Dry shipping

Charterparties, bills of lading, cargo claims and general average are a core specialty of LEBUHN & PUCHTA. The firm has advised and represented clients in all types of claims ranging from the smaller, typical cargo claim to the very high value cases involving major casualties. The firm is one of the most experienced in Germany in this area.

Selected Cases

  • We act for German freight forwarder clients defending claims for damages brought by the transport accident insurers following the loss of the cargo due to the sinking of the “MOL COMFORT”.
  • We have acted for a client in a large claim for loss of hire under a long-term time charter in a multi-jurisdictional dispute involving countries including the UK, South Africa, Australia, China, Singapore and Malaysia. The pursuit of the claim involved repeatedly exercising liens on sub-freight and carrying out multiple ship arrests. The case involved major issues such as the existence of a repudiatory breach for non-payment of hire under the charter and the question of common control of various members of a complex shipping group for the purpose of an associated ship arrest. Complex strategic considerations were involved due to the insolvency of the charterer debtor and the many jurisdictions involved. The claims and counter-claims were pursued on the merits in parallel in various jurisdictions and involved piecing of the corporate veil.
  • We acted for clients in a London arbitration pursuing a substantial claim for loss of hire following the failure of the clients’ charterer to take delivery of the vessel as a newbuilding. The dispute involved complex delivery provisions in the chain of charter parties and the question whether they were aligned with those of the shipbuilding contract. The case also involved the issue as to whether the vessel was in a deliverable condition under the shipbuilding contract.
  • We have acted for clients in respect of an overconsumption claim in respect of a group of vessels on charter from the clients’ group. The claim involved bunker reporting practices and the issue whether charterers had a right of equitable set-off against hire.
  • We have advised charterers under the sub-charter for an offshore supply vessel following the suspension of the vessel’s service under the head charter due to insolvency of the disponent owners.
  • We have been involved in filing and proving large claims loss of hire and other ancillary claims in foreign court-supervised rehabilitation proceedings opened in respect of major insolvent charterers.
  • We have drafted the bill of lading terms for a tank container operator.
  • We have advised our client in the establishment of its own standard-form time charter for crew transfer vessels for the offshore wind industry.
  • We have advised a client in connection with its participation in tender proceedings for offshore supply vessels for the construction and servicing of windfarms.
  • We have advised a client in relation to service contracts for complying with regulatory environmental obligations applicable to wind farms.
  • We have acted for owners in defending personal injury claims brought by stevedores following injury on board.
  • We have acted for owners and their crew in relation to a water pollution offence in German coastal waters.
  • We have acted for stevedores in relation to their lien over empty containers and the forced sale of the containers.
  • We have acted for clients in a multiple claim against shipmanagers in respect of unpaid insurance tax relating to a series of large tankers. The case involved considering the effect of complex OPEX guarantee and participation provisions in the shipmanagement contracts.
  • We have acted for a shipowner client challenging the arrest of its vessel in South East Asia in respect of a claim for unpaid bunkers. We challenged the arrest by way of appeal proceedings in the local jurisdiction of the arrest and by way of proceedings in the home jurisdiction of the bunker supplier to force the release of the vessel.
  • We acted for the client in respect of the collision of its vessel with a pier following a blackout on board. The vessel was detained by the German authorities and criminal proceedings were initiated against the vessel’s crew. Following the initial urgent investigation phase, the vessel was released without provision of security and the proceedings against the crew were not pursued.
  • We have advised clients in connection with the leakage of hazardous liquid from a number of containers, which involved unplanned discharge at an intermediate port and rejection of the goods. The case involved complex issues of ownership of the cargo under the sale contract, title to sue under the bills of lading and coverage under the cargo policy.
  • We have advised clients in a dispute under a time charter surrounding the condition of the vessel on redelivery and on the meaning of “damage” to the vessel.