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Armar Shipping V. Caisse Notes

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ARMAR SHIPPING V. CAISSE FACTS By a time charterparty dated February 6, 1973, the plaintiffs, Cypriot shipowners, chartered a vessel to a Cuban company. The charterparty included a London arbitration clause and a provision that general average would be settled and adjusted in London according to the York-Antwerp Rules 1950. Under the charter party, parcels of sugar were shipped at Havana for carriage to Santander, Spain, and Mostagenem, Algeria. The bills of lading did not incorporate the charterparty terms. Clause 10 of each provided that general average should be adjusted, stated and settled, according to the York-Antwerp Rules, except rule XXII, at such port or place as might be selected by the plaintiffs. It was not contended that the proper law of the bills of lading was English law. During the voyage, the vessel grounded off Santander. The plaintiffs contended that they thereby incurred sacrifices and expenditures of a general average nature in order to enable the voyage to be completed. At Mostagenem, a Lloyd's average bond in English was signed by the master of the vessel on behalf of the plaintiffs and by the defendants, an Algerian company, as insurers of the Algerian consignees, the defendants adding a reservation in French. It was not disputed that the defendants, who had not been parties to the bill of lading, thereby became parties to the contract contained in the bond. The bond contained no express provision as to the law that was to govern the contract contained in it, nor any provision for arbitration in London or submission to the jurisdiction of the English courts. Adjustment of the general average in London: Subsequently, pursuant to clause 10 of the bill of lading, the plaintiffs arranged for general average to be adjusted in London, and the adjustment was published in London on February 14, 1977, showing that a contribution was due to the plaintiffs from cargo. They issued a writ against the defendants in England claiming
PS52,420.18 as their contribution. Robert Goff J. granted leave ex parte to serve notice of the writ on the defendants out of the jurisdiction. QUESTION The question here was whether the adjustment of the general average in London could be taken into account as one of the factors to decide the law applicable to the claimant's claim. HOLDING

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