Bahamas Legal Articles
Law related articles writen by lawyers
and experts witnesses practicing in Bahamas
December 29, 2016 By Parris Whittaker, Attorney at Law
Negotiations are a vital part of the process of agreeing the terms of a commercial contract, but when will such discussions have a binding effect on the parties?
Limitation and exclusion clauses in commercial contracts regularly lead to disputes between the parties. Any guidance from the court on how these are to be interpreted is always welcome by commercial lawyers, who can then better advise their clients.
How is bribery in the commercial context dealt with by the courts, and how is it relevant to businesses in The Bahamas? Prosecutors are taking a much stricter stance with individuals and organisations convicted of bribery offences since the UK’s major bribery legislation came into force.
Commercial contracts can be broken by either party in certain circumstances, but when can a party justify termination by a new reason given later - after the termination has taken place?
How do the courts handle insurance claims where a vessel’s owner has failed to properly disclose the value of the vessel?
How do benefits arising from actions to mitigate loss affect the calculation of damages for repudiation of a time charter? At top Bahamas law firm ParrisWhittaker our expert shipping lawyers have many years of experience with advising shipping and maritime clients on all aspects of claims for damages, including issues that might affect the calculation of the sum owed.
What is the correct approach to calculating damages where a breach of contract claim is accompanied by a claim for negligence?
The sale of company shares where an agreement in relation to those shares had been forgotten, was found to be valid in an important ruling in the UK’s Court of Appeal.
Businesses with commercial contracts imposing pre-determined financial or other penalties in the event of a breach may find they are unenforceable, following landmark rulings in two similar cases.
Indemnity clauses are commonly incorporated in commercial contracts, and the courts’ approach in interpreting them provides useful clarity for businesses and lawyers. The commercial lawyers at top Bahamas law firm ParrisWhittaker are highly experienced in advising business organisations on commercial contract issues including how terms are to be interpreted.
Does an imbalance of bargaining power between two commercial parties effect the potential enforceability of the contract? Yes, the Court of Appeal in the UK has said, with major implications for commercial organisations in The Bahamas.
The duty of good faith in commercial contracts is limited and must accord with business common sense, the courts have ruled.
If you are involved in the shipping industry, you will be only too aware of how quickly challenging and difficult legal problems can arise at sea. When you need to make an insurance claim, the complexities of maritime law can present real barriers to getting the swift resolution you need.
A recent ruling in the UK’s High Court highlights the importance of arbitration clauses and agreements in commercial disputes, and clarifies when they take precedence.
No term would be implied into a contract, requiring a bank to use reasonable care to obtain the best price it could when asserting its right of forced sale of a limited partnership, the UK’s High Court has said.
A recent ruling in the UK Supreme Court has helped to shed light on the complex issue of accessory liability and the principle of ‘common design’. The case of Sea Shepherd UK v Fish & Fish Limited 2015 UKSC began in 2010, when a fish farm operator was transporting live Bluefin tuna.
Claims under a contractual warranty must fully comply with procedures set out in commercial contracts – including where a limitation period is imposed on warranty claims. The UK courts have recently upheld restrictions on warranty claims relatively strictly against purchasers. In a recent case, the purchasers under a commercial contract were time barred from making a claim when a dispute arose.
In the complex and fast-paced world of the maritime and shipping industry, serious issues can arise regarding the terms of a charter – including non-payment of fees. If you are experiencing difficulties with delayed payments, whether as a vessel owner or a chartering party, you need swift, expert legal advice.
The Supreme Court in the UK has recently considered a case which demonstrates the complexities that can arise from the interpretation of a contract. The judges examined the extent to which parties have the contractual power to form an opinion, and affirmed the need for decisions by contractual fact-finders to be reasonable.
The UK courts have ruled in an important case involving adjudication agreements, affirming the commercial reality that clear drafting of contract documentation is critical.
A recent High Court judgment in the UK highlights the difficulties that can arise when unexpected problems strike. In the case of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company1, the courts looked at the implications of a party who, when faced with potential repudiation, chose instead to affirm a contract and claim demurrage charges.
Parties to commercial contracts owe various contractual duties to each other according to the terms of the contract. But what is the duty of care of a professional consultant to others, for instance, to warn of potential construction problems where there is a risk to others or property?
If you are involved in the maritime and shipping industry, you will be only too familiar with the wealth of legislation and regulation with which you are obliged to comply. When it comes to business at sea and in port, it is essential to ensure that you are fully compliant in order to protect you, your employees, your clients and your business.
When will the parties to commercial contracts be legally required to act honestly and with integrity? A recent ruling of the UK’s High Court makes clear when the obligation to act honestly and with integrity will be implied into a commercial contract. The court was required to consider in what circumstances a requirement to act honestly and with integrity would become an implied term of a commercial contract and, furthermore, what behavior would trigger a breach of that obligation.
