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April 25, 2017 | Don’t Demur on Demurrage | By: J. Stephen Simms

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was one of the most brilliant, if not the most brilliant, leaders of the American Revolution. His wisdom animated the debates over the United States Declaration of Independence (‘ If we do not hang together, we surely will all hang separately.’) He experimented with electricity (his famous ‘kite and key’ experiment in a lightning storm nearly killed him) and spoke a folksy French (wearing a raccoon skin hat) that delighted the court of French King Louis XVI. Franklin even offered health advice (‘ Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’.) Franklin…Read More >>

April 25, 2017 | Effective Chapter 15 Strategies for Marine Equipment Lessors and Maritime Lien Creditors | By: J. Stephen Simms

I. Introduction Chapter 15, the section of the United States Bankruptcy Code that provides U.S. bankruptcy courts assistance in foreign insolvency proceedings, is now more than a decade old. n1 Since its passage in 2005, 840 Chapter 15 cases of various types have been filed, resulting in 73 written opinions that address various issues under Chapter 15. One thing is consistent across all of these cases; creditors, particularly creditors with junior security interests, including those holding maritime liens or maritime leasehold interests in multi-modal equipment, must be prepared to act decisively when there is even a hint of a Chapter…Read More >>

February 22, 2017 | Post-truth: Make Bunkering Great Again | By: J. Stephen Simms

In the latest edition of Bunkerspot, firm Principal Steve Simms explained the latest post-truth challenges to the bunkering industry in the context of recent world events, including the election of President Donald J. Trump and the U.K. vote for “Brexit.”. He cautions that while the bunkering world embraces electronic information sources in the place of personal relationships and first-hand knowledge, there is greater potential for theories or expectations of changes in the bunkering world to cloud our understanding of the present realities. For instance, although there may be a general belief that oil prices will return to the levels of…Read More >>

December 14, 2016 | Effective Economic Disincentive and 2020 .5% Sulphur Cap Enforcement | By: J. Stephen Simms

Firm Principal Steve Simms recently explained the enforcement challenges that lie ahead from the October 27, 2016 decision by the International Maritime Organization’s (“IMO”) Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) that by January 1, 2020, world-wide ships’ bunker sulphur limits (expressed in terms of % m/m – that is by mass) would be limited to 0.50% m/m. The question on the minds of industry experts since the decision was announced is whether the new global cap can be enforced effectively. The toll on human life from ship-caused sulphur dioxide and related pollution has gained increased international attention, which was part of…Read More >>

October 27, 2016 | World Bunkering Interview with Steve Simms | By: J. Stephen Simms

Firm Principal and IBIA board member Steve Simms was recently interviewed by David Hughes for World Bunkering. Simms was asked to explain how his interest in maritime law developed and where he sees the industry going in the near future. He explained that maritime law has been a passion of his even before he founded his own firm about 20 years ago. He has been particularly engaged with bunker suppliers, tug companies, and container lessors, which he refers to as one of the “oppressed classes” within the maritime industry because they are often the last ones paid in many transactions….Read More >>