Welcome to our marine newsletter for January 2020. This edition brings you an update on recent decisions and legal developments affecting the maritime industry around the world.
Bunker Quality Claims in 2020 – Issues to Consider
With the IMO 2020 sulphur cap now in force as of 1 January 2020, the shipping industry faces a new set of potential issues regarding bunker quality. Read more.
The Singapore Convention on Mediation: Making History
The Singapore Convention provides a uniform international framework to enforce mediated agreements of cross-border disputes. Read more.
In-Depth Analysis - LNG: Speed, Consumption and Boil-Off Warranties
Liquefied Natural Gas ("LNG") is currently the fastest-growing gas supply source. In this context, we are witnessing an increase in the number of LNG charterparty disputes. Read more.
Trade Wars – Politics Creates Legal Headaches for Traders
The growing trade war between China and a number of Western economies presents a unique set of challenges for commodities traders. Read more.
Charter Claim: Submit All Supporting Documents or Risk Time Bar
MUR Shipping BV v Louis Dreyfus Company Suisse SA "TIGER SHANGHAI"  EWHC 3240 (Comm) highlights the importance of carefully assessing all available evidence at the time of presenting a claim where there is a time bar clause requiring presentation of "all supporting documents." Read more.
BARECON 89 Form – Maintaining Class Certificates: Condition or Innominate Term? Why it Matters
In the recent case of Silverburn Shipping (IoM) Ltd v Ark Shipping Company LLC (M/V "ARCTIC") (2019), the key question was whether a specific charterparty term which had been breached, was a condition or whether it was an innominate term. Depending on the answer, the legal consequences could vary significantly for both parties. Read more.
Force Majeure: Could the Contract be Fulfilled "But For"?
A party seeking to rely on a force majeure or exceptions clause needs to show that "but for" the force majeure or excepted event, it would have performed the contract. However, where that party is unable to perform the contract, the innocent party is still entitled to substantial damages in circumstances where the contractual performance would nevertheless have become impossible by reason of extraneous events. Read more.
Attempt to Avoid Personal Guarantees for Ship Finance Loans Fails
Earlier this year, the High Court ruled in HSBC Bank Plc v Pearl Corp & Ors.  EWHC 231 (Comm) that HSBC Bank PLC could enforce its claim for USD 9 million against the personal guarantor of two ship finance loan agreements despite attempts to resist under Greek law. Read more.
Clyde & Co Adds Four Marine Partners to its Global Team
Stefanie Johnston has been appointed as a Glasgow-based partner in Clyde & Co's global marine and insurance teams.
Stefanie joins from Keoghs where she helped establish its Scottish presence and started up a dedicated UK wide marine practice as well as undertaking marine construction, regulatory and insurance work. She will establish and build Clyde & Co's marine presence in Scotland working closely with marine colleagues in the UK and globally. She will also further strengthen its commercial litigation practice and work with its insurance teams.
Stefanie holds a Certificate in P&I Insurance from an International Group P&I Club. She is part of the Comité Maritime International Working Group on Polar Shipping and heads up the sub-group that deals with the applicability of the COLREGS in the Polar Regions.
Andrew Yarwood has been appointed as a partner to the London marine cargo group.
Andrew joined from Kennedys where he specialised in marine insurance, advising cargo insurers including Lloyd's syndicates and the company market, in relation to disputes arising out of the carriage of goods by sea. Andrew regularly advises insurers on liability and coverage issues, including drafting policy wordings and acts for cargo insurers in defending claims for salvage and general average as well as pursuing recoveries against shipowners arising out of casualties at sea.
Before qualifying with Waltons & Morse in 2012, he had a career in international sales and as a claims handler on the Spanish and South American desks of the Britannia P&I Club. A fluent Spanish speaker, Andrew is regularly instructed by London Market insurers and reinsurers in cases with a Spanish/South American context.
Nicholas Lum re-joins Clyde & Co's Shanghai office as a partner.
Nicholas is a leading dispute resolution specialist. Described in top legal publications as a "Disputes Star in arbitration" and "someone understanding the China market very well", Nicholas specialises in dispute resolution, with particular focus on international trade and commodities, shipping and shipbuilding, and general commercial disputes. He is also qualified as an Associate Mediator of the Singapore Mediation Centre.
Nicholas will be joining from Ince Gordon Dadds, where he was a Partner of their Shanghai office, and formerly the Head of their Singapore office's China Practice Group. Nicholas had previously spent five years working in Clyde & Co's Shanghai office following its establishment in 2006.
Ernie van Buuren – Sydney
Leading maritime, commodities and transport lawyer, Ernie van Buuren, joins the firm as a partner.
Ernie joins from Norton Rose where he was Head of Transport for Asia Pacific and the Head of Shipping for Australia. He brings with him a wealth of legal expertise, in addition to being a qualified master mariner. He has advised on high profile shipping, maritime and aviation matters in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Ernie was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria (1994) and the High Court of Australia (1996). His clients include government agencies both State and Federal, financial institutions, insurers, cargo and ship owner interests, intermediaries, freight forwarders, mining companies and oil and gas companies. Read more.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.