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Admiralty


7KBW’s broad shipping law expertise includes admiralty, or “wet shipping”, with some of the most important recent Admiralty Court cases having been argued by members of chambers.

7KBW’s involvement in cases falling within the admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court, such as collision, salvage, shipowners’ limitation of liability and general average, is of very long standing.  7KBW counts amongst its former members one of the greatest admiralty practitioners of the 20th century, Henry Brandon.  Other leading admiralty lawyers have included John Franklin Wilmer QC and Timothy Brenton QC.   Present members of chambers continue this tradition by accepting instructions across the full range of Admiralty work including collisions at sea, salvage arbitrations, and disputes concerning unsafe ports, pilotage, towage and wreck removal.  7KBW have been responsible for 4 of the few reported decisions of the Admiralty Court in the period 2013 to 2016, 2 of which proceeded to the Court of Appeal.

Major admiralty cases in which members of 7KBW have been involved in recent years include the following:

  • “BP Thunderhorse PDQ” – LOF salvage of a semi-submersible drilling rig.  Believed to be the most valuable asset ever to have been the subject of such an arbitration.
  • The “Rena” – proceedings for the constitution of a limitation fund following the grounding of a containership on a reef offshore New Zealand.
  • The Owners of the “Stolt Kestrel” v The Owners of the “Niyazi S” – one of a string of decisions of the Admiralty Court upon the time limitation period applicable to collision proceedings argued by 7KBW members in recent years, this case now stands as the leading Court of Appeal authority on the in rem jurisdiction of the Admiralty Court.
  • The “Longchamp” – a rare decision in the law of general average, albeit decided in the Commercial Court.  This was the first general average case to proceed to the Court of Appeal since 1992.

Aside from cases falling within the admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court, members of chambers have considerable expertise in casualty work.  In one of the most famous casualties of recent years, “MSC Napoli”, a containership which was beached on Devon’s Jurassic Coast in 2007, the shipowners’ legal team included Timothy Brenton QC and Richard Sarll.

 

Latest Admiralty News

The “Melissa K” and the “Tomsk”

Surprisingly little law exists on the question whether a pre-action offer made by a prospective defendant is capable of acceptance by a prospective claimant after a relevant time limitation period has intervened. On 27 November 2015 Mr Justice Males, sitting in the Admiralty Court, handed down a judgment which touches upon that question, albeit in […]

November 27, 2015

Stolt Kestrel BV v Sener Petrol Denizcilik Ticaret AS AND CDE S.A. v Sure Wind Marine Limited

Admiralty practitioners and other dedicated readers of the Lloyd’s Law Reports will be aware of a spree of recent decisions of the Admiralty Court concerning the 2-year time limitation period prescribed by section 190, Merchant Shipping Act 1995 for the commencement of collision actions. Those cases are: CDE SA v Sure Wind Marine Ltd (The […]

October 15, 2015

BOS v Union Transport

Sandra Healy acted for a mortgagee in ship mortgage enforcement proceedings.  Following the arrest of four mortgaged vessels, the mortgagee was granted orders for the sale of the vessels pendente lite and Teare J gave judgment addressing the principles applicable in circumstances where an in rem claimant seeks an order for the sale of a […]

June 28, 2013