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Controversial charter party disputes and renegotiations to take centre-stage at Shanghai maritime conference

 Disputes and renegotiations between ship owners and charterers are at levels not seen since the financial market crash of 2008. Some of the more legally complex problems arise from owners being caught in the middle of a chartering chain where liens of ship arrests are threatened up or down the chain.  In a highly topical session at the upcoming 8th TradeWinds Shipping China conference Geir Sviggum, Chief Representative of international law firm Wikborg Rein in Shanghai will lead an open discussion on the problems and possible solutions.
Several Greek ship owners in particular, including StealthGas, of the Vafias Group of Companies, have been very vocal about payments from their Chinese charterers not arriving on time and in some cases, not arriving at all. Grand China Logistics is one such Chinese charterer recently embroiled in such disputes. Speaking with reference to their recent experiences in the market, Lambros Babilis, Chief Operating Officer of the Vafias Group of Companies will present a paper at the conference on “Coping with disputes in China”.
Michael Bodouroglou, Founder and CEO of New York-listed Paragon Shipping, also taking part in the session, recently urged the shipping industry to find a solution to what he believes is a “problematic and unbalanced relationship between owners and charterers”.
The session will cover the personal experience of selected ship owners and also explore some possible solutions to a problem that requires input from all parties. “We have handled dozens of charter party disputes and contract re-negotiations this year and have witnessed the negative impact it has on otherwise healthy owner-charterer relationships. These issues are a complicated mixture of cultural, legal and commercial challenges. I am confident this session at the TradeWinds Shipping China conference will help to shed some light on the problem and the experts will share their thoughts on how to overcome the challenges” said Sviggum.
Addressing the theme of “Will the Dragon deliver?” the TradeWinds Shipping China conference, in its 8th successful edition, will take place from 22 – 23 May 2012 at the Kerry Hotel in Pudong, Shanghai.
For further information, please contact Banu Kannu +86 186 2136 0996 / banu.kannu@nhstevents.com

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