Shot by both sides? Interpleader proceedings in the OWB saga.

 

The bankruptcy of OW Bunkers in November 2014 has led to many shipowners facing competing claims for the supply of bunkers from ING as assignee of OWB and from physical bunker suppliers. In Hapag-Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft v. U.S. Oil Trading LLC, http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca2/15-97/15-97-2016-02-24.html, an interpleader was filed on behalf of shipowners and an injunction obtained preventing the imminent arrests of three of vessels by U.S. Oil Trading LLC, the physical supplier of bunkers. The Second Circuit has now rejected U.S. Oil Trading’s appeal. This contrasts with the position in Singapore last year where the Court of Appeal denied interpleader proceedings in similar circumstances. It reasoned that the suppliers’ in rem claims did not compete with ING’s contractual, in personam, claims. In the UK the shipping world awaits with bated breath the decision of the Supreme Court on whether the Sale of Goods Act applies to contracts for the supply of bunkers.

Bunkers and The Res Cogitans: leave to appeal

Hot news: the curious decision in The Res Cogitans [2015] EWCA 1058, to the effect that a sale of bunkers on reservation of title terms for immediate consumption was not a contract for the sale of goods (a decision commented on earlier in this blog on October 22, 2015) is to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Permission was given yesterday. See http://www.hfw.com/OW-Bunker-test-case-February-2016.