Monday, June 24, 2019

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The City Law School Maritime Law Conference

Brought to you by The City Law School (CLS), City, University of London, a leading maritime law institution in the UK, the Dubai Maritime Law Conference is an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the emerging challenges and developments in international maritime law in the region and globally.

The conference will bring together leading practitioners, policy makers, industry leaders, government and legal scholars in the field to share know how and intelligence about the maritime and trade sector, especially in the region.

The key objectives of the Conference are:

  • To enable expert discussions and debates of key legal and market issues
  • To provide insights into new legal and market developments
  • To facilitate an examination of key areas of regulatory activity, including maritime technology, green shipping and logistic services
  • To consider the practicalities of maritime arbitration in the Middle East Region
  • To provide a practical focus on the impact of new maritime law rules in the UAE
  • To encourage networking and open discussion about concerns and solutions between a diverse network of maritime professionals

In the afternoon, Conference delegates are invited to participate in discussions of two issues of practical concern – the count down to the sulphur cap and shipping finance. There will be more emphasis on tips and strategies for meeting the challenges in the sulphur cap regime and the opportunities for shipping finance. It will benefit those new to the subject matter, as well as those who have a sound working knowledge.

Conference Programme

Introduction and Welcome by the Dean of the City Law School

Panel Discussion “General Market Outlook”

It is commonplace that the market, whether in the UAE or globally, is facing tremendous challenges ahead. We shall be examining the general market outlook paying special emphasis to intervening geo-political and macroeconomic factors. Are there also regulatory and legal risks for the market? Is there anything that regulators, both national and international, should triage for immediate attention? Consideration is to be had to other impactful factors on the shaping and evolution of the market – such as technology, supply chain changes, financial services and crewing. What can the UAE be priming to ensure that it continues to punch above its weight as a shipping hub, from a policy standpoint?

Panel Discussion “Major Legislative Changes in the UAE”

The new UAE Maritime Law is intended to enhance the legal landscape to better accommodate the sector to improve its standing as an international maritime hub by encompassing every maritime stakeholder including port, ship registry, ship, law and cargo agents etc. This panel will cast their expert eye on the intended achievements in the new Law. Expert commentary on the application of the new Law – specific aspects of innovation in the law will be emphasised. How does the new Law link itself to existing legal instruments? What are the implications of the new Law on third party stakeholders in shipping such as freight forwarders, port agents, ship brokers etc.


Topical Presentations “Key Concerns and Challenges in Maritime Law”

In this session, there will be a focus on four discrete but important aspects of maritime law. The emphasis will be on the practical implications and solutions for both the industry and law. Coverage will be how maritime disputes are being resolved by alternative means of dispute resolution and what are the legal, commercial and practical considerations to be balanced when seeking an alternative to litigation.

There has continues to be considerable interest in how technology and blockchains are impacting the industry. A topical presentation will address what the legal constraints might be on an efficacious implementation of smart shipping.

The third presentation will tackle some of the impact of environmental regulatory changes on international and UAE shipping. It will query whether there are specific contractual and commercial risks to be aware of when ships comply with new environmental regulations.

The last presentation addresses a matter of much relevance in the region – the resurgent sanctions on Iran by the US. Maritime operators and undertakings are naturally concerned at not breaching US sanction laws given the severity of the consequences. However, it is not easy to navigate the highly controversial and complex legal terrain. The emphasis here is thus on compliance and risk mitigation.

• Maritime Dispute Resolution options in the Region
• Smart Shipping Issues
• Green Shipping and Regulation Issues
• Sanctions in Shipping

 Q & A


Afternoon Briefings

The Afternoon Briefings are intended to deliver to the participants firstly, an introduction to the subject matter, secondly, a survey of the risks and legal implications and thirdly, possible solutions and their workability. It is largely about problem solving. Thus, providing for more interaction between speaker and delegate.

Briefing on the Sulphur Cap

The imposition of the sulphur cap by the IMO from January 2020, has vexed the industry given the often perceived high costs involved in compliance. To what extent is that justifiable? What are the ostensible and latent hurdles to attempts of compliance? What are the contractual and commercial implications of compliance?

Briefing on Maritime Financing

The maritime sector can be liquidity intensive. There are clearly many variant forms of shipping finance, however not everyone is au fait with them. It is important therefore to strip away the levels of complexities in shipping finance tools and examine how the tools are generally structured. A legal analysis of the debtor and creditor or investment relationship is vital. So too are the relevant security interests.

End of the Conference

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