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The Delaware Court of Chancery invalidates terms of a stockholder agreement and sheds light on how joint ventures and governance should be structured

The Delaware Court of Chancery determined, in an opinion issued on February 23, 2024 in the case of West Palm Beach Firefighters’ Pension v. Moelis & Co.,¹ that certain provisions contained in a stockholder agreement were invalid under Delaware’s General Corporation Law (“DGCL”) and its relevant public policy. The parties to the agreement were Moelis & Company (the “Corporation”) and Ken Moelis (“Moelis”), the founder, CEO and chairman of the Corporation. “Many of the invalidated governance provisions would have been valid if included in the certificate of incorporation of the ...

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HFW Continues Global Shipping Growth With Partner And Legal Director Promotions

Global, sector-focused law firm has announced the promotion of six new shipping Partners and Legal Directors, effective 1 April 2024. The promotions continue the growth of HFW’s preeminent global shipping practice, following its recent addition of a leading ship finance team in Piraeus. HFW is widely recognised as the world’s leading shipping practice and has been advising clients in the sector for more than 140 years. The firm has over 200 shipping lawyers and 13 Master Mariners throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, specialising in dry ...

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Ironing out ship recycling wrinkles

The IMO’s Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009 (Hong Kong Convention) will enter into force on June 26, 2025. Whilst the ratification of the Hong Kong Convention is a positive development and brings the industry one step closer to responsible ship recycling, a concern has arisen that its requirements potentially conflict with those under the UN’s Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal 1989 (Basel Convention) and the Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention. In ...

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Red Sea movements and financial security

Recent Houthi attacks on vessels passing through the straits of Bab al-Mandab on their way through the Red Sea mean that the shipping industry has moved beyond trade press reporting and onto front page news. While the causes of the current situation are very different, it is possible to draw a significant parallel with the grounding and arrest of the containership Ever Given in the Suez Canal in March 2021. Then, as now, the spectre of delays in the supply of goods and rising costs ensured that the wider world ...

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WFW advises Maas Capital on sale of stake in Sentinel Offshore

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Maas Capital Shipping B.V. (“Maas Capital”) on the sale of its majority stake in Sentinel Offshore Holdings Limited (“Sentinel Marine”) to Cyan Renewables Pte. Ltd. (“Cyan Renewables”), a portfolio company of Seraya Partners. Amsterdam-based Maas Capital is a specialist investor in the shipping, offshore and maritime industries with a current portfolio asset value of approximately US$2bn. The Maas Capital portfolio of investments was acquired in October 2021 by EnTrust Global, a leading New York-based asset management firm with approximately US$17bn AUM. Headquartered in ...

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Cyprus Shipping 2024 | New Green Incentives Programme

The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry recently announced a new ‘Green Incentives Programme’, aiming to reward vessels which effectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These measures form part of the general efforts of the Shipping Deputy Ministry – in line also with the European Green Deal – for promoting sustainable shipping practices which will bring the industry one step closer to the green transformation. The European Commission’s Green Deal encompasses a series of policy initiatives aimed at achieving climate neutrality for the European Union by 2050. As from January 2024, shipowners ...

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Navigating the EU ETS, its extension to shipping and the future of ETS 2

Global law firm Reed Smith hosted a Carbon Markets event on the European Union Emissions Trading System, in which a panel of regulatory, environmental, and shipping lawyers delved into compliance, emission allowances, the extension to maritime, and the next phase – ETS 2. A packed audience joined to hear the views of transportation partner Nick Austin, environment health and safety counsel Julie Vaughan, and energy partner Brett Hillis. Panel moderator and Reed Smith partner Simone Goligorsky introduced the first topic of the EU ETS and how it works. EU ETS ...

