Withdrawal of Vessel for non-payment of hireChartering, Legal — By admin on July 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM
OVERVIEW OF TOPIC
1. The withdrawal of a vessel from charterers by owners is almost always
a last resort when other means of resolving disputes have been unsuccessful. Owners should be particularly wary of withdrawing a vessel from charterers where there is cargo on board and obligations are owed to the shippers and others under bills of lading.
2. It was, until recently, accepted in English law that a payment of hire clause, such as clause 5 of the New York Produce Exchange form 1946, was not a condition of a time charter. It was generally understood to be an innominate term. Consequently, if owners wanted to claim damages for future loss of earnings due to the non-payment of hire, they were required to show that the charterers’ actions amounted to a repudiatory breach of charter. Simply showing a breach of the payment of hire clause was not in itself sufficient. Owners had difficulty proving a repudiatory breach where just one hire payment was missed or where a number of hire payments were short. This put charterers in a strong position enabling them to make deductions from hire from time to time without any serious risk that owners would withdraw the vessel.
3. The English courts have recently started to alter the established view that a payment of hire clause is not a condition of a time charter. Further development by the courts will be required before this new approach becomes entrenched, but for now, examining the judgment in The Astra and others provides an insight into things to come.
4. If the new approach leads to a clear distinction that payment of hire clauses are a condition of charter, there will inevitably be a consequential shift in the dynamics of power between owners and charterers when charterers are in default. Owners are gradually becoming better equipped to demand hire rightfully owed to them. The threat of termination now carries more weight than it has ever done before. Charterers should be cautious before making deductions from hire or withholding full payments unless they are certain that they are acting within the constraints of the relevant charterparty terms.
5. Once owners have lawfully withdrawn a vessel the owners may still have obligations to perform regarding the discharging of cargo, if any was loaded at the time of withdrawal, and may be entitled to remuneration for time spent carrying and discharging the cargo and for any bunkers consumed post-withdrawal.
DISCUSSION IN DETAIL
Right to withdraw the vessel for non-payment of hire
6. Under all the standard time charter agreements owners are entitled to withdraw the use of the vessel from charterers who are in default for failing to pay hire. Lord Porter in A/S Tankexpress v Compagnie Financiere Belge des Petroles SA  A.C. 76 confirmed that the charterers’ obligation to pay hire in full, on or before the due date, is an “absolute” one. In this context, non-payment of hire includes unlawful deductions and failure to pay hire in full on or before the date provided for in the charter.
7. However, until April 2013 it was generally accepted by the courts that the NYPE payment of hire clause was an intermediate or innominate term. See Time Charters at 16.132 and the comments of Andrew Smith J. at first instance in ENE 1 Kos Ltd v Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (The Kos)  EWHC 1843 (Comm);  1 All E.R. (Comm) 669 at para.37. A vessel could be withdrawn from service but only the losses up until withdrawal could be recovered. In order to claim future losses owners would have to prove charterers were in repudiation of the charter.
8. It is common place for a time charter to incorporate an anti-technicality clause, otherwise known as a grace period. The owners are obliged to serve an anti-technicality notice on the charterers when in default. The notice informs the charterers they are in default and that they are granted a specified amount of time, usually calculated in “additional banking days”, to make payment in full. Failing to pay hire in full within this time will provide the owners with the right to withdraw the vessel and terminate the charter.
9. It is essential for the owners to show that they have a contractual right to withdraw the vessel. If the vessel is withdrawn because charterers have made a deduction from hire which the courts later find to be lawful, the owners will be liable for damages to the charterers for repudiatory breach of charter.
10. If owners want to claim damages for future loss of earnings, from the date of termination to the end of the charterparty period, then a number of options are open to them which are discussed in the following paragraphs. Owners may be in a position to establish that the charterers have repudiated the contract. Owners may also be in a position to establish a breach of an innominate term (the hire payment clause for example) that goes to the root of the contract. The distinction between these two causes of action is slight: a repudiatory breach will often amount to a breach of an innominate term which goes to the root of the contract. Following The Astra owners can now also consider the possibility of treating the hire payment clause as a condition, a breach of which would entitle owners to terminate the charterparty immediately and claim future losses.
