Vessels of all kinds are increasingly becoming larger and more complex. But, so too are the costs of disputes relating to their construction, sale and purchase.

That is why it is essential that all parties involved in a construction project, or vessel sale or purchase, sign a contract that is well-structured, unambiguous and subject to a single interpretation.

The disputes that can arise during a new build, purchase or sale are myriad. At Shearwater Law, we are adept at drafting and reviewing contracts that avoid (or at least minimise) disputes. Our team is also well versed in providing advice and support - engaging in mediation, and if necessary, litigation.

New builds

Representing significant investments, new build projects or refits that result in disputes can have deleterious effects upon the parties engaged. Some of the issues and disputes that can occur during new build projects include:

  • Design risk - ships not being built to specification, modifications to the original specification, disputes over the time and price, consequences of modifications, design outside of specification.
  • Quality control - disputes over the results of sea trials, ‘deemed acceptance’, and warranties.
  • Finance - disputes over payment schedules, price escalation clauses, and refund guarantees.
  • Contractual defaults - buyers’ defaults, builders’ defaults, delays.

Ship sales and purchases

As with any sale and purchase transactions, the sale and purchase of ships can result in disputes.

Examples of ship sale and purchase related disputes include:

  • Memorandum of agreement (MOA) - disputes over the clauses and content of MOAs.
  • Inventory - disputes and disagreements regarding a vessel’s inventory.
  • Surveys, inspections, and sea trials - disputes over the results of surveys, inspections and sea trials.
  • Classification - disputes over the technical standards that the ship meets or doesn’t meet.
  • Delivery of vessel and documents - failure to provide the full suite of documents listed in the MOA (which can include a Bill of Sale, Certificate of Deletion from previous registry, Evidence of Class etc).

Shearwater Law is able to provide you with advice on all new build, refit and sale and purchase issues.

Thanks to our experience acting for both builders and owners, we are adept at building cases that take opposing arguments into account and which work towards successful resolutions.

We have a level of insight and knowledge regarding new build, refits and sale and purchase disputes that is unmatched by the more generic legal firms on the market.

Our approach to new build, sale and purchase disputes

The longer a vessel is sat in a shipyard or laying idle, the more time and money is lost by both builders and owners alike.

That is why here at Shearwater Law, we take a commercially-focused approach to new build, refit, sale and purchase disputes.

Our aim is to focus on the merits of each case, avoiding unnecessary digressions or distractions. By taking a pragmatic, diligent approach, we are often able to avoid litigation. However, should litigation be unavoidable, we are proficient at building exceptionally strong cases.

Speak to Shearwater Law first

Whether you are considering commissioning a new build, refit or thinking about purchasing or selling a vessel, make Shearwater Law your first port of call.

Or, if you are already embroiled in a dispute, then Shearwater Law can help you with that, too.

Contact us now.

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