Our client entered into a Brokerage Agreement with a Nigerian shipping company. However, the ultimate end user of the vessel maintained that payment was only due if the vessel was mobilised, so did not pay any of the invoices issued.

The Nigerian shipping company commenced arbitration against our client for payment of the unpaid invoices. The arbitration proceeded under the International Court of Arbitration (“ICA”) Rules, in line with the arbitration clause in the Brokerage Agreement.

The arbitration had a distinctly international element; Scottish and Nigerian parties, a contractual dispute governed by English law, Arbitration body in Paris, and a Dublin-based Arbitrator.

The arbitration proceeded on an expedited timetable.

The principal dispute was whether the our client had responsibility to meet the invoices or impliedly accepted responsibility to meet any unpaid invoices issued by the shipping company to the end user client.

Parties lodged productions, witness statements and made written submissions.

The Arbitration was determined in the our client's favour, without an oral hearing, within six months.

Key highlights

  • We provided all advice and drafted all submissions in house, Craig Watt, an Advocacy by Brodies solicitor advocate, represented the client, ensuring the most effective and efficient representation. 
  • We were able to persuade the Arbitrator to determine the dispute without an oral hearing, to expedite resolution and minimise costs.
  • Our expertise in commercial/insurance/maritime dispute resolution combined with in-house advocacy and, our arbitration experience, made Brodies the obvious choice to represent our client in this matter.
Very much appreciate your direction and counsel throughout the process that ensured the correct decision was made. Client

Outcome

The Arbitrator dismissed the Nigerian shipping company's claim in its entirety.

In relation to liability, the Arbitrator considered that the Brokerage Agreement did not require our client to pay the Nigerian shipping company, there was no implied obligation for our client to meet unpaid invoices and that there was no breach of the Brokerage Agreement.

The Arbitrator determined that the Nigerian shipping company should meet the entirety of the Arbitrator's costs and meet our client's reasonable legal costs.

Contributors

Stephen Goldie

Head of Litigation & Partner

Craig Watt

Partner & Solicitor Advocate