11. In order to prove that there has been a breach of an innominate term that goes to the root of the contract the party at fault must have rendered it impossible to perform their obligations in some essential way or the consequences of the breach are so serious as to deprive the innocent party of substantially the whole benefit being derived from the contract.
12. In order to prove a repudiatory breach and demonstrate that charterers intended to no longer be bound by the contract is often very difficult to do. It is difficult to state, with real certainty, how many missed payments, along with any unlawful short payments of hire or deductions, would amount to a repudiatory breach of contract.
13. A direct consequence of the difficulty in proving a repudiatory breach (or a breach of an innominate term which goes to the root of the contract) is that the charterers are put in a position of strength. The charterers are able to force the owners into negotiations with the intention of obtaining a reduction in hire. This tactic would commonly be used in a falling market where charterers would be paying hire at a rate higher than the market rate.
14. Owners would be slow to withdraw a vessel from charterers who missed one or even two hire payments, as it was common knowledge that owners would be unlikely to recover damages in the amounts required to make the withdrawal of the vessel a commercially feasible option. The risk of terminating a charter too early would have disastrous consequences for the owners by leaving them with no remedy for their future losses. Without numerous consecutive failed payments by charterers, an owners’ threat to withdraw the vessel, in an attempt to force the charterers to pay the outstanding hire, would be largely empty.
15. Before the developments in The Astra, owners were arguably not sufficiently well equipped with the necessary tools to deal effectively with charterers in default. However, if the hire payment clause is a condition as suggested in The Astra then the owners’ hand is significantly strengthened.
16. In practice and in addition to the legal position, owners must always keep one eye on the financial health of the charterers. There is little for owners to gain by withdrawing a vessel and making a substantial claim, on whatever grounds, against impecunious charterers.
The Astra – is the payment of hire a condition of the charter?
17. Facts of the case – Kuwait Rocks Co v AMN Bulkcarriers Inc (The Astra)  EWHC 865 (Comm)The MV Astra was chartered on an amended version of the NYPE 1946 form, dated 6 October 2008, for a period of 5 years. Under clause 5 of the NYPE form, the charterers were required to pay hire in advance and “failing the punctual and regular payment of hire…the Owner shall be at liberty to withdraw the vessel…”. The charterparty also contained an anti-technicality provision requiring the owners to give the charterers two banking days’ notice following a default and before withdrawing the vessel.
18. Following the commencement of the charter, the market declined rapidly and the charterers could not employ the vessel at a profit. Consequently, the charterers repeatedly sought a reduction in the daily rate of hire (US$28, 600) and threatened to liquidate the company if the owners did not agree to a reduction. About 9 months into the charter, following various underpayments and the service of an anti-technicality notice in accordance with the terms of the charterparty, the owners agreed to reduce the daily rate of hire to US$21, 500 for a period of one year and an addendum was signed. It was agreed that after one year the rate of hire would revert back to $28, 600 per day.
19. The addendum included a compensation clause, which stated:
“In the event of the termination or cancellation of the Charter by reason of any breach by or failure of the Charterers to perform their obligations, Charterers shall… pay to the Owners compensation for future loss of earnings….”
20. Following the signing of the addendum, the charterers continued to demand further reductions in the rate of hire as the charterers had entered into a sub-charter at the rate of $16, 000 per day. The charterers missed several payments and sought to pay instalments late. Finally, the owners served an anti-technicality notice in relation to the most recent instalment which had been missed. Charterers failed to pay the most recent instalment; the owners withdrew the vessel and terminated the charterparty.
21. One month after the withdrawal of the vessel, the owners concluded a substitute charter for the remainder of the charter period, at a rate of US$17, 500 per day.
22. Arbitration – The owners claimed damages for loss of earnings from the date of withdrawal to the earliest possible date of redelivery by the charterers, giving credit for the amounts earned under the substitute charter.
23. The owners argued that the obligation to pay hire under clause 5 was a condition of the charter and the charterers’ breach of condition entitled them to claim damages for future loss of earnings. The tribunal held that whilst their instinct as commercial arbitrators would be to treat the payment of hire as a condition, English law did not support this position.
24. The tribunal found that the charterers’ late payments alone were not evidence of repudiatory conduct. However, the repeated threats to declare bankruptcy unless the owners reduced the rate of hire, in addition to their failure to comply with the terms of the addendum were considered to be a clear intention not to perform the charter in a manner consistent with its terms. For these reasons, the charterers were in repudiatory breach of charter.
