Admiralty, Maritime Dispute Resolution
Rahman’s Chambers is one of the leading law firms in the area of Admiralty and maritime. The Firm for a decade successfully handling claims for local and foreign clients on different issues like bunker claim, collision, mortgage and charge claim, claim for freight, lien, sub-freight of ship-owner, charterers, salary and wages of the crew, seaman, disputes involving cargo damage and ship cargo ownership disputes etc. The firm represented carrier, shipper, bank, seaman and manager, P & I Club and also ship-owner with a very high success rate. Our Chambers has long experience of dealing with almost every kind of litigation involving shipping. The Chambers and Partners ranked us under the spotlight table for shipping for seven consecutive years and Chambers and Partners 2023 Asia Pacific Guide gave review: “Specialist shipping practice covering the full scope of maritime issues including ship arrests, marine insurance, bills of lading and admiralty. Also active on collision cases, often representing international P&I clubs and shipping companies”.
Rahman’s Chambers has been ranked for Dispute Resolution for the second first time, in addition to being consecutively ranked for “Shipping” (covering commercial works) under the “Spotlight Law Firm” table for seven consecutive years
– Chambers and Partners, 2023, 2022
“Represented London P&I Club and a shipowner in LMAA arbitration, in a payment to hire dispute involving a charterer.”
–Chambers and Partners, 2021
“the firm is “thorough in terms of maritime law, investigating facts in detail, and are good at following up.”
–Chambers and Partners, 2020
“Specialist shipping practice covering the full scope of maritime issues including ship arrests, marine insurance, bills of lading and admiralty. Also handles shipbuilding matters as well as ownership disputes, mortgage claims and cargo damage claims Offers further capabilities in international trade, commercial litigation and project finance.”
–Chambers and Partners, 2019
–Chambers & Partners, 2018.
Our Reported Cases
- First Security Islami Bank Ltd vs MV Javed and others reported in 69 DLR (2017) 408
- Maersk Bangladesh Limited vs Bangladesh reported in 4CLC(HCD)79.
- Alvi Spinning Mills Ltd & Others vs Govt of Bangladesh and others reported in 19 MLR(HCD)277
- Marodi Services vs MV Swift Cro. reported in 2 CLR(HCD) (2014) 456
- Freight Management and 16 others vs Bangladesh Bank reported in 2 CLR (HCD) 586; 19 MLR (HCD)336
The Chambers lawyers regularly appear in the Admiralty court of the Hon‟ble High Court Division for several claims for different parties with or without an application for Ship arrest on an urgent basis. The Chambers knows the urgency and procedure of ship arrest and its response is always immediate. As our client says about Mr. Rahman:
We understand the issues at stake. As our client says:
The following works were completed by Chambers successfully:
- Successfully recovered agency claim arising out of damaged quay by filing admiralty suit in Bangladesh for SEA-invest Shipping Agency.
- Successfully advised Cosco Shipping and assisted in releasing vessel M.V. LE TAI in agency dues related claims.
BULK CARGO DAMAGE
- We have successfully represented a leading P & I Club and the owner of MV Evolution in a complex dispute involving damage of bulk cargo in Chattogram (previously Chittagong) outer encourage. There were complex issues involving the liability of the master in cargo damage, rules & regulation on dumping of damaged cargo, which lead to a significant delay in discharging and release of the vessel. While suits filed by both parties were pending, we were able to reach a settlement, which ensured full discharge of cargo and release of the vessel within the shortest possible time.
BUNKER & SUPPLIES
- Successfully recovered dues and interest for Marodi Services S.A.S, Italy and Ocean Energy Limited, Monaco for the supply of Bunker to M.V. SWIFT CRO and MT MEGACORE HONAMI respectfully.
- Successfully commenced admiralty suit for Integr8 Fuels Inc, U.K. for breach of terms for the supply of Bunker quality against the local supplier.
- We acted on behalf of the Master of the vessel M. V. OCEAN RICH jointly with Polaw & Co, a law firm based in Shanghai on issues involving marine supply contracts and successfully assisted the Master to release the vessel through negotiation.
CARRIAGE OF GOODS & DELIVERY
- We are assisting client in a complex maritime dispute involving the forceful deviation of vessel by Iranian Navy and discharge of crude oil by Iranian Court in a dispute involving multiple sale of the same crude oil to a number of buyers. We handled the claim brought in Bangladesh by Chinese buyer and assisted the client on releasing the vessel from the arrest order
- We have successfully launched a proceeding against a receiver of cargo, consignees and notify parties. It is claimed that the receiver has taken delivery of cargo by producing canceled BL by exercising fraud upon several parties. The Hon’ble judge Mr. Justice Khurshid Alam Sarker, Admiralty court of High Court Division was pleased to admit the suit. We represented a leading shipowner.
- We have successfully logged a proceeding against customs authority, consignee, C & F agents, etc. for missing cargo and related demurrage, detention & release of container.
- Advising Yusen Logistics (Bangladesh) Ltd., a subsidiary of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK LINE), in a complex dispute involving non-delivery of cargo and associated detention & demurrage claim, and determining the responsibility of consignee, shipper, customs authority, logistics company & shipowner related to such claim.
