The Supreme Court has just granted shipowners permission to appeal in K Line PTE Ltd v Priminds Shipping (HK) Co, Ltd (The Eternal Bliss). At first instance,  EWHC 2373 (Comm)] Andrew Baker J held, on a preliminary point of law on assumed facts, that demurrage was not the sole remedy for charterer’s breach of the obligation to discharge within the laydays. Demurrage only liquidated the shipowner’s loss of use claim resulting from delay after expiry of the laydays and different types of losses flowing from such a breach, such as the cargo claim shipowners settled with Chinese receivers in the instant case, could be recovered as unliquidated damages.
Towards the end of 2021 the Court of Appeal reversed the decision, [EWCA/Civ/2021/1712], and held that demurrage was the exclusive remedy for breach of this obligation.
The case will now proceed to the Supreme Court for a definitive determination of this important legal question. The shipowners are represented by IISTL member, Simon Rainey KC, and Tom Bird.