High Court freezes 1971 Fund’s Assets

Posted: 08/05/2014
Categories: News – Incidents

In a judgement handed down on 7 May 2014, the High Court (Commercial Court) in London decided that the Gard Club was entitled to a freezing order over the assets of the 1971 Fund in support of its claim in England. However, the Court also decided that it was not entitled to an injunction in support of the proceedings brought by Gard Club in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
As reported on 2 April 2014, the Gard Club has lodged two claims against the 1971 Fund, one in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the other in the High Court in London, claiming that the 1971 Fund should, in respect of the Nissos Amorgos incident, be liable to pay any amounts that the Gard Club is obliged to pay in excess of the shipowner’s limitation amount under the 1969 Civil Liability Convention. The Gard Club sought to freeze the remaining assets of the 1971 Fund in order to prevent the Fund from removing from England any of its assets up to the sum of US$58.2 million until the claim was determined.
The Director is disappointed with the decision of the High Court to impose a freezing order on the Fund’s assets. The Fund has already applied to the High Court in London to set aside the claim in the UK, asserting immunity and the Director is looking forward to a thorough examination of this matter by the Court. In addition the claim brought by Gard in the High Court, to which the freezing order relates, is, in his opinion, unfounded.
This latest court decision and other recent developments in respect of the Nissos Amorgos incident have been the subject of discussions at the meeting of the 1971 Fund Administrative Council this week. A summary of those discussions and the key decisions taken by the Administrative Council will be made available via the document services section of the IOPC Funds website in due course. The judgement is available in English only here. Further information relating to the judgement, including the Director’s considerations of the implications of the judgement, can be found in document IOPC/MAY14/3/10/2.

← Previous article→ Next article