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Sanctions: A victory for common sense

Posted on: 23 February 2023

A team of HFW lawyers, led by William Gidman, secured a victory in the English High Court in a summary judgment application confirming that an “innocent” EU bareboat charterer could discharge their obligations to obtain title to vessels by paying in a non-contractual currency and into a frozen account when its counterparts are subject to international sanctions. The case endorses the Court of Appeal’s view in Mur Shipping v RTI [2022] EWCA Civ 1406.

Gravelor was the charterer of two bulk carriers, WL KIRILLOV and WL TOTMA, under bareboat charterparties from special purpose vehicles (SPVs) in the GTLK group of companies (Russian State Leasing House) (the Charters). Following the outbreak of the Russia / Ukraine war, the GTLK group was subject to US, EU and UK sanctions.

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