Juridical nature of shipowners’ lien
Owners obtained a world-wide freezing order against five sub-charterers.
The first two sub-charters were back-to-back on an amended NYPE form. These charters contained English Law and London arbitration clauses.
The lien clause read as follows:
“That the owner shall have a lien upon all cargoes, and all sub-freights, hire and sub-hire for any amounts due under this charter, including general average contributions”
The terms of the third charter were disputed. Owners contended that the true charter was back-to-back with the first two charters. Charterers contended that the third charter was subject to Greek Law with the arbitration in Athens, with no lien clause. They produced a written document which owners said was a forgery.
Charterers applied to discharge the freezing order on multiple grounds including lack of jurisdiction and the absence of a clear risk of dissipation of assets.
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