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Ince Gordon Dadds Emergency Response +442072836999

Piracy & maritime security

The ongoing threat of piracy and hijackings continue to generate much concern in the industry. We can help you with all aspects of piracy incidents - the legal and practical aspects of responding to a hijacking, release of vessels, insurance and minimising the risk of such incidents reoccurring. We have experience of acting on the high-profile piracy cases in Somalia, the Niger Delta and the Malacca Straits. We give advice to all interests – shipowners, insurers, charterers, cargo owners and crew.

As a shipowner or charterer, you will need to consider a number of commercial and practical issues when ordering the vessel to transit risky areas, as well as how to respond if your ship falls prey to pirates. The priority will be to have the vessel and crew released and if a payment is involved how to recover the cost.

Key considerations include:

  • Are vessels obliged to transit the Gulf of Aden/Indian Ocean?
  • Charterparty - related issues on BIMCO piracy clause or CONWARTIME
  • What are the insurance implications for ships transiting these waters?
  • What are the legal constraints of using armed guards?
  • Is payment of a ransom legal?
  • Payment and delivery of ransom
  • Are ransom payments and costs recoverable from insurers?
  • Is a hijacked ship off-hire?
  • Issues arising out of duty of care to crew 

Maritime security and the use of armed guards continue to be a key focus of our practice. Whether you are a  provider or user of maritime security services we understand your needs and are considered experts in this area. 

We  understand the licensing requirements of UK and other flagged vessels. Our expertise extends to the regime surrounding Trade Control Licenses as issued by the UK government which cover the export of weapons and military equipment and its transfer between third party countries. 

Our team is also familiar in the issues surrounding cyber security and are part of the vanguard in the shipping and insurance industry looking at this emerging area.

Key contacts