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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Strengthening of INTERTANKO’s Legal & Documentary Section

Increased Emphasis on INTERTANKO’s Freight and Demurrage collection services. John Fawcett-Ellis employed as in-house solicitor by INTERTANKO.

INTERTANKO’s Legal & Documentary Section, has under the direction of INTERTANKO’s Legal Counsel, Svein Ringbakken, engaged in a wide range of important issues on behalf of the tanker industry.

The section is running INTERTANKO’s Washington representation programme, as well as the Washington State lawsuit together with INTERTANKO’s Legal Counsel in the U.S., Jonathan Benner of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott.

The section has together with external experts produced a comprehensive and widely published booklet on the legal implications of the ISM Code, as well as a number of tanker chartering publications.

The section also provides the secretarial services for INTERTANKO’s Insurance Committee which among other issues has been heavily engaged in dialogue with P&I and other insurance and shipowning interests in order to secure appropriate levels and allocation of insurance costs.

INTERTANKO’s Documentary Committee which deals with tanker chartering issues has recommended that further emphasis should be placed on INTERTANKO’s Freight and Demurrage Information Pool ("FDIP"). The FDIP assists INTERTANKO members with the recovery of outstanding freight and demurrage. This service really contributes directly to participating members’ bottom line. Bearing in mind the wide range of engagements for the Legal Section there was no doubt that INTERTANKO’s Legal Section needed to be strengthened in order to be able to continue to focus resources on the FDIP. INTERTANKO has employed a London solicitor, John Fawcett-Ellis, who’s particular task will therefore be to focus on INTERTANKO’s FDIP work.

The Chairman of INTERTANKO’s Documentary Committee, John Lean, of Botany Bay Parcel Tankers, and Chairman of the Steamship Mutual P&I Club, who initiated the strengthening of INTERTANKO’s FDIP services said:

"The Documentary Committee is gratified to note the support of the secretariat in the recent appointment of John Fawcett-Ellis, who in conjunction with Svein Ringbakken, will head up a much re-vitalised Freight and Demurrage Information Pool (FDIP).

Demurrage is of course a major concern to all of us, and the cost of collection is high, both in time and money."

The success of FDIP is reflected in the results achieved. Assistance rendered by FDIP in the past fourteen years has resulted in the payment of claims worth close to an incredible USD 66 million. Moreover, many charterers and traders who have repeatedly failed to respond to Members' claims and reminders over a period of time have been persuaded by FDIP to bring the settlement process to a satisfactory conclusion.

At present, 171 INTERTANKO Members are participating in the Pool. It should be noted that FDIP only aims to speed up the processing and settlement of claims; it does not interfere with the transfer of moneys between charterers and owners.

On behalf of the Documentary Committee, John Lean stated:

"We believe that an effective and strong FDIP, supported where necessary by professional opinion from the Legal, P & I, and practising operations- members of the Documentary Committee, will provide a "collection service" that will recover, in outstanding otherwise "lost" demurrage, much more than the cost of an INTERTANKO membership."

INTERTANKO’s Managing Director, Dagfinn Lunde said:

"I have emphasised the importance for INTERTANKO also to concentrate on activities such as FDIP which contributes to members’ bottom line. It is important that shipping organisations can engage in activities which give direct results in terms of cash returns to members. Many of our activities give tremendous payback to members, but it is not always that easy to show. With a successful recovery of freight and demurrage members get a very tangible benefit from their membership."

INTERTANKO’s Legal Counsel, Svein Ringbakken stated:

"I am delighted with the employment of John Fawcett-Ellis, who together with Ann Sæther of the Legal & Documentary Section, already has recovered substantial amounts of outstanding demurrage and other claims for members. The fact that INTERTANKO’s FDIP can achieve this by supporting individual members, lawyers acting on their behalf as well as their defence and P&I clubs is encouraging. This shows that INTERTANKO as an organisation can effectively support members in commercial issues alongside other professional players. FDIP is a supplement not an alternative to these professionals."

John Fawcett-Ellis

John Fawcett-Ellis joined INTERTANKO’s Legal and Documentary Section on 1 April 1997 and was permanently employed as of 1 June 1997.

John is an English solicitor who qualified in 1992.

He trained at the City of London firm, Stephenson Harwood, where he spent part of his articles in their Shipping Department.

To continue his training in shipping he undertook a masters at King’s College London and gained an LLM in Maritime Law.

Before moving to INTERTANKO’s head office in Oslo he practised in the City of London handling shipping and international trade arbitration and litigation cases. He had extensive contact with clients in India, the Middle East and the Far East.

At INTERTANKO John will assist INTERTANKO’s Legal Counsel, Svein Ringbakken. John will be handling members’ queries on charterparties and undertaking a revitalisation of INTERTANKO’s Freight and Demurrage Information Pool.

John’s arrival at INTERTANKO strengthens the Legal and Documentary Section and ensures that INTERTANKO’s ever increasing membership is fully supported.