to the wider team.

At Tatham Macinnes you will have advice from lawyers that have handled wreck removal contracts for decades, and from times before the first BIMCO standard form contracts were introduced.

Often services initiate under LOF, usually with SCOPIC invoked, but it becomes quickly apparent that neither is right for what is becoming a wreck removal operation. Bunkers may also need removing initially and temporary caretaking arrangements, for instance under an amended WRECKHIRE, at economic rates may be called for. Meanwhile anxious coastal authorities and affected interest groups will be looking for progress, irrespective of cost.  We have been there before and are skilled at helping you make the right choices, with the right providers on best terms.

The range of support we are regularly called to advise upon also includes:

  • the tendering process, working closely with marine consultants
  • the choice between WRECKHIRE, WRECKSTAGE or WRECKFIXED
  • the drafting and negotiation of amended terms adapted to the case
  • face to face representation with coastal authorities, some times under the media’s spotlight
  • negotiating with local authorities of cooperation agreements
  • the application of the London Dumping Convention 1972
  • drawing up contracts relating to site access, storage or disposal.

Too strict a legal approach may however threaten to bring operations to a halt and a breakdown of trust in what is essentially a marine engineering operation. In those instances you want lawyers you can trust to have the confidence and experience to think commercially, cutting through to the core issues, and solving them to keep the show on the road. At Tatham Macinnes we seek to add that value, saving clients time and costs.

Equally, where operations take place in environmentally sensitive areas or politically complex environments you will want trusted advisers who know the legal frameworks but also how to respond, for example when facing demands for “facilitation” payments or more straightforward instances of bribery.

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