In this Dutch law governed arbitration we represent our client in proceedings brought by its customer (including German court proceedings against the supplier of structural steel piping) as a result of our client selling defective structural pipes on to its customer. The customer went on to install the pipes in a structure for use in the offshore oil and gas sector. The defective steel pipes subsequently cracked and were required to be removed from the offshore platform at significant cost to the customer.

The Dutch claim was resolved in 2019. We managed negotiation/expert determination following a series of negotiations in Rotterdam with the customer and a lengthy and involved expert determination process.

The German claim is still proceeding through the courts. In January 2020, a preliminary evidential hearing was held in Germany in which our client's witnesses spoke to events surrounding the delivery and supply of defective structural pipes. The Court in Germany is currently in the process of appointing an expert to consider the evidence and to test the defective pipes supplied to our client. The hearing removed a key component of the supplier's defence.

Key highlights

  • Resolved the Dutch claim quickly and efficiently.
  • We coordinated agents and experts throughout Europe to progress litigation in Germany and resolve the Dutch element.
  • Removing the German defendant's core defence limiting the timescale, cost and scope of any subsequent litigation/negotiation.


The various cross-border Europe-wide disputes demonstrate the scope and expertise of the litigation practice. The fabrication and supply of structural steel is a global, specialised and technically challenging industry in which we regularly assist fabricators, suppliers and customers in resolving disputes, as demonstrated by this case.

To date we have been able to secure a settlement for our client at below the rate independent assessed as part of settlement negotiations with the Dutch customer and removed a key component of the German supplier's defence which it is anticipated will provoke a positive settlement for our client.