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England and Wales High Court (Commercial Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Commercial Court) Decisions >> Standard Chartered Bank v Dorchester Lng (2) Ltd Re: MT ERIN SCHULTE  EWHC 808 (Comm) (18 April 2013)
Cite as:  2 Lloyd's Rep 338,  1 CLC 797,  EWHC 808 (Comm)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Rolls Building, 7 Rolls Buildings,
Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL
B e f o r e :
| STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
|- and -
|DORCHESTER LNG (2) LIMITED
Paul Downes QC and Fionn Pilbrow (instructed by Ince & Co LLP) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 18-21 March 2013
Crown Copyright ©
Mr. Justice Teare:
This advice does not constitute a rejection of documents by applicant and is only sent in accordance with UCP600 article 16c. Discrepancies referred to applicant.
L/C amount overdrawn
77B: Disposal of documents
/Hold/ at your disposal we have not contacted issuing bank await your disposal instructions."
"One of the specific issues we would like to discuss is whether and if so the basis upon which Gunvor has instructed the carrier to split the gasoil cargo and discharge the same apparently without reference to [SCB] as the rightful holder of the Bill of Lading."
Did SCB become the lawful holder of the bills of lading on 4 June 2012 ?
"References in this Act to the holder of a bill of lading are references to any of the following persons, that is to say-
(b) a person with possession of the bill as a result of the completion, by delivery of the bill, of any indorsement of the bill or, in the case of a bearer bill, of any other transfer of the bill…."
"I do not consider that a person satisfies the requirements under s.5(2)(b) and becomes the holder of a bill of lading if that person obtains the bill of lading merely in consequence of someone endorsing it and sending it to him. The section requires him to have possession as a result of the completion of an endorsement by delivery. Although the sending and receipt of a document through the post often constitutes service of a document, the sending of a bill of lading through the post does not without more constitute delivery; the person receiving it has to receive it into his possession and accept the delivery before he becomes the holder. ….Repsol never accepted delivery of it as the endorsee or transferee. As soon as they saw the endorsement to them they sent it back to be endorsed to the rightful endorsee and transferee." (see p.59 rhc – p.60 lhc)
"both transferor and transferee need to have the requisite intention that the person to whom indorsement of the bill of lading is made and delivery given is to be the "holder" of the bill."
"In my view it is not appropriate to go behind the facts as they would appear from the face of the bill of lading……If the claimants were correct there would need to be an enquiry into the question as to whether the consignee named on the face of the bill of lading had, as between the shipper and the person named as consignee, an entitlement to delivery."
"in such a case the real question which arises is who is in possession as the actual holder……..The agent holds custody of the bill for his principal and it is the principal who has possession and is the holder for the purposes of the 1992 Act."
"Where, indeed, the bill bears a personal indorsement to, and is in the possession of, the agent, then the principal could not be a "holder" of it for the purposes of the Act; but the same is not necessarily true where the bill which has been delivered to the agent is a bearer bill, or one that has been indorsed in blank."
"The present circumstances seem to me directly analogous to those covered by the first part of this passage. The express consignment of the goods under the bills to the Chilean banks or order, followed by the delivery of such bills to such banks by or under the authority of the claimants, equates with a personal indorsement."
Did SCB become the lawful holder of the bills of lading on 7 July 2012 ?
"by virtue of a transaction effected in pursuance of any contractual or other arrangements made before the time when such a right to possession ceased to attach to possession of the bill…..."
"In essence, the transference of the bill of lading after it has ceased to be a document of title has to be a transference provided for by the antecedent contractual or other arrangements. If it is a transference called for by contractual or other arrangements made after the bills of lading ceased to be documents of title vis-à-vis the ship, proviso (a) has no application."
Breach and damage
"It has been made clear in decisions of the highest authority that a carrier must under the usual terms of a bill of lading deliver the goods only against presentation of an original bill of lading."