Decision ID: 003981

In May 2014, the 1971 Fund Administrative Council noted that in March 2014, the Gard Club had brought a legal action at the High Court in London against the 1971 Fund in respect of the Nissos Amorgos incident. It was noted that in its action the Gard Club maintained that in 1997 the Club and the Fund had entered into a binding agreement, partly orally, partly in writing and partly by conduct, to apply practices, developed pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 1980 between the 1971 Fund and the International Group of P&I Clubs, to the oil pollution claims arising out of the Nissos Amorgos incident. It was also noted that in its action the Club required the Fund to abide by a final reconciliation pursuant to the MoU upon the Club’s payment of the amounts awarded to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the judgement of the Maracaibo Criminal Court of First Instance dated February 2010, confirmed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, so as to ensure that the total compensation paid by the Club as a result of the incident did not exceed the shipowner/Club’s liability limit under the 1969 Civil Liability Convention (1969 CLC).
The Administrative Council noted that the Gard Club had also made an application to the High Court in London seeking a ‘freezing injunction’ which, if granted, would prevent the 1971 Fund from removing from the jurisdiction any assets belonging to the 1971 Fund up to US$58 million, to ensure that funds remained within the jurisdiction to satisfy the Gard Club’s claim in case it was successful. The Council decided that the 1971 Fund should contest vigorously the action brought by the Gard Club before the High Court against the 1971 Fund in respect of the Nissos Amorgos incident, since the 1971 Fund had immunity and because the claim was unfounded and had no legal basis.

Date: 08.05.2014
Category: Legal actions
Subject: Shipowner's right of limitation liability