- Successfully represented Swiss Singapore in an Admiralty suit involving a claim of loss and damage of cargo against the Shipowner.
- Successfully commenced an admiralty suit for Seramontt Limited, UK against M.V. Dahiatul Kalbi for recovery of loss of cargo and acted for Achates Shipping Corp., Greece, owner of M. V. KOUROUPI in relation to a cargo dispute.
- We acted for Bunge S.A., Switzerland, disponent owner of M. V. SUPRASTAR over dispute involving freight, hire and discharge of cargo resulted in filing of a number of admiralty suits in Bangladesh and the same was settled as so far admiralty suit is involved unless it is allowed to discharge the cargo and sail from territorial water of Bangladesh.
- We are representing our client OOCL in complex litigation involving taking discharge of cargo with a copy of canceled bill of lading and also on the rights and liabilities of ship-owners to issue a new bill of lading at the instruction of the shipper.
- We have handled a complex dispute and claim involving the delivery of cargo to the consignee without the production of shipping documents. Based on the Letter of Indemnity only by major shipping Line, the consignee a major retain chain took delivery of the cargo, but in the meantime went into bankruptcy proceedings. Consequently, it failed to make payment to the exporter, making the Line face a serious tortious claim for negligence arising from failure to deliver the cargo with the production of original shipping documents.
- The chambers successfully commenced a case for the major UK-based global seller/shipper of food grain in recovering dues against the carrier/shipowner by filing Admiralty suits for cargo damage caused due to deviation & delay.
- We represent a major global supplier of Vegetable oil from Malaysia in a dispute arising out of cargo shortfall in Bangladesh in a suit filed by the consignee.
- We have advised clients over Charter-party claims pending in LMAA arising from claims over sub freight involving the discharge of cargo in Mongla port. We have also advised Piraeus based shipping company along with the concerned P & I Club and owner of M. V. GRIGORIY SHELINKOV over a charter-party dispute arising owing to demurrage and damages for detention.
CONTAINERISED CARGO DAMAGE
- Our shipping department was successful in arresting a container vessel at Chittagong port berthing for its alleged involvement with causing damage to a Fire Truck imported for CAAB for Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka due to negligent discharge operation.
- Assisted client in arresting vessel for causing damage to cargo.
- We have assisted our client, Hapag-Lloyd, in a dispute arising out of an allision with a gantry crane of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA). The matter was particularly complex as the CPA exercised its statutory power to claim loss & damages and the same has been challenged before the Hon’ble Admiralty Court successfully and the vessel was released on furnishing of security instead of paying in full & final satisfaction of the claim raised by CPA
- Chambers jointly with MFB Solicitors, London advised GARD and MT Burgan on a collision between MT Burgan and MV X-Press Mahananda at Chittagong.
- We have successfully resolved the dispute out of court on multiple collision matters at Chattogram anchorage securing the ship owner’s interest on behalf of the leading P & I Club for the vessel M.V. MIM SUPRAMAX VIVI. A very first suit for limitation of liability has also been filed by our firm under the coverage of P&I Club in this matter. While suits filed by both parties were pending for trial, we successfully settled the matter with the other side out of court protecting the client’s best interest.
- Successfully released a Marshall Island flagged vessel from detention through court order for owners and a leading P&I Club in a sensational collision incident with frigates of Bangladesh Navy, naval berth by submitting local Bank guarantee. The release was challenging as it was completed in and around the national holiday period, while the court was on vacation. A limitation of liability suit has also been filed by our firm under the coverage of P&I Club.
- Successfully settled collision claim for a leading P & I Club and Sea Satin Oceanway S.A. of Liberia and MV Marina R against MV FRANBO WIND and others.
FREIGHT, CHARGES & CONTAINERS
- We acted for the owner of MV GLOBAL HARMONY, in a complex dispute involving a claim of lien over cargo for failure to pay freight. We were finally able to settle the matter out of the court successfully and assisted the concerned P & I Club.
- Assisting OOCL for recovering freight and charges related dues from a local shipper.
- Advised S.I. Chowdhury and Co. ltd regarding recovery of outstanding dues involving towing, submerging, operation of assets, tug boat services of vessels, piloting etc.
- Successfully recovered claims for due salary, wages and service fees for Sea Power Shipping Enterprises. Inc., a Ship-Manning company against MV LORD.
SHIP FINANCE & MORTGAGE/CHARGE
- Successfully pleaded for protection of the jurisdiction of the Admiralty court as opposed to specialized tribunals for loan recovery cases filed for Banks for ship finance and mortgage in the landmark decision reported in 69 DLR (2017) 408 and also advised Kuwait Finance House Malaysia BHD, May Bank Malaysia over disputes involving trade finance which led to filing of admiralty suit in Bangladesh.
- commenced a co-ownership claim for First Security Islami Bank Limited against the respective local owner.
- Successfully litigated a Civil Revision between Ernst Komrowski Holding KG (GmbH & Co) vs Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd over claim involving finance for infrastructure development of builder.
