Mediating complex disputes
Resolving disputes through litigation and arbitration comes at a high cost. Written submissions and preparations, sometimes over several years, lengthy hearings, expert witnesses and arbitrators’ fees, are just a few examples of the many contributors increasing the final bill. And in the end, many complex disputes will end up without any party being awarded costs – if the relevant jurisdiction has limited scope to make such an order. There is however an alternative with increasing popularity; mediation. How do you get the most out of mediation in a complex dispute?
When charterers fail to pay hire: owners’ dilemma finally resolved, but still be careful!
The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in the case of Grand China Logistics Holding (Group) Co Ltd (“GCL”) v Spar Shipping AS (“Spar”) (  EWCA Civ 982), deciding unequivocally that missing a single instalment of hire under a time charter is not a breach of condition.
Singapore Shipping and Offshore – Restructuring and Reflection
No surprises here – 2016 has not been kind to shipping and offshore (“SO”) players around the globe and as sector-wide stresses continue to pound the industry, not least in Singapore, it looks like we are in for an equally tough 2017.
Recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings in Norway
The Norwegian Bankruptcy Act as it currently stands does not recognise foreign insolvency proceedings or debt negotiations. This means that under Norwegian law an estate’s assets in Norway are not protected against separate debt recovery proceedings whilst subject to foreign insolvency proceedings. However, on 8 June 2016 the Norwegian Parliament approved an amendment (LOV-2016-06-17-55) to the Bankruptcy Act which includes, amongst other, the recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings in Norway (the “Amendment”).
Forum shopping when restructuring
The downturn in the shipping and offshore sector has spurred a significant number of financial workout and insolvency proceedings over the last years. Wikborg Rein is involved in a significant number of the on-going restructurings within the OSV segment in Norway and also several international companies in the UK, US, Brazil, China and Mexico. The international nature of the shipping and offshore industry may complicate the financial workout when a company goes into distress, however, the global presence of a company may also present opportunities as the rules of statutory debt reorganisations vary.
Norway considers ratification of the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention
A year and a half after the entry into force of the Wreck Removal Convention (the “Convention”), the Norwegian Ministry of Transport has recently completed a consultation process on a proposal to ratify the Convention and to implement the Convention into Norwegian law. The Ministry has suggested that the Convention rules shall be implemented on a dual basis side-by-side with existing legislation.
Arbitration clauses and third parties
Claims against or from third parties to an agreement containing an arbitration clause often give rise to the question of whether such third parties are bound by, or whether they can invoke, the arbitration clause.
How not to start an arbitration
Two recent London decisions have highlighted problems that can be encountered in starting an arbitration.
The ballast water convention
Having now achieved the required number of signatories, the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (the “Convention”) originally adopted in 2004 will enter into force on 8 September 2017. The Convention is expected to have a significant impact on ships engaged in international trade by requiring them to manage their ballast water and sediments to certain minimum standards, and eventually to install onboard ballast water management systems.
In the spotlight – public investigations in the Norwegian petroleum industry
The continued market downturn has led to a concern that cost cutting by the offshore industry may lead to a corresponding decline in safety standards. In response to this concern, the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Agency (the “PSA”) have announced that they will increase their audit and investigation activities to ensure that the very high standards of safety expected of companies operating in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea will continue to be adhered to.