New judgment: NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) NV v Cargill International SA  UKSC 20
11 Wednesday May 2016
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 403
The charterers Cargill withheld hire for a period of arrest of a vessel. It relied on an off-hire clause in the charter, which stated that the vessel should be off-hire during any period of detention or arrest by any authority or legal process during the charter, “unless such capture or seizure or detention is occasioned by any personal act or omission or default of the Charterers or their agents”. Held, upholding Cargill’s appeal by a majority. “Agents” was not to be interpreted in a strict legal sense. There must be a sufficient nexus between the occasion for the arrest and the function which the cargo buyers and sellers were performing as “agent” of Cargill.