Selected by the Judicial Research Center of PRC Supreme Court as one of the typical cases for Belt and Road Initiative—Dispute over the towage contract involving M/V “De Yue”
In September 2007, M/V “De Yue” owned by Guangzhou Salvage Bureau was commissioned by a Shanghai shipping company to tow a scrap floating barge “Mu Lan”. During the towage, “Mu Lan” suddenly ruptured and sank. Her owner then claimed against Guangzhou Salvage Bureau for loss of “Mu Lan” in total amount of around RMB 36 million. WJNCO were appointed by Guangzhou Salvage Bureau to handle this case encompassed with both complicated technical and legal issues, including ascertainment of accident cause, seaworthiness of “Mu Lan”, suitableness of measures taken by the towing vessel, limitation of liability, etc. Based on our rich experiences and extensive network with capability of overall control of complicated cases, we involved technical and legal experts to thoroughly illustrated difficult issues such as likely accident cause, legal position of the owner of “De Yue”, etc. and eventually had our arguments fully upheld by the Court after the first and second instance trials. This case fully elaborated and clarified the legal status of a towing contractor and was of great reference value for future similar cases. It has therefore been selected by the Judicial Research Center of PRC Supreme Court as one of the typical cases for Belt and Road Initiative.