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TOWCON 2008 and the coronavirus

On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organisation designated the Covid 19 virus as a pandemic. We have since received a number of enquiries specifically about where the parties to a TOWCON 2008 contract stand in respect of Clause 27 . This slightly odd clause combines a war risk clause with, effectively, a force majeure […]

“Best Management Practice” – The English High Court Considers obligations on a Master   »

On 5th July 2011, the laden tanker Brillante Virtuoso was off the coast of Yemen drifting in darkness in some of the most dangerous waters of the world. Shortly before midnight, it was boarded by armed men who put in motion a chain of events that would see the owner condemned by the High Court […]

Coronavirus – Issues and effects in relation to laytime and demurrage   »

Copyright: cns photo via REUTERS As China grapples with the growing tragedy brought upon them by the coronavirus, the shipping industry and container operators in particular, are already feeling the down-turn in business caused by the shutting of major manufacturing plants. In procedures that were seen around the time of the Ebola outbreak, ports and […]

Nigerian Piracy – Have we reached a tipping point?   »

There seems to be no sense that Nigeria piracy is slowing and in the past month we have seen a step change in tactics as the pirates have upped the ante by taking hostages from laden vessels in numbers not seen before [1]. At the same time, reports have come in that the three crew members […]


Keith Harper chaired the Management and Prevention of Containership Fires seminar

Keith Harper, Master Mariner Solicitor Consultant at Tatham & Co, chaired the Management and Prevention of Containership Fires seminar which took place on 6th December in London. This seminar was part of the 22nd Salvage and Wreck Conference.   2019 saw an unprecedented number of container fires incidents. On average a fire broke out every week, […]

Settlement negotiation
Making without prejudice (save as to costs) offers   »

This article looks at the pitfalls of negotiating a settlement and how best to increase your chances of avoiding being ordered to pay your opponent’s costs. Sometimes resort to the courts or arbitration is unavoidable. Fortunately for clients’ pockets, and a solicitor’s blood pressure, this is quite a rare event. One factor that encourages parties […]


SCOPIC wording offers protection for salvage contractors

Salvors prefer rich pickings. Where, however, a ship has a low damaged value, and where there is no valuable cargo on board that can be saved, there is little to incentivise a salvor to undertake a rescue operation. In the past, if the vessel grounded on or sank off the more remote shorelines of the […]

How a lack of class can be costly   »

Having recently ourselves settled a case involving a tug that had fallen out of class shortly before the incident in question, it was interesting to see that such a case has recently found its way from an arbitration award to the Court of Appeal in London. It is seldom the case (and was not in […]

Girting – Communication is vital   »

This article argues that over-reliance on the ability of a tug and its crew to be able to prevent the vessel from capsizing is common to many incidents. Girting – Communication is vital I have not been on board a girting tug, nor want to be. I do know that when a yacht broaches in high […]

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