The Baltic’s Dispute Resolution Service has seen a busy first half of the year with 15 cases for Mike Dunwell, who heads up the service, to consider. Designed to allow Baltic members to recover both small and large amounts, two-thirds of this year’s cases have already been concluded. That’s $375,000 collected for free on behalf of Baltic Exchange members for relatively small amounts of money that might otherwise remain outstanding.
Last year, the Baltic assisted in the recovery of US$3.5m, up from US$1.1m in 2017. While this increase is due in part to wider take-up in the number of cases being reported by P&I clubs and members looking to the Baltic for help, the increase in resources made available by the Baltic to resolve cases and help to manage the increasing demand is also a significant factor.
For those who haven’t used it or are unaware of its existence, the Dispute Resolution Service is a complimentary resource run by the Baltic Exchange for its members. It is designed to recoup money owed to members, mainly relating to commission in the case of brokers and hire/freight where owners are concerned. However, it can also be used to ensure that an arbitration award is honoured, or to highlight any form of malpractice according to the Baltic Code.
When a breach in the Baltic Code of Conduct has occurred, and appropriate reparations have not been made, the party is faced with the possibility of being posted by the Baltic Exchange. The threat of being published as an unfit counterparty in front of the global membership, represents a final, highly undesirable, penalty for those unwilling, or unable, to make good on the losses caused. This action is recognized both within the shipping community and by the wider financial and commodity markets, as well as due diligence agencies operating across other related sectors.
The Dispute Resolution Service is free of charge to members and in the past, we have extended this offering on the same basis to non-members via P&I clubs and legal firms acting for clients. To provide further resources for the service, non-member companies using the facility will be charged 15% of the total recovered, capped at a maximum of £15,000 per case. The Baltic’s goal is to increase the benefits of being a member, and this fee to non-members will enable the Baltic to pursue more cases and give better support to members seeking help, while still providing a much relied on service to the industry at large.
“It’s a great service because it means that if we are successful, the member doesn’t need to seek legal advice which can be costly and time consuming.” – Mike Dunwell, Head of Dispute Resolution Service.
We would like to express our appreciation for the Baltic’s hard work, patience and persistence in getting our commission settled which, in spite of all our efforts, remained outstanding for nearly one and a half years.
We realise that this was not an easy task but thanks to your efforts the matter was finally resolved.
It was the first time in our history that we had occasion to use this service which the Baltic provides to its members and it was a good reminder of the importance of being a Member of a historical institution such as the Baltic Exchange. – Prominent Greek Dry Cargo broker.
We highly recommend the Baltic Resolution Service. It is exceptionally user-friendly and responsive and, most importantly, it delivers results. Recently, it helped us resolve a long-standing dispute and recover a large sum of money. – Leading bulk and tanker operator.
As a major Futures broker, we requested the assistance of The Baltic Exchange Dispute service with five clients who had failed to pay for some time. Within 15 days of initial contact four out the five parties have paid very promptly and the fifth is still pending.
In our view having membership with the Baltic Exchange is very good value for money.
The Baltic Exchange and SGX contacts were also very influential as any Shipping company would not want to be posted on the Baltic Exchange or have this kind of publicity.
Mike Dunwell is very easy to talk to and we trust him and his team with his style and powers of persuasion chasing clients for payment. – Major worldwide Broker.
Globally, Baltic Exchange membership numbers over 600 companies, continuing to grow this number so that the Baltic remains truly representative of maritime markets is a key ambition. The Dispute Resolution Service offering will benefit the wider industry by encouraging non-members to join, saving them time and money individually as well as helping to reduce the number of outstanding debtors on the books across the industry.
If you are interested in finding out more about membership or the disputes service please contact:
Mike Dunwell for the Dispute Resolution Service on +44 (0) 20 7369 1631 / M +44 7860 902547 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Crispin Eccleston for membership details on +44 (0)20 7369 1654 / email@example.com