Pan Oceanic Chartering Inc v Unipec UK Co Ltd and Unipec Asia Co Ltd

18 November, 2016

Philippa Hopkins acted for the successful first defendants in Pan Oceanic Chartering Inc. v. Unipec UK Co. Ltd. and Unipec Asia Co. Ltd. [2016] EWHC 2774 (Comm). The claimant brokers, POC, advanced claims for damages, originally in excess of US$100 million, for lost brokerage commissions arising from the early termination by Unipec Asia of a long term contract of affreightment with Tankers International LLC.  POC claimed that both Unipec UK and Unipec Asia, subsidiaries of Unipec, the Beijing-based petrochemical giant and part of the SINOPEC group, were liable in conspiracy and interference with contractual relations under New Jersey law.  Mrs Justice Carr dismissed the claims against both defendants in their entirety.

The decision addresses interesting issues concerning the relationship between shipbrokers and their principals, as well as the proper approach to choice of law issues under both the Rome I and Rome II regulations.

Philippa was instructed by Brian Perrott and Emily Sweeney of Holman Fenwick Willan LLP. Read the judgment in full here: