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As discussed previously,1 in The Stema Barge II,2 Teare J held that Stema Shipping (UK) (“Stema UK”), an associated company of the barge’s owner, Splitt Chartering APS (“Splitt”), and the charterer, Stema Shipping A/S (“Stema A/S”), was entitled to limit liability as an “operator” under Art.1(2) of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (“LLMC”). However, the Court of Appeal3 has now reversed Teare J’s decision. This note will analyse the reasons which led to this reversal.
Brief background facts
Stema Barge II (“the Barge”), a dumb barge, whilst anchored off the coast of Dover during a storm, dragged anchor and damaged an underwater cable owned by the appellant. In the ensuing limitation action, Teare J found that Stema UK was an operator