US Legal Landscape Still Feeling Effects of OW Bunker Bankruptcy

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday September 28, 2020

While the introduction of the IMO 2020 rule, collapsing oil prices, and the impact of measures taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic have all impacted the legal landscape this year, the industry is also still feeling the effects of the collapse of former bunkering giant OW Bunker.

"US maritime lien law continues to evolve. The OW Bunker bankruptcy back in 2014 created a lot of confusion. So much so that earlier this month a law firm was sued for allegedly giving bad maritime lien advice to a shipowner," Robert E. O'Connor, New York Office Managing Partner at Montgomery McCracken, told Ship & Bunker this week.

"But the courts are continuing to work towards clarity and uniformity. For example, in June 2020, the Fifth Circuit court of appeals overturned a trial court's decision which had held that a physical supplier had an enforceable maritime lien under US law."

The comments come ahead of the IBIA Annual Convention in November, during which O'Connor will feature as part of the Americas' Legal, Compliance and Regulations panel discussion.

Among other matters to be discussed by the panel is the issue of quality disputes, and specifically whether US courts are enforcing limitations on damages clauses.

The IBIA Annual Convention this year takes a completely online format, and will be held from November 3-5. Learn more and register here: