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Egon Oldendorff V. Libera Corporation Service Notes

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This is an extract of our Egon Oldendorff V. Libera Corporation Service document, which we sell as part of our Conflict of Laws BCL Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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EGON OLDENDORFF V. LIBERA CORPORATION FACTS The plaintiffs are a German commercial partnership with unlimited liability based in Lubeck. The defendants are a Japanese corporation based in Kure, near Hiroshima. This action was commenced by the plaintiffs by writ endorsed with points of claim issued Feb. 22, 1994. The plaintiffs claim damages for breach of an agreement said to have been made for a 10-year charter to the plaintiffs of two Panamax bulk carriers to be built for the defendants in Japan. It is common ground that the parties in March, 1993 reached an agreement which provided for the charter of two such Panamax vessels (and also for the plaintiffs as charterers to have a purchase option) subject to conditions. The parties are however at issue whether the conditions were satisfied or waived. The agreement was recorded in fax messages sent by brokers, Tokyo Shipbrokers Ltd. ("TSL"), to the defendants on Mar. 19 and to the plaintiffs on Mar. 22, 1993. TSL are an English company, but the present matter was dealt with through their Japanese office by a Mr. Susumu Suzui who has over 20 years of shipbroking experience. It is now common ground that TSL's role was purely as an intermediary. The two conditions in the agreement read as follows: Sub owners finally signing newbuilding contracts with owners' board approval declarable latest 15th April 1993, cob Japan. [and]
Moa to be mutually agreed and attached to c/p. . . Incorporation of the London Arbitration Clause: The plaintiffs, as TSL envisaged might be the case, preferred to use their own recent fixture of Chemi Ocean, and sent TSL a copy accordingly on Mar. 22, 1993. This was in turn copied to the defendants and was then used in discussions on charter-party details. The Chemi Ocean charter was also on the NYPE form but with the arbitration clause amended to provide for London arbitration, as follows:

17. That should any dispute arise between Owners and the Charterers, the matter in dispute shall be referred to as per Clause 75.

75. Any dispute arising under the Charter to be referred to arbitration in London. One arbitrator to be nominated by the Owners and the other by the Charterers, and in case the arbitrators shall not agree then to the decision of an umpire to be appointed by them... HOLDING

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