Reed Smith Client Alerts

On 30 July 2020, the UK Supreme Court granted Owners of the CMA CGM Libra leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court from the decision of the Court of Appeal in The CMA CGM LIBRA (“Alize 1954 and another (Appellants) v Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG and others (Respondents)” ).

Authors: Richard M. Gunn

This was in response to the Appeal Application filed on behalf of the Owners of the CMA CGM LIBRA which was supported by the International Group of P&I Clubs as an Intervening Party. The Supreme Court hearing dates are yet to be set down.

Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was the first step by Owners in their effort to reverse the ruling of the two Courts below to the effect that a defective Passage Plan can render a vessel unseaworthy. In those earlier rulings it was held that any such error, is attributable to the carrier or owner, and constitutes a failure to exercise ‘due diligence’ before and at the commencement of the voyage to make the vessel seaworthy under the Hague/Hague-Visby Rules. As the lower Courts’ ruling also represents a significant shift of the risk of loss caused by navigational mistakes (for which owners have a defence) on to owners’ Mutual Insurers, this has given rise to the interest of the International Group.