Jiangsu Guoxin Corporation Ltd (formerly known as Sainty Marine Corporation Ltd) v Precious Shipping Public Co. Ltd¹
In a judgment handed down today, Watson Farley & Williams acted for the successful party on an appeal to the English Commercial Court on key questions concerning SAJ Form shipbuilding contracts (SBCs). The seller appealed LMAA awards on two SBCs on points covering the prevention principle, notices, modifications and non-payment of instalments. Watson Farley & Williams acted for the buyer in the arbitrations and the appeal, and was successful at both stages.
There are 11 arbitrations between the parties concerning amended SAJ form SBCs for a series of 14 bulk carriers. Four vessels were rejected by the buyer on the basis of design defects. The seller contended that this rejection was unlawful and resulted in the vessels being left at its yard in China, wrongfully occupying berths there and delaying the launch and construction of two further vessels (Hulls 21B and 22B). These two vessels were due to be delivered on 31 August 2015 but no delivery was made. 151 days later the buyer stated it was terminating the relevant SBCs for delay. The seller treated that notification as a repudiatory breach and the resulting disputes concerning Hulls 21B and 22B were referred to LMAA arbitration.