In a recent blog post I commented on various gaps in the limitation regime and the Admiralty court has now given guidance as to how another gap… Read more “Who is an “operator of a seagoing ship” for the purposes of the 1976 Limitation Convention? — International Maritime and Commercial Law”
News and clippings
Watch your email signature
via Watch your email signature
The definition of what counts as a “signature” isn’t of enormous importance to shipping lawyers most of the time: they don’t tend to deal in real estate or declare themselves trustees of land. But in one case it does matter: guarantees, whether of charter obligations, settlements or any other obligation need to be signed under s.4 of the Statute of Frauds 1677. Imagine you send an email on a client’s instructions guaranteeing a debt. If you type in your name like so — “Best wishes, Barry” — no problem. But what if you just type “Agreed” under the terms of the guarantee, and your email program appends at the foot of the email: “From Barry X at ABC Solicitors LLP. This email is confidential etc etc …”? Signed or not? The Chancery Division last week said Yes in Neocleous v Rees  EWHC 2462 (Ch). A settlement of a real estate dispute was held enforceable in these circumstances under the LP(MP) Act 1989; it seems pretty clear that s.4 cases will be decided the same way. Moral: good news for those wishing to uphold guarantees. And if you are thinking of raising the pettifogger’s defence under s.4, look carefully at your email settings. You have been warned.
When is a bill of lading ‘spent’?
via When is a bill of lading ‘spent’?
In The Yue You 9023  SGHC 106 the High Court of Singapore has considered the issue of title to sue when spent bills of lading are involved under section 2(2)(a) of the Bills of Lading Act (equivalent to UK COGSA 1992). The bank held bills of lading as security for a loan to the buyer and sued the shipowner for misdelivery in delivering the cargo to a party nominated by the seller before the loan was made without production of a bill of lading. The court held that delivery of cargo to a party that was not entitled to delivery did not cause a bill of lading to be spent (a point noted obiter by the Court of Appeal in The Erin Schulte).
If, however, the bill had been spent the bank would have obtained title to sue under s.2(2)(a) as the loan facility agreement made several years earlier between the bank and the buyer was the contractual arrangement in pursuance of which the transaction had been effected for the purpose of section 2(2)(a). Further the bank had become the holder of the bills in good faith as required by s.5(2) of the Bills of Lading Act and its decision to grant the loan to the buyer against security over the bills, even on the assumption that it knew that the cargo had been discharged, could not be said to have been dishonest; nor could the bank be said to have consented to delivery of the cargo without production of the bills of lading.
‘Howsoever caused’ in exception clause in bill of lading covers loss due to negligence and unseaworthiness.
via ‘Howsoever caused’ in exception clause in bill of lading covers loss due to negligence and unseaworthiness.
The Elin (Aprile S.PA. v Elin Maritime Ltd)  EWHC  (Comm) involved a claim under a bill of lading for damage to a cargo carried on deck which was stated to be so carried, and was therefore not subject to the Hague Rules.
Demurrage or detention? Agreement for vessel to wait mid-voyage.
What is the nature of a claim for compensation when the parties to a sale contract agree that the vessel shall wait for orders mid voyage? Demurrage,… Read more “Demurrage or detention? Agreement for vessel to wait mid-voyage.”
Data management platform approaches one million service subscriptions as number of Veracity users pushes past 120,000
There are almost 150 services offered on the marketplace from both DNV GL and external providers and that number is growing with a recent flurry of additions… Read more “Data management platform approaches one million service subscriptions as number of Veracity users pushes past 120,000”
Is a ‘Waiting for orders’ claim a demurrage claim?
The answer to this question matters because of the documents required under a time bar clause for “demurrage claims”. In The Ocean Neptune  EWHC 163 (Comm) the vessel was… Read more “Is a ‘Waiting for orders’ claim a demurrage claim?”