The Maritime Advocate-Issue 681



1. Late Arrival and Cancellation
2. P&I Renewals–Heavy Lifting
3. Brexit News
4. CHIRP Feedback
5. DP World v Government of Djibouti
6. People and Places

The Maritime Advocate–A Growing Concern

This publication, nicknamed “the Avo” passed a milestone last summer. It has passed the 20 000 subscriber mark, the highest total since its foundation in 2001. As a result of hand-ons and internal republications within firms, it is fair to assume a total readership of around 60 000 located in 120 countries. This gives the Avo a very wide footprint in the maritime world. If you have a message or product to promote or circulate, the Avo can promise to get the word out at affordable rates. Give us a try why don’t you.

1. Late Arrival and Cancellation

A recent addition to the case notes at David Martin Clark’s onlinedmc digest is by Pak Hei Li, LLB(Hons), PCLL (University of Hong Kong).Kong), BCL(Oxon) and barrister-at-law in Hong Kong.

It relates to a decision of the English Commercial Court in the case of ST Shipping & Transport Inc v Kriti Filoxenia Shipping Co SA (the “Kriti Filoxenia”). In this case, the Court decided that, in the absence of a specific provision in the Charterparty, the Charterers will lose their right to cancel the Vessel for late arrival, if they had already exercised their right to re-nominate the port of loading.

2. P&I Renewals–Heavy Lifting

A lousy freight market, a world economy in transition, the grinding gears of shipping industry consolidation, the power of buyers all combined to make this year’s P&I renewal a kind of isometric struggle between the parties concerned. There were slight signs of pushing and shoving and many wrestling grips, but not all that much to see. True to its nature the P&I industry is holding cash during this slumpiest of recessions. Readers may recall how a decade ago the Clubs emerged from the longest boom in shipping since the late 18th Century with empty coffers and call notes to the members. So it goes.

There have been years when the season featured a torrent of off the record leaks to Tradewind’s insurance expert Jim Mulrenan, announcing operators who switched Clubs. This year there has been more talk of the competition between P&I brokers, who often have to throw away commission to retain or gain P&I business. No fun to be had here. This year has also seen more press releases from the Clubs announcing how they have done. Dr Pangloss reports that the renewal has gone to plan, careful underwriting has been the order of the day and allowing for swings and roundabouts , the tonnage figures are slightly up or will be very soon.

There is something illustrative in the way the biggest story of the renewal was the removal of Chinese tonnage from the London and Britannia P&I Clubs for a destiny in a vehicle based in China. This may or may not prove permanent. Major operators are often underwritten on such benign terms in the Club market that they are startled to realise their own self and captive arrangements are in fact regular loss makers. The move is illustrative in that the drifting away of tonnage, be it laid up, consolidated or retained under self insurance presents fewer opportunities for the existing big ship P&I Clubs pretty much based on an old order and mostly in European cities.

As Chris Hewer a former editor of this e-zine used to remind us, it takes a great deal of time for nothing much to happen in P&I. But even third party liability insurers are not immune to change which comes in three forms: gradual change, like how the motor industry makes ever more reliable cars, sudden change like the closure of Woolworth’s or the very modern seeming disjunctive change, when erosion and entropy is apparent but gradual but is followed by a sudden and unexpected collapse of the whole thing,, like the fall of communism or ship building in this country. How is P&I changing? Steady as she goes is the mantra.

3. Brexit News

Our friends at CLECAT always send us their newsletter on transport and logistics which often looks at subjects on a pan European basis. The latest edition ran this story:-

With Theresa May’s deadline approaching to trigger article 50 and start Brexit negotiations, European policy makers are getting ready for the discussions. The European TRAN Committee drafted a preliminary assessment on the implications of Brexit for the transport sector and ongoing transport dossiers. The draft report looks at the different modes and how Brexit affects policy papers currently under discussion. The TRAN Committee will also have a debate next week Tuesday
28/02 on the economic losses suffered by transport companies due to border checks. The IMCO Committee is holding a workshop to get a general overview of the market implications of Brexit.

An important topic for the negotiations will likely be aviation. British MEPs stressed the need to secure an aviation agreement with the EU and Ireland as soon as possible. Aviation might also be challenging topic for negotiations with the dispute between the UK and Spain on Gibraltar still going on. Spain is signalling a hard line when it comes to this issue, and will likely block any UK-EU air access deals including Gibraltar.

Finally, the prospect of a ‘hard border’ is worrying for many in the transport sector. The UK signalled it will seek to re-negotiate a new customs agreement with the EU. However, as a non-EU member this would still require a ‘hard border’ between the UK and the EU. Industry advocates have therefore urged policy makers to consider this and find an early solution for customs to allow for a frictionless transition.