- Successfully handled a case for Komrowski Maritime, Germany in a shipbuilding dispute against a local shipyard for recovery of dues against supplies.
- Successfully litigated Admiralty suit between Hyldebrand Singapore Pte. Ltd vs Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Limited over a claim relating to shipbuilding contract.
- Successfully litigated arbitration petition between Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd vs. Komrowski Maritim GMBH, Germany over drawing of bank guarantee.
- Advised a local insurance company on issues pertaining to general average in light of the current laws, policies and regulations of the shipping industry in Bangladesh.
We have commenced admiralty suit and arrested the several vessels including MV JAVED **, MV MARINA***, MV LORD ***, MV **ASTAR, MV ***KALBI, MV ****DIAMOND etc.
We have assisted our client in releasing several vessels by submitting bank guarantee, LoU etc.
We have filed caveat and defended arrest including but not limited to the following vessels MV ***HARMONY, MV **ROUPI, MT GALA, MV ***FORCE, etc.
Practice Guide-Shipping ( Admiralty Maritime Dispute Resolution)
Bangladesh is a maritime country with 710 KM of coastline at the vertex of the Bay of Bengal. It has two major seaports largest, and busiest one is in Chittagong and the other port is in Mongla at Khulna. Another port named Paira in Potuakhali District is under construction. Besides, a deep sea port named Matarbari Port is under construction for importing coal required for the power plant, which will include a 760m-long container and a multi-purpose terminal. The admiralty court is located in the High Court in Dhaka. All maritime and admiralty related claims and proceedings are brought before the Admiralty court. Due to several factors like weather conditions, condition at the port, navigation error, pilotage etc collision does occur and such cases are not very uncommon in Admiralty court. Similarly, ownership disputes for local seagoing and non-sea going vessels are required to be brought before this court and the same are a regular item of this court. Foreign and local bunker suppliers, crews and mortgagee banks often invoke this jurisdiction for recovering their dues by arresting the vessels lying in Bangladesh territory. Involvement of International P&I Clubs and local and foreign Banks are a common affair as without their undertaking or bank guarantee respectively, the release of the ship cannot be insured. Claims arising from the carriage of goods, Shortfall of Cargo, Cargo damage, dead freight failure to pay freight and hire etc are nowadays common items as litigants are now more concerned with their rights. Action in rem for charter party claims for sub-freight on cargo lien can also be brought in limited cases depending on the arbitration clause.
Ship arrest is a common remedy available to compel recovery in majority suits filed in the admiralty court. The admiralty law, unlike other civil law matters, allows the arrest of the ship where the plaintiff has a maritime lien or the right to arrest under as action in rem.
Legal assistance is needed for disputes involving ship mortgage, ship finance, L/C related fraudulent transaction involving vessel, etc.
Legal service is essential for resolving co-ownership disputes involving possession, earning from vessels, chartering, mortgage etc. Our admiralty law allows maritime lien for co-ownership claims. Arresting vessel to enforce claim involving co-ownership disputes is often found very useful.
Taking timely legal action in collision matters often plays crucial roles in resolving disputes effectively. This is a specialized filed of law requires prior knowledge, experience and ability to deal with complex issues involving collision.
The Chambers has significant expertise in dealing with disputes arising from the carriage of goods which involves several parties ie. shippers, freight forwarders, local agents, banks, carriers, insurers, receivers and others. Legal assistance is vital in case of disputes involving loss of cargo, damage of cargo, a shortfall of cargo, demand for compensation etc.
The services require previous experience of working for crews, foreign ship managers and suppliers of crew to effectively assist clients to recover the wages, fees etc. Legal assistance is important over disputes involving claims of seamen regarding salary, wages etc.
Due to complexity of the transactions, prior experience essential to deal with claims involving chartering e.g. claim for hire, B/L claim for freight, demurrage and detention claim etc. Charter-party hire related disputes are mostly resolved through arbitration as per contractual terms. In exceptional cases, charter-party hire related disputes may be enforced as action in rem by filing admiralty suit in the Bangladesh territory as a means of recovery of claim which allows the arrest of the ship in question. The ability to exercise the lien rights is also subject to local law.
Related Resources - Library
We have a rich library with a mixture of printed and online legal databases. We have printed version of All England Commercial Cases, Indian Digest of Supreme Court cases, Yearbook Commercial Arbitration of Wolter Kluwer and most law reports of Bangladesh. We subscribe to the online legal database Manuputra providing access to most reputed law reports. Read more
Unlike any other law firm in Bangladesh, we have the same number of highly skilled and efficient management staff as the lawyers. For admiralty matters our Paralegal & Clerk Department plays a very important role.
Our Related Offices
Our offices are strategically located at different places serving various goals and objectives e.g. accessibility to clients, mobility of our resources, accessibility to courts and different offices, saving time, etc. For shipping matters, our Banani main office provides the most resources while Chittagong Branch plays an important role in urgent and critical cases e.g. arrest of vessels, release, survey, etc. Similarly, our SCBA setup provides timely Admiralty court related and clerical support.