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My charterer has threatened to cut my charter rate, despite the charterparty not allowing for this. What damages can I claim if I refuse their request and they walk away from the charter?

The usual ‘rule of thumb’ measure of damages for a charterer’s repudiatory breach of a charterparty is the difference between the hire that you would have earned under the charterparty and the hire that you would earn from a reasonably similar replacement fixture on an available market, for the balance of the period. So, for example, say you entered into a charterparty for a period of two years plus or minus 15 days at charterers’ option at a rate of US$ 10,000 a day, and you delivered the vessel into ...

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Navalmar UK Limited -v- Kale Made Hammadeeler Sanayi Ve Ticart AS [2017] EWHC 116 (Comm) – the “MV ARUNDEL CASTLE”

In this recent arbitration appeal to the High Court, the Court was asked to determine the meaning of ‘port limits’ in a charterparty. Factual background Navalmar UK Limited (owners), as owners of the “MV ARUNDEL CASTLE” (the vessel) entered into a voyage charter with Kale Made Hammadeeler Sanayi Ve Ticart AS (charterers) with loading to commence at the port of Krishnapatnam. In accordance with common practice the charter was concluded by way of a ‘fixture recap’. Clause 35 of the fixture recap provided ‘otherwise Gencon 94 printed form charter-party with ...

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The Chinese Supreme Court clarifies and simplifies countersecurity requirements

In December 2016 the Chinese Supreme Court introduced new provisions which set time limits for the review of applications made to attach assets other than ships and clarified the amount and form of countersecurity that is acceptable. Success in litigation is an empty victory when the losing respondent is unable to pay the judgement. That is why claimants seek to secure their claim by arresting a vessel or attaching other assets of the respondent to preserve the ability to recover on the judgement. It is only fair that the claimant ...

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Law Firms Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne & Parke to Merge

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright announced on Tuesday it would merge with New York-based Chadbourne & Parke to form a firm of some 4,000 lawyers with offices in 32 countries. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter and the combined firm will use the Norton Rose Fulbright name. It is the latest merger for London-based Norton Rose Fulbright, already one of the world’s largest law firms with about 3,700 lawyers. The current firm is the result of successive mergers, most notably a 2013 tie-up with the ...

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Ince & Co moves to modern offices in Le Havre

International law firm Ince & Co has announced the move of its Le Havre office on 20 February 2107 to 15 Quai Lamandé, located in the heart of the city’s port. Le Havre is the second largest port in France, after that of Marseille, for total traffic, and the largest French container port. The new 3600 sq. ft. office will adopt an open-plan arrangement and will benefit from the introduction of various technologies to help improve efficiency and client service. These include Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablets for all members ...

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Silver Dry Bulk Company Limited -v- Homer Hulbert Maritime Company Ltd [2017] EWHC 44 (Comm)

In this case, the Court considered an application under section 18 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act) for an order directing that an arbitral tribunal had been validly constituted and additional orders under sections 43 and 44 of the Act for production of documents by third parties based inside and outside the jurisdiction. Factual background Pursuant to a memorandum of agreement (MOA) dated 1 February 2011, the claimant had purchased from the respondent a newbuilding Capesize bulk carrier (Vessel 1045) for US $66.5 million. The respondent was a special ...

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London Partner Nigel Thomas elected new WFW Chairman, succeeding Frank Dunne

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is pleased to announce that London Partner Nigel Thomas has been elected the firm’s new Chairman, following Frank Dunne’s decision to stand down from the role he has held since 2004. One of the world’s leading maritime lawyers, Nigel joined WFW in 1987, prior to which he was an investment banker with Lazard. Nigel replaces Frank Dunne, also a leading maritime lawyer and a WFW Partner since 1984. In mid- 2016, Frank moved to New York to further strengthen WFW’s US Maritime ...

