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Dornoch Ltd v Westminster International BV

17th Jul 2009

On 17th July 2009, Mr Justice Tomlinson handed down judgment following the Phase 2 trial in the case involving the dredger WD Fairway.

In March 2007, the vessel MSC Joanna collided with the dredger WD Fairway, causing the WD Fairway to become a constructive total loss. In April 2008, the owners’ claim for €145 million was paid by excess insurers, from the London and overseas markets.

The current decision concerns the excess insurers’ entitlement to take over a vessel which is a CTL against the background where not all of the insurers participate in the election to take over the vessel, where the vessel is sold by the assured in the meantime, and where the insurers have no property in the vessel by the law of the country in which the vessel is located.

Mr Justice Tomlinson’s judgment following the Phase 2 trial, together with his judgment in April 2009 following the Phase 1 trial, sheds some light on these difficult issues.

Counsel involved in the case: Jonathan Gaisman QC (leading counsel for the Fourth Defendant) and Peter MacDonald Eggers (junior counsel for the First to Third Defendants).

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