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Two companies in Alaska seafood shipping industry to pay $9.5M to U.S. in settlement for Jones Act violations

Two companies in the Alaska seafood shipping industry recently settled a lawsuit challenging penalties and fines levied by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for violating the Jones Act, a law that requires merchandise be transported by U.S. flagged vessels between U.S. ports. An exception to the U.S. flagged vessel requirement allows seafood from Alaska to be transported to the mainland U.S. if it travels via Canadian rail. The companies challenged the penalties and fines in the U.S. District Court of Alaska, saying they did not violate the Jones Act ...

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WFW advises CEXIM on US$192m term loan facility

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised The Export-Import Bank of China (“CEXIM”) on a SINOSURE-backed term loan facility of up to US$192m granted to subsidiaries of Polska Żegluga Morska Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe (“Polsteam”), the Polish stated-owned cargo ship operator, for financing eight lake cargo vessels. The deal was closed within a tight time frame and involved coordinating cross-border legal advice from multiple jurisdictions including Bahamas, Cyprus, Liberia, Malta, Poland and China. Established in 1994, CEXIM is a state-funded and state-owned policy bank with the status of an independent legal entity ...

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WFW acts as maritime counsel to Euronav on purchase of CMB.TECH

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) acted as maritime counsel to Euronav in its US$1.150bn share purchase agreement for the acquisition of cleantech maritime group CMB.TECH, the clean technology arm of its largest shareholder Compagnie Maritime Belge (“CMB”). The purchase is part of Euronav’s renewed diversification and decarbonisation strategy and the accelerated optimisation of its current crude oil tanker fleet. Euronav is a Belgian international shipping company which focusses on oil transport by sea. It is the largest NYSE listed independent crude oil tanker company in the world and is considered ...

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CII – Does it Matter?

Ship CII ratings will be released imminently for their performance in 2023. However, with the low take-up of Bimco’s CII Time Charter Clause and with many in the industry questioning whether CII is truly fit for purpose, Ian Short examines whether there will be any impact caused by low CII ratings and takes a look at the Bimco CII Clause for Voyage charter Parties published in October 2023. CII Issues It appears that much of the industry retains concern that CII does not do the job it set out to ...

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Emissions trading begins to bite

Emission trading systems (ETS) are “cap and trade” schemes that permit the emission of greenhouse gases in exchange for allowances. They are just one part of the ever-expanding web of environmental measures that are impacting the shipping industry with the aim of ensuring greater efficiency and more environmentally friendly shipping, particularly in reducing emissions. IMO administrations are trying to do their bit with the introduction of EEXI and CII, on which we have written several articles, the latest one on CII here. However, whereas industry feedback on CII suggests that ...

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Shipping’s nuclear option in the move towards net zero: Is it viable?

Imagine a container vessel capable of more-than doubling the amount of work normally performed by a ship of its size, yet with zero emissions. Such a vessel would likely gain massive market share very quickly and have a drastic effect on market dynamics. This is the near reality as nuclear-powered vessels gain increasing interest, as they would not need to be refuelled for decades and could operate near-continuously for their entire lifespan. So, what’s the catch? In this briefing, we look at some of the possible issues surrounding the adoption ...

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Caution on amendments to standard forms

It is not particularly common for a dispute arising out of the 2012 version of the Norwegian Saleform (NSF 2012) to reach the English Court. Therefore, the Court’s findings in King Crude Carriers SA & others -v- Ridgebury November LLC & others (Re an Arbitration Claim) [2023] EWHC 3220 (Comm) on issues arising out of four ship sale contracts based on the NSF 2012 form provide useful guidance, particularly on whether the sellers could claim the deposits in debt or only in damages. The Court concluded that the deposits were ...

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Supreme Court guidance on war risk provisions in charterparties

In a well-timed decision given the current situation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the UK Supreme Court recently handed down judgment in Herculito Maritime Ltd v Gunvor International BV [2024] UKSC 2, a decision that arose from seizure of a ship by Somali pirates. Key facts The vessel MT Polar was chartered to carry a cargo of fuel oil from St Petersburg to Singapore. The most direct route would be via the Suez Canal and Gulf of Aden. The Gulf of Aden was within the “high risk ...

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