The Maritime Advocate online–Issue 625

1. In Rem Writ in Hong Kong
2. Welcome to the USA! — A Shipowner’s Guide to Regulatory Compliance
3. Dubai Court Awards Damages for Wrongful Arrest
4. Seven Days in May: Resolving Your Arbitration Insecurities
5. Law Firms Prime Targets for Hackers and Criminals
6. People and Places

FOB Network News

The current count of Members is 3686

A recent post to the the Heavy Lift and Project Cargo Group is a publication called Project Cargo Matters which is
a practical guide for shipowners and operators, produced by the UK Club and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) in association with London-based marine survey and consultancy firm Cwaves. It may be recalled by some how the link between Allianz and the UK Club was forged by the late Robin Travis in the 1980s, a time when cooperation between cargo and hull insurers and the P&I world was scarce.

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. In Rem Writ in Hong Kong

A recent addition to David Martin Clark’s online casebook relates to the decision of the Hong Kong Court of First Instance in the exercise of its Admiralty jurisdiction in the case of The Alas, renamed The Kombos. In this case, the plaintiff shipowners had obtained an arbitral award in London against the defendant charterers for unpaid hire and damages, but the award remained unsatisfied. The shipowners then issued an in rem writ for unpaid hire and damages in Hong Kong and arrested there a vessel owned by the charterers. The Court refused the charterers’ application to strike out the in rem writ and the warrant of arrest on the grounds that the shipowners’ cause of action in rem did not merge in the arbitral award so long as, and to the extent that, it remained unsatisfied.

This note has been contributed by Ken T.C. Lee, LLB(Hons), PCLL (University of Hong Kong), BCL(Oxon) and barrister-at-law in Hong Kong.

2. Welcome to the USA! — A Shipowner’s Guide to Regulatory Compliance

Produced last November, this publication was well received by members and has now been updated to include the latest developments in certain key areas of regulatory compliance – essential information for shipowners trading to and from the United States and US territories. The new text can be accessed on the club’s website at :-

3. Dubai Court Awards Damages for Wrongful Arrest

Jasamin Fichte has sent in word of a notable result for her firm:-

Wrongful arrest claims in practice

Typically, the protection for the shipowner against spurious or unmerited arrest claims lies in the court’s initial examination of the case at the arrest application stage and the court’s ability to reject a claim on that basis. However, there is scope under Articles 106, 282 & 292 of UAE Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 (the “CTL”), read conjunctively, for a defendant to bring a compensation claim against the arresting party where the arrest was ‘wrongful’.

It is common knowledge in the UAE legal industry that a court deciding on an arrest application will require the arresting party to provide an undertaking, agreeing to indemnify a shipowner against wrongful arrest. It is also common knowledge that claims for wrongful arrest rarely ever succeed and so such actions are rarely ever brought.

The reasoning behind this is that the grounds for substantiating a wrongful arrest claim are far from transparent and the legal test to be applied is nebulous at best. Practice dictates that the wronged party needs to prove that the arresting party arrested the ship in an act which went beyond mere negligence. Further, it is accepted that the shipowner needs to prove that the arresting party arrested in malice or with intent to injure – an extremely high standard of proof.

The heavy burden of proof resting on the shipowner, coupled with extremely low chances of success and lack clear grounds to premise such claims, mean that wrongful arrest claims are significantly dis-incentivized.
In the rare instance that a court orders against a wrongful arrest undertaking, it will be completely at the discretion of the court as to what amount will be payable as compensation.

Until now, no court in the gulf region has actually awarded compensation for wrongful arrest.

How the Case Proceeded

In February 2013 a ship financing company (the “Claimant”) made an arrest application against our client’s (the “Shipowner”) vessel pertaining to a contractual dispute between the Claimant and the ship managers (the “Defendant”). Subsequent to the arrest, the Claimant filed main claim proceedings against the Defendant in the Dubai Court.

As is standard practice, the Dubai Court required the Claimant to provide an undertaking to indemnify the Shipowner for any loss or damage, within the claim amount, and to pay compensation to the Shipowner if a final court judgment determined that there was a wrongful arrest.

