Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2017] All ER (D) 54 (May)
Neutral Citation: [2017] UKSC 35
Court: Supreme Court

Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Hodge and Lord Toulson SCJJ

Representation Michael Davey QC (instructed by Winter Scott LLP) for Sinochart.
  Mark Howard QC, James M Turner QC and Simon Birt QC (instructed by Ince & Co LLP) for Gard.
  Dominic Kendrick QC, David Goldstone QC and Gavin Geary (instructed by MFB Solicitors) for Daiichi.
Judgment Dates: 10 May 2017


Shipping - Charterparty - Safe port - Vessel having been wrecked in severe storm - Claimant insurers seeking recovery of value of vessel from demise charterers for breach of safe port warranty in charterparties - Judge finding port being unsafe and charterers being in in breach of safe port warranty - Court of Appeal, Civil Division, setting aside judge's decision on basis that casualty caused by 'abnormal occurrence' with result that no breach of safe port warranty having occurred - Whether Court of Appeal erring.

The Case

Shipping Charterparty. The appeal concerned the action by the claimant hull insurers against the charterers of a vessel for recovery of the value of the vessel which had been wrecked in a port during a severe storm. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the charterer's appeal against the judge's decision that the casualty had been caused by the unsafety of the port in breach of a warranty in the demise charterparty. The Court of Appeal held that in the light of relevant caselaw, the casualty had been caused by an 'abnormal occurrence' with the result that no breach of the safe port warranty had occurred.The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal's decision and dismissed the claimant's appeal.

Practice Areas

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