LIDW24: The Supreme Court ruling in the POLAR and its implications for war risks disputes between shipowners, charterers and cargo interests

Time: 14:00 - 15:30
Venue: HFW, 9th Floor, 8 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4BQ


Thank you to all who joined our panel discussing the Supreme Court ruling in the Herculito Maritime Ltd v. Gunvor International BV [2024] UKSC 2 and its wide-ranging implications for owners, charterers, bill of lading holders and their respective insurers. The ruling, which clarified the scope and effect of charterparty war risks clauses said to be incorporated into bills of lading, is likely to have current significance because of the Houthi rebel attacks occurring in the Red Sea.  
The panel discussed the MT POLAR which was seized by Somali pirates in 2010 whilst transiting the Gulf of Aden. A ransom was paid for the vessel’s release and the shipowner sought to recover cargo's proportion of the ransom in General Average. Cargo interests argued, unsuccessfully, that the war risks clauses in the charterparty amounted to a complete insurance code in the bills of lading such that shipowners should recover their losses from their insurers and could not recover from cargo interests. 
Guy Blackwood KC led Oliver Caplin KC for the successful shipowners, their H&M and their K&R underwriters instructed by HFW's Richard Neylon and Jenny Salmon. 
This event was hosted by HFW, in conjunction with Quadrant Chambers and Twenty Essex.

Moderator: Sarra Kay, Arbitrator                              

Guy Blackwood KC, Quadrant Chambers   
Oliver Caplin KC, Twenty Essex                         
Jenny Salmon, Legal Director, HFW