The Marine, Shipments & Transportation Claims!
Marine Pakistan Shipping & Logistics Lawyers handle cargo claims world-wide on behalf of insurers, underwriting agents, brokers and increasingly the cargo owners where these carry significant risks themselves. We ensure contact with all relevant parties at any time of the day and consistent handling of your claims.
- Hull Claims
- Cargo Claims
- Ship Liability
- Cargo Surveys
- Liability Claims
- Transit Liability
- General Average
- Recent Casualties
- Commercial Assistance
- Insurance & Legal Advice
Survey & Investigations:
Claims can occur anywhere in the world. Prompt attendance of an experienced surveyor is essential to establish what has happened, the extent of the damage and protect recovery rights against third parties. The volumes of claims we handle enable us to maintain established lines of communication with our network of survey agents. The survey agent will conduct local survey and investigation and maintain contact with the claimant in their own language and is aware of local customs and regulations.
Certain types of claim (i.e. theft or specific cargo expertise) we may select an alternative service provider. Claims can be reported to us via the Internet with dedicated forms for use by the claimant, the insurer and our survey agents respectively.
All claims are adjusted by our Back Office. This ensures consistency of service and interpretation. Adjusting is an entirely separate skill to surveying and although many surveyors offer this service, the quality and speed of results will vary considerably. Using a limited number of offices for this purpose ensures not only that the staff concerned are technically qualified but also that any special rules you have established for certain markets or accounts are consistently applied.
The location of our Regional Offices ensures that we can communicate with our survey agents in their respective office hours.
Queries can be resolved often in the same working day. Established lines of communication help us to promptly contact the correct person to process any queries we or they may have. You will receive a concise Memorandum of Claim summarizing the claim, where appropriate both in the currency in which it needs to be settled and a recognized currency agreed b/w us.
As we are Trial lawyers & Not Settlement lawyers but if you want your claims to be settled promptly and with the least possible administration expense we can offer a number of settling methods.
- Claims Fund! We hold a fund for you and settle claims within certain limits on your behalf immediately. We account to you on a regular (e.g. monthly) basis for the claims we have paid within the agreed limit or upon your specific authority. You make one single payment to replenish the fund. This is the fastest and most efficient way for us to settle claims on your behalf. Your claimants receive funds promptly and from a local source. Your own accounting and banking effort and expense are substantially reduced.
- Letter of Credit! Where government exchange controls or our client’s internal rules require, we can operate through a letter of credit established will present our Memorandum of Claim together with other documentation you prescribe to the bank concerned to obtain funds to settle the claim on your behalf.
- Single Application! We appreciate that if you are new to us or only use us to settle claims in certain parts of the world, you prefer to control directly what claims we are paying on your behalf. In this case we will write to you event by event with the adjusted claim and agreed set of documents and you remit the necessary funds to us. You can pay in either of our three operating currencies (PKR, AED, USD, GBP and EUR) and to the same bank account every time.
- Virtual Office! For larger accounts, we can arrange for cheques to be issued directly from a bank account held in your name and for our correspondence to be conducted in your name.
- Adjustment Only! When the claim is payable in our client’s home country, we normally present our Memorandum of Claim to the client for direct payment. Some of our clients also prefer to pay certain or all other claims direct, we are happy to oblige with your requirements either on a permanent or case by case basis.
- Risk Analysis & Loss Prevention! Where we detect repetitive patterns in the claims we handle, we may suggest conducting a review of the operational and or contractual circumstances to identify weaknesses which can be addressed. We also offer this service as a stand-alone activity where we have not been involved in the handling of relevant claims. We are also sometimes retained to advice on attendant risks and remedies when insurers are considering taking on a new account which involves unusual commodities or trading patterns.
Sometimes we may use our local survey agent when they have an established track record in this field. At other times, we may use our own consultants to advise on operational, security and contractual aspects of transport operations in almost all parts of the world.
