What is a ‘proprietary maritime claim’? Wilmington Trust Company (Trustee) v The Ship “Houston” [2016] FCA 1349

Posted Jan 24, 2017

This case arose from a dispute between the Owners and Charterer of the “Houston” as to whether the vessel could be properly arrested under the Admiralty Act 1988(Cth)(the Act).   The question to be decided was whether the Owners had a ‘proprietary maritime claim’ within the meaning of section 9(2) of the Act.

Background of the dispute

In 2010, TBONE chartered the “Houston” for the purpose of, amongst other things, carrying locomotives to be used for mining in Western Australia.   On 2 December 2015, the Owners served a notice purporting to terminate the Charterparty due to non-payment of hire.

TBONE countered that the Owners had previously wrongfully arrested the vessel in the US, describing this conduct as “a breach of the covenant of good faith inherent” in the Charterparty, and for this reason gave notice of early redelivery of the “Houston”.   TBONE also stated that it had paid all hire up to the date of redelivery.    Click here to read full article.