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US Supreme Court confirms that US discovery processes are not available for private foreign arbitration proceedings

Discovery processes under United States federal law allow for broad requests for documents that may be relevant to a commercial dispute. Documents include such items as e-mail and requests can require parties to provide years of correspondence. Discovery rules also provide for depositions where persons who may have information relevant to the dispute are questioned under oath. Section 1782 of 28 U.S. Code governs a federal district court’s authority to provide discovery assistance for proceedings in foreign and international tribunals. Section 1782 requires an applicant to satisfy three statutory factors: ...

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WFW advises Snam on FSRU acquisition

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Snam Group (“Snam”) on its acquisition from BW Gas Cyprus Limited (“BW”) of 100% of the share capital of FSRU I Limited of Bermuda which, by the expected closing date of end 2023, will own as its sole asset the BW Singapore floating storage and regasification unit (“FSRU”). The acquisition will be financed by the San Donato Milanese Group with circa US$400m of its own funds, to be paid in two rounds. The vessel, which was built in 2015, has been deployed as ...

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Malta flag receives high rank within United States ports

Continuing to solidify its status as one of the most prominent and reputable flag states within the global maritime industry, Malta has recently been recognised by the United States Coast Guard (USGC) under the QUALSHIP21 initiative; a programme which rewards companies, operators and vessels which demonstrate the highest level of compliance in terms of quality and safety with respect to international standards and US laws and regulations. “This achievement was registered during a time when the Malta’s ship registry was still registering growth and expansion in terms of tonnage. Achieving ...

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WFW advises MPCC on methanol-powered vessel order

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised MPC Container Ships ASA (“MPCC”) on its order for two 1,300 TEU dual-fuel methanol newbuild vessels in partnership with chemical group Elkem ASA (“Elkem”) and North Sea Container Line (“NCL”) which will charter both vessels for 15 years. Costing US$39m each, the vessels will be based in the North Sea and are expected to be operational by H2 2024. The vessels will be equipped with a dual-fuel engine setup which enables operation on methanol as well as conventional MGO. In addition to an ...

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WFW further strengthens Asia Disputes practice with second Singapore Partner hire

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is delighted to announce that Kimarie Cheang has joined the firm’s dispute resolution group in Singapore as a Partner. Prior to joining WFW, Kimarie was a Partner and Director and Head of the China Practice at Incisive Law in the same city. She is the second Partner to join WFW’s Singapore dispute resolution practice in the past year, following Sumeet Malhotra who joined the firm in August 2021. Triple qualified in Singapore, Hong Kong and England & Wales and fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, ...

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Ship finance without a ship? Addressing the risks of newbuild financing

“ It is good that I make you build, of this ship which shall sail on the sea, the hull, the decks and the mast, and then on a sunny day, like on a wedding day, I have you dress her of sails and gift her to the sea.” Whether it is, as for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a result of one’s poetic nature, or for more prosaic purposes, there are a variety of reasons for ordering new vessels. Some shipowners do so to satisfy their specific trading needs or to ...

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Tai Prize Case Highlights Difficulties for Masters over Bills of Lading, says Swedish Club

The recent case of the Tai Prize has underlined how important it is for a Master to fully understand the implications of signing a bill of lading, says The Swedish Club. The Tai Prize ruling reiterates the legal principle that a Master must sign a bill of lading only if it accurately describes the condition of the cargo, irrespective of any commercial pressures he may be facing. Whilst leading law firms will no doubt continue to explore the complexities surrounding this issue; the bottom line is that the brunt of ...

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Attorney General Bonta and CARB Secure Decision Overturning Flawed Environmental Review for China Shipping Terminal Project

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) secured a decision from the San Diego County Superior Court overturning the Port of Los Angeles’ approval of the revised China Shipping Terminal project and certification of its Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (EIR). “Communities around the Port of Los Angeles are already suffering from negative health impacts associated with chronic exposure to air pollution,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “This decision invalidating the Port’s flawed environmental analysis for the China Shipping Terminal project is an important victory and ...

