Shipbroker Pays the Price

Press Release
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has emphasised the potentially costly consequences of a failure on the part of shipping intermediaries to confirm in writing any initiatives performed on behalf of their principals.

 
In the latest issue of its Claims Review, ITIC says it has seen an increasing number of claims on its shipbroking members relating to the receipt and forwarding of messages. Emphasising the importance of accurate record-keeping and the need to reconfirm telephone conversations in writing, it reports how the failure of a shipbroker to provide written confirmation of the appointment of an arbitrator in a dispute between its principal, a charterer, and a shipowner, exposed the broker to a claim and costs in excess of $200,000 at a court-ordered mediation in the United States.

 
The shipbroker found itself in the middle of a dispute between the owners and charterers involving a demurrage claim in excess of $400,000. The charterers failed to settle and the owners initiated arbitration in London. As the charterers failed to nominate their arbitrator, the owners nominated a sole arbitrator. Despite orders from the sole arbitrator to serve defence submissions, no communication was received from the charterers. The arbitrator subsequently awarded owners the full amount of the demurrage claim plus interest and costs - a total of $575,000.

 
The owners tried to collect the award against the charterers through the US courts. The charterer’s defence was that they had never been advised of the arbitration proceedings and therefore had not had an opportunity to appoint an arbitrator. The charterers also alleged that the shipbroker had failed to inform them about the arbitration, and brought the broker into the US action.

 
The broker confirmed that it had advised the charterer by telephone about the appointment of an arbitrator, and again when arbitration proceedings had started. But it had failed to confirm this by email and the charterer, well aware of the lack of written confirmation, simply denied that such telephone conversations had taken place.

 
ITIC notes that, if the court had found the broker to be an ‘agent’ of the charterer, it could have been argued that the service of notices regarding arbitration proceedings on the broker could be deemed to be service on the charterers, with the result that the arbitration award was enforceable against the charterers, who in turn may have pursued the broker for the full value of the award.

 
The case was concluded at a court-ordered mediation by means of a payment to the owners of $450,000. The broker contributed $75,000 to the settlement, and the legal costs of defending the broker were in excess of $140,000 – a total of $215,000.

 
“This was a high price to pay,” says ITIC, “for a simple failure to follow up a telephone conversation with an emailed confirmation.” 

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Norwegian Buys Ship from Princess Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces fleet expansion for Oceania Cruises in 2016; Sirena to join sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica   Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Contracts

Fire Departments Choose Sea-Fire Systems

Metalcraft Marine's Firestorm high-speed, aluminum fireboat represents a new generation in vessel technology, especially when fitted with Sea-Fire H Series engineered fire suppression systems.

Russian Liftings for Western Options at 12-Year Low

By Gleb Gorodyankin MOSCOW, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Exports of Russian crude oil to Western markets are set to fall by almost a third in December and reach a 12-year

Overwhelming Support for ‘Hit the HMT Target!’

Today, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) applauded a “Dear Colleague” letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Appropriations that was signed by 22 senators,

Legal

Shipbuilding Regulations: Cents and Sensibility

Addressing the Jones Act is just one aspect of an increasingly complicated boatbuilding environment. Stovepiped, poorly conceived regulations is another. The sting of the recession is fading,

How Difficult is it to Obtain a Jones Act Waiver?

The American Salvage Association’s Jon Waldron provides the ultimate cabotage primer. There always seems to be constant chatter about waiving the Jones Act. In reality,

Will Congress Pass Any Maritime Legislation in 2014?

Following its usual summer break over August 2014, Congress came back from its five-week summer recess and spent a whopping eight days or so back in session before recessing once again,

Finance

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Shipbuilding Regulations: Cents and Sensibility

Addressing the Jones Act is just one aspect of an increasingly complicated boatbuilding environment. Stovepiped, poorly conceived regulations is another. The sting of the recession is fading,

Ship Broker Clarkson Looks to Acquire Platou

Top ship broker Clarkson is seeking to acquire Norwegian brokerage and investment bank RS Platou for 281.2 million pounds ($441 million) in a deal that would create

News

US House to Hold Hearing on Oil Export Ban

A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance.

Bollinger Delivers 11th FRC to the US Coast Guard

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has delivered the William Trump, the 11th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the United States Coast Guard.   The announcement was made by Bollinger Chief Operating Officer,

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2572 sec (4 req/sec)