The treatment of maritime liens within transnational bankruptcies: a conflict between admiralty and bankruptcy law
School of Economics, Business Administration and Legal Studies, LLM in Transnational and European Commercial Law, Mediation, Arbitration and Energy Law
This dissertation was written as
part of the MSc in
Transnational and European
Commercial Law, Mediation, Arbitration and Energy Law
at the International Hellenic
The economic crisis that started in 2008 never ended and a consequence had
negative effect in the global economy, including the transportation sector. Maritime
entities, as many other businesses, confronted significant difficulties and some of them
went bankrupt. The most valuable assets of a maritime company are usually its vessels
and every creditor or other person with a claim will seek liquidise them in order to
satisfy its claims. The controversy begins where the claims arise from the two aforesaid
branches of law and which one should take priority over the other. In each case until
now there is no compromising solution.
This thesis attempted to depict the controversy between the two branches of
law and the proposed solutions. In order to achieve that, it was necessary to examine
the nature of the maritime lien, the procedures in Admiralty and Bankruptcy law.
branches of law have to overcome many obstacles in order for this controversy to be
resolved. On the one hand, maritime liens are not everywhere the same and there is
an issue of recognition in some countries. On the other hand, there rules for
transnational bankruptcies but there are not adopted from every country. As a
consequence, the solution of the problem becomes more difficult to be found when
there are Admiralty and Bankruptcy proceedings for the same assets.
The aforesaid controversy was depicted through the analysis of three different
legal regimes, the UK’s, the USA’s and Canada’s. Although these three legal regimes
are considered to be similar due to the fact that all of them are connected by the
common law, their development through time led them to different legal directions.
Finally, there is a small analysis of three cases which depict the how the Courts
interpret this conflict between Admiralty and Bankruptcy law