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Bargate Murray


Welcome to this Spring newsletter, published amidst the COVID-19 crisis that has torn up the rulebook of normal life.  I wish everyone health and tolerance during these hard and trying times.

But we learn quickly how to adapt to new circumstances.  If we cannot meet in person, we can video conference, or communicate via email or WhatsApp.  We have adopted new forms of social connection that are as ingenious as they are diverse.
Zoom, for example, has proven handy for internal and external meetings with clients and colleagues.  I think I heard a rumour about creating a virtual pub!   
Even the most traditional of organisations, such as the Business and Property court and various arbitration bodies, have sprung in to action.  I will comment later in this newsletter on developments at the LMAA. 
And there is even some better news amidst the gloom, with the significant worldwide reduction in pollution levels because of the shut down.
Nobody knows how this pandemic will play out, or whether or when we will return to our old way of life. All I will say is that, in my view, there will likely be a permanent change in behaviour as a result of the changes forced on us by the crisis, away from mass commuting and toward more home working.  This could have dramatic social consequences in the longer term, quite probably for the better.
In this April newsletter, the team at Bargate Murray examine some of the challenges and opportunities faced across the superyacht and aviation world. Read, enjoy, and remember – it’s not all doom and gloom.


Quentin Bargate - CEO

Arbitration in the post-COVID-19 world

Arbitration began as a simple and fast way to resolve disputes.  It can now be a long and expensive process, but we are on the cusp of change that has the potential to reduce cost and delay.

The adoption of new technologies and web based solutions has provided an incentive for a move towards virtual hearings, now given a massive boot as the COVID-19 heath crisis prevents most physical meetings between parties and arbitrators.

Quentin Bargate


COVID-19 and the superyacht industry – where are we, how did we get here, and where are we going?

Keen followers of Bargate Murray social media will already have seen our recent articles in which we set out to help various stakeholders in the superyacht industry navigate the uncharted waters that are the COVID-19 outbreak, and very keen followers may even keep reading as we publish further articles over the coming days and weeks.

In recent weeks, we have been incredibly busy working with our clients to ensure that projects in the pipeline progress with the minimal disruption possible, resolving issues arising in ongoing works, and finding the solutions required to keep day-to-day operations running with some sense of normality.

So what issues are we seeing arise during this unprecedented time?

Dominic Bulfin



Aircraft Sale and Purchase Agreement (APA) and COVID-19

As countries continue to introduce protective measures and restrictions in order to manage the COVID-19 outbreak, one pertinent question worth discussing is whether a party (either a buyer or seller) could avoid its contractual obligations under an English law APA by relying on a force majeure clause and/or by invoking the common law doctrine of frustration.

Firstly, and as everyone in the industry is well aware, there is no standard form of an APA and accordingly, the below advice would need to be considered bearing in mind the specific terms of an APA which the buyer or the seller is a party to. Furthermore, there is no general doctrine in English contract law by which contracts are discharged by force majeure events. This means that force majeure events are only relevant, and a party is able to seek to rely on a force majeure event, when there is an express force majeure clause in an APA.  

Ilona Avramenko

Bargate Murray is one of the world's top international superyacht law firms. The firm has extensive experience in this highly niche area.
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