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shipping, ports and logistics

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Sources note the firm's prominence in maritime disputes and confirm that "they've got some of the best lawyers around," with clients stating: "They are one of the best marine law firms in South Africa and they are competitively priced. You can phone one of the team any time and they will assist."
Chambers Global Guide 2019

ENSafrica’s dedicated shipping, ports and logistics team focuses on avoiding and minimising loss encountered in the business of shipping. Where loss is inevitable, we aid in the recovery of the loss and do so in the most commercially sensible and effective way possible.

Our key differentiator is our ever-growing presence in African harbours (including the major ports of Accra, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Port Louis and Walvis Bay), meaning that we are able to assist you in a range of matters in and around Africa’s waters.

We are able to provide you with a comprehensive casualty response following incidents of collision, grounding, sinking, fire and explosion, pollution, loss of cargo, and damage to cargo, and we are also able to facilitate matters concerning salvage and entry into bays and ports of vessels in distress, as a result of our relationships with the relevant role players.

Our clients include Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs and liner clients, and we act regularly for fishing majors.

We have the unique advantage, as part of Africa’s largest law firm, of being able to harness the expertise of more than 600 practitioners throughout the continent. ENSafrica has a significant breadth and depth of experience and specialist expertise that spans all commercial areas of law, tax, forensics and IP.

As such, we regularly partner with specialists across the firm, meaning that we are able to assist with all aspects of all matters across all sectors in all African jurisdictions, ensuring that your legal requirements are handled quickly and seamlessly.

what we offer

Our shipping, ports and logistics team provides advice regarding:

  • arrests for security for local or foreign proceedings
  • cargo undergoing land-based transportation, including by road and rail
  • charterparties and bills of lading
  • claims against ship owners and charterers
  • collisions, salvage and towage
  • containers
  • damage to cargo
  • distributing the proceeds of public auctions of vessels and other property
  • drafting standard terms and conditions and commercial agreements
  • enforcement of maritime claims by arrest and/or attachments, including associated ship arrests
  • fishing rights and appeals and reviews thereof
  • import and export trade
  • judicial sale of vessels and other property
  • litigation relating to marine insurance claims
  • mortgagee foreclosures and related matters
  • personal injury and death claims for seamen and dependants
  • purchase and sale of ships
  • ship and trade finance
  • ship building agreements
  • wrongful arrest

experience

Salvage claim
after MV “UNITED STARS” lost power near Durban and the South African Maritime Safety Authority ordered that it accept tug assistance, alleging it was a pollution hazard (acting for the owners and their P&I club).
USD20-million
claim following a collision involving MV “JULIAN” in Durban (acting for the owners and bareboat charterers).
Attachment of cargo
from MV “CHERRY BLOSSOM” in Port Elizabeth (acting for the charterers and their P&I clubs).
Negotiation
of a settlement after MFV “LEZANDI” sank following a collision with MV “SUNRISE JADE” off the South African coast (acting for the owners and insurers).
Arrest and sale
of MFV “SHERIFF” in Walvis Bay (acting for the owner and chapter 11 trustee in proceedings in Namibia).
USD200-million
claims in London arbitration proceedings following the grounding and wrecking of MV “SMART” at Richards Bay (acting for the charterers).
ZAR16-million
claim by PetroSA after MT “BOW SUN” damaged a pipeline in Mossel Bay (acting for the owners, with the question being whether the owners are responsible for the pilot ordering the dropping of the anchor out of position).
Release
of MSC “CHIARA” following a collision with port dredger “MACUTI” in Beira, and subsequent representation in the High Court of Sofala, Mozambique (acting for the owners and underwriters).
Arrest
of three vessels in Durban as a result of amounts owed by various shipping groups which OW Bunkers had assigned to INB Bank (acting for the bank).
Extensive damage
to SM “NEW YORK” by high winds in Durban (acting for the bareboat charterers).