Michael Ashcroft, instructed by Thomas Cooper, acted alone for the successful insurance claimants in this US$8.3m Commercial Court case relating to the total loss of a floating dock and floating workshop during ocean towage. The insurers were represented by Stuart Isaacs QC and Taylor Wessing.
The insurers' non-disclosure defence was firmly rejected, the Judge finding that sufficient disclosure had been made and, for completeness, that there had in any event been a waiver and no proven inducement. All facets of the insurers' unseaworthiness defence were also rejected in the light of the factual and expert (naval architecture) evidence, the Judge finding that the floating dock was seaworthy at the commencement of the voyage and that the loss was caused by perils of the sea. The Judge was critical of the insurers' repeated attempts to suggest that documents produced and evidence given by the claimants were forged or fictitious, describing their allegations as straining credulity.