Court agrees there was no binding contract between Evergreen and Smit salvage

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > Court agrees there was no binding contract between Evergreen and Smit salvage

In the legal dispute surrounding the refloating of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal, the Court of Appeal upheld the Admiralty Court’s decision that there was no binding contract for services between the vessel’s owners and the salvors. Instead, the salvors could pursue a salvage claim under international and common law. The key issue was whether a services contract had been formed, which would have negated the salvage claim. The courts scrutinized the contractual elements, particularly the intention to create legal relations and the certainty of terms. Despite agreements on remuneration, other significant terms were still under negotiation when the vessel was refloated, leading the court to conclude that no contract had been finalized. This case emphasizes the complexities of maritime law and the importance of clear, conclusive agreements in salvage operations.

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