Check the ship before taking it on!
A ship manager accepted the management of a ship, but had not inspected it. In fact due to a high staff turnover in their technical department, nobody from the managers visited the ship. The owners went on board some ten months after it had been under management and were appalled at the condition of the ship and immediately made a claim against the managers for failing to manage and maintain the ship.
The ship was old and had probably not been in the best of conditions when the managers took it over, However, they had no proof of this. The owners brought a claim of over USD400,000 against the managers. There was no starting point/initial survey on which to commence negotiations.