Helicopter hiccup

  • Date: 14/05/2019

A film production company chartered a yacht for a one-day photo shoot.

The charterer needed to land a helicopter on the yacht as part of the filming requirements. Unfortunately, the yacht’s helicopter operations certification was out of date. At the time a compromise was reached to use a helicopter, but not to actually land it on the yacht.

However, the charterer was not very happy. ITIC’s member was the central agent for the yacht owner. The charterer brought a claim against the owner and the central agent for EUR73,000 plus their legal costs , alleging that the yacht had been misrepresented to them. They alleged they had specifically requested a yacht capable of allowing a helicopter to land and the broker had confirmed that this yacht was suitable for that purpose. A representative of the charterer brought their claim against the broker in France. ITIC paid for the costs of a French lawyer to defend the member’s position.

It was argued that, as their claim was based on the terms of the charter party and this contract provided for arbitration in London, the court should decline jurisdiction in favour of the London arbitration clause.

The court did rule that the arbitration clause was applicable and declined jurisdiction. They also awarded the central agent EUR 8,000 in costs. As a result, the claimant decided to completely drop their claim.

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