Background Facts – An oil tanker carrying a flammable cargo collided with a bulk carrier en route to Singapore.

Emergency Response Issues – In addition to the immediate casualty response requirements, the cargo on board had been purchased and on-sold, but neither of these contracts had yet been performed when the collision occurred and the vessel was engulfed in flames – in particular, the cargo had not yet been paid for.

Our Role – The Reed Smith casualty response team was immediately mobilized. Urgent advice was required on how best to protect the position of those parties interested in the cargo, against the owners of the colliding vessel, and against insurers.

Outcome – Reed Smith advised cargo interests through the immediate aftermath of the disaster until a satisfactory recovery was made. Reed Smith was able to secure for clients a significantly higher recovery than was made by other parties with cargo on board the vessel, by taking early strategic decisions that affected limitation of claims and avoided a smaller limitation “pot” affecting some of the other interested parties.