Maritime Industry

The substantial integration as well as coordination of e.g. a shipyard’s departments, experts and external contributors (subcontractors) is key in the shipbuilding industry, especially when it comes to complex and large-scale building projects such as passenger vessels, yachts, offshore service vessels or warfare vessels. Conversions and refits of vessels also require timely delivery and quality. To manage these projects all involved parties need to have a reliable cooperation setup with and clear definition of interfaces between each other.

Therefore, the basis for a successful business collaboration is laid by precise partition of the work scope and the responsibilities. This means that the project management starts with a smart strategy, sound planning and distinct contracts. In relation to the latter, each party should make sure that not only its interests but also its risks are properly assessed and reflected and priced in the contract so that the process for project, service, interface and claims management is clear from the beginning.

Of course, different types of vessels will require different sub-systems which need to be integrated and coordinated, as well as with the vessel’s design, purpose, technical requirements, and structure. It is vital that these topics are agreed on already during contract negotiations. This includes aspects concerning late delivery, late payment, securities, and so forth. One challenging element is often that minor changes can have a substantial impact in terms of technical, commercial, and planning side of the project. They will also regularly have an impact on the design and the construction of works provided by other contractors and subcontractors. Apart from focussing on an early involvement of all parties and on all levels, it is recommendable to also agree on terms in contracts that ideally unambiguously govern the proceeding in such cases. This will play a crucial part to minimize any disputes, or at least speed up the resolution thereof and costs and possible delay related with them. Particular craftsmanship can also be subject to disputes beyond the common functional issues during a building project.

The risk of commercial losses can be minimised in advance through thoroughly designed contracts or with the help of a focussed contract and claims management. Due to the complexity and the associated probability of mismatches during the execution of the project, contract and claims management is key to prevent or at least minimise delay, defects and/or other losses, whether this be from the purchaser’s, from the shipyard’s or any sub-contractor’s perspective. This requires the ability to swiftly and efficiently analyse the claim and review the documentation at hand to determine, i.e. is there a defect, who in general has (or should have) the responsibility for the works/product, service and/or working area in question, der to take the appropriate action and resolve the situation in the ideally most sufficient and cost effective manner.

At Carneades a specialized team of consultants is ready to support your business. We have a strong legal and technical background in the maritime industry and not only experience in the field of shipbuilding, but from various fields of activity, such as ship (re-)financing (including security documentation), sale and purchase agreements and execution processes, various types of vessel charter parties in the yachting as well as offshore wind and oil industry. We are ready to utilize our

expertise for your benefit. The typical situations where our assistance has proven to add value to our clients’ business include the following.

Offshore Vessels

We draft and provide full support for offshore vessel charterparties and bareboat charters, support your teams which includes the interplay between a charterparty’s typical regulation (e.g. BIMCO) with for example FIDIC-based project conditions.

Our experienced team can also assist with newbuilds and refits of special purpose vessels as well as the construction of spreads to enable cable installation, in particular with the handling of contracts with shipyards and other suppliers.

We are equipped with know-how that will be of real added value to your project, whilst ensuring your company’s obligations fulfilment under its offshore installation contracts.

Full support with Shipbuilding and Refit Project

Our shipbuilding experience is deeply routed on years of working within, for and on the other side of the table from shipyards and comprises the negotiating, drafting, and amending of building contracts for vessels (from offshore vessels to superyachts and drill ships etc.), extending over refits as well as spread and convertible cable installation structures on OSVs.

This includes contract, claim and risk management processes in connection with a build or refit project, in particular aspects concerning late delivery, late payment, securities, where minor changes can have a substantial impact in terms of technical, commercial and planning side of the project.

Next to managing internal and external stakeholders throughout all design, technical and construction phases of the build/refit, we also support clients during the warranty/operation and maintenance period of the vessels.

Sale and Purchase & Financing

We have a wide range of experience with ship sale and purchase transactions, including related register works, permits, and/or mortgage releases and so forth in connection with:

  • newbuilds
  • superyachts / yachts
  • commercial ships
  • for purpose of recycling

Our team’s expertise furthermore extends across a range of (re)financing of ships and yachts.