The Maritime Advocate-Issue 664



1. RIP The Super Club
2. UK P&I Club Hits Out at ‘Quirks’ in the Philippine
Legal System
3. The Jobs we will Lose to Machines
4. Zika Virus Information
5. Three Reasons why Global Trade will Reach its Peak
6. People and Places

FOB Network News

The current count of Members has risen to 4141.

FOB Network is a kind of facebook for the maritime classes.
It is designed for use by people who are very often quite shy of opining
in wide open internet platforms. The exchanges are polite, moderated
and untainted by boorish online presences. Only registered members can
see what goes on in the groups and we have yet to request anyone to
moderate their tone.


Registration for FOB is gratis for individuals. Businesses
can take out a page for a small supporting contribution and we welcome
firms prepared to sponsor Group pages or advertise with us. This helps
to keep FOB a going concern and puts a smile on the face of our programmers
and accountants.

FOB is a project designed to adapt the new ways of using the internet
for the sorts of people who read The Maritime Advocate.

You are welcome to join


1. RIP The Super Club

The July edition of The Link, the marine newsletter of brokers JLT
has a careful inquest into the failure of the merger talks between the
Britannia and UK P&I Clubs quoting the veteran Mark Cracknell in
many places. It all seems to boil down to the surplus money held by
each side of the proposition. All things not being equal it was what
the Germans call the Cash in the Tasch issue which proved insurmountable.
This seems perfectly thinkable. But both organisations appear to observers
of the scene to be in the strangling grip of entropy. The industry leader
resides in Norway, the London scene seems stodgy and short of new ideas.
The cast of characters rotates slowly if at all and the "it will
see us out" managerial ethos of yesteryear seems to animate the
successor generation. Each twist of the shipping downturn springs the
question. How many of these Clubs can the industry support?

Former editor of this zine Chris Hewer always liked to point out that
it takes a long time for nothing much to happen in P&I and this
is still very true. But the far off day will surely come when infirmity
will out.

Read The Link here:-


2. UK P&I Club Hits Out at ‘Quirks’ in the Philippine
Legal System

Sam Chambers who presides over the always interesting Splash 24/7 daily
new zine reports on a matter of controversy in the Philippines. The
Maritime Advocate over the years has carried case notes from Del Rosario
and Del Rosario who are the leading lights of the maritime scene in
the country. The impression we have gleaned is that the awards are by
most standards pretty modest and as plaintiff bars go the Filipino personal
injury hacks will need a lot more time and experience to learn the ropes
at the disposal of their professional brothers in arms in places like
Korea, the US or Spain.

In a release, Tony Nicholson, senior claims director at the UK Club,
commented: “Filipino seafarers make an immense contribution to
the world’s ocean-going merchant shipping fleet and their home
country. Unfortunately this is somewhat overshadowed by continuing frustrations
within the Philippine legal system.”

Nicholson outlined how “ambulance-chasing” lawyers are succeeding
with what he called “spurious” claims against employers before
the National Labor Relations Commission and National Conciliation and
Mediation Board (NCMB).

“Due to a quirk in the Philippine legal system, the arbitration
awards must be paid by employers, regardless of whether they wish to
contest them. Over the past eight years more than 250 arbitration decisions
have been successfully appealed by employers. However, and perhaps not
surprisingly, very little of the £18 million they have unjustly
paid out has yet to be recovered – and probably never will be.
Fortunately, things are beginning to change – starting with new
legislation against ambulance-chasing lawyers,” Nicholson said.

The new Seafarers’ Protection Act is designed to protect Filipino
seafarers and their families from the unscrupulous practices of such
lawyers and came into force on May 21 this year. Under the new law,
any individual or group – whether lawyers or not – found to
be soliciting directly or via agents will be imprisoned for one to two
years and/or fined PHP50,000 to 100,000 ($1,000 to $2,000). In addition,
legal fees are now capped at 10% of the total amount awarded.

In addition to the new ambulance-chasing legislation, steps are also
being taken to put an end to the problem of enforced payment of arbitration
awards in the event the employer wishes to appeal. The International
Group of P&I Clubs has recorded 252 cases over the past eight years
in which arbitration awards totalling £18m have been overturned
or modified in favour of the employer by the Court of Appeals or Supreme
Court, yet less than $40,000 has so far been recovered through the process
of restitution.

“If the recent pattern of awards and appeals continues, the total
to be recovered could reach over $40 million within the next five years,”
Nicholson predicted.

The International Group has formally proposed an alternative Escrow
system to replace this process. When an employer wishes to dispute an
arbitration decision, the judgement amount would be deposited in an
Escrow account pending the decision of a higher court. This would also
leave the door open to an amicable settlement being agreed at any time
during the pendency of the case before the higher court. Legal title
to the money in the Escrow account would rest with the employer but
the claimant would hold beneficial title.

Concluding, Nicholson noted: “The new Seafarers’ Protection
Act means Filipino seafarers and their families should now be protected
from losing up to 60% of their contractual compensation entitlements
due to the unscrupulous practices of ‘ambulance-chasing’ lawyers.
The new law should also reduce the number of spurious claims being encouraged
by such lawyers. However, given the lack of impartiality of the arbitration
bodies, in particular the NCMB, and the rising number of maritime labour
cases being referred to them, it seems likely that the quantifiable
damage suffered by employers will continue to rise. The significant
frustrations felt by employers and the damage suffered as a consequence
will only be overcome if the Escrow proposal is adopted and enacted
into law.”


