Reviews

The Legal 500

The Legal 500 THE Legal 500, an annual directory of top law firms in Britain published by Legalease, hit the desks of British firm’s at the beginning of August. Since its inception in 1988, the directory has grown from a paperback guide to a hardback book of doorstopper proportions. The directory is widely used by company secretaries, finance directors and inhouse lawyers of...

Civil Greece

GREECE is a civil law country. Its legal system is based on Roman law as it developed through the (Eastern) Roman Empire later known as Byzantium. Since the Easter Roman Empire was effectively Greek, its law was applied by the Greeks as the law of the nation not only during Byzantium but also during the Ottoman occupation of Greece (1453-1821). After independence, Greece...

A civil action

A civil action TO everything there is a season. Time was when it was Alistair Maclean's name that appeared on the dust jacket of every second book published, extolling its virtues as an unputdownable read. Now it is John Grisham who is the No 1 dustjacket advocate, and it is Grisham's endorsement that you will find on the cover of A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. Never was a...

A load of old cod

A load of old cod FIGHTING a cod war is not glamorous. But my first live action on a warship involved lashing old railway lines across the deck of a frigate, then putting the ship between Icelandic gunboats and Hull trawlers, as Britain tried to assert a self-given right to hoover up Iceland's cod stocks. We won the skirmish, but lost the war and, in the end, it is the cod...

Human weakness

Human weakness HEAVY seas sink small boats. They always have, and they always will. But there isn't a book about each one. If there was, we would long ago have run out of forests, and libraries would cover the globe. No seaman would recognise the name of this book, The Perfect Storm. A perfect storm, to any seaman, is one which goes somewhere other than where you are at the...

Frozen out

Frozen out THERE is a certain splendidness to the blundering of the British Royal Navy. It has never done anything the easy way. But there is perhaps no stranger tale of blundering, blind self-interest and mismanagement at the top, coupled with stoic heroism at the bottom, than Britain's Navy-led exploration of the Arctic. John Barrow, ambitious and manipulative Second...

Frustration without fault

FRUSTRATION is a broad legal concept that pervades the field of charter parties. It is different from demurrage calculations, performance claims, cargo loss and damage and similar matters which are reviewed after the fact. Frustration is often an immediate, high-level matter because one party has said, or intends to say, to the other that it cannot or will not perform its...

Anticipating the challenge

Anticipating the challenge David Taylor reflects on the Shipping in the New Millennium conference, held in Brisbane from March 17-19, at which he himself was a speaker BRISBANE, the fastest growing city in Australia, captivated Billy Connolly on his "World tour of Australia". He is right - it is a city transformed, a delight to visit and the perfect conference venue. Any event...

Shipping and the environment

A FEATURE of the maritime sector is that so many people seem to be drawn to it more by a love of their subject than by its prospective rewards. Take, for example, Shipping and the Environment (LLP, 1998). Here is a 1,300-page volume on the law and practice by Colin de la Rue (left) and Charles Anderson. There can be few lawyers kept busier by headline oilspills during the six...

US MLA MEETING

Fall in THERE are meetings, and there are meetings. If somebody can show me a better get-together than the MLA Fall Meeting, I will make a genuine effort to appreciate rap music. Shipping has too many conferences, seminars, and meetings which are attended by a handful of people, and which don't do anybody any good. And - here is something that not all of you may know - many...

The most pure form of socialism ever devised?

THE Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 between the United States and Panama set in motion the handover of the Panama Canal at noon on December 31, 1999. Since 1979, the canal has been run by the Panama Canal Commission (PCC), an agency of the US government. The PCC was a creation of the United States Congress, to be run as a non-profit corporation to operate the canal during the...

Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 1999-2000

THE annual Chambers Guide has a two-fold purpose. Its published aim is to offer a comprehensive survey of all corporate and commercial law firms in the UK. This, in turn, becomes a guide to would-be clients in search of who's who in, for example, shipping and maritime law. This comes in particularly useful for overseas clients, who would like their choice confirmed. But...

Business as usual - Two-part review

In the second part of a two-part review, Juan David Morgan, a senior partner at Morgan & Morgan in Panama, looks at the plans and aspirations of the Panama Canal Authority(PCA), which took over administration of the Panama Canal at the beginning of this year FOR over a century, Panama's destiny has been inextricably bound to the canal. In fact, Panama would probably not...

Trust me, I'm a surveyor

Trust me, I'm a surveyor John Guy reports from the tenth annual marine surveying forum SURVEYORS and lawyers have a lot in common. They are both in businesses where they sell their knowledge in a competitive and individual market. They are both concerned with details. They both make most money when the shipping industry gets things wrong. But all too often they forget that...

Art matters

CHARLES Brooking is a forgotten genius among a forgotten group of artists. Despite its rich maritime tradition and history, Britain has neglected the artists who recorded the nation's maritime prowess at its height. While works by Gainsborough are part of the accepted national heritage, paintings by contemporaries such as Charles Brooking aren't. Why this should be is a...