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Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

Twenty Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

Twenty Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

18/02/2015

Trafigura Beheer BV v Navigazione Montanari SpA [2015] 1 C.L.C. 207

This is an archived article, and some links may not work. Contact us if you have any questions.

Michael Ashcroft QC acted for the successful respondent owners (instructed by Ince & Co LLP) in this appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the proper meaning and effect of an "in transit loss" clause in a charterparty. The case is of particular interest to those involved in the energy, commodities, shipping and transportation markets.  

The dispute arose out of the hijacking of a fully laden oil/chemical tanker off the west coast of Africa by armed pirates. The pirates forced the crew of the vessel at gunpoint to discharge nearly $5m worth of the fuel oil cargo on board to an unidentified lightering vessel, which then absconded without trace. The charterers of the vessel, Trafigura, accepted that the owners were not at fault in any way for the cargo loss, but contended that the "in transit loss" clause rendered the owners strictly liable for the loss. The Court of Appeal (upholding Andrew Smith J) rejected that contention. Very clear words would be required to impose such an extraordinary no-fault liability on a contractual counterparty.   The "in transit loss" clause should be interpreted as applying only to a loss occurring during the course of a routine/ordinary voyage. In any event, even if that was wrong, the "in transit loss" clause should be read as qualified by the exceptions from liability in the contract, which clearly excused the owners from liability; there was no irreconcilable consistency between these provisions and they could be harmonised in a sensible way.


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