BOOK REVIEW - MARSDEN AND GAULT ON COLLISONS AT SEA (15th edition)
F D Rose
Andrew Tettenborn MA, LlB, Barrister, Professor of Commercial Law, Institute of Shipping and Trade Law, University of Swansea, and John Kimbell QC, BCL, MPhil, MA, Barrister and Rechtanswalt, Quadrant Chambers, London. Sweet & Maxwell, London (2021) cxli and 775 pp plus 151 Appendices and 27 pp Index. Hardback £345.
2021 has been a significant year for the law of maritime collisions. First, Evergreen Marine (UK) Ltd v Nautical Challenge Ltd (The Ever Smart)
 UKSC 6;  1 Lloyd’s Rep 299
;  1 WLR 1436 was the first collision liability appeal heard by the UK’s highest court since The Savina
 2 Lloyd’s Rep 123
(HL), another case on the Collision Regulations, nearly half a century ago. The judgment was handed down just in time for discussion of it to be incorporated into the text of the new Marsden
, which itself is more than simply a new edition.
A distinctive change in 14th edition of Marsden on Collisions at Sea was the well-deserved addition to the title of the name of Simon Gault as the senior editor of the 12th–14th editions. He was the leader of a team of seven editors and a further six contributors of appendices. Now six of those editors and five of the contributors have gone. Andrew Tettenborn alone continues as an editor, joined by John Kimbell, with four new contributors.
However, it is more than a change of personnel. The shipping world continues to change along with the rest of the world, and the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the increasing use of and reliance on technological change, with which the new Marsden grapples. Shipping is changing, as we begin to get used to Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships, gathering of evidence of events at sea has become more certain, with the employment of Voyage Data Recorders, and its delivery becomes moderated through computer monitors. In addition, the continual revision of the Civil Procedure Rules must be mirrored by their commentary.
The editors have made a substantial effort to reconcile two fundamental features of collisions law: managing a growing abundance of increasingly voluminous and complicated material (in particular, because the law of maritime collisions is not independent of the general law) and making it accessible and intelligible to those who are responsible for ship operations—something that is not easily done by the extensive judgment in The Ever Smart. In practice, the core to this is exposition of the Collision Regulations, so the book has been substantially revised to reorganise that. At the same time, the editors have overcome the temptation to which so many authors, not least maritime law authors, are prone, by reducing the (duplicating) discussion of subjects that are relevant to, but not part of the core of the book’s subject matter, such as insurance, salvage and general average, which have their own books. Arguably, for that reason, the chapter on special