UAE to the Rescue of DP World’s Container Terminal in Djibouti
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) condemned Djibouti’s cancellation of DP World’s contract to run the Doraleh Container Terminal, calling it an “arbitrary” flouting of a signed agreement, said a report in Bloomberg. Media reports yesterday said that Dubai has accused Djibouti of illegally seizing a port operated by one of its state-owned shipping companies and started legal action against the African government. “Djibouti government’s seizure of the Doraleh port is regrettable,’’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter.
Somalia Bans DP World, Says Contract with Somaliland Null
Somalia has banned Dubai ports operator DP World from operating in Somalia, saying that a contract that the company signed last year with the breakaway Somaliland region to develop an economic zone is null and void. It is unclear how Somalia's federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland's semi-autonomous status. But parliament's unanimous passing of the resolution banning DP World from working in the country underscored growing rivalries in the strategic Horn of Africa region over the Dubai state-owned port operator's investments.
Djibouti Says Its Container Port to Remain in State Hands
Djibouti's container port will remain in state hands as the government seeks investment, a senior official said on Wednesday in comments likely to reassure Washington where lawmakers say they fear it could be ceded to China. The Doraleh Container Terminal is a key asset for Djibouti, a tiny state on the Red Sea whose location is of strategic value to countries such as the United States, China, Japan and former colonial power France, all of whom have military bases there. Djibouti last month terminated the concession of Dubai's state-owned DP World to run the port…
DP World Cleared of Misconduct over Djibouti Terminal
The London Court of International Arbitration has cleared DP World, one of the world's biggest port operators, of all charges of misconduct over a concession to operate a container terminal in Djibouti, Dubai's government said on Tuesday. In 2014 the government of the East African country lodged claims accusing DP World, majority-owned by the Dubai government, of illegal payments to secure a 50-year concession for the Doraleh Container Terminal, the Dubai government said. On Tuesday the court dismissed the claims and ordered the claimants to bear the costs of the arbitration, Dubai said.
Djibouti Ends Dubai's DP World Contract to Run Container Terminal
Djibouti has ended a contract with Dubai's DP World, one of the world's biggest port operators, to run its Doraleh Container Terminal, the president's office said on Thursday. "The Republic of Djibouti has decided to proceed with the unilateral termination with immediate effect of the concession contract awarded to DP World," the office of President Ismail Omar Guelleh said in a statement. Last February, the London Court of International Arbitration cleared DP World of all charges of misconduct over a concession to operate the terminal, Dubai's government said at the time.
Watch Out For Dispute Resolution Pitfalls
London law firm Lawrence Graham says users of dispute resolution services should be aware of pitfalls arising in relation to claims for interest under the Arbitration Act 1996. In its latest shipping newsletter - dubbed Shipping Lawgram - Lawrence Graham's shipping team comments on the Commercial Court case of Walker -v- Rowe, in which it was held that the courts had no power to make an order for interest to be paid on unpaid arbitration awards unless the interest had actually been set by the arbitrators. Lawrence Graham notes that, under the 1996 Arbitration Act, a party seeking post-award interest must apply to arbitrators to provide for it in the award and, if the arbitrators forget to award it, must immediately apply for a correction or a further award.
ICC, DRD Team Up to Shed Light on Arbitration
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has announced it has entered into a cooperation agreement with Dispute Resolution Data (DRD) – a research service for international commercial arbitration and mediation. Under the terms of the agreement, the ICC International Court of Arbitration will provide data that will ultimately contribute to a greater understanding of dispute resolution use and practice worldwide. Andrea Carlevaris, Secretary General of the ICC Court said: " Facilitating…
Shipbroker Pays the Price
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…
Maritime Tribunal Rejects Plea to Free Italy's Marines
An international maritime tribunal on Monday rejected Italy's request that India provisionally release two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, a setback for the Italian government after a three-year legal battle. However the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg also ordered India to suspend legal action against the two Italian marines, saying an international arbitration hearing to be held in The Hague must rule on the dispute. Rome objects to holding a trial in India, arguing that the case should be taken to arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and that the incident happened in international waters where national laws do not apply. The Indian government wants Indian courts to try the case.
China Slams South China Sea Case as Court Set to Rule
An international court said on Wednesday it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing, which rejects the tribunal's jurisdiction. The United States, which is a close ally of the Philippines and is concerned about China's expansive South China Sea claims, reiterated its backing for The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and urged a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Manila is contesting China's historical claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Several Southeast Asian states have overlapping claims in the sea and the dispute has sparked concerns of a military confrontation that could disrupt global trade.
Vietnam Welcomes South China Sea Ruling, Reasserts its Own Claims
Vietnam welcomed a ruling by an international arbitration court concerning the South China Sea on Tuesday, saying it strongly supports peaceful resolution of disputes, while reasserting its own sovereignty claims. "Vietnam welcomes the arbitration court issuing its final ruling," foreign ministry spokesman, Le Hai Binh, said in a statement. The ministry said it would issue a more detailed comment on the content of the ruling at a later time and reasserted Vietnam's claim of sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly island, and its jurisdiction over its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Exxon Mobil Wants PDVSA Legal Edict Enforced
Oil company Exxon Mobil asked a U.S. District Court on Friday to recognize a World Bank arbitration ruling that Venezuela must pay $1.6 billion over a nationalization claim filed in 2007. "Awards issued pursuant to the ICSID Convention are subject to automatic recognition and enforcement in the United States," the filing said in part. The International Court Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published the arbitration ruling on Thursday. Venezuela said it will have to pay less than $1 billion after deducting a previous award. A spokesman for Exxon said the filing, made in federal court in Manhattan, was standard procedure in such cases. Reporting by Anna Driver and Marianna Parraga
Primeline Turns Against CNOOC
Primeline Energy Holdings Inc. announces that it has sent a letter to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and CNOOC China Limited (CCL) (together CNOOC Group) giving formal notice of its intention to commence arbitration proceedings against CNOOC Group under the provisions of the Petroleum Contract for Block 25/34. The CNOOC Arbitration relates to Primeline’s continuing disputes with CNOOC Group with regard to the development, production and sales of gas from the LS36-1 Gas Field (LS36-1).
