Casualty / Salvage

Casualties and salvage are at the heart of our marine practice. Our casualty teams consist of experienced maritime lawyers with a nautical background, including a master mariner. We can respond immediately during the critical initial phase of an incident to help secure the evidence needed for use in court or arbitration by taking statements from the crew and collecting documents, VDR and other records. We negotiate with opponents the terms of the letters of undertaking and bank guarantees and, where necessary, make immediate arrest applications for the arrest of sea-going vessels or inland barges to secure our clients’ position. We have outstanding experience with the setting up of limitation funds and applications connected therewith. Our intention is to help our clients avoid court proceedings, but to be fully prepared if proceedings are necessary. To this end, we draw on our extensive knowledge of how vessels are owned, registered, managed and financed (including offshore structures). We also deal with the local authorities, port state control, waterways police, environmental authorities and the press in order to minimise consequential losses and reputational damage.

Selected Cases

  • We have advised and represented a US ship owner and its insurer in relation to German law liability issues arising out of a fire damage onboard a RoRo ship and in the litigation in Germany; we have supported the parallel US discovery proceedings and mediation process.
  • “LISCO GLORIA” – Destruction by fire off Kiel.
  • Capsizing of the tank barge “ENA 2” in Hamburg.
  • Pollution and limitation fund “AN.KA”.
  • Capsizing of the tank barge “WALDHOF” on the river Rhine.
  • Explosion of the tank barge “ALPSRAY” in Lingen.
  • Capsizing and salvage of the barge “LARVIK ROCK”.
  • Sinking of the work boat “ZANDER” off Norderney.
  • Ropax vessel – Black-out on board while in-bound to Lübeck and resulting in damage to shore installations.
  • General cargo vessel – collision on the way into port in Namibia.
  • Collision between four vessels in the port of Hamburg.
  • Collision between an overtaken vessel and a dry-dock.
  • Collision between two vessels off Belgium – We act for owners in the ensuing limitation proceedings in Germany and in various satellite proceedings surrounding the collision.
  • We have acted for the shipowners in disputed GA proceedings in front of the Hamburg courts to obtain payment of cargo’s share of the GA adjustment.
  • Fire on board the ROPAX “NORMAN ATLANTIC” with significant personal injury.
  • Collision of a cargo vessel with a railway bridge.