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A smart choice: UK High Court confirms shipowner had an unfettered right to collect freight under its bills of lading even whilst on time charter

Today the High Court has issued an important judgment clarifying that ordinarily an owner is not liable to pay damages to a charterer if it collects freight due under its bills of lading even where no sums are due under a time charterparty. Background The case arose in the context of the total loss of the laden capesize Smart in August 2013 whilst entered with North following a grounding at Richards Bay in South Africa. Owners had issued bills of lading marked that freight was payable “as per charter party”. ...

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Ince launches ‘Sailing: Sing for Seafarers’ campaign to raise awareness of seafarers’ crucial role as key workers in the global economy

International legal and professional services firm, Ince, has today announced the establishment of a global virtual choir from companies and organisations from across the industry to record ‘Sailing’ – the song made iconic by Rod Steward – in partnership with Royal Museums Greenwich and supported by four of the world’s leading maritime charities: Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society, Stella Maris and Seafarers’ Charity. With the support of multi-platinum record producer George Shilling, and award-winning film director Athena Xenidu, the choir is recording a single to be released on 25 June ...

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WFW advises Oak Hill on acquisition of US$182.5m container portfolio

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Oak Hill Advisors (“OHA”) on its acquisition of a portfolio of over 110,000 containers from Aves One AG (“Aves One”). The portfolio is valued at c. US$182.5m and the structure involved both asset and debt elements between the parties. OHA has approximately US$51bn of capital under management, with over 30 years of experience investing in a variety of asset classes, including performing and non-performing corporate credit, real estate, shipping, aviation and structured products as well as private equity. Aves One, listed in the ...

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Blockchain and Shipping: Can it work?

The new era which we are all currently living in, entails digitization, computer coding, digital information, while new technological infrastructures are taking their place as the new leading mechanisms around the world. We are witnessing great efforts by organizations and corporations in changing their infrastructure and their business model to be able to respond to the demands of this new era. Of course, the industry of shipping could not be left out of this innovation and change that is taking place. It was not until recently that we heard of ...

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Wikborg Rein appoints international trade lawyer Eleanor Midwinter as Partner in London

Wikborg Rein, an international law firm headquartered in Oslo, has appointed Eleanor Midwinter as a Partner in the London office. Since joining the firm in February 2017, Eleanor has played a key role in consolidating the firm’s offering within international trade, energy and shipbuilding. She is also part of the firm’s “Green Team” – an internal initiative to proactively advise and act on relevant industry developments, including decarbonisation. Eleanor is ranked by the Legal 500 as a ‘Rising Star’ in shipping and ‘recommended’ for commodities work, and in 2020 was ...

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Singapore-sponsored international maritime advisory panel leads the way on decarbonisation: the IAP publishes its recommendations

On 21 April 2021, at a media conference held during Singapore Maritime Week 2021, the International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation launched its report containing its recommendations to guide a coordinated global effort within the maritime community to combat climate change. The report outlines various collaborative initiatives and suggested pathways to decarbonisation, including policy options for key industry players to facilitate the development of new solutions to accelerate change. The global move towards decarbonisation In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy, ...

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U.S. Government Seizes Oil Tanker Used To Violate U.S. And U.N. Sanctions Against North Korea

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the filing of a criminal complaint charging KWEK KEE SENG with conspiring to evade economic sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK” or “North Korea”) and money laundering conspiracy. In addition to these criminal charges, a civil forfeiture complaint was filed against M/T ...

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WFW advises Danaos on US$1.25bn refinancing

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised long-standing client Danaos Corporation (“Danaos”) on the refinancing of US$1.25bn of its outstanding senior secured debt (which totalled US$1.3bn as of 31 December 2020). Danaos has refinanced all its outstanding debt under nine senior secured credit facilities, streamlining its capital structure from nine credit facilities to one. WFW advised on a US$815m senior secured credit facility with Citibank N.A. and National Westminster Bank plc, a US$135m sale and leaseback agreement with Oriental Fleet International Company Limited, an affiliate of COSCO Shipping Lease Co., ...

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Future Fuels in the Maritime Sector – Building the Bridge to Hydrogen

International seaborne transportation is a primary driver of international trade and the global economy, with approximately 80 percent of global trade by volume carried by ships at sea. The shipping sector has experienced steady growth for decades, although carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted from marine shipping. In 2012, CO2 and GHG emissions from international shipping were estimated to be around 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent of global emissions, respectively. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has since developed an initial GHG strategy that sets goals that ...

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US Dollar LIBOR Transition in asset finance – where are we now?

Since our last article, there has been a raft of regulatory and market body announcements relating to the transition away from LIBOR and the following are those we consider most relevant. Please refer to the glossary at the end to navigate the many acronyms and terms of art which necessarily feature in any discussion of this issue. As we previously reported, IBA were consulting on the future of USD LIBOR with a view to it continuing until the end of June 2023. On 5 March 2021, the FCA confirmed that ...

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The Contractual Consequences Of The Suez Canal Blockage On Charterers And Shipowners

The recent blockage of the Suez Canal has drawn the world’s attention to major trade routes and highlighted the severe impact disruptions of maritime trade can have on the world economy. With an average of 51 ships passing though the Suez Canal daily, it is estimated that the blockage will cost consumers a staggering USD$9 billion for each day the interruption persisted. On 29th March 2021—six days after running aground and blocking the Suez Canal—the container ship ‘Ever Given’ was finally freed. With almost 500 ships waiting at the Aegean ...

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MI and SI Proposed Carbon Tax: Contractual Considerations

The Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands have proposed that the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) impose a levy on carbon emissions by ships. The proposed levy would be imposed at a rate of US$100 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted, and would come into effect by 2025, with a potential increased rate over time. Although other carbon tax proposals have been made in the past (including a proposal by the IMO itself), the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands proposal is notable in that it is a “country-led” carbon tax plan ...

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Worldwide: A Post COVID Surge, And A Variety Of Port Issues

There are reasons to be optimistic about the economies of the world bouncing back from the pandemic in 2021, and at the same time, the major push to restock the world’s supply of goods has been met with a variety of problems at the world’s ports, from Australia to Singapore, but primarily on the west coast from Seattle to Long Beach. Product coming in from Asia has been met with less than a smooth and timely transition to a berth, as the ports are absolutely log jammed. Reasons for the ...

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WFW advises Banco Santander on US$71.1m K-SURE loan facility for Evergreen

Watson Farley & Williams LLP (“WFW”) has advised Banco Santander, S.A. (“Banco Santander”), through its Hong Kong Branch, as lender, facility agent and security agent, and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (“K-SURE”) on a US$77.1m K-SURE-supported term loan facility for Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan) Ltd. (“Evergreen”) to finance the acquisition of four newbuilding container ships. The container ships, which will fly under the Taiwanese flag upon delivery, are under construction at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co., Ltd, South Korea. The financing, which has a tenor of ten years, represents the first K-SURE-supported ...

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Securing a Security: Implying limits in a guarantee

In an interesting decision concerning the implication of terms into guarantees, which may raise alarm bells for some parties in the maritime sector, the English Commercial Court has considered the circumstances in which a party may be able to obtain security for claims against a guarantor. The decision in CVLC Three Carrier Corp & Anr v Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company¹, which is a rare instance of a successful challenge to an arbitration award, also provides useful guidance on the factors to be considered when identifying “the question” to be ...

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