Three Senior Appointments at Wikborg Rein, London
International law firm Wikborg Rein has further strengthened its leading presence in the shipping and offshore and onshore construction sectors with the appointment of three key senior hires to its London offices. Nick Shepherd has joined as a partner from Ince & Co, where he was most recently the head of that firm’s office in Piraeus, Greece. Nick has a market-leading reputation as an 'owner's lawyer' for the Greek shipping market, where he is the first-choice lawyer for a number of the largest shipping groups…
DP World Accuses Djibouti of Seizure of its Dorelah Port
Dubai-based port operator DP World accused Djibouti of illegally seizing control of Doraleh Container Terminal on Thursday, after the Djibouti government said it was unilaterally terminating DP World's contract to run the terminal. "The Government of Djibouti today illegally seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal," DP World said in a statement. It said the company had commenced arbitration proceedings in London to protect its rights. Reporting by Katie Paul
China Shipyard Refunds Algoma Tankship Newbuilds Cancellation
Algoma Central Corporation says it has received payments totalling $41.7 million from two Chinese banks on refund guarantees related to the cancellation of three ocean tanker shipbuilding contracts which occurred in 2010. In 2007, Algoma, through its wholly owned subsidiary, entered into contracts to build three 16,500 - deadweight ton product tankers in China. Each contract contained provisions that permitted cancellation under certain conditions. These conditions were met in…
Arbitration, Foreign Seaman’s Wage Claim
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a wage claim by a foreign seafarer against his employer for service on a foreign vessel is subject to arbitration. In the instant case, plaintiff Philippine seafarer brought suit against defendant cruise line alleging violation of the Seamen’s Wage Act. Defendant cruise line’s motion to compel arbitration in the Philippines was granted by the federal district court and plaintiff appealed. The order compelling arbitration was upheld by the appellate court, which ruled that federal law favors arbitration and that the collective bargaining agreement between with seamen’s labor union and the cruise line comported with the requirements of the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and federal law.
New York, London Juxtaposed by New Maritime Event
On November 13, the newly formed New York Maritime Consortium, a coalition of leaders from New York Maritime Inc. (NYMAR), the Society of Maritime Arbitrators (SMA), the Maritime Law Association (MLA) and the Association of Shipbrokers and Agents (ASBA), will host an event entitled “New York and London: Perception and Reality”. According to the event’s organizers, key industry figures from the areas of finance, arbitration and law from both sides of the Atlantic have been invited to illustrate the strengths of each jurisdiction, and how the two relate to each other. Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York Federal Court will moderate the event. The forum will be held from 2:30-6 p.m. at The Harvard Club.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Provisions
Do they save you time, money, and aggravation? Over the last decade, the legal community has embraced alternative dispute resolution modalities, such as mediation and arbitration, as tools to resolve disputes between litigants. Both of these options can be very effective in quickly resolving claims. That said, it is prudent to consider other methods before entering into any such agreement. Mediation and arbitration can be very positive for the company, but blindly agreeing to arbitrate a claim may cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs…
Decision on Foreign Seaman's Wage Claims
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that wage claims brought by foreign seamen for work on foreign ships are subject to the Foreign Arbitral Awards Convention, even where the claims are based on U.S. law. In the instant case, plaintiff Philippine seamen brought suit in federal court in Louisiana against the shipowner, alleging violation of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for failure to pay federal minimum wage and overtime. Defendant asserted that plaintiffs’ employment contracts were controlled by Philippine law and required arbitration of wage disputes in the Philippines. The trial court refused to order arbitration, citing a Louisiana law expressing the state’s strong public policy against forum selection clauses in employment contracts.
Hardy Takes Over as Vitol CEO
Ian Taylor, who helped build Vitol into the world's biggest oil trader, will step down as chief executive and continue as chairman, the company said on Friday, naming a long-time ally and insider, Russell Hardy, as the new group CEO. Taylor said two years ago he was battling cancer although he continued to travel the world, chasing deals from Africa to the United States and Australia while also working as chairman of the board of trustees for London's Royal Opera House. Hardy, who started his career at BP and traded fuel oil, was long seen as one of two front-runners to succeed Taylor alongside another Vitol veteran Chris Bake. Vitol said in a statement that Hardy joined the firm in 1993 and held a number of trading and management roles in Singapore and London.
IMO Celebrates 70 Years with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Seventy years to the day since the treaty establishing the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) was adopted, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II marked the occasion at IMO Headquarters in London on Tuesday (6 March). Accompanied by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a commemorative plaque and cut an anniversary cake. Her Majesty also met some of the guests attending the event, including representatives of IMO Member States, inter-governmental and international non-governmental organizations, and IMO Secretariat staff.
Panama Canal Case Headed to Arbitration
The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) and the consortium building a third set of locks for the inter-oceanic waterway said in separate statements that they will take a dispute over cement quality to international arbitration. The PCA has asked for an international arbitration panel to review a decision to award US$233 million to the consortium expanding the canal in a dispute over cement quality. The consortium, led by Spain's Sacyr and Italy's Salini Impregilo, and including Belgium's Jan de Nul and Panama's CUSA…