Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2011] All ER (D) 201 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2011] EWCA Civ 24
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division
Judge:

Rix, Moore-Bick and Patten LJJ

Representation Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and Andrew Henshaw (instructed by Arbis LLP) for the claimant.
  Peter MacDonald Eggers and Sarah Cowey (instructed by Waltons and Morse LLP) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 26 January 2011

Catchwords

Marine insurance - Loss - Actual total loss - Claimant's cargoes aboard vessel captured by Somali pirates - Owners commencing negotiations for payment of ransom in return for release of vessel and crew - Owners expecting negotiations to be successful - Claimant having policy with defendant insurers insuring cargo against piracy - Claimant serving notice of abandonment on defendant - Defendant rejecting notice - On payment of ransom by owners, vessel and cargo released - Whether, on date notice served, there being actual total loss - Judge finding that no actual total loss as claimant not irretrievably deprived of cargoes - Whether judge erring - Whether payment of ransoms against public policy - .

The Case

Marine insurance Loss. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissing the claimant's appeal, held that there had been no actual constructive loss of the cargo of a vessel which had been seized by pirates, where that cargo was quickly released on payment of a ransom. It further held that in the difficult moral circumstances surrounding piracy in Somalia, there was no public policy which prevented the payment of ransoms.

Practice Areas

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