Maritime activities give rise to a wide variety of claims.

Death and personal injury claims arising out of maritime accidents range from collisions between water skiers on the one hand to disasters involving laden passenger ferries on the other.

Claims on yacht, hull and third party liability insurers, contracts for yacht construction and repair, liability for collision between ships and/or pleasure boats and/or other craft, the cause of fires, explosions and ingress of water on ships and yachts, salvage of all types of vessel used in navigation, large and small, in danger at sea, and virtually anything else that has a maritime flavour.

Special considerations apply due of the domestic and maritime laws peculiar to shipping, such as the legislation governing the right of ship owners to limit their liability and because determination of the facts often involves making findings about complex technical matters.

The costs of resolving such disputes through the conventional routes of court or arbitral proceedings can be eye-wateringly high and not infrequently seriously out of proportion to the amount in dispute. Additionally, the parties invariably have to wait years before the dispute is eventually resolved, often to the detriment of on-going commercial or family relationships. Happily, such disputes are susceptible to the dynamic, rapid, cost effective process of Independent Evaluation. An appropriately qualified Evaluator who has read and understood the central documents and expert reports and given each party the opportunity to be heard is admirably placed to evaluate the issues, advise the parties of the likely outcome and facilitate the optimal outcome for all concerned.

Belinda Bucknall QC has been the Arbitrator for Lloyds Salvage claims for many years. She deals with salvage awards varying from a few hundred pounds for short simple services for small pleasure craft in low danger, to awards of over US $40 million for lengthy, difficult services to laden commercial vessels in high danger. Independent Evaluation can assist the parties in assessing the value of salvage claims for more rapidly and at a fraction of the cost of full scale arbitration, to the great benefit of those who pay the costs, usually the insurers.

We are delighted Belinda Bucknall QC has brought her vast experience to Independent Evaluation and is so supportive of extending coverage across this fascinating area of law.