The Maritime Advocate–Issue 729



1. Tribunal’s Decision on Deviation a Finding of Fact
2 .Blocktrain and Crypto Currency
3. New Zealand’s Oil Spill Plans
4. Fairplay to Close
5. Blast from the Past–Underwriter’s Diary November 1990
6. People and Places


FOB Network News

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Some FOB Groups already have sponsors – for example JLT (P&I), Bloomfield Law (West Africa Maritime), Chalos (Criminalisation). the Publishers are also looking for sponsors for existing Groups for example Hull & Machinery, Salvage, Piracy, Maritime Singapore/Cyprus/Norway, Superyachts, Surveyors and Major Casualty Investigation.

In addition there is plenty of scope for possible new Groups such as War Risks, Multi-Modal Insurance, Energy Insurance and many geographical areas eg Maritime New Zealand/Germany to name but a few.

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1. Tribunal’s Decision on Deviation a Finding of Fact

The latest addition to David Martin-Clark’s shipping and transport online case notes is by Edward White, BA(Hons), GDL, Associate at Thomas Cooper Singapore LLP and relates to the decision of the English Commercial Court in the case Troy Maritime SA v Clearlake Shipping. This case decided that a tribunal’s decision on whether the deviation of a vessel had been for a “reasonable purpose” was a finding of fact, and could not be successfully appealed as a point of law under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996.


2. Blocktrain and Crypto Currency

The lawyers at Blank Rome have sent in word that Partners Grant Buerstetta and Michelle Ann Gitlitz have authored the chapter on “An Introduction to Virtual Currency Money Transmission Regulation” in Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Regulation 2019 (Global Legal Insights, Sept. 2018).

In their chapter, Michelle and Grant provide an introductory overview to virtual currency money transmission regulation and specifically discuss federal and state virtual currency money transmissions as well as attempts to standardize licensing practices.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Regulation 2019 covers government attitude and definition, cryptocurrency regulation, sales regulation, taxation, money transmission laws and anti-money laundering requirements, promotion and testing, ownership and licensing requirements, mining, border restrictions, and more.

To read the full chapter click here:-


3. New Zealand’s Oil Spill Plans

Maritime New Zealand has published the New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Readiness and Response Strategy 2018-2022. It can be accessed and read via the link below. The country often punches above its weight in approaching thorny matters. It is often ahead in law reform where matters of liability and insurance are concerned. The virtues of nimbleness and speed over the ground seem to apply.


4. Fairplay to Close

From the IHS Fairplay website:-

Fairplay magazine and will cease publication in the last quarter of 2018, following a reorganisation of business information provider IHS Markit’s maritime media unit.

The flagship maritime title, which targets a shipowner and ship manager audience, has been in publication since 1883. The restructured business unit will be organised around sister brands Safety at Sea and Dredging and Port Construction.

According to Stuart Strachan, senior vice-president, Maritime and Trade, at IHS Markit, despite great improvement in the editorial product in the past three years, a very competitive market and the challenges of print as a medium were behind the decision to close Fairplay.

“Despite investment and concerted efforts to build an online community and maritime events, we have been unable to generate growing circulation, subscription and event revenues,” Strachan said. “Not unlike many print-based brands, we haven’t gained sufficient traction with these efforts.”

The final edition of Fairplay will be published on December 6. Online publication will cease in the last week of November.

Fairplay Executive editor Nicola Good said, “It’s been a pleasure to work with such a talented and dedicated group of people and I take immense pride in some of our recent projects – Accomplished Women in Maritime and Tonnage Titans – – as well as our biweekly print edition, which I believe is one of the strongest in the industry.

[ Very sorry to learn this news. Your editor was recruited as a columnist by the then editors John Guy and Chris Hewer and wrote a monthly piece for the magazine thereafter from 1989 to 2012. It was great fun writing for them and the spirit of the publication was always admirable. We have raised one such column from the vault for item 5 below–ed]


5. Blast from the Past–Underwriter’s Diary November 1990

That normally reliable font of information, the market rumour says that hull rates will be going up this renewal season. Opinions vary whether this will be in the significant range of 15 to 25 per cent or whether the whole season will shilly shally in single figures as underwriters test the waters like the first bathers on a naturists’ beach. The business of hardening is, these days, much more market-like. Insurance rates must be seen to rise according to the same processes as those prevailing for potatoes, otherwise the rules of competition law, which are often seen as new fangled imports from Brussels, promise to punish Those who would Rig Markets.

The same source promises no relief for cargo underwriters, who seem doomed to remain the cheap charlies of the insurance world were it not for the have-a-go daring of aviation underwriters who latterly agreed to write most of the Western world’s airlines for their hull and liability risks in exchange for enough premium to replace one and half Boeing 747-400s. Perhaps one of the explanations behind the rise of P&I claims may be found in the predicament facing cargo underwriters who labour more mightily to recover money in recourse actions against carriers which they have given away in discounts to shippers buying insurance.

