The Law of Tug and Tow and Offshore Contracts

Author(s)                 Simon Rainey QC
Publisher Informa Law from Routledge
Date 2013
Pages 500
Format epub
Size 6.4 Mb

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   As I wrote in the preface to the second edition of this work, it is incumbent on an author to justify to his readers the putting out of another edition of his work, just as much as it is to justify the writing of it in the first place. That was in 2002 and the favourable critical reception accorded to that further edition (as with its sales) seems to have confirmed that it was both timely and useful both for practitioners and those in the offshore industry. Set fugit interea, figit irreparabile tempus. And so, the longer the next edition has been left, perhaps the easier the subsequent justification of it in turn becomes. In the case of a third edition, some ten years after the second, the headlong flight of time since 2002 has made this new edition not only timely, but truly necessary and the justification of a new edition is therefore straightforward for a number of reasons. First, since 2002, all of the standard forms of contract considered in this work, with the exception of the UK Standard Conditions, have been the subject of revision to a greater or lesser extent. As part of BIMCOs periodic review of its forms, the "Supplytime 89" form was revised and a revised version issued as "Supplytime 2005". This is the standard form contract which is. perhaps, the linchpin of very many of the contractual arrangements in the offshore industry. The BIMCO towage forms, "Towcott" and "Towhire", first issued in 1985, were next to be reviewed. The review was timely as the number of claims in respect both of harbour tugs and those eneaeed in ocean towase under "Towcon" terms has been on the increase. As I mentioned in the preface to the previous edition, these two forms, particularly, have continued to throw up a number of difficult questions as to the operation and effect of the BIMCO "knock-for-knock" liabilities clause, the well-known "clause 18" of the original "Towcon" and 'Tow-hire" forms which formed the basis for similar provisions in the "Supplytime" form. It appears to be a fact of life that this single provision, providing for a mutual allocation of risk in respect of the parties respective property and employees, described by BIMCO with justice as lying at the heart of the drafting philosophy behind its offshore industry forms and designed to minimise disputes in favour of insured or self-borne risks, continues to spawn many and varied arguments as to its effect and construction which are of considerable ineenuitv. Some of these have now been specifically addressed in the new "Towcon 2008" and "Towhire 2008" forms...

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