Where our clients cover regular trade patterns, we often suggest a pre-risk meeting with relevant local contacts. This helps to ensure that when a claim happens, those involved know what to do, whom to contact and what steps to take to minimize the cost of the claim (e.g. holding carriers liable, safeguarding evidence and considering salvage sale).
Account Management (3rd Party Administration):
Where large industrial or trading entities retain a significant proportion of their cargo risks, most routine claims will be for the insured’s account.
The traditional marine claim scenario still applies – claims tend to happen well away from where the manufacturer or trader are based and rights of recovery from a guilty 3rd party need to be protected.
It is also necessary to keep the insurer involved when an individual claim may breach the individual deductible and to monitor possible exposure to an aggregate deductible.
We will work with the insurer, insured and or their broker to establish a processing and reporting program based on the standard cargo claim handling system explained in previous pages extended to cover reporting procedures, communication protocols and electronic data exchange routines.
Other services include:
- Multi-site claim progress review via the internet. Claim data can be segregated by product line or geographic location so that relevant staff can only see the status of claims they are concerned with.
- Dedicated claim handling, settlement and reporting systems. We can transfer data directly into your or your clients’ systems or process data within your or your clients’ existing systems.
- Pre-claim introductory visits to ensure that staff concerned knows what to do, which documents to clause and or retain and whom to contact when the first claim happens.
- Our services will be tailored to the needs of the insurer and/or insured corporate concerned.
- Global Surveyor Network.
- All our survey agents perform to a defined service standard which establishes reporting timeframes and consultation requirements.
Attainment of these standards is permanently monitored by the Back Office concerned. Nevertheless it is unavoidable that for certain locations there is just not enough survey work available to maintain competition or even support one competent surveyor.
This is why for certain locations we request that all survey requests are referred to our Back Office. For the same reason, we ask that survey requirements from outside the country location concerned are initially referred to the relevant Office. This enables us to advise or decide if the attendance of a surveyor is justified and if, under the particular circumstances of your claim, it might be advisable to use a service provider of a different discipline or from another location.
We tailor our services to the requirements of each client so whether you need help arranging surveys in one particular country or need someone to handle all your claims world-wide in your company’s name, we are bound to find a solution for you.
Obtaining recovery from the party which has caused the damage or loss which led to a claim can significantly reduce your net claim costs. Prompt action needs to be taken as soon as the claim is known to ensure the correct evidence is secured, guilty parties are held responsible and security is obtained where warranted. Where we also handle the claim, we will ensure that this is being done.
However, whenever, wherever & for forever we are also happy to pursue recovery claims where we are not settling the claim. We employ a team of multi-skilled claims handlers with background in the transport, insurance field and claims are allocated to them with regard to the commodity, mode of transport, location of claim etc. Case Handlers consult with each other and other members of our team for appropriate technical or legal input.
Loss by Sea / Land / Air / Rail):
Our recovery actions are not limited to sea transport alone, we are equally familiar with contractual and operational conditions in the Air, Road, Rail and Inland Water transport environment as well as warehousing and other transport peripheral industries. To see an illustration of the parties we may encounter in pursuing recoveries.
Physical & Financial:
Recoverable losses may extend beyond the actual loss or damage incurred. Depending on the contractual and legislative framework concerned, we may be able to recover further amounts for!
- Loss of Market – delivery was delayed beyond a reasonable period.
- Economic loss – loss of profit or compensation for wasted effort when contractual obligations of your own insured could not be fulfilled.
- Fines & Penalties – if these were incurred by your insured or the claimant, they may be recoverable or we may be able to convince the relevant authority that they should not be applied as the insured or claimant was an innocent third party with no control over the chain of events.
Contract Tort Statute:
Recovery action may not be limited to the party or parties with whom your insured has contracted. In some cases better results may be achieved pursuing the responsible party further down the contractual chain or in Tort. In other circumstances, the party actually liable for the loss may be pursued under Statute law. Our case handlers have the experience and contacts to decide which of these routes offers the best prospects – more than one may sometimes be pursued at the same time.