The Maritime Advocate-Issue 682



1. Insurer to Pay Tort Indemnity Costs
2. FMC Gives NVOCCs a Break
3. Frank Holden of WK Webster
4. New Law for Spanish Stevedores
5. Mars Needs Lawyers
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. Insurer to Pay Tort Indemnity Costs

Students of the well crafted tort indemnity clause will welcome this case noted in the newsletter of Dennis Bryant. He writes:-

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the insured in an insurance coverage dispute with its insurer. The dispute involved a personal injury lawsuit brought by the insured’s employee against three other companies with which the insured had a master services contract. Richard v. Anadarko Petroleum, No. 16-30216 (5th Cir., March 2, 2017)

2. FMC Gives NVOCCs a Break

The FMC in the first flush of the Trump presidency has relaxed rules relating to NVOCC service agreements. These rules are peculiar to the US:-

The Federal Maritime Commission has decided to revise rules pertaining to service contracts and non-vessel operating common carrier service agreements as it seeks to streamline regulatory costs for ocean shipping businesses.

“The commission examined regulatory requirements for service contracts and NVOCC service arrangements in light of current commercial practice and has eliminated a number of burdensome regulatory requirements that served as obstacles to efficient ocean transportation arrangements, added unnecessary transactional costs, and served no regulatory purpose,” said FMC acting chairman Michael Khouri.

“Today’s action is consistent with recent executive orders highlighting the benefits of reducing unnecessary and costly regulations. I am committed to continuing to identify rules that are outdated or impede the efficient operation of business, and eliminating them whenever possible.”

As such, the commission will now allow sequential service contract amendments to be filed within 30 days of the effective date of an agreement between the shipper and carrier — NVOCC service arrangement agreements can be filed up to 30 days after their effective date.

It will also increase the duration to correct technical data transmission errors to 30 days from 48 hours previously, and extends the period during which a party can submit a service contract correction request to 180 days from 45 days.

The move comes in light of US president Donald Trump’s executive order to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs.

FMC commissioner William Doyle said: “This regulatory adjustment will help expedite commerce through streamlining the contractual relationship between carriers, NVOCCs, and shippers.”

Last week, Mr Doyle called for greater co-operation across the supply chain to prevent any future container line collapse from having the devastating impact witnessed when Hanjin Shipping filed for bankruptcy last August.

[First published on]

3. Frank Holden of WK Webster

Gregg Newman has advised of the very sad news of the death of Frank Holden on 22 February at the age of 67. Frank had been away from the office for the last few months with his illness, but stayed in close touch until very recently.

Newman writes that Frank Holden started with WKW in 1973, and that 43 years of service is a rare phenomenon these days. Perhaps, more poignant, was the fact that Frank died while still in active service for WKW, and it was only in November that he last attended the office. He rose through the ranks of the Hull department becoming General Manager.
Frank worked with many Principals and colleagues over his 43 years with WKW and has always been highly regarded and respected by all who knew him.

Not many of people may know that Frank was a doyen of the Sports and Social club and an accomplished (allow, please, some largesse) wicket keeper for the cricket team. His playing of the guitar at many functions was another side to his character also less well known. Tributes have been received from all over the world and WKW will be holding a special occasion in Frank’s memory later in the year. The firm’s thoughts are with Pam and all his family at this sad time.

4. New Law for Spanish Stevedores

Miquel Roca of Blas de Lezo writes:-

The Spanish Government has just passed a new law liberalising the Spanish stevedores’ system. I have prepared a small note in English in case your Readers are interested:-

The Spanish Government has finally tackled the very sensitive labour regime of the Spanish stevedores. The previous system has been doomed since many, too many, years until it received the final shot on 11 December 2014, when the European Court of Justice published its resolution number C-576/13 finding against the Kingdom of Spain and forcing its derogation.

The Government published a new Royal Legal-Decree on Saturday 25 February 2017 (RLD 4/2017) by which the old system is completely scrapped. That old system forced port terminals to invest in public labour port companies (named SAGEP) incorporated in each and every port for them to get port workers to load and discharge the ships calling at all Spanish Ports.

A port terminal was not allowed to employ its own personnel, it was forced to invest in public port companies, it could not decide how many workers should be deployed in each ship, it could not decide the number of hours to work on each ship, it could not decide who was able to work as a stevedore, and a long list of limitations to the free market and free movement of workers which clashed with the European legislation, in particular Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The new system now establishes, in a very simple and direct way (the RDL has only four articles) that “hiring workers to perform the port service of handling of goods is free, subject only to the established requirements which grant the capabilities of the port workers” (Article 2.1). This is as clear as a law maker can be and such a clear and straight article comes as summer rain to the Spanish port market long yelling for such a change. This of course will not be the case with the
powerful stevedores’ unions, which have announced several weeks of strikes which no doubt will be a nightmare for the Spanish port and logistic industries for the weeks to come.

