We advise foreign and domestic clients on admiralty, maritime, and transportation litigation, both on the “wet” admiralty and casualty side, as well as the “dry” cargo and multimodal operations side. We have represented importers and exporters of cargo; freight forwarders, NVOCC’s, and transportation intermediaries; ocean carriers and truckers; and, of course, their insurers, before the Superior Court, the Federal Court, and the Federal Court of Appeal, as well as before various administrative tribunals.
Maritime Law is the oldest body of international law, and principles promulgated around the Mediterranean by Phoenician and other ancient mariners over 3000 years ago are still recognizable in today’s international treaties. Now, perhaps even more so than in the ancient world, effective and efficient trade is a necessary precondition for national economic well-being. The same is true of your business and in serving our clients we always consider your litigation risk in the context of your overall operations in order to achieve the most economically efficient result.
Since the advent of containerization more than 90% of the world’s cargo has become containerized. As a result, most maritime disputes involve a large number of parties in a variety of jurisdictions, many of whom are not directly connected by contract, and a fundamental evidentiary questions (such as the locus of damage) can often only be assessed indirectly.
International Litigation / Conflict of Laws
In some cases, home field advantage isn’t just important, it’s determinative. Our lawyers have experience arguing and enforcing contractual forum, jurisdiction, and choice of law provisions, including motions for foum non conveniens. Don’t forget that any submission to a tribunal may be considered attornment: seek advice on conflicts of laws first, before your position becomes moot.
We have also been consulted by foreign counsel requiring expert opinion on Canadian law for application by their domestic Courts.
Conventions – Public International Law
Our counsel have intimate knowledge and experience with the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, the Hamburg and Rotterdam Rules, the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions, and a range of other multinational and international instruments that govern international trade relations.
A variety of governmental regulatory organizations, including Transport and Customs, have authority to issue binding orders and AMPs. Where these decisions are arbitrary, inconsistent, or incorrect, they should be appealed promptly and to the correct authority by counsel knowledgeable in the industry and the regulations.
We also understand that it is important not just to obtain judgment, but to obtain an enforceable judgment. We assist numerous foreign clients in both bringing claims and enforcing judgments against parties with assets or operations in Canada, and have access to an extended network of international transport lawyers to assist in enforcing Canadian judgements overseas.
Courts increasingly give effect to contractually selected arbitration clauses. Let Gavin Magrath assist you in achieving a negotiated solution to your international dispute without litigation.