Maritime dispute resolution - a user"s view

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Maritime dispute resolution - a user"s view

Francis Sarre, Senior Legal Counsel, CMB, Belgium

Commercial litigation requires speed and cost effectiveness. Businessmen need to see their differences settled as quickly as possible and with the least amount of expense. The complexity of disputes in the shipping industry has meant that more time and money is being spent in running cases before the courts and even before arbitration tribunals. As an alternative to the courts arbitration tribunals have traditionally been seen as a way of getting a quick and commercial decision from professionals who also have the necessary expertise to decide on sometimes complex technical issues. Our experience of conducting litigation before arbitration tribunals has however left us wondering whether the noble objectives of arbitration – speed and cost effectiveness - still hold true today.

Francis Sarre – born in Dublin 1962 and educated in both the United Kingdom and Belgium. Read law and European Community law at Ghent University and qualified in 1986. Became a Research Assistant at the University of Ghent at the European Institute in 1986 and joined Bocimar in 1989. Is currently head of the legal department and Secretary General (Corporate Secretary) of CMB NV a Belgian publicly-listed Antwerp-based shipowner and –operator.

CMB primarily through its fully-owned subsidiaries Bocimar International and Bocimar Belgium operates bulk carriers of all sizes owned or chartered in from third party owners. CMB/Bocimar carries out tramp shipping activities which comprises the carriage of cargoes from one port to another as directed by the vessels’ charterers as opposed to liner/container shipping where vessels are traded on a fixed route from one fixed port to another. The CMB/Bocimar fleet comprises a number of cape size, panamax, handymax and handysize bulk carrier vessels that in the main carry cargoes of iron ore and coal. Bocimar carries cargoes worldwide.

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