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Royal Boskalis Westminster v Mountain

19th Mar 1997

[1997] 2 All ER 929

Alistair Schaff, Stephen Hofmeyr, David Bailey, and Sioban Healy acted in a claim involving illegality and duress arising out of the first Gulf War.

Marine insurance – Measure of indemnity – Suing and labouring clause – Plaintiff companies operating dredging fleet in Iraq under contract with Iraqi government – Plaintiffs insured against war risks by defendants under agreement providing cover for ‘suing and labouring’ charges – Iraqi government seizing plaintiffs’ assets following Iraqi invasion of Kuwait – Plaintiffs waiving claims under dredging contract in return for demobilisation of assets – Whether plaintiff entitled to recover value of waived claims from defendants under ‘sue and labour’ clause – Whether plaintiffs’ claim against defendants affected by enforceability of waiver – Whether defendants discharged from liability through duress and illegality

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