Maritime law and
sea carriage

We offer legal advice in conjunction with issues concerning maritime transports

The majority of the world’s goods transports takes place through shipping. Maritime transport is by its very nature international and maritime law – the regulatory framework governing shipping – is to a significant extent based on international conventions. Issues often relate to the interaction of different regulatory frameworks, and the legal issues that arise tend to be complex.

The maritime law rules have several functions, one of the most central being to allocate liability among different actors in conjunction with a maritime transport. Since the liability rules to a large extent are mandatory and cannot be contractually excluded, as an actor within the industry you should be aware of what applies in a certain situation depending on the capacity in which you act. This applies in particular if you are a shipowner, shipper or cargo owner, but can also be relevant if you act in the capacity of a bank, insurance company or other type of supplier in the transport chain.

Different maritime law rules may also be central to other issues relating to ships, but not the transport contract. These may include issues concerning liability in the event of collisions and other damage caused by ships, ship transactions (purchase and sale of ships), financing of ships, maritime support, tonnage tax and issues of compliance with safety and environmental regulations, such as SOLAS. 

It is important to ensure that the value of the transported goods is protected

The carrier’s liability for cargo damage does not always provide full protection for companies transporting high value goods. The carrier’s right to limit its liability in damages for damage to the goods and the relatively short period of time within which a claim must be submitted are important to be aware of in order not to forfeit the right to compensation. It requires knowledge and experience to ensure the protection of rights in connection with the transport of goods, for both the carrier and the purchaser of transports.

Questions in relation to maritime transports that you should consider:

  • Is there sufficient insurance cover in the company for the goods which are being transported?
  • Are there internal procedures for urgently submitting claims as a result of delays in the goods’ delivery, the damage or loss of goods during the transport?

Our lawyers are experts in maritime law and international maritime transport and the application thereof. We help carriers as well as purchasers of transport as well as other third parties in the transport chain in order to protect their rights, which includes the entire spectrum from entering into transport contracts to situations whereby goods are lost or damaged during a maritime transport, or in the event of delays in the delivery of goods. We also provide assistance and advice for both shippers and shipowners in connection with chartering of ships. We also help to safeguard the rights of both customers and carriers in relation with public authorities in conjunction with maritime transports.

We regularly provide legal advice in areas relating to the following types of engagements:

  • Establishment and negotiation of framework agreements for purchase or sale of maritime transports.
  • Management of procedures for the purchase of transports with an international character involving multimodal types of transport.
  • Advice on matters relating to the sale, registration and financing of ships.
  • Advice on issues related to maritime support and tonnage tax.
  • As counsel in disputes concerning maritime transports before courts or in arbitral proceedings, for example in the event of cargo damage, collisions and other maritime accidents, interpretation of bills of lading and charter parties or disputes related to regulatory requirements. We have also experience in the arrest of ships (freezing orders). Within dispute resolution, we have also established co‑operations with other international law firms around the world.

Lawyers with specialist expertise within several areas

Maritime transports, in particular international and multimodal, require advice covering specialist competences within other types of transport (air transports, road transports and rail transports).

In addition, the execution and purchase of maritime transport often go hand in hand with other strategic advice where we work closely with other specialist competences within insurance lawcommercial agreementslabour law and international trade.

We are the country’s largest actors in the field of full‑service business law and transport law. Our law firm can provide broad knowledge and bespoke advice within several legal areas. We help companies within all industries.

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