25. The tribunal upheld owner’s alternative argument that the compensation clause in the addendum entitled the owners to recover future loss of earnings but stopped short of saying that this elevated the payment obligation to a condition.
26. The charterers obtained permission to appeal on two questions of law. The first question was whether the performance of a contract in a way which is inconsistent with its terms, but which does not deprive the innocent party substantially of the whole benefit of the contract, is capable in law of amounting to renunciation (repudiation). The second was whether the compensation clause in the addendum amounted to a penalty clause.
27. Appeal to the Commercial Court – On 18 April 2013, Flaux J. handed down his judgment.
28. The charterers’ appeal failed on the first question of law. The tribunal had applied the correct test and was entitled to conclude that the charterers’ conduct amounted to a repudiation of the charter.
29. On the second question, Flaux J. concluded that the compensation clause was not a penalty clause as it only provided for losses that would naturally arise out of a breach of condition.
30. In addition to dealing with the charterers’ two questions of law on appeal, Flaux J. took the opportunity to comment on the owners’ position that breaching a payment of hire clause was indeed a breach of a condition. These comments were not strictly necessary when deciding the questions of law put to him and must, therefore, be considered obiter.
31. Flaux J. reviewed various cases covering over 140 years of law which dealt with the question. Flaux J. followed the decisions in; Hongkong Fir Shipping Co Ltd v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (The Hongkong Fir)  2 Q.B. 26, Mardorf Peach & Co Ltd v Attica Sea Carriers Corp of Liberia (The Laconia)  A.C. 850, United Scientific Holdings Ltd v Burnley BC  A.C. 904, Afovos Shipping Co SA v R Pagnan & Fratelli (The Afovos)  1 W.L.R. 195 and Federal Commerce & Navigation Co Ltd v Molena Alpha Inc (The Nanfri)  Q.B. 927 and doubted the decision in Tenax Steamship Co v Owners of the Motor Vessel Brimnes (The Brimnes)  1 W.L.R. 386.
32. Having reviewed the cases Flaux J. concluded that the wording of clause 5 showed there was an intention, on the part of its authors, to make the clause a condition: there is a clear right to withdraw the vessel where payment is not made punctually. Termination in this way is, after all, one of the primary options available to a party faced with a breach of a condition. Flaux J. also drew support from dicta in various House of Lords cases that the clause was a condition (see Afovos Shipping Co SA v R Pagnan & Fratelli (The Afovos)  1 W.L.R. 195, Mardorf Peach & Co Ltd v Attica Sea Carriers Corp of Liberia (The Laconia)  A.C. 850, United Scientific Holdings Ltd v Burnley BC  A.C. 904 and Bunge Corp v Tradax Export SA  1 W.L.R. 711).
33. Flaux J. distinguished the facts of The Astra from those in The Brimnes, which also concerned a vessel chartered on a NYPE 1946 form, as the charter did not contain an anti-technicality clause. The judge went on to conclude that even in cases where an anti-technicality clause is not incorporated, clause 5 should still be regarded as a condition. The wording of clause 5 made time of the essence for payment of hire even without the anti-technicality clause.
34. Flaux J concluded that clause 5 of the NYPE form is a condition of the charter and a breach would allow the owners to terminate the charter and seek future damages (see paras 109 – 121 of the judgment).
The implications of The Astra judgment
35. Flaux J. found in favour of the owners on two separate points of law. However, Flaux J’s confirmation that a payment of hire clause is a condition of charter (“Flaux J’s comments”) can only be treated as obiter.
36. Further clarification is required, particularly from the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, before Flaux J’s comments can be taken as binding precedent. However, the immediate impact is that any tribunal or first instance court would be entitled to follow the position set out in The Astra and leave the final say in the hands of the higher courts.
37. The implications for owners, in practice, are significant. At the beginning of this article it was suggested that the balance of power was firmly in the hands of the charterers who could either make a number of deductions from hire or withhold payment, reasonably safe in the knowledge that they would not be exposed to damages higher than the amount of hire owing up until the point of withdrawal.
38. Following the decision in The Astra, this balance of power has shifted greatly from charterers to owners. Flaux J’s comments in The Astra have made damages for future losses a much more accessible head of loss following a charterers’ default for failing to pay hire in full and on time. With the backing of Flaux J’s comments owners will become more confident in terminating charters when charterers are in default.
