Covering legal costs in uninsured disputes and providing an experienced team of specialist lawyers to protect Members’ interests and assets.
Freight, Demurrage and Defence insurance, often referred to as “FD&D” or Defence cover, is a discretionary legal costs insurance that protects Members’ interests and assets by supporting Members to recover any proper claims for uninsured losses and/or to defend and resist any actions improperly brought against them, that fall within the remit of our FD&D Rules.
Our FD&D team comprises a large and experienced team of qualified lawyers; ranging from English solicitors to overseas-qualified attorneys and advocates. We have teams of lawyers based in each of our Newcastle, Piraeus and Singapore offices, which ensures seamless coverage across most time zones. A full list of our current team may be found in the 'Our People' pages.
Every member of our FD&D team is a specialist lawyer and we aspire to provide fast, quality legal advice and assistance in all FD&D-related matters. By solely employing qualified lawyers, our FD&D team is able to deal with the majority of legal work surrounding the defence and prosecution of cases in-house.
We handle all aspects of London arbitrations, from beginning to end. Of course, we will involve external lawyers in appropriate cases if this is in Members’ best interests but, in such cases, we will remain fully involved and continue to guide and assist Members in deciding together how best to proceed. If an overseas jurisdiction is involved, we will arrange local legal assistance and assist Members in managing the case.
However, we are not just on-hand to assist when a claim arises, we are also able to assist with chartering, operational, loss prevention, trading, check before fixing, and other general enquiries to ensure Members are best protected legally in their day-to-day operations.
FD&D differs from other classes of insurance in two important ways: firstly it only provides Members with cover for legal costs and expenses rather than for the underlying claim amount; secondly the cover is entirely discretionary. However, the scope of cover is very wide in that, subject to our FD&D Rules, it covers legal costs and expenses properly incurred in all types of dispute falling outside the scope of other insurances, such as P&I, Hull and Machinery, Loss of Hire and Time Charterers’ Liability for Damage to Hull insurances. Most of the disputes referred to the FD&D team are charterparty disputes, but it also handles a large number of queries and claims concerning:
• Bills of lading;
• Guarantees and letters of indemnity;
• Sale and purchase contracts;
• Newbuilding contracts;
• Bunker (and other) suppliers;
• Crew; and
• Other matters connected to contracts of affreightment and carriage.
For more information on cover, please click on our FD&D Rules below:
Our Guide to FD&D
Further information, including a list of frequently asked questions, may be found in our guide to FD&D. Please click here to view and download the guide.
IMB Block Membership
FD&D Members have free access to the International Maritime Bureau's "chartering experience" database which offers information about Charterers to whom a Member may not have previously fixed and which, coupled with North’s other sources of information, will be of invaluable assistance in any “check before fixing” enquiries.
Global Legal Navigator
Accessed through North online, Members have access to a wide range of commonly asked questions on a variety of legal subjects, with answers provided by leading law firms from nearly all the important maritime jurisdictions.
Writ search facility
Members who take out additional cover for MOA risks are entitled, free of charge, to writ searches in Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa to check, prior to purchasing a ship, whether any writs have been issued and which have yet to be served upon the ship. These jurisdictions allow a writ to survive the sale of a ship and this facility provides an invaluable opportunity to reduce the risk of purchasing a ship which subsequently turns out to have outstanding claims which could result in the ship being arrested.
Maritime lien insurance for second hand ships
Many jurisdictions grant maritime lien status to claims which survive the sale of a ship. We have arranged additional insurance which is available to its FD&D Members who wish to insure against the risk of such unforeseen financial losses. This cover is available to Members who buy MOA risk insurance and have carried out the writ searches described above.