There are constantly tens of thousands of ships moving cargo about the world. This number does not include the other passenger and pleasure craft that are own our seas.
All of these vessels can and do move around the globe. They are subject to a myriad of obligations, contractual and otherwise, across a variety of jurisdictions.
Northern Ireland has a number of ports; the Port of Belfast is one of the largest in Ireland. When a maritime dispute arises, Northern Ireland may be the appropriate jurisdiction either because the vessel is docked here or because one of the parties has links to Northern Ireland.
We receive instructions from organisations and their insurers and our counterparts in Great Britain and beyond. Our expertise and knowledge of the maritime practice and procedure in Northern Ireland means we are ideally placed, usually where there is a degree of urgency, to act quickly and advise our clients on the best commercial options available to resolve maritime disputes. We work in tandem with specialist barristers and marine surveyors to provide a one stop service.
Our team has extensive experience advising on maritime claims. Recently we have been involved in High Court litigation concerning liability for cargo damage with multiple Defendants.
Anecdotally, there are less than 5 ship arrests per year in Northern Ireland. Our team has been involved in numerous arrests. In 2016, we were involved in 2 of them as part of multi-jurisdictional claims. One of them was the subject of several judgments of the High Court in Northern Ireland which clarified and developed the law in Northern Ireland.
Our team consists of dispute resolution lawyers. Their knowledge of the Northern Ireland Court and its practice and procedure are crucial, particularly when the issues are urgent and an emergency application may be required.