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HFW successfully defends US$120m brokerage claim in English High Court

11 November 2016

In a claim of originally US$120m, Holman Fenwick Willan LLP (HFW) worked with another leading law firm to successfully defend a subsidiary of China International United Petroleum & Chemicals Co., Ltd (Unipec Beijing), (the subsidiary being Unipec UK) against claims by brokers, Pan Oceanic Charterers Inc. (POC).

POC claimed that a contract of affreightment evidenced a brokerage agreement between POC and owners of the pool of tankers and that Unipec UK and Unipec Asia had tortiously interfered with their rights under that brokerage agreement.

Described by Lady Justice Carr as “difficult and ambitious claims”, POC claimed under a number of heads including breach of implied promise and conspiracy, many of which were abandoned during the course of the litigation. POC’s claim for tortious interference also failed as it was held that there was “no interference with an established contractual right”.

All the claims were dismissed.

The HFW team consisted of Brian Perrott, Emily Sweeney, Rachel Turner, Prashant Kukadia and Nick Wright.