Late last year, the Dubai Court of First Instance made an order in favour of the Shipowner for AED 10 million in compensation for wrongful arrest. The judge ruled that the Claimant had been unlawful in arresting the Shipowner’s vessel to secure his claim against the Defendant.

Fichte & Co subsequently filed a civil arrest order under Article 252 of UAE Federal Law no. 11 of 1992 (the “Civil Procedure Code”) against the Claimant’s bank accounts, cars and other assets to secure the claim. On 18 March this year, the Dubai Court awarded the arrest order to grant the teeth required to enforce the judgment order.

4. Seven Days in May: Resolving Your Arbitration Insecurities

News reaches us of this forthcoming event from our friends in NY Arbitration. It is a real world, interactive, mock arbitration designed to be of interest not only to attorneys, arbitrators and claims handlers but also to shipowners, charterers, charter party brokers, insurance professionals and vessel agents.

The event will take the participants from a casualty, through response and preliminary investigation, leading to the convening of a New York arbitration panel and emergency dispute resolution. The audience will be given the opportunity to weigh in on the various decision points of the process and be able to judge whether they agree with the panel’s decision or not.


May 1, 2015 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Scandinavia House
58 Park Ave
New York, NY 10016

5. Law Firms Prime Targets for Hackers and Criminals

Courtesy of Stuart Poole-Robb of KCS Group Europe comes this piece which appears in the latest edition of ITProPortal, one of the geekier publications in your editor’s reading list:-

Large law firms have been identified as a prime target for hackers and organised criminal gangs (OCGs) as their databases are seen as repositories of company secrets, business strategies and intellectual property.

According to Harvey Rishikof, co-chairman of the American Bar Association cybersecurity Legal Task Force: “Law firms are very attractive targets. They have information from clients on deal negotiations which adversaries have a keen interest in. They’re a treasure trove that is extremely attractive to criminals, foreign governments, adversaries and intelligence entities.”

While cyber breaches of major corporations such as Sony and JP Morgan are grabbing the headlines, many OGCs are now directing their attentions towards corporate advisors, particularly large legal practices with important clients. At least 80 per cent of the leading US law firms have already seen their security compromised via a cyber breach.

Even this may be an underestimate as almost all the leading international law firms are likely to have experienced a cyber breach – whether they realise it or not.

They are several key reasons why OCGs target legal firms. One is that they frequently see them as a point of entry in to one of their major clients’ databases. Companies in highly targeted sectors such as defence and finance are now finally starting to address the pressing issue of cyber security and are now introducing new protocols aimed at safeguarding confidential data….

….The latest chink in law firms’ cyber defences to be exploited by hackers relates to the growing practice of lawyers managing their own online blogs through potentially insecure content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress. The reason for the firms’ enthusiastic adoption of CMS is that it is easy to set up and manage and has been identified as reasonably secure. They are widely deployed throughout most large legal firms, which increasingly use third-party plug-ins to add extra features. Law firms using CMS in this way need to ensure that the entire process is monitored by their IT department as plug-ins are not only sometimes inherently insecure, but they can also make updating to the latest – and therefore most secure – version of CMSs such as WordPress extremely difficult. Firms should, therefore, monitor which CMSs, such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla, are being used by their lawyers to disseminate blogs. The use of plug-ins must be limited to ensure that the latest version of each CMS in use can be immediately deployed; this is essential as it is only the latest version which will comprise up-to-date cyber security.

Read more:

6. People and Places

Braemar (incorporating The Salvage Association), (“Braemar SA”), the international multi-disciplinary marine surveyors and consultants, has created a permanent presence in Turkey through the establishment of a new subsidiary Company and the opening of an office in Istanbul. The office is currently based in the Besiktas district of the city but will be moving to new premises in the Kadikoy district in the near future.

Uluç Moerek has joined Braemar SA and will be the resident staff surveyor and manager of the Istanbul office. Uluç is a qualified naval architect and marine engineer and he has significant experience of working within shipyards on major repairs of all types of vessels and of conversion projects. Fluent in both Turkish and English Uluç has previously acted as a repair planning engineer and a superintendent engineer. The Istanbul office will be supported by experienced Braemar SA staff already based in the region and further local staff surveyors will be appointed in due course.

