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Garnat Trading & Shipping (Singapore) Pte Ltd & Anor v. Baominh Insurance Corporation

Michael Ashcroft QC, acted for the successful Vietnamese and Singaporean insurance claimants in this substantial marine insurance trial and appeal arising out of the total loss of a floating dock during ocean towage from Vladivostok to Vietnam. The Court of Appeal, upholding Christopher Clarke J, rejected the insurers' allegations of fraud, forgery, non-disclosure and unseaworthiness. The Court held that, in the light of the disclosures that had been made, the insurers bore the risk of the vessel meeting a typhoon or storm with a sea force greater than 5 and wave heights greater than 3.5 metres and that the vessel was not proven to be unseaworthy by reason of her draft on departure, the condition of her ballast pumping system, the condition of her hull and watertight divisions or the relevant cargo securing arrangements. The Court also rejected various allegations by the insurers to the effect that the claimants had dishonestly fabricated documents in order to support their insurance claim.