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WFW advises MSC Cruises on €353m ECA-backed financing of PortMiami mega cruise terminal

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised MSC Cruises on the €353m financing of a new mega cruise terminal at the Port of Miami (“PortMiami”), Florida. The construction contract is with Italy’s highly regarded Fincantieri shipyard and the project is being backed by Italian ECA SACE. Construction is expected to be completed in December 2023 and, when finished, will be the largest cruise terminal in the US. Built in accordance with the criteria set by the Green Building Rating Systems (GBRS) for eco-compatibility, the new terminal features three berth docks ...

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Reasonably secure or allowed to arrest?

The collision in July 2018 between the Panamax Alexander, Sakizaya Kalon and Osios David has spawned several judgments already, on both substantive and procedural issues. The recent decision of the UK Court of Appeal is the next chapter in a story which looks to have more chapters to go. “The Court of Appeal was asked to consider the construction of ASG2.” The Court of Appeal was asked to consider the construction of ASG2, the Admiralty Solicitors Group standard form collision jurisdiction agreement, following Mr Justice Teare’s judgment at first instance. ...

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Beyond the Ocean Shipping Reform Act: Recent FMC Decisions and Settlement Implications

Since its passage on June 16, 2022, the shipping industry is understandably focused on the implications of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) (Pub. Law No. 117-146, 2022 Enacted S. 3580), and the rulemakings that will follow. In the meantime, the ongoing activities at the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) are continuing to establish guidance on shipping practices and charges through its investigation and adjudicatory authority. Background and Investigations First, as addressed in a previous Holland & Knight alert, FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye recently released the Final Report on ...

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Carbon Taxes in the Shipping Industry—Assessing Japan’s Proposal

There are growing calls for a carbon tax on shipping emissions. Jim Loftis, Ciara Ros and Tatiana Freeman of Vinson & Elkins look at the recent proposal from Japan for a global carbon tax, assess it in the context of the existing approaches in other jurisdictions and industries, and consider how those involved in the maritime industry need to prepare. The shipping industry currently accounts for 3% of global emissions, and according to certain estimates, if unchecked, shipping could account for as much as 20% of global emissions by 2050. ...

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WFW advises ING on US$40m sustainability-linked loan with BW LPG for four VLGCs

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised ING Bank N.V., Singapore Branch (“ING”) as agent and sustainability coordinator on amending a syndicated facility agreement with BW LPG Holding Limited (“BW LPG”) for four very large gas carriers (“VLGCs”) originally signed in 2016. In addition to upsizing the facility, the amendments aimed at incorporating sustainability linked provisions into the facility, highlighting the conscious effort of all parties involved to support and recognise the importance of ESG in maritime facilities. The WFW Singapore team advising ING was led by Asia Assets & Structured ...

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Hill Dickinson boosts Singapore shipping team with two senior hires

International maritime law firm Hill Dickinson has boosted its team in Singapore with the hire of two new senior shipping team lawyers. Binoy Dubey joins the company as Counsel and Master Mariner, while Matthew Dow, joining as a partner, brings significant experience in wet and dry shipping and offshore disputes. These hires significantly boost the Singapore office’s casualty and marine disputes capacity, bringing in additional diverse skills and experience to the already top-ranked team. Binoy is an Extra-Master Mariner and an English qualified solicitor with significant seagoing and onshore experience. ...

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Exam successes add two new Fellows and two new Senior Associates for Association of Average Adjusters

The Association of Average Adjusters has congratulated two new Fellows and two new Senior Associates after they qualified on passing the Association’s most recent examinations. Phillip McCabe and John Thompson have become Fellows, and Jack Ellis and Ayodeji Sasegbon are now Senior Associates. Association chairman for 2022-23 Michiel Starmans congratulated the four members for their success in the rigorous examinations which test participants on a wide range of expertise in adjusting, insurance, and legal issues. Liverpool-based Mr McCabe joined Richards Hogg Lindley in August 2013. He has handled a variety ...

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