Clyde comments on marina limitation of liability case

Emma Rice, partner at Clyde, has commented on the Holyhead Marina v. Peter Farrer [2020] EWHC 1750 (Admlty), covered last week in IMN (July 8th).

Clyde said that the decision of the Admiralty Court considered “interesting and significant issues concerning limitation of liability” that would be “of great interest to owners, insurers and users of docks and marinas”.

The decision concerned section 191 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, which grants “the owners of any dock or canal” a right to limit their liability, which is similar to the right of a shipowner under the 1976 Limitation Convention.

Mr Justice Teare rejected the Defendants’ argument that section 191 was only available to the owners of structures used for commercial ships. 

Rice wrote that “this decision represents a significant success for the owners and insurers of Holyhead marina and provides helpful clarification of the wider availability of the right to limit liability for marina owners generally. One of the key policy objectives underlying the right to limit liability for maritime claims is to provide commercial certainty and this decision now ensures that this certainty and protection will be extended to the owners, operators and insurers of marinas in the vast majority of cases.”