Correct execution of commercial contracts is an important step to ensure the terms of the contracts are legally binding on the parties. How will the courts decide whether or not a contract is binding where there is a dispute over how the contract terms have been accepted - other than with a signature in the contract itself? A recent ruling of the High Court in the UK provides useful guidance to commercial lawyers and their clients on the signing of legal documents.
A cautionary tale from the UK courts has emerged concerning fraudulent misrepresentations made to the purchasers during a property sale – leading to a substantial damages award.
Drawing up effective contracts is an essential part of carrying out a thriving and successful shipping business. But even with the best intentions and the most rigorously drawn up agreements, contentious issues may arise.
The High Court in the UK recently considered whether a company should pay damages for copyright infringement and/or breach of contract where software was used without consent.
What is the extent of a valuer’s duty of care to an investor? The UK courts have considered this issue, which is of particular importance to the property and financial sectors, surveyors, and other experts.
When will the courts disallow the use of documents that have been fraudulently or mistakenly obtained? A recent case in the UK has given useful guidance on when ‘privileged’ documents could be used in the course of litigation.
A recent contract dispute demonstrates the need to secure expert shipping law advice as soon as possible, particularly if the contract in question contained a jurisdiction clause, which can affect both the outcome of the case and any damages awarded.
Companies must take great care that senior company personnel avoid undertaking acts that mean they could be treated as directors for the purposes of the law. This may result in adverse implications for both the company and the individual concerned. The expert company lawyers at Bahamas firm ParrisWhittaker are highly experienced in providing full service legal advice to companies including in relation to directors and their duties and liabilities.
If you are involved in the maritime and shipping industry, you will be only too aware of how swiftly you can sail into legal hot water.
Parties to commercial leases should appreciated and understand the extent of their rights and responsibilities to commercial landlords, to minimize the risk of disputes.
A salutary lesson has emerged from the English Commercial Court - that contractual parties involved in a dispute must discuss the issues before arbitration.
Businesses should be aware of the risks of informal communications such as emails and conversations whilst negotiating commercial agreements.
Is it ever acceptable to be dishonest in the course of a shipping insurance claim?
A new Code of Practice aims to increase safety and security in the working environment in dock and on board ship – and helps shipping, cargo and haulage companies understand their liabilities and responsibilities when it comes to packing and transporting cargo.
A vessel was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates. Unfortunately for cargo owners and insurers, the High Court in the UK has ruled that additional classes of expense - including wages paid to crew, and bunkers consumed during the period of the hijack - could be recovered by ship owners from cargo interests.
In what circumstances can a party to a commercial contract challenge an expert’s report? The UK’s Court of Appeal has handed down an important ruling in a case in which it examined the relevant principles that apply when a party challenges an expert’s report(1).
If a party to a commercial contract is in breach of its obligations, the court may order specific performance – but not necessarily. In a recent case(1), the UK’s Technology and Construction Court (TCC) considered the circumstances in which the court will order specific performance of a contractual obligation.
How will the courts interpret shipping insurance clauses, particularly typhoon and storm warranties?
Commercial disputes increasingly involve copyright and patent issues, reflecting the high value attached to the intellectual property of a business.
Construction cases often result in particularly valuable lessons for lawyers and commercial organisations alike who are involved in construction and property – particularly where work commences before the contract is finalised.
Joint ventures take many different forms but few have such an unusual background as a recent dispute involving what started as a simple agreement.
The practical effect of indemnity provisions in commercial contracts is dependent upon the detail in their drafting, an important ruling has confirmed.
When does a limitation begin to run? Limitation periods (also known as ‘prescriptive’ periods) are an important element in litigation. A claim will be out of time if it is not made within the limitation period and the claimant will not be able to take legal action (subject to strict exceptions).
Do you suspect there a risk your debtor will disperse his assets to frustrate a future judgment in your favour and prevent settling his debt? If the answer is ‘Yes’, you need urgent legal advice so that an application for a temporary injunction freezing those assets (a Mareva injunction) can be made to the court. The experienced commercial litigation lawyers at Parris Whittaker are experienced in successfully applying for Mareva Injunctions on behalf of our clients.
Discrimination in the work place is often a high profile and issue, whether relating to sex, race, religion, disability or age. And it’s the issue of age and the potential for discrimination and unfairness in relation to redundancy and retirement that has recently attracted judicial attention. Whether you are an employee or an employer - if you have concerns relating to age discrimination in the workplace, contact our experience employment lawyers at Parris Whittaker for prompt advice.
Have You Lost a Loved One After a Fatal Accident in an Industrial Accident or Traffic Collision - Bahamas
The media often covers the tragic death of someone at an industrial workplace, in a traffic collision or at sea. In June this year, a US cruise passenger drowned in the Bahamas during a cruise visit whilst snorkeling; and a Carnival passenger was killed last year on a jet ski rented in Nassau.