According to the RLD 4/2017, the public port labour companies (SAGEP) will still be there in a transition period of three years, given that the Spanish Government has understood that it cannot get rid of the previous system in the blink of an eye, also allowing the current stevedores employed by those SAGEP to gradually switch to the free open labour market.
Port terminals will have to use 75% of the workers supplied by the SAGEP during the first year after the RLD was published, 50% during the second year, and 25% during the third year. It is a given fact that no port terminal will make use of these public companies once this transition period is over, for which they will most probably disappear once the third-year gap is completed.

26 articles in three different laws have been repealed by this new RLD 4/2017 implementing the long-waited liberalisation of the stevedore’s labour regime which has now entered into force according to its Final Disposition number five, although as any other Royal Legal Decree it would need of Spanish Congress’ approval which will most probably be obtained in the near future..

A full copy of the RLD 4/2017 can be found following this link (original in Spanish):-

5. Mars Needs Lawyers

A rare foray (for us) into Space Law. We found this article by Maggie Koerth-Baker which suggests that the first explorers of the red planet might choose a flag like Liberia’s to fly over their enterprise.

Mars Needs Lawyers

6. People and Places

Kevin Lugg has joined C Solutions Limited Group as Chief Executive Officer. Hen was previously at marine insurance brokers JLT for 37 years, where he held many senior roles whilst always maintaining a close and direct involvement in marine claims.


The Japan P&I club has announced Personnel Changes:-


Michael Hansen has been appointed the new Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Hempel, the coatings manufacturers. He joins Hempel from Maersk, where he most recently held the position of Vice President & Global Head of Sales in Maersk Line and he will be based in Hempel’s headquarters in Denmark.

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.

No references to Space Law could we find and not too many vis a vis the planet Mars. This one appeared in Issue 232
on November 22nd, 2005:-

Getting physical

IT seems that physics is fast disappearing from the timetable at schools in England and Wales. In the last ten years, more than thirty per cent of the physics departments in Britain have disappeared. Police are investigating.

At your editor’s school, physics was an optional subject. You took physics or a hundred lines. But the lack of physicists may explain why more and more people are coming up with such cockamamie ideas these days. For example, an alien asteroid belt orbiting a star has been detected for the first time. For example, a sea of ice has been discovered near the equator on Mars. (Ed: IS there an equator on Mars?) For example, somebody has fired a washing machine into a comet. For example, if you travelled 25 million miles to the moon and back every week for a year, you would be knackered.

Your editor has no interest in – nor aptitude for – physics. He would rather play Scrabble with a Welshman. But those who care about these things will be concerned that the number of pupils sitting A Level physics in England and Wales has fallen from 46,000 to 28,000 in the past year. The good news, though, is that all 28,000 are passing with honours, even those who fail to turn up for the exam.

Useful Crib

If you have to write a letter of recommendation for a fired employee, here are a few suggested phrases:

For the chronically absent: “A man like him is hard to find.” “It seemed her career was just taking off.”

For the office drunk: “I feel his real talent is wasted here.” “We generally found him loaded with work to do.” “Every hour with him was a happy hour.”

For an employee with no ambition: “He could not care less about the number of hours he had to put in.” “You would indeed be fortunate to get this person to work for you.”

For an employee who is so unproductive that the job is better left unfilled: “I can assure you that no person would be better for the job.”

For an employee who is not worth further consideration as a job candidate: “I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment.” “All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly.”

For a stupid employee: “There is nothing you can teach a man like him.” “I most enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever.”

For a dishonest employee: “Her true ability was deceiving.” “He’s an unbelievable worker.”

Hotel Check In

Father O’Mally has been preaching at his church in Ireland for so long, that he decides to take a vacation.

So, he decides to go to the States before it is too late. He hops on the plane bound for Nevada. He arrives in the Airport in Las Vegas.

As he is exiting the plane, someone in the airport runs up to him and exclaims, “Elvis! Oh my God! It’s Elvis! I knew you weren’t dead Elvis! How have you been?”

Father looks at her and says, “Get outta me face. Can’t you see I’m not Elvis? I don’t look a thing like Elvis.”

The father moves on to his cab waiting outside. He hops in his cab and he’s a little upset so he tells the cabby, “Take me to my hotel and step on it.”

The cabby turns and says, “Sure thing sir – Oh my God! It’s Elvis! I knew you weren’t dead! I’m your number one fan! It’s so great to see you!” “Shut up, you imbecile.” says the father “I’m not Elvis! Now turn around and drive!” So, the cabby speeds up to the hotel.

Father O’Malley gets his things and walks up to the hotel check-in counter. “Oh my God! Oh my God! It’s you!” screams the hotel clerk. “You’re back Elvis! I knew this day would happen. We saved everything just the way you like it! Free cheeseburgers, peanut butter and banana fried sandwiches, masseurs, complementary chips and a full liquor bar! I’m so glad you’re back!”

Father O’Malley looks at the hotel clerk and says, “Thank you, Thank you…………Thank you very much!”