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WFW advises ZEABORN on the acquisition of Rickmers Linie

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised ZEABORN GmbH & Co. KG of Bremen (“ZEABORN”) on the acquisition of Rickmers Linie. Formerly part of the Hamburg-headquartered international maritime Rickmers Group, Rickmers Linie is an expert in the sea-based transport of break bulk, heavy-lift and project cargoes. Its liner services connects important economic centres around the world, most notably via the eastbound “Round-the-World-Pearl-String” service. ZEABORN acquires the entire Rickmers Linie business, including all its subsidiaries, agencies and employees located in its 15 overseas offices. Furthermore, ZEABORN also takes ...

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Performance guarantees

Legal Costs Cover (LCC) is often used by Members to support the recovery of unpaid hire or other sums from defaulting charterers. Sometimes there is a genuine dispute about whether the sums are due. Often, however, the real issue is getting the charterers to pay when they do not have visible assets or they are based in a difficult jurisdiction. A good way for owners to improve their chances of being paid is to obtain a guarantee of the charterers’ performance from a third-party (the Guarantor). However, there are a ...

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Contract on unloading of cargo governed by some, but not all, CMR sections

On July 8 2012 Danish company S contracted with an English shipowner to perform the unloading of a vessel in Kalundborg, Denmark. The assignment included unloading and transport within the terminal of a tower unit weighing 65 tons. In order to perform the work, in July 2012 S contracted with crane operator K, with which S had cooperated since 2004. During a period ending in April 2012 K stipulated, by reference in its invoices, that all works undertaken were subject to the the Convention on the Contract for the International ...

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Hong Kong: Enforcement of Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation

Following is a question by the Hon Poon Siu-ping and a written reply by the Secretary for Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (February 8): Question: The Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels)(Fuel at Berth) Regulation (Cap. 311 sub. leg. AA)(the Regulation), which has come into operation since July 1, 2015, provides that ocean-going vessels (OGVs) must use compliant fuel for combustion purposes for operating any of the specified machinery while at berth in Hong Kong (except during the first hour and the last hour of the ...

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Clyde & Co law firm expands its shipping team in MENA with new partner hire

Global law firm Clyde & Co has expanded its shipping practice with the addition of Ian Chung, joining as Partner in its Dubai office. Ian brings a wealth of transactional, non-contentious experience to Clyde & Co which will complement the firm’s existing contentious shipping/transportation and offshore marine practice in the Middle East. Ian has worked in the Middle East since 2008 where he specialises in corporate and finance work in the international trade, maritime and oilfield services sectors. He joins from Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) in Dubai where he was ...

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WFW Hamburg advises Berenberg on US$300m shipping loan portfolio transfer and sale

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams’ Hamburg office (“WFW”) has advised Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG (“Berenberg”) on the transfer of a portfolio of European shipping loans worth approx. US$300m from The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Berenberg transferred the portfolio on to Luxembourg fund Berenberg Alternative Assets Fund (“the Fund”), which it set up and to which it acts as sole advisor. Fully compliant with all regulatory requirements for institutional investors, the Fund primarily focusses on performing loans. The WFW Hamburg team advising Berenberg was led by ...

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TDS on sea freight – Good times for time charter?

Computation of income of non-resident shipping entities posed many challenges and to ease the same Section 44B was enacted vide Finance Act, 1975 w.e.f. 1 April 1976. It provided that income of a non-resident assessee engaged in the business of operation of ships, 7.5% of the gross freight will be deemed to be profits and gains chargeable to tax under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession”. Section 172 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘the Act’) overriding all other provisions of the Act provides for procedure of ...

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UK government consults on penalties for non-compliance with EU ship emissions reporting

On 1 January 2018, subject to a few exclusions, ships over 5000 gross tonnage (“Relevant Ships”) will be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements on carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), fuel consumption and cargo carried. By 31 August 2017 a Monitoring Plan must be submitted to an accredited shipping verifier setting out how ship efficiency and carbon data is to be collected. The upcoming changes are requirements under the EU Regulation on monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport (Regulation (EU) No. 757/2015 as amended) ( “EU ...

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