SCHRANDT – ZIMMER is providing legal advice for the maritime industry over many years, with a very practical and corporate service approach and a clear understanding for what is essential and feasible in order to satisfy and meet the clients’ needs and targets.
Vessel newbuilding and systems integration
Shipyards and their system suppliers are facing complex challenges under their newbuilding and refits projects. Vessels with an increasing degree for fittings require reliable cost calculations, professional engineering and a solid time and progress planning. In fact, the relevant construction and supply agreements should properly cover such demands. Further legal support is advisable for project steering and handling / optimization in the various overlapping processes and requirements between owner, yard and system suppliers.
Target must be a structured legal frame plus selective support for minimizing costly interfaces and avoiding undesired additional costs and risks. Crucial elements hereunto are the optimization of all construction related specifications, a perfect supply contract as well as a functioning quality control and project management. Shipyards and suppliers, due to given structures and expectations for “turn-key”-solutions, are facing unexpected costs at early stages – therefore safeguarding measures must be implemented in time to address prolongation, acceleration, obstruction and costs increase. In any case, we are providing the legal instruments to pursue justified claims in the above context.
Shipowners and freight
Ocean Carriers are passing difficult times. Beyond the typical contractual instruments, we are assisting on realignments and restructurings of shipping entities and business sectors as well as the reassessment of unprofitable ship portfolios. For new vessel projects we are covering all contractual and financing issues based on long lasting experience. Comprehensive contractual advice is also provided for carriage, charter and ship management, and effective measures are taken to pursue or defend related claims, as the case may be, by means of arrests in international jurisdictions.
Owners should rely on their consultants. For effective steering and control, contractual instruments have proven best on supervisors, naval architects, exterior and interior designers, suppliers and all service providers performing their duties, by leaving space for configuration whilst securing Owner’s needs at any time.
Newbuilding yards are challenged by ambitious specifications and often unique customer requirements, sometimes causing problems for timely delivery within budgets. Megayacht projects are therefore often accompanied at early stages. Special attention must be provided to an unobstructed integration of all systems including the highly challenging interior outfitting.
Crucial element for success – again - is the strict compliance with all written quality and performance demands plus an optimized structure of the supervision process which includes the effective handling of claims for additional costs. The long lasting experience on all types and instruments on megayacht contracts is deployed with valuable effect.
Damages and insurance
Collisions or other damages are taken care of quickly and on site, by utilizing a worldwide network of experts for securing vessel, cargo and individuals interests. Coordination with hull, machinery and P&I insurers as well as advice on coverage issues is part of the respective legal support.
Finanzing and reorganization
Financing banks, finance investors and shipowning entities receive our legal support on all legal matters during construction and ultimate financing as well on the reassignment of credit portfolios and ship tonnage. We are further advising on the structuring of loans plus related documentation including handling of ship and mortgage registration worldwide.
Non-performing loans are successfully converted into suitable and beneficiary structures.
Business transactions and M&A
Business restructurings and sales and purchases of entities are a factor of success also in the maritime industry. We are advising Sellers or Buyers on potential re-financing structures and their implementation including preparation and handling of notarial acts.
The processing of transactions and transfer of funds often requires safety measures through escrow arrangements, which are professionally provided in a transparent and constructive manner.
Disputes for performance money and quality
Even the best optimized legal structure will be under fire, if disputes for delay, quality or undesired costs or damages are forcing a party to move forward. In such case, partners are becoming opponents, the project runs a disaster, lawsuits and suspensions of works are threatened or played out. SCHRANDT-ZIMMER LLP performs or directs arbitrational and court proceedings, even outside Germany. Beyond, a dispute resolution sui generis has been established which operates successfully and without rigid rules or significant costs. Such dispute resolution gets the parties back to the table quickly and delivers a business settlement structure reflecting the struggling parties’ interest to restore cooperation for the successful completion of the project or contract as the most crucial target.