ITLOST? The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Sounds the Charge to Expand Coastal State Jurisdiction

Amid bunkering fishing vessels authorized to operate in Guinea-Bissau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the M/V Virginia G, a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker, was arrested for “the repeated practice of fishing related activities in the form of [the] unauthorized sale of fuel to ships fishing in [Guinea-Bissau’s] EEZ.” The VIRGINIA G was contracted by Empresa Balmar Pesquerias de Atlantico (Balmar) on August 7, 2009, to provide gas ... Read More »

The Rise of the Exoneration Clause: The Second Circuit Holds a Downstream Covenant Not To Sue Enforceable in Sompo Japan Insurance Co. of America v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.

In the spring of 2006, a train carrying a range of manufactured good from East Asia, including tractors, automotive parts, and copy machines, derailed outside of Dallas, Texas. Much of the cargo was destroyed. Assigning liability in the wake of the derailment required untangling the web of intermodal carriage contracts governing the damaged shipments. Two cargo owners contracted with Nippon Express U.S.A. (Nippon Express), a ... Read More »

Change Is in the Air (and at Sea): The Fifth Circuit Redraws the Lines of Federal Authority over Investigation of Maritime Disasters in United States v. Transocean Deepwater Drilling, Inc.

United States v. Transocean Deepwater Drilling, Inc., came in the aftermath of one of the watershed maritime events of this quarter century. On April 20, 2010, Transocean’s DEEPWATER HORIZON, a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), was drilling the Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico when a blowout, explosion, and fire occurred. Eleven people lost their lives, and significant amounts of hazardous substances entered ... Read More »

Adrift at Sea in Search of the Proper Scope of the Penhallow Rule: D’Amico Dry Ltd. v. Primera Maritime (Hellas) Ltd.

Bulk carrier and panama operator D’Amico Dry Limited brought suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to enforce an English court’s judgment awarding D’Amico over $1.7 million on a contract claim against Primera Maritime (Hellas) Limited. Primera had failed to pay on a freight forwarding agreement (FFA) between the two parties. Because FFAs are not maritime contracts under ... Read More »

The Ninth Circuit Writes an Obituary for Section 903(c) of the LHWCA in Kealoha v. Director, Office of Workers Compensation Programs

William Kealoha’s life changed forever when he fell twenty-five to fifty feet from a barge onto a dry dock, the first of several tragic events over a two-year crescendo that would ultimately leave Kealoha mentally and physically crippled. Kealoha’s fall occurred while employed as a ship laborer fro Leeward Marine Inc. (Leeward) and resulted in blunt trauma to the head, chest, and abdomen, a fractured ... Read More »

Brokers and Buyers Beware: Underwriters Are Nickel-and-Dimed by Strict Interpretation of Language in Excess and Umbrella Policies of Offshore Energy Companies

Hurricane Ike swept through the Gulf of Mexico in September 2008, leaving behind more than $150 million in damage to more than 150 offshore platforms in which W&T Offshore (W&T) had a commercial interest. In preparation for just such a storm, W&T purchased three types of insurance: (1) a commercial general liability policy (the “primary liability” policy), (2) five energy package policies (energy packages), and ... Read More »

The Role of Insurance Brokers at the Formation Stage of Marine Insurance Contracts in China

During the formation of marine insurance contracts in China, a broker acting as an intermediary between assured and insurer plays an important role. This Article will focus mainly on legal issues about the legal statutes, duties, and rights of brokers. Due to the profound impacts brought by marine insurance law in the United Kingdom and the well-known practice of formation of insurance contracts in Lloyd’s, ... Read More »

Ebola Virus: Considerations for Vessel Owners and Charterers

More than 10,000 people have died in West Africa following the current outbreak of Ebola, which began in March 2014. Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria are the worst-affected countries. Although until now no port on the West African coast was closed, local authorities have started to restrict entrance of vessels that previously called on neighboring countries affected by the outbreak. Additionally, there are examples ... Read More »

The EU Directive on Self-Employed Commercial Agents—Applicability and Mandatory Scope

The aim of this Article is to present recent developments in European Union (EU) agency law concerning the applicability and mandatory scope of the Directive on the Coordination of the Laws of the Member States Relating to Self-Employed Commercial Agents (Directive). The Directive is of interest for several reasons. It represents one of the few areas of contract law in the EU, outside the field ... Read More »

Do Charterparty Arbitration Clauses Bind Brokers?—From a Perspective of Chinese Law

It is a very common practice in the international shipping market to negotiate and to conclude charterparties via brokers. Therefore, a commission clause is usually contained in the charterparty. In cases where a party delays or refuses to perform its contractual responsibility to remit the commission and where the charterparty does not contain a broker agreement or arbitration clause that expressly references commission-related disputes, two ... Read More »