39. No doubt, Flaux J’s comments will receive clarification in the future, but in the meantime, charterers should be cautious when deciding to withhold payment or make unlawful deductions. This was ever the case, as Lord Goff put it in Federal Commerce & Navigation Co Ltd v Molena Alpha Inc (The Nanfri)  A.C. 757:
“a charterer who makes deductions from hire does so at his peril.”
40. If charterers are not certain that they are contractually entitled to make deductions from hire, but are eager to do so, they could take one of the following precautions to protect their position without being exposed to potentially high legal costs if a dispute presents itself;
a. seek an agreement from the owners granting the deduction
b. pay hire under protest and reserve their rights to recover the amount later on or
c. pay the disputed sum into escrow and start proceedings later.
41. At the time of writing the revised NYPE 2013 form is imminent. It remains to be seen whether this new form will provide further clarification as to whether clause 5 is intended to be a condition or not. The NYPE 2013 form should be reviewed by the reader when it is published. Whatever the new form provides, the older NYPE forms will be in use for many years to come and the issues arising will not disappear with the publication of the new form.
Can owners, facing charterers in repudiatory breach of the charter, elect to keep the charter alive?
42. Traditionally, according to the rule set down in White & Carter (Councils) Ltd v McGregor  A.C. 413, an innocent party facing a repudiatory breach of contract may elect to keep the contract alive unless;
a. the defendant’s co-operation is required in order for the claimant to perform the contract or
b. the claimant has no legitimate interest, financial or otherwise, in performing the contract rather than claiming damages.
43. The recent decision of Isabella Shipowner SA v Shagang Shipping Co Ltd (The Aquafaith)  EWHC 1077 (Comm);  2 All E.R. (Comm) 461 provided a modern, shipping specific development, of the test developed in the White and Carter case.
44. In The Aquafaith, the charterers purported to redeliver the vessel 94 days before the contractual redelivery date. The owners refused to accept the redelivery of the vessel and insisted that the charterparty remained alive so that hire would continue to become due.
45. On appeal to the Commercial Court, Cooke J., in relation to the first exception to the rule in White and Carter, held that normal time charters do not require the co-operation of the charterers. The owners’ entitlement to hire will continue regardless of any lack of orders or other failure in performance by the charterers such as a failure to provide bunkers. Cooke J. added that demise charters differ from time charters in that the owners’ entitlement to hire is contingent upon the charterers’ possession of the vessel whilst providing crew and payment of outgoings. Demise charters are unlikely to be treated the same for the purposes of the first exception to the rule in White and Carter.
46. In relation to the second exception and whether owners would have a legitimate interest in maintaining the charter, Cooke J. held that the arbitrator had applied the wrong test. The arbitrator had failed to ask whether the owners’ refusal to accept the repudiation was “beyond all reason”.
47. Cooke J. concluded that “[t]he effect of the authorities is that an innocent party will have no legitimate interest in maintaining the contract if damages are an adequate remedy and his insistence on maintaining the contract could be described as “wholly unreasonable”, “extremely unreasonable” or perhaps “perverse””. This leaves a curious situation where an assessment will have to be made as to whether a demand is unreasonable, in which case the contract can be affirmed, or wholly unreasonable in which case the contract cannot be affirmed.
48. The decision of Cooke J. in The Aquafaith confirms that owners, facing a time charterer in repudiatory breach of charter due to the non-payment of hire, may elect to affirm the contract and keep the charter alive if to do so is not wholly unreasonable.
49. Once an owner has determined that a charterer is in repudiatory breach of contract, they have a ‘reasonable time’ in which to decide if they will terminate the contract or affirm and continue to perform the charter. In White Rosebay Shipping SA v Hong Kong Chain Glory Shipping Limited (Fortune Plum)  EWHC 1355 (Comm) , it was confirmed that a ‘reasonable time’ should be judged on the facts of each individual case. If the owner terminates the contract after the time considered to be reasonable the contract will have been affirmed and owners themselves will be in repudiatory breach.
50. If an owner elects to affirm the contract, they may still have the right to terminate the charter if the charterers’ actions continue to be in repudiatory breach of charter following the owners’ affirmation. In the Fortune Plum the question of whether charterers had continued to be in repudiatory breach after owners affirmed the contract was referred back to the tribunal.
Post-withdrawal of the vessel
51. If the vessel is carrying cargo at the time when the vessel is withdrawn from service then owners will have to consider what their obligations are, what this will cost and who these costs can be recovered from. The following sections deal with some of the losses and expenses which owners may be exposed to and highlights the potential liabilities of the charterers and parties to the relevant bills of lading for those losses.
52. The following cases were decided before The Astra. If payment of hire clauses, such as clause 5 of the NYPE form, are indeed conditions of the charterparty then owners will have less difficulty recovering the following losses as they will be future losses arising out of the breach of a condition.
53. Remuneration for additional services provided and bunkers consumed – Following the withdrawal of the vessel the right to claim hire under the charter ceases. If the owners then perform additional services they may be entitled to claim remuneration for those services at the current market rate.
54. The type of remuneration owners are entitled to, is discussed in ENE 1 Kos Ltd v Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (The Kos)  UKSC 17;  2 A.C. 164. In The Kos, the owners were not bound by bills of lading and the charterparty did not contain an anti-technicality clause. Just over two years into the charter, the charterers missed a hire payment and the owners withdrew the vessel pursuant to an additional clause which gave them this right. Following the withdrawal, the charterers attempted to find a solution with the owners but no solution was found. At the time of the withdrawal, the vessel had just loaded part of a cargo and remained in port whilst the charterers corresponded with the owners. The charterers did not arrange for the vessel to be discharged until after they failed to find a solution with the owners. As a consequence of the delay, the owners’ vessel was detained at the port for 2.64 days, 1.64 days more than if the charterers had organised the discharge immediately following the withdrawal of the vessel. The owners’ claim consisted of the service of the vessel for 2.64 days and the bunkers consumed during that period.
55. The Supreme Court held that no new contract had come into existence following the withdrawal of the vessel as there was no express or implied request from the charterers to perform additional services. However, the court did find in the owner’s favour as the charterparty contained an indemnity clause (Clause 13 of Shelltime 3) which protected the owners against losses arising from risk or cost which they had not expressly or implicitly agreed in the charterparty. On this basis, the owners were awarded the days in service and bunkers consumed.
56. The Supreme Court continued by noting that had the owners’ claim failed under the indemnity clause (or if the charter did not contain an indemnity clause), they would have succeeded at common law in bailment. The owners were considered non-contractual bailees of the cargo following the withdrawal of the vessel and were entitled to be remunerated accordingly.
57. Lord Sumption applied the test set out in China-Pacific SA v Food Corp of India (The Winson)  A.C. 939. Under The Winson test owners will act as bailee if all the following conditions apply;
a. the cargo was originally bailed to the owners under the charter which came to an end while the cargo was still in their possession,
b. as a matter of law, the owners had an obligation to keep the cargo safe which continued notwithstanding the termination of the charterparty and
c. the only reasonable option open to them once the charterparty was terminated was to retain the cargo until it could be discharged at the port where the vessel was located.
58. Additionally, the Supreme Court also commented on the law of unjust enrichment. Lord Sumption suggested that the owners would have succeeded in their claim for unjust enrichment but, as the owners had already won their case on other arguments, no further development was provided. A claim for unjust enrichment would have entitled the owners to remuneration because charterers cannot benefit from their own breach of contract. In this case the breach was the non-payment of hire and the charterers would otherwise have benefited by obtaining free hire of the vessel at the port during discharge operations.
59. In a completely different type of situation, when the owners are at the top of a long chain of charters and the head charterers fail to pay hire, without express wording in the relevant charterparties or bills of lading to state otherwise, the owners are entitled to redirect the payment of freight due under bills of lading direct to themselves and, independently of this right, can also rely on a charterparty lien on sub-freights. This entitlement was the subject of discussion in the recent Court of Appeal decision of Dry Bulk Handy Holding Inc v Fayette International Holdings Ltd (The Bulk Chile)  EWCA Civ 184 when owners served a “notice of lien” on sub-charterers following head charterers’ default in paying hire.