4. CHIRP Feedback

John Rose has sent us a link to the latest video produced by the Charity set up to receive confidential reports of maritime accidents and near misses, all in the cause of loss prevention. It is a kind of loss prevention activity set up for the YouTube era. The effort is sponsored by the Standard P&I Club and and our friend Eric Murdoch makes a walk on appearance. An effort is clearly made to accentuate the infomative and reign in the gloss. Is this the way forward for the marine insurance classes?

The bulletin along with past videos and audio podcasts can be found on the CHIRP website:-

5. DP World v Government of Djibouti

This item appears in the latest issue of the Handy Shipping Guide’s news zine, a source of good freight and transport news which is a model of its kind:-

The London Court of Arbitration has cleared global port operator DP World of charges of misconduct in connection with the award of a 50-year concession to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) in Djibouti. The claim, brought by the government of the East African country in 2014, accused DP World of illegal payments to the head of the country’s port and free zone authority, Abdourahman Boreh, to secure the concession to run DCT in 2006. In March 2016, the UK High Court dismissed all charges against Boreh brought against him by the Government of Djibouti, related to his dealings with DP World.

The London Court of International Arbitration has now fully exonerated DP World, stating in the Partial Final Award that:

The claimants’ claims all fail and are dismissed
The claimants must bear all costs of the arbitration to date
The claimants must pay the legal and other costs of the respondents in the arbitration upon an indemnity basis and in an amount to be determined by this tribunal in a further Award

Launched in 2009, the Doraleh Container Terminal was built and is operated by DP World. Boasting direct road links to neighbour Ethiopia the port lies on the major east-west trade route and provides a secure hub within the region for transshipment and relay activities. The terminal is Djibouti’s biggest employer with almost 1,000 employees of whom 99% are Djibouti nationals. Throughout arbitration proceedings, DP World has continued to manage the port.

6. People and Places

Blank Rome Partner Jeremy Herschaft has been appointed as the 2017 John E. Sims Distinguished Admiralty Practitioner-In-Residence at Tulane Law School, which has an internationally-recognized maritime law program. He will participate as practitioner-in-residence in March 2017.

The residence program, which is managed by the school’s Maritime Law Center, invites an experienced admiralty practitioner, from outside of New Orleans, to meet with law students and faculty in small group settings to discuss the practical aspects of maritime law and current trends in the industry.


The Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) has ordered the Port of Seattle to review bonuses it found to have violated the terms of the state constitution, according to a statement from the auditor. Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick abruptly resigned earlier this month amid an investigation into the alleged $4.8 million in improper payouts.


Bruce Carnegie-Brown has been named as the new Chairman of Lloyds of London, replacing John Nelson, who is retiring after nearly six years in the role. This appointment is subject to formal approval and consent from the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.


CSX has announced the retirements of Michael Ward from his role as Chairman and CEO, and Clarence Gooden from his position as President, effective May 31. Frederik Eliasson, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and a 22-year veteran of the company, has been named President, effective since February 15, replacing Gooden, who will assume the role of Vice Chairman until his retirement. Eliasson will also maintain his current responsibilities in his new position.

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.

Looking for early references to the European Communities, we searched the archive against the term “Common Market” and turned up this period piece which appeared all the way back in 1998 in Back Issue 4, a time when print was still more or less king:-

Common market

LAWYERS are obviously falling under the sway of the compelling mantra of the marketing gurus. Swish new newsletters from law firms are springing up at every turn. The latest is from Richards Butler. It is also one of the best I have seen.

This is all very well. In fact, it’s fantastic. But law firms still have a lot to learn about marketing. Coincidentally, Mark Chester, the person in charge of business development at Richards Butler in London, who is the first point of contact for media enquiries, has consistently failed to return our telephone calls now for three months or more. What use is a swish newsletter when you have goodwill leaking away like mad at the other end?

On a more general level, lots of London law firms still have a lot to learn about marketing. If you ring and ask for the name of the marketing partner, the switchboard refuses to give you the name. If you ring back and ask to speak to the marketing partner, the switchboard tells you that it is not allowed to put you through unless you have the name of the person you want to speak to. What should you do then? ‘Write to the marketing partner,’ replies the switchboard.

These people are well-trained in all the wrong principles. Where is the marketing book that says you have to treat people like dirt?

[Note from the editor in 2017–things are much better now that voice mail is so widely available]

Things to Ponder

Why don’t you ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery!”?

Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?

Why is a boxing ring square?

Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips after you use it?

Why is it necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin?

Why is what doctors do called “practice?”

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the third hand on a watch called a second hand?

The True Path

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off.

So I ran over and said, “Stop! Don’t do it!”

“Why shouldn’t I?” he said.

I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”

He said, “Like what?”

I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?”

He said, “Religious.”

I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?”

He said, “Christian.”

I said, “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”

He said, “Protestant.”

I said, “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”

He said, “Baptist!”

I said, “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”

He said, “Baptist Church of God!”

I said, “Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”

He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!”

I said, “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”

He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”

I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.

[Paul Dixon]