Ransoms Legal

Given the shipping industry’s reliance on ransoms to get ships freed from pirates, there is some relief that a recent court decision has reaffirmed that ransom payments are legal.

According to Peter Glover an associate and master mariner in the shipping dispute resolution team, of Norton Rose LLP, the case in question was Masefield AG v Amlin Corporate Member, and the court of appeal was asked to decide if the taking of a vessel and its cargo amounted to an actual total loss and if ransom payments by shipowners to pirates were as a matter of English law against public policy.

The court found for the owners.

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