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SHIPPING COMMERCIAL

Impact of COVID-19 on Shipbuilding and Offshore Construction Contracts: Is a Pandemic the Same as an Epidemic? Does a ‘Supervening Illegality’ Trump a Force Majeure Clause?

In the wake of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) worldwide outbreak, the socio-economic activities in many countries have been impeded on an unprecedented scale. The shipbuilding / offshore construction industry alone has been exposed to significant difficulties, such as compulsory lockdowns, mandatory quarantines, shortage of labour, shortage of supplies and materials, and many governmental restrictions and policies […]

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Role of an Owners’ Superintendent or Naval Architect – Walking the Line   »

There are two main areas of particular peril for an inhouse ship’s superintendent or naval architect when involved with a new shipbuilding project. The first is the design responsibility, and the second is the responsibilities surrounding the inspection regime. 1) Design responsibilities When the design of a vessel is defective, the consequences can be severe. […]

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IMO 2020: Are We Ready?   »

We are less than six months away from possibly the biggest regulatory change the shipping industry has seen since the phasing out of single-hull tankers. From 1 January 2020, ships will have to use fuel oil with a sulphur content of no more than 0.50% m/m under regulation 14.1.3 of Annex VI of the MARPOL […]

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The “Lady M” – The good old fire exception under the HVR   »

Image source: Balticshipping   Introduction The Lady M suffered a fire which the parties agreed was deliberately caused by the chief engineer.  The reasons given were either his extreme emotional stress or some undiagnosed personality disorder.  The question was whether or not Owners were able to enforce a claim for general average (“GA”) against cargo […]

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Rock Advertising Limited v MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited – loose lips…non oral modification clauses

Facts Rock Advertising (“Rock”) entered into a contract to occupy office space operated by MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd (“MWB”) for a fixed term of 12 months. The contract contained a no oral modification clause (“NOM”) which stated that “All variations to this Licence must be agreed, set out in writing and signed on behalf of […]

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The “B Atlantic” Supreme Court Decision – Attempted smuggling is not a “malicious act”   »

On 22 May 2018, the Supreme Court published its judgment in the case of the “B Atlantic”.[1] The decision will be of particular interest to owners and operators whose vessels trade to areas where the risk of judicial detention is higher than normal. It highlights the risk that traditional war risks insurance may not respond […]

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Lifting of sanctions against Iran – what does it mean for you?

In the language of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement reached between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, UK and US), the European Union (EU) and Iran, was that 16 January 2016 was ‘Implementation Day’. Through the JCPOA, the international community has accepted, for the time being, that Iran’s nuclear programme will be peaceful. […]

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Mitigation – what happens when the claimant makes money?   »

The New Flamenco What constitutes mitigation has never been easy to assess. The primary rule, that a claimant must take all reasonable steps to mitigate the loss he suffers as a result of the defendant’s breach, is well understood. In short, a claimant cannot recover for avoidable loss. More difficult is the principle governing the […]

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OW decisions create uncertainty   »

It is now just over one year since the dramatic collapse of OW Bunker, which has led to considerable hardship for creditor companies and wide-scale legal action. There has been criticism not only of legal judgments handed down in cases arising from the collapse of the company in 2014 and also comparisons between different jurisdictions as […]