60. The charterparty chain consisted of three additional sub-charterers. All bills of lading were signed by the head owners. The charterparty in question was on NYPE terms and clause 18 provided that “Owners shall have a lien upon all cargoes and all sub-freights for any amounts due under this charter… “ and the bills of lading provided “Freight payable as per [the voyage charter] “. Following the owners’ withdrawal of the vessel, the two sub-charterers served a five day redelivery notice and continued to perform the voyage and discharged the cargo within those five days before redelivering.
61. Amongst a variety of other claims, the owners claimed freight from the shippers (who were also the charterers at the bottom of the chain of charterparties) and also sought remuneration for the continued use of the vessel post-withdrawal.
62. The court held that the sub-charterers’ redelivery notice and continued use of the vessel amounted to a request for the vessel’s services and owners’ claim for hire on this basis succeeded against the sub-charterers.
63. The Court of Appeal also confirmed that a claim for unjust enrichment would have also sufficed, but as was the case in The Kos, the owners’ claim had already succeeded and therefore no specific development on unjust enrichment was provided.
64. Relying on the decision in Tradigrain SA v King Diamond Marine Ltd (The Spiros C)  2 All E.R. (Comm) 542, the Court of Appeal held that the owners were entitled to redirect the payment of freight due under the bills of lading directly to their account as the bills were owners’ bills.
65. Discharge and care of the cargo – If the owners withdraw the vessel whilst there is cargo on board they will have to retain possession of the cargo until it can be safely discharged from the vessel.
66. What obligations and duties owners owe in connection with the cargo, post withdrawal, will depend on the circumstances of each case. If the owners have signed bills of lading for the cargo loaded on board the vessel, they are contractually obliged to deliver the cargo to the destination provided in the bills of lading; this obligation was touched upon in The Bulk Chile. Repudiation of the charter will not affect the obligations and duties which owners owe to the parties to the bills of lading unless expressly stated otherwise.
67. In the decision of Hayn Roman & Co v Culliford (1879) 4 C.P.D. 182 and as discussed above in The Kos, owners in possession of cargo who are not bound by bills of lading, will have an obligation as bailee to take reasonable care of the cargo until it has been discharged from the vessel.
68. Cargo on board when the vessel is withdrawn from charterers and which is subject to a bill of lading will still have to be delivered to the correct consignees or stored at owners cost until it can be delivered to the correct consignees.
– Hayn Roman & Co v Culliford (1879) 4 C.P.D. 182
– A/S Tankexpress v Compagnie Financiere Belge des Petroles SA  A.C. 76
– Hongkong Fir Shipping Co Ltd v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (The Hongkong Fir)  2 Q.B. 26
– White & Carter (Councils) Ltd v McGregor  A.C. 413
– Tenax Steamship Co v Owners of the Motor Vessel Brimnes (The Brimnes)  1 W.L.R. 386
– Mardorf Peach & Co Ltd v Attica Sea Carriers Corp of Liberia (The Laconia)  A.C. 850
– Federal Commerce & Navigation Co Ltd v Molena Alpha Inc (The Nanfri)  Q.B. 927
– Federal Commerce & Navigation Co Ltd v Molena Alpha Inc (The Nanfri)  A.C. 757
– United Scientific Holdings Ltd v Burnley BC  A.C. 904
– China-Pacific SA v Food Corp of India (The Winson)  A.C. 939
– Afovos Shipping Co SA v R Pagnan & Fratelli (The Afovos)  1 W.L.R. 195
– Bunge Corp v Tradax Export SA  1 W.L.R. 711
– Tradigrain SA v King Diamond Marine Ltd (The Spiros C)  2 All E.R. (Comm) 542
– ENE 1 Kos Ltd v Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (The Kos)  EWHC 1843 (Comm);  1 All E.R. (Comm) 669
– ENE 1 Kos Ltd v Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (The Kos)  UKSC 17;  2 A.C. 164
– Isabella Shipowner SA v Shagang Shipping Co Ltd (The Aquafaith)  EWHC 1077 (Comm);  2 All E.R. (Comm) 461
– Dry Bulk Handy Holding Inc v Fayette International Holdings Ltd (The Bulk Chile)  EWCA Civ 184
– Kuwait Rocks Co v AMN Bulkcarriers Inc (The Astra)  EWHC 865 (Comm)
– White Rosebay Shipping SA v Hong Kong Chain Glory Shipping Limited (Fortune Plum)  EWHC 1355 (Comm)