3. The Jobs we will Lose to Machines

Marco Tapia, whom we met ages ago when he was the man who took care
of IT for the mushrooming P&O Ports Group,which had operations all
over the world, has sent in a piece about the way computers are changing
the ways of work. His note helps us recall how sensible his thoughts
were on how to get good practice going in terminals. he writes:-

From my knowledge and understating of Machine Learning it is more about
what areas of your job will be replaced and how the some areas will
be unaffected rather than talking about the complete replacement of

Sections of Teaching (for instance, reviewing, grading exams and tests)
is a repetitive task to be replaced by Machines. That to me implies
that Teaching will definitely become more attractive, less repetitive,
more value added and interesting. Perhaps, teachers will have more time
to focus on value added, creative stuff and pure teaching, replacing
mundane and repetitive tasks by machines.

Same will apply to Auditing, Lawyers, Accountants, Doctors, etc. Not
that their professions will disappear but instead, they will become
much more attractive and value added, creative and novel than what they
are today. For instance, a lawyer will be able to properly think about
cases and issues rather than doing basic, low graded activities such
as trawling through historical legal documents for references.

See more here:-–and-the-ones-we-wont-20160813-gqry7u

._____________________________________________________________________________________…………………….+44 (0)20
3326 4514

4. Zika Virus Information

The latest edition of the Japan P&I Club’s webzine contains the
information on the virus by USCG (United States Coast Guard).and the
latest Zika virus active map provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention).


5. Three Reasons why Global Trade will Reach its Peak

Shipping Today, the blog of Olaf Merk who is a ports and shipping expert
with the OECD, contains a short and rather dismal speculation on how
consumption, production and energy use may be headed south for the duration.

Contrairwise, your editor recalls times not so long ago when confidence
in the rise and rise of prosperity knew no limits. That was also wrong.


6. People and Places

Charles Myrtle has joined London insurance brokers CSL on a permanent
basis. His background is in Marine Insurance but he has also spent the
last 15 years focussing on internet-based software solutions for global
Underwriters and Brokers and it is this experience, in part, that has
fuelled his interest in all things “Cyber”.

He joined CSLto rejoin his former colleagues, Craig Stansfield and
Louise Bower-Wilson.


James Hickland has joined specialist maritime solicitors Tatham Macinnes
as a Partner. He joins from Ince & Co where he has spent over ten
years developing a successful commercial litigation and arbitration
practice, encompassing high value shipping contract disputes, international
trade, aviation and insurance matters.


Caterpillar Marine is establishing a new Marine Center in Singapore
in the facility previously occupied by Caterpillar Remanufacturing,
at 5 Tukang Innovation Grove. The new center will bring together in
one location almost 200 people employed by Caterpillar Marine in Singapore.


Word reaches us from the Handy Shipping Guide that former Chair of
the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Helen Bentley has died at the
age of 92, from brain cancer. Bentley started her long career supporting
the maritime sector in 1945 when newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, offered
her a position as a journalist. Initially reporting on labour and union
issues, she soon moved on to maritime and waterfront news where she
became a widely respected reporter with connections throughout the industry.

In 1969, Bentley was offered a seat on the FMC but declined and instead
asked for the position of Chair instead, after having discovered that
someone with very little knowledge of the sector was to be offered the
top position as a political favour. She took over the Commission between
1969 and 1975. The position made her the highest-ranking woman in President
Nixon’s administration and during her tenure, Bentley advocated for
federal support for American shipbuilding yards. In 2004, Bentley was
inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame, joining a veritable
list of industry influencers.


From 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.

We found plenty of references to social networking but many of these
were of the fob networking variety. Our researches did find [in Issue
423 of February 7th, 2010] a help sheet for those who like the laconic

Abbreviated Insults

The social networkers amongst our readers may find these of help for
use in text messages on mobile phones or chat rooms


– Go play in traffic


– You’ve got a face like a squeezed tea-bag


– If you had a brain you’d be dangerous


– If you went to a mind reader there would be no charge


– I know when you are lying, Your lips move


– The lights are on, but no one is home


– You are as much use as mud guards on a tortoise


– The Wheel’s moving but the hamster’s dead


– You are as much use as a chocolate teapot


– You are one sandwich short of a picnic


– A pity your brain isn’t as big as your bottom


Re Social Networking–Shock Revelations

From Frazer Hunt, the well known Sydney maritime lawyer:-

For those of my generation who do not use and cannot comprehend Facebook:-

I’m trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same
principles. Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passersby
what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night
before, what I will do later, and with whom.

I give them pictures of my family, my dog, (other dogs and cats), ‘selfies’
of me, standing in front of landmarks, having lunch, and doing what
anybody and everybody does every day. I also listen to their conversations,
give them the "thumbs up," and tell them I ‘Like’ them. And
it works just like Facebook. I already have four people following me:

Two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychiatrist.


Russ Ringsak has sent in this video which demonstrates the skills of
3-D artist Stefan Pabst.


Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

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