Daya Materials, a Malaysian service provider to the oil and gas industry, has announced the appointment of Lim Thean Shiang as the new chief executive officer of the company. Lim used to serve as the general manager of Port Klang Authority and executive chairman of Port Klang Free Zone

The International Underwriting Association has appointed its first apprentice. Tom Hughes will become a full-time employee from next month, strengthening its work supporting London market companies.

He will spend his first year at the association rotating between different departments in order to gain a widespread knowledge of its work. Tom will report to IUA directors responsible for underwriting and claims, market modernisation, public affairs and communications. A detailed training plan has been devised which includes providing support for market committees and assisting in the production of statistical reports and other publications and shadowing market modernisation projects.

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.

Reviews of an eclectic range of industry books have featured in the Avo, going back to the earliest days of the paper quafterly magazine, copy from which resides on our archive. For example in Issue 2 of the January 1998 edition we were reminded of an old case:

On Appeal
A civil action
TO everything there is a season. Time was when it was Alistair Maclean’s name that appeared on the dust jacket of every second book published, extolling its virtues as an unputdownable read. Now it is John Grisham who is the No 1 dustjacket advocate, and it is Grisham’s endorsement that you will find on the cover of A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. Never was a recommendation more well-deserved.

“Whether in truth or fiction,” says Grisham, “I have never read a more compelling chronicle of litigation”. Neither have I. This is the true story of one of the most protracted and bitterly-fought battles in American legal history. It recounts how Boston lawyer Jan Schlichtmann is approached by a group of families who believe themselves to have been poisoned by toxic waste dumped near their water supply. Many of their children have died of leukemia.

Two of the biggest companies in America defend the action. Nine years of litigation follow, with countless millions of dollars at stake. Schlichtmann’s only alternatives are a just settlement, or bankruptcy. Read this and you may never again envy lawyers the huge amounts of money they can earn. Engrossing.

WE had a plentiful supply of Christmas cards in the Maritime Advocate offices. Thank you to all those who sent us their good wishes. Our favourite card is this one from Al Tamimi in Dubai. Not a drop of snow anywhere.



Web pioneer and JumboJoke publisher Randy Cassingham says this really happened to him:-

When I was in high school, someone gave me a pair of collar insignia: colonel’s eagles. I thought they looked cool, that they were a bit patriotic (yeah: I was strange when I was in school — not like now!), and I put them on my jacket collar.

Back before banks had ATMs and “PINs”, my bank used a password for identification. I naturally chose “colonel”.

One day I went to the bank to cash a check, and the teller asks for my password.

“Colonel,” I say.

“Um, no…” the teller replies.

“It’s not colonel? That’s worked fine for a long time.”

“No,” she says, comparing the word I uttered while staring at the “real” password on the screen in front of her.

A bit exasperated at how their computer could be so stupid, I say “It’s not c-o-l-o-n-e-l?!”

“Oh, yeah,” the teller says. “That’s how you spell that?”

She cashed my check. I’m guessing she retired after a long career as the bank’s president.

Words That Don’t Exist…But Should…

Aquadextrous (akwa deks’ trus) adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bath taps on and off with your toes.

Carperpetuation (kar ‘pur pet u a shun) n. The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.

Disconfect (diskonfect’) v. To sterilize the sweet you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, assuming that somehow it will ‘remove’ all the germs.

Elbonics (el bon’ iks) n. The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest in a cinema.

Frust (frust) n. The small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dustpan and keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.

Lactomangulation (lak’ to man gyu lay’ shun) n. Manhandling the ‘open here’ spout on a milk container so badly that one has to resort to the ‘illegal’ side.

Peppier (pehp ee ay’) n. The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking around asking diners if they want ground pepper.

Phonesia (fo nee’ zhuh) n. The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you were calling just as they answer.

Pupkus (pup’ kus) n. The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.

Telecrastination (tel e kras tin ay’ shun) n. The act of always letting the phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you’re only six inches away.

[Source: Paul Dixon]

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 15 500 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 45 000 Readers in over 120 countries.