Many claims made against the Clubs are made by recovery agents acting under instructions from subrogated cargo underwriters who have paid out on claims. These recovery outfits are not unsophisticated these days. Some once worked the Club side of the fence. Recovery agents often used to belong to the ruby coloured hail-fellow-well-met school of claims handling. In those far off days, it is said,the day’s work from underwriters would arrive in large wicker laundry hampers. A senior recovery agent well versed in the trade would seat himself upon a low three-legged stool and sort the promising cases from the hopeless majority before lunchtime. By the end of the day new recourse claims would be on their way to the Clubs. These days the qualitative side of the business is often as formidable.

This column is often criticised for failing to give proper emphasis to underwriting technicalities, no doubt rightly. Here is a small exercise to demonstrate how the invidious custom of “as is” renewals, so common in the 1980s, fosters claims inflation. A deductible which remains fixed at say $1000 each accident for five years takes a decreasing share of risk if we assume a run of $2000 dollar claims over the same period and an annual rate of inflation of 10 per cent. Over the same period the risk participation of the deductible goes down progressively: i.e.1/2, 10/22, 100/242, 1000/2662, 1000/2928. In the example the retention of risk by the assured falls from a half to a third by the compound effect of inflation.

Loss prevention is in the news again with the announcement of a new insurance industry backed Arson Prevention Bureau here in London to improve the sharing of information. The insurance industry is not notable for its propensity to share and coordinate information of common concern and this initiative can only be welcomed. Is there, one wonders, a good reason for why Lloyd’s of London is not among the good sponsors of this venture? In transport fires, especially those taking place in port areas, arson is usually one of the first theories to circulate. The chances are, the port area is “restructuring” the workforce at the time of the fire. Often labour and management are not overflowing with mutual admiration. With the exception of one rather strange case involving a demented animal lover, none of the large fires which the undersigned has had the misfortune to underwrite involved anything more sinister than an unauthorized cigarette smoked in defiance of management edict.

[Fairplay Shipping Weekly]


6. People and Places

HFW has helped the shipping association BIMCO draft its first clause relating to the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 sulphur emission rules.The new clause, focused on compliance, has been fast-tracked and may be published as soon as the end of October.

BIMCO will produce several clauses dealing with specific issues relating to IMO 2020, which sets a new limit for the amount of sulphur in fuel oil of 0.5% for ships operating outside designated emission control areas. The new regulation will affect more than 70,000 ships globally.

HFW is a member of BIMCO’s drafting committee. Its team is led by head of offshore Paul Dean and also includes senior associates Alessio Sbraga and Rory Grout.


Richard Turner, European Director of Global Risk Solutions at RSA Insurance Group has been elected President of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI).


As part of its integration strategy, AP Moller Maersk has announced the combination of Damco’s Supply Chain Services and Maersk Lines Ocean product from January 1.

The integrated commercial organisation will operate with one management team, one sales force, a strong product organisation and one customer experience organisation, headed by Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer of Maersk. Klaus Rud Sejling, CEO of Damco, will take on a new position as Head of Maersk’s Logistics and Services Products, reporting to Clerc.

Additionally, current Chief Operating Officer at Damco, Saskia Groen In’t Woud will become the CEO of Damco Freight Forwarding.

[Source: Handy Shipping Guide]


The Avo Archive

The website of this newsletter contains all the editorial material since the inception of the Maritime Advocate as a print based quarterly in 1997 under the founding aegis of John Guy, Chris Hewer and Manfred Arnold. Readers can go to the site and search the database on the home page in its entirety. If you are looking for an old case, an old controversy or you would just like to see how many times you and your firm have featured in our annals feel free to access the archive. It is like this e-zine, free to Readers and we always appreciate the support of advertisers and sponsors.

Work is underway to lodge the Archive within a new site for this publication.


Emoji 2: What Went Before

Courtesy of the Browser we came across the pleasures of this piece by Keith Houston which appears in Shady Characters:-

From illuminated manuscripts to emoticons, the typographical pre-history of the emoji. “The arid environment of the typewriter keyboard was more fertile than it seemed. There might be no pointing fingers or ivy leaves, but the letters, numbers and symbols could be combined to make entirely new designs. Emoticons arrived in 1982 in response to a joke gone wrong on an electronic bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University. Scott Fahlman posted the immortal words: ‘I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: /:-)’. Enter the emoticon”


From the Motor Insurer’s Claims Department

Insurance claims

Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.

The other car collided with mine without giving me warning of its intention.

I thought my window was down, but I found it was up when I put my head through it.

I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.

A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.

The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve several times before I hit him.

I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother in law and headed over the embankment.

In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.

I had been shopping for a plant all day and was on my way home. As I reached an

inter-section a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.

I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.

I was on the way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident and damage my big end.

As I approached the intersection a sign appeared in a place where no stop sign

had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front I struck a pedestrian.

My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.

An invisible car came out of nowhere, stuck my car and vanished.

I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat I found that I had a fractured skull.

I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.

The pedestrian had no idea which direction to run. So I ran over him.

I saw a slow moving, sad faced old gentleman as he bounced off the roof of my car.

The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows.

The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out the way when I struck the front end.

The accident was caused by me waving to the man I hit last week.

I knocked over a man, he admitted it was his fault as he’d been knocked over before.


Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

Maritime Advocate Online is a weekly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 21 000 individual subscribers each week and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60 000 Readers in over 120 countries.