Time Charter Disputes

Time charters provide fertile ground for disputes over such matters as:

● was charterers’ duty to pay hire interrupted by an ‘off-hire’ event?

● if not, were charterers otherwise nonetheless entitled to make deductions from hire?

● did the vessel fail to make the speed that owners represented she could do or consume more bunkers than represented?

● are charterers liable for damage caused by stevedores or by the harmful properties of the cargo?

● when cargo interests claim against owners for damage to cargo, are charterers liable to indemnify owners?

● are charterers liable for redelivering the vessel late at the end of the charter?

The majority of charters provide for disputes to be referred to arbitration, mostly in London. Other arbitration centers include New York and Paris. There has been increased use of mediation in recent years, but few charter parties today contain mediation clauses that oblige the parties to try mediation before resorting to arbitration. Most maritime arbitrations in London are conducted according to the Rules of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA)