Consider These 6 Things When Choosing a Law Firm

When you’re in need of legal assistance, it’s important to choose the right law firm. There are many out there, and they vary in terms of qualifications, experience, and abilities. If you choose wisely, you’ll have the best chance of success, but if you don’t it could be a costly mistake. If you want to find the right law firm for your needs, consider these 6 things before making your decision.

Find A Specialist

Because the law is so varied and complex, it’s important to choose a law firm that specialises in the area of law you need help with. Some firms will have more experience and knowledge than others, and that’s why you need to do your research before making any decisions. The law firms’ websites can tell you how long these people have been in practice, and what affiliations and accreditations they have.

Mississauga is a city in the Canadian province of Ontario, with a 2022 population of 668,549. Many people go online in search of a Mississauga family law firm so they can access legal services in estate, employment, and corporate law. They also schedule free consultations, whether it’s regarding divorce, family law, wills, estates, or trusts.

Book A Free Consultation

Many law firms offer these, and they’re an important first step in finding the right one for you. You can learn how the law firm works and discover whether they’re a good fit for your needs. During a free consultation, you’ll meet with the lawyer to discuss your legal issue. They’ll ask questions to get more information and then give you some options on how to proceed. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you have about working with them.

When meeting a potential lawyer, it’s important to feel comfortable and able to communicate openly. If this doesn’t happen, move on and try someone else.

Ask About Fees

Ask each firm about its fee structure, including hourly rates and retainer fees. Also, ask whether there are any additional costs for things like postage, photocopying, or telephone calls. Be sure to enquire about disbursements, such as court filing fees or expert witness fees.

Next, get an estimate of how much your legal matter is likely to cost. Estimates can vary depending on the lawyer’s experience and the complexity of your case. However, a good lawyer should be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate of the likely costs. Fees can be negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount or a better payment plan. Many law firms are willing to negotiate, especially if you’re a new client.

Consider Their Location

A local law firm will be more familiar with the laws in your state or city. They’ll also be familiar with the local court system, which can make a big difference in how your case is handled. If you have questions or need to meet with them, it’ll be easier to do so if they’re close by, saving you time and money.

Finally, choosing a local law firm shows that you’re invested in your community. When you use their services, you’re helping them continue to provide quality legal assistance to local people.

Consider Their Accessibility

Calls, emails, and office hours are important when considering a law firm. You want to be able to get in touch with your lawyer easily, especially if you have questions or concerns.

Make sure the firm you choose has good communication channels that work for you. Ask about timescales and response times, and discuss your chosen methods of communication.

Read Reviews And Seek Recommendations

Checking a law firm’s reviews is an excellent way to get an idea of what their clients think of them. You can find these on the firm’s own website, Google, Avvo, and Yelp. Checking reviews can help you get a sense of how responsive the firm is to its client’s needs, how well they communicate, and whether or not they’re able to deliver on their promises.

It’s also worth asking friends, family, and colleagues for personal recommendations of law firms they’ve dealt with. It’s important to choose people who’ve had similar legal needs to you.

If you consider these 6 criteria when choosing a law firm you’ll be well-placed to make a wise choice. You’ll end up with the right person, receive the right advice, and experience the best possible outcome. Whilst their services may cost you money, it’ll be worth it for the legal assistance that you’ve received.

How Should You React If You Get Hurt At Work

Getting hurt always sucks. Getting hurt at work? That poses a few extra problems in addition to an injury. There are people and reputations involved as well as potential legal proceedings or insurance processes. The following will explore a few things you should do if you’ve been hurt at your place of employment. It’s important to note that if you work from home, but were hurt in the midst of work that you’re required to do for your paycheck, then this counts as being hurt at work.

Seek Appropriate Medical Attention

Before anything else is handled, your injuries need to be addressed. It’s important to note that conditions like shock can allow you to have a less than an accurate sense of how serious your injuries are. While first aid on site is vital, it’s a good idea to seek out a trusted healthcare provider as soon as you can to help ensure that your injuries aren’t left to worsen or that the healing process isn’t slowed by inaction.

If you are uncomfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plan you’re given because it doesn’t align with your experience or because the side effects of many medications are difficult to bear, seek out a second opinion. It can seem like you’re being disrespectful when you decide to speak to another medical professional, but what you’re actually doing is advocating for yourself. Studies have shown that as many as 88% of people who seek a second opinion will come away from their second appointment with a refined or new diagnosis. 21% will have a distinctly different diagnosis.

Likewise, if you find you’ve been disrespected or your experiences brushed off or ignored, seek a second opinion. Optimal treatment and healing happen in a place where you feel you can be honest about your symptoms and needs.

Stay Off Social Media

While it can be tempting to express your emotions via social media, this isn’t recommended. Insurance providers, colleagues, bosses, lawyers, and law enforcement can all access social media and use this information against you in a legal proceeding. Even if you’re simply posting about your nephew’s hockey game, your actions might be interpreted as you not being as injured as you claim to be. Completely avoid social media activities until the injury situation is fully taken care of unless specifically told to do otherwise by a lawyer.

Listen To An Attorney

When it comes to workplace injuries, it’s easy to assume that things will get better quickly and you’ll be back in your old life soon. This isn’t always the case. An experienced lawyer who has dealt with the type of injury you experienced might be able to give you a more accurate image of future costs and needs. One work injury lawyer in Houston, for instance, emphasises that some common construction accidents can result in life-altering outcomes. There are likely expenses and changes that you haven’t anticipated.

It’s always best that you speak to an attorney before you speak with insurance companies. Insurance companies are good at paying out the lowest possible amount to help protect their bottom line. Often, insurance companies accomplish this by encouraging you to take one course of action, knowing full well that taking action in this way legally prevents you from pursuing another course of compensation. An attorney will be able to present you with all your options, so you don’t have to worry about pursuing a course of action that is not in your best interest.

Don’t Forget Mental Health

Surprise injuries, particularly ones that alter the course of your day or life, are extreme experiences. Extreme moments of emotion can often have psychological effects. Pay close attention to your thoughts and emotions, particularly the ones that feel outside of your character. It’s important to note that all of your emotional and mental responses are completely appropriate—your brain is trying to make sense of the incident and prevent you from experiencing something similar in the future. It’s okay to feel what you feel, even if you think you’re not supposed to feel that way. This being said, if your mental state is inhibiting you from a life of quality, you might want to seek out support. This support can come in the form of a trusted friend to whom you can speak the truth or a professional.

The above information should help you deal with workplace injuries effectively. Of course, every injury is different, as is every industry. Take the advice of your lawyer seriously, as he or she will have a better sense of the specifics of your case.

How to Find Legal Professionals to Handle the Specifics of Your Injury Case

Dealing with cases of personal injury can be quite an overwhelming experience in most situations. This is especially true in cases when you have no previous experience of anything similar and no understanding of what it is you’re getting yourself into, or how to handle the issue at hand. Fortunately, with the assistance of experienced legal professionals, handling these injury cases should not be so difficult. You need to be certain you have skilled professionals for this kind of job if you are involved in any form of accident, or cases of medical malpractice.

However, with so many legal experts to select from, it can be difficult to find the appropriate one for you that can get the job done perfectly. Furthermore, not every lawyer is knowledgeable on cases of personal injuries. Although one may be skilled in one area of law, this does not guarantee that they will be effective in another.

Hence, to ensure that you get the best legal professionals to handle the specifics of your injury cases, here are a few options you should consider following right away:

Contact Your Friends or Acquaintances

Your circle of friends and other people you know might be a great resource when looking for a good personal injury lawyer. Get in touch with family members, close friends, or acquaintances who have previously retained legal counsel for a personal injury claim. If they have positive things to say about their experiences, you should consider adding that lawyer to the list of potential candidates. However, you should not base your choice of attorney only on the recommendation of a third party. Instead, complement it with your own research.

Different people would react differently to a lawyer’s personality and manner. Additionally, a lawyer might at any given time be less motivated or interested in taking on new cases. So, do not hire a lawyer until after you’ve contacted them and gone over your case. At that point, you can decide whether you feel comfortable beginning a professional working relationship with them.

Seek Experienced Professionals

Lawyers typically fall into one of two categories: experts or generalists. Try to find lawyers who specialise in cases involving accidents and personal injuries. These experts have a deeper understanding of the laws that pertain to your type of case. These lawyers also have access to a network of specialists and healthcare experts that can assist you in constructing a good case and obtaining care for your injury. Do not be hesitant to inquire into the lawyer’s experience in personal injury cases.

For instance, if you ever suffer any I’ll-effects of using defective products, it’s essential to work with a lawyer who has prior experience handling claims related to product liability. If you were hurt in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or motorcycle, you should look for a lawyer who has experience representing clients in similar cases in the past.

In 2017, according to FMCSA, over 4,800 people lost their lives in Houston, USA as a result of jackknife accidents. This accounts for a significant percentage of the total number of truck accidents that occur each year in the USA. Jackknife accidents, much like other types of vehicular accidents, can occur anywhere a tractor-trailer is driving.

If you are ever involved in a jackknife accident in Houston or surrounding areas, you could use the help of a professional team of lawyers who clearly understand the extent and complexity of these accidents. Your accident case can be handled by a knowledgeable and experienced Jackknife truck accident lawyer working for a law firm that specialises in handling cases involving jackknifed trucks. These accidents are most likely to take place on roadways that are frequently travelled by large trucks, such as freeways and highways.

When semi-trucks are involved in car accidents, you or someone you love could be hurt very badly. You’ll be able to pursue a compensation claim with the aid of a truck accident lawyer if you or close family members get hurt in an accident. You can receive compensation for losses like medical expenses and vehicle damage by filing a personal injury claim.

Search Online

In addition to asking for referrals, you can also try searching for experienced personal injury lawyers on the internet. There are a host of websites that can assist you in determining the level of expertise as well as the reputation that your prospective lawyer may possess. Reading reviews of legal professionals that have been posted on websites is also an effective way to compile a list of candidates from which to choose and make an informed decision.

Hiring legal professionals to handle your injury case is very important. They can easily help you file proper injury claims and get adequate compensation for your losses. This article should make your search process a lot faster and easier and ensure that you hire the best person for the job.

Five Ways to Protect Yourself if You’re Accused of a White-Collar Crime

White-collar crime is an umbrella term for a criminal offense that happens in a business or corporate setting. Individuals or businesses can commit white-collar crimes for financial gain.

There are lots of different types of white-collar crimes, including but not limited to embezzlement, forgery, fraud, money laundering, extortion, insider trading, and larceny.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be accused of a white-collar crime, it’s important that you know the ways in which to protect yourself. So, here are five ways you need to know about.

1. Hire an Expert Criminal Defence Lawyer

If you’re accused of a white-collar crime, you shouldn’t talk to the police before first hiring an expert criminal defence lawyer.

The last thing you want to do is incriminate yourself, so it’s vital that you consult an experienced and skilful attorney at a law firm like to get advice about what you should and shouldn’t say to the police.

With a reputable criminal defence lawyer on board, you can also gain professional assistance in all other matters relating to the crime you have been accused of.

If you end up facing a trial, you’ll also want to ensure you have an expert attorney at the helm who can help you to achieve the best possible outcome.

2. Keep Copies of All Relevant Financial Documents and Transactions

Your lawyer will be able to give you some excellent advice on how to protect yourself against the accusation. One thing your attorney will recommend is that you determine what potential evidence the prosecution has against you and take appropriate action to help your case.

For instance, you should keep copies of all your financial documents and transactions to help you dispute the allegations against you. You may then be able to show that you didn’t intentionally make accounting mistakes, for instance.

If the prosecution can’t collect enough evidence to prove you are guilty, it is likely to lose the case.

3. Adopt a Lack of Intent Defence

There are various defence strategies that you can use, and your lawyer will help to guide you with regard to the best strategy to use.

One defensive strategy you can utilise to protect yourself when accused of a white-collar crime is lack of intent.

Basically, that means you let the prosecution do the hard work. It’s up to the prosecution to prove that you had both the intent to commit the crime and the intent to achieve the end result, such as stealing funds.

If the prosecution cannot prove you committed the criminal act intentionally or voluntarily, or you didn’t intend the consequences that were achieved from your actions, you could be found innocent. So, talk to your lawyer about whether a lack of intent defence is your best option.

4. Prove Entrapment Took Place

Entrapment is another common form of defence against white-collar crimes that your attorney may recommend you use to protect yourself against the accusation.

Entrapment happens when you’re presented with the opportunity to commit a crime that you wouldn’t commit by yourself otherwise.

If your lawyer can prove entrapment played a part in the white-collar crime you’re accused of and you had no predisposition to commit the crime, you could win your case.

5. Prove You Committed the Crime Under Duress

Another defence strategy you could use to protect yourself is that of being under duress. If certain requirements are met, duress could be a legitimate form of defence against white-collar crimes; and other forms of crime.

In order to prove duress, you’ll need to demonstrate that you were threatened by inescapable harm or even death if you didn’t commit the crime.

The Unintended Consequences Of ADA Compliance Laws

Introduced in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to legally protect disabled people from being discriminated against by businesses and organisations.

Since its launch, there have been many amendments to this legislation to ensure that it keeps up with the modern world and provides disabled people with as many rights as possible.

You’d think that these amendments were largely a positive thing, but for some people, they can have devastating consequences.

Though this act is all about making reasonable accommodations for disabled people to help them fully access society, many smaller businesses and those with premises based in older buildings are finding themselves facing an increasing amount of lawsuits and litigations.

These can cost companies tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight against, and this is without mentioning the potential costs to change things if they lose.

In reality, these costs are simply too much for old and small companies to keep up with. Even locally established businesses are coming under fire, and for some, the constant threat of litigations is too much.

One such company that have crumbled under the pressure of ADA compliance laws is Jason’s Café in Menlo Park, California.

A small business who had operated in the area for 11 years with a large proportion of regular and appreciative customers, the own was forced to close after three lawsuits were filed against him.

These lawsuits reflected on the building his café resided in, despite the fact that the building was built 40 or 50 years ago, before the ADA even existed.

The first lawsuit he received stated that the café’s parking lot wasn’t up to scratch as the painted lines and accompanying access aisles for the disabled parking spaces had faded, making it difficult for them to see. They also alleged that the door to the front of the building was too heavy for disabled people to open.

Before Jason Kwan, the owner, could arrange to remedy these changes, he was given another lawsuit. This one claimed that the bathroom door at the restaurant was too narrow for a wheelchair to get through, and even if a wheelchair user managed it, they would find it difficult to navigate the room in their chair.

Not only were the changes that Kwan felt he had no choice but to comply with extremely expensive for a small business, but he also had to account for the legal costs, which he was liable to pay. After a third lawsuit, he had to admit defeat and close his business for good.

When questioned about why he thinks ADA compliance lawsuits were made against his business, Kwan said that people target businesses in older buildings because it’s a guaranteed win, and easy money for the instigator.

Obviously the Americans with Disabilities Act has to primarily consider the rights of disabled people, but could they have gone too far and ended up unfairly penalising small businesses and those who work in older businesses?

To understand this, we need to look at the Americans with Disabilities Act and what it actually entails.

Essentially, to comply with the ADA, all establishments must provide reasonable accommodations to enable everyone to fully access an environment.

These reasonable accommodations often fall into measures like fitting ramps into the building for wheelchair users, or making sure that furniture is spaced out enough that a blind person can navigate said environment without difficulty.

Unfortunately, this legislation can also lead to people requesting that structural differences should be made to a building in order to accommodate disabled people, regardless of the cost this might cause a business.

This can involve inputting lifts, creating larger bathrooms—as was the request with Jason’s Café—or fitting larger doors to accommodate wheelchair users.

While it would be great for all companies to be able to make these changes, the truth is that it is simply not within the budget of most companies, who would struggle massively with such a large sum of money coming out at once.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the ADA has also been amended in recent years to target online businesses.

The latest of these amendments was Title ||| in 2018, which Digital Authority Partners explains as something that was put into place to ensure that no digital property discriminates against people with disabilities.

Alongside other legislation protecting disabled people from being discriminated against online, this part of the ADA can be broken down into four different categories.

The first is perceivable, which is all about providing text alternatives for any non-text content, like images and videos. This is so that it can be changed into any format people may desire, including large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.

The second category is operable, which is all about making sure that your website functions are all completely accessible from a keyboard as some disabled people are unable to use a computer mouse.

The third category is readable, which means that all your content should be clearly readable and understandable. This involves avoiding complex, jargon language and that a mechanism is made available for identifying specific definitions of unusual words or phrases.

The fourth and final category is compatibility, which is about maximising compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

If you want to read about these four categories and cover your back when it comes to being ADA compliant online, you can do so over on the dedicated website.

For those who don’t, you’re probably looking at what you’ve read and have been left wondering how anyone could be compliant when things are so complicated.

The truth is, so many companies aren’t compliant—and it’s not just smaller companies that are too blame.

Earlier this year, HealthcareWeekly reported that four big healthcare companies including WellPoint Inc and Tenet Healthcare have faced lawsuits due to a failure to abide by online ADA compliance laws.

If these large, corporate companies within a sector supposed to support large proportions of disabled people are struggling, how are smaller businesses expected to cope?

Is it fair that these smaller businesses are pushed to breaking point, with owners left with no choice but to close their services down, when ADA compliance laws have never seen so complicated—and expensive?

Personally, we don’t think so.

While we agree that every effort should be made to make sure that disabled people can access buildings and online websites as much as non-disabled people, we think there also needs to be a level of common sense to understand that larger, structural changes are not always possible.

Of course, every company should do what they can to make their services accessible, and they should absolutely be held responsible if they’re making no effort at all, but is it time that we give those who do try a break?

Let us know what you think and share your thoughts of the consequences of the ADA compliance laws below.

Provisional Attachment of Ships

A provisional attachment is a legal measure imposed to ensure that money and collateral receivables can be secured. In Maritime Enforcement Law, a provisional attachment is imposed to secure marine claims, but since maritime trade has unique characteristics, special provisions are included.

In this context, the matter of imposing a provisional attachment decision about the marine claims has only consequences specific to maritime trade, such as the detention or seizure of the ship. This article has been prepared to clarify the provisional attachment of marine claims.

In order to resolve disputes arising from the provisional attachment of ships, national and international law has been tried to be uniformed. As a reflection of this, the fact that the Turkish Commercial Code, No. 6102 is regulated almost in parallel with the references to the executive Bankruptcy and Enforcement Law and the International Convention on Arrest of Ships of 1999 should be considered as an important step to significantly resolve practical disputes.

Conceptually, examining provisional attachment under the practice of International Maritime Law; the concept of restriction of a ship from sailing by the competent authorities is expressed as an arrest, while in Turkish Law, the request of the creditor due to a debt and the decision of the court find a place with the concept of provisional attachment.

It is further and clearly stated in article 1353 of TCC that the only method of securing the ship claims to be guaranteed by seizure of the ship is provisional attachment. Accordingly, a ship will be arrested due to the pursuit of receivables, the seizure measure will find its place in the legal system only with the request for a provisional attachment.

1. Applicable Law

Transactions such as provisional or operational attachment, compulsory execution sale, transfer of ownership of a ship; are subject to the law of the country in which the disposals were made. Although this provision is restated in the Turkish Commercial Code article 1350, it was implemented by extraction of the 2. article of the International Conventions on Maritime Liens and Mortgages of 1993.

In the cases of element of foreignness of the ship’s certain or provisional attachment, judicial sale, transfer of ownership, transactions and dispositions related to compulsory enforcement because of sale of the ship will be subject to the law of the country it is located. In summary, Turkish Law will apply to the procedures related to the attachment and subsequent sale of a foreign ship in Turkey. In the same way, when the Turkish ship is subject to attachment abroad, it will be subject to the law of the relevant country. However, it is necessary not to violate the legal right to be heard in relation to Turkish-flagged ships. In this context, there are procedural rules that must be followed according to article 1350 of Turkish Commercial Code.

In the case of the sale of a ship with a Turkish flag abroad through compulsory execution sale, the auction must be reported by the institution or interested parties engaged in the auction, at least thirty days before this sale;

  • a) to the Turkish ship registry, where the ship is registered, 
  • b) to the registered owner of the ship in the Register, 
  • c) to the registered owners of other rights and receivables in the ship registry; and must be declared in one of the newspapers with a circulation of more than fifty thousand and distributed at the Turkish level, provided that it is reported or its expenses are covered by the interested parties If the ship is sold abroad by compulsory execution without this notification or announcement, its registration cannot be deleted and the rights and receivables registered in the Turkish ship registry remain reserved on the ship.

During the implementation of the ship’s sequestration, some incompatibilities may arise between material law and practice. This noncompliance manifests itself due to the evaluation of ships as movable and real estate. According to Bankruptcy and Enforcement Law article 23/4, Turkish ships registered in the Register are considered immovable. In addition, Turkish ships and foreign ships that are not registered are considered to be movable. According to the decision of 12. Chamber of Court of Cassation, it is stated that “The M/V Best Line Ship with Comoros flag is not registered in the Turkish Ship Register and have a characteristic of a movable and the auction is subject to the provisions of the sale of movable goods.”. In practice, ships subject to the provisions of movable goods may be arrested, while ships registered in the ship registry may not be arrested.

2. Terms of Provisional Attachment

According to the TCC article 1352 and ff, provisional attachment of ships should be understood as a temporary and legal seizure of a ship by a court decision in order to ensure the pursuit of a limited number of real and personal rights of claim, referred to as a maritime claim and arising from a private legal relationship. In this case, the concept of provisional attachment was limited to the concept of marine claims, unlike the broad range as in real estate. A provisional attachment is also provided as a way of provisional guarantee, which gives the right to seize the ship for the follow-up of sea claims.

In order for the provisional attachment decision to be ruled in terms of Maritime Enforcement Law to be in question;

  • The claim must be due and payable,
  • The claim must be in the form of a sea claim,
  • A ship subject to the provisional attachment must be in existence,
  • The guarantee must be paid and subsequently the ceremony that concludes the provisional attachment must be performed.

In addition, although there is a rule that the claim is not secured with the hypothec to rule a provisional attachment decision; a guarantee made with the hypothec in terms of marine claims does not constitute an impediment for a provisional attachment.

Additionally, the right to exercise the right of provisional attachment is also limited; according to article 1369 of TCC provisional attachment of every ship which has a sea claim over;

  • Shipowner at the time of the arise of the sea claim will be responsible for this debt, if the person is also owner of the ship at the time of the implementation of the provisional attachment; or
  • If the person who is the tenant of the ship when the sea claim arise, is also the owner of the ship and responsible for this debt when the provisional attachment was implemented;
  • If the ship claim is secured by a ship hypothec, ship mortgage or by a real obligation in similar nature on the ship; or 
  • If the dispute is related to the ownership or possession of the ship; or 
  • A debt is possible if it grants the right of ship claimant in accordance with article 1320.

In accordance with this article, the important issue is that to be the ship’s owner, tenant, or to be responsible for this debt at the time of the arise of the sea claim. If the owner of the ship is someone else at the time of the arise of the provisional attachment, the implementation of the attachment will not be possible.

3. Claims Subject to the Provisional Attachment of Ships

The concept of “provisional attachment of ships”, which has serious consequences such as the retention and even seizure of ships; for sure cannot be expected to be requested for all types of claims. Because in the Commercial Code, attention was paid to this issue and an attempt was made to prevent the abuse of the right. Accordingly, TCC article 1352 emphasises that the claims subject of provisional attachment of ships was only possible in terms of maritime claims, and their scope could be none other than that specified in the list.

In this case, even if the parties draft it by contract, it will not be possible for the type of claims that is not found in the list to be included in hereby concept of sea claims and therefore will not ask for a provisional attachment of the ship. The common point of these claims is that the receivables originate directly from the operation of the ship or include claim rights related to the ship.

Article 1352 – (1) “Maritime Claim” means a claim arising out of one or more of the following: 

  • a) Loss of life or personal injury occurring, whether on land or on water, in direct connection with the operation of the ship.
  • b) Loss of life or other bodily harm caused on land or water directly in relation to the operation of the ship.
  • c) salvage operations or any salvage agreement, including, special compensation relating to salvage operations in respect of a ship which by itself or its cargo threatened damage to the environment.
  • d) Damage or threat of damage caused by the ship to the environment, coastline, or related interests; measures taken to prevent, minimise, or remove such damage; compensation for such damage; costs of reasonable measures of reinstatement of the environment actually undertaken or to be undertaken; loss incurred or likely to be incurred by third parties in connection with such damage; and damage, costs, or loss of a similar nature to those identified in this subparagraph.
  • e) Costs or expenses relating to the raising, removal, recovery, destruction, or the rendering harmless of a ship which is sunk, wrecked, stranded, or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board such ship, and costs or expenses relating to the preservation of an abandoned ship and maintenance of its crew.
  • f) Any agreement relating to the use or hire of the ship, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise.
  • g) Any agreement relating to the carriage of goods or passengers on board the ship, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise.
  • h) Loss of or damage to or in connection with goods, including luggage, carried on board the ship.  
  • i) General average.  
  • j) Towage. 
  • k) Pilotage. 
  • l) Goods, materials, provisions, bunkers, equipment, including containers, supplied or services rendered to the ship for its operation, management, preservation, or maintenance. 
  • m) Construction, reconstruction, repair, converting or equipping of the ship.  
  • n) Port, canal, dock, harbour and other waterway dues and charges; 
  • o) Wages and other sums due to the crew of the ship’s, in respect of their employment on the ship, including costs of repatriation and social insurance contributions payable on their behalf. 
  • p) Expenses incurred on behalf of the ship or its owner, including loans received for the ship. 
  • r) Insurance premiums, including mutual insurance calls in respect of the ship, payable by or on behalf of the shipowner or demise charterer. 
  • s) Any commissions, brokerages, or agency fees payable in respect of the ship by or on behalf of the shipowner or demise charterer.
  • t) Any dispute as to ownership or possession of the ship. 
  • u) Any dispute between co-owners of the ship as to the employment or earnings of the ship. 
  • v) A mortgage or a “hypothèque” or a charge of the same nature on the ship. 
  • y) Any dispute arising out of a contract for the sale of the ship. 

4- Competent and Authorised Court

The competent court for applications for provisional attachment for ship claims is the Commercial Courts of First Instance. Currently, 2 Commercial Courts of First Instance in Istanbul and one in Izmir are authorised for disputes arising from maritime trade and insurance.

No court other than the competent court specified in the law has the authority to make a provisional attachment decision in respect of the provisional attachment of the ship. In the determination of the competent court, the distinction of the competent court was made before and after the case. Before the case, it is necessary to examine the ship in terms of competency separately according to the issue of Turkish and foreign flags:

Turkish-Flagged Ships : It is ruled by the court located in where the ship is anchored, attached to the buoy or vault, berthed, or sledged. In addition, the creditor may request a provisional attachment for ships registered in the Turkish ship registry in the court located in register’s location and for ships not registered in the register in the court of located in shipowner’s settlement.

Foreign-Flagged Ships : It is ruled by the court located in where the ship is anchored, attached to the buoy or vault, berthed, or sledged. In terms of foreign ships, the court located where the ship stops although for short periods, such as buying fuel, spare parts, changing ship personnel, is competent. But in terms of foreign-flagged ships, the requirement of “recess of expedition” is stipulated. According to the Montreux Convention on ships that continue their course without recess, a provisional attachment cannot be implemented by the Turkish courts unless there is a violation of innocent passage in respect of ships transferring on innocent passage.

After the case has been filed, the request for a provisional attachment related to it is also requested from the same court, in which the merits of the dispute have been seen in the Turkish courts. If a case has been filed before the arbitrator or in foreign courts for maritime claims, in this case, the above-mentioned competency rules will apply in terms of Turkish and foreign flagged ships.

5. Limit of Waiver of Provisional Attachment

In terms of ships exercising the right of innocent passage; according to Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, 1958 art. 20 and United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea, 1982 art. 28; the coastal State may not levy execution against or arrest the ship for the purpose of any civil proceedings, save only in respect of obligations or liabilities assumed or incurred by the ship itself in the course or for the purpose of its voyage through the waters of the coastal State.

Accordingly, while ships in a harmless transition may benefit from the exemption of provisional attachment; it will not be valid in terms of debts and liabilities incurred during the transition from territorial waters. In other words, to take advantage of the exemption of provisional attachment, the event that caused the debt and liability must not have occurred in the territorial waters of the country.

With TCC. art. 1355 it is stated that the provisional attachment decision of the Turkish court will only be ruled if the ship is anchored, tied to the buoy or vault, berthed, or sledged. In this case, it also occurs because of the stop of a ship with a foreign flag.

As for foreign-flagged ships passing through The Bosporus and Dardanelles; the Montreux Convention of 1936 will apply. However, the critical point is that this agreement does not contain a provision limiting or regulating Turkish jurisdiction.

For this reason, again, as mentioned above, TCC art. 1355 will find an area of application and a provisional injunction may be implemented in terms of frequented foreign ships; Turkish courts will not be able to make a provisional attachment decision on innocent passage, non-frequented or transit ships, and therefore will not be applied even if it is a decision taken earlier.

6. Provisional Attachment of Ships in Existence of Contingent Claims

According to both the Commercial Code and the Bankruptcy and Enforcement Law art. 257, the procedures to be applied in terms of undue and due debts are clearly stated, but neither due nor or undue by characteristics of the receivables are specified, which often leads to disputes in practice. In addition, an attempt by the parties to feel guaranteed by a contingent on the maturity of receivable during the contract can often create a situation otherwise.

For example, after a request for a provisional attachment is made, it is encountered that the receivable is not actually an eligible marine claim yet. For this reason, first, if the material that the sea will receive is related to the legal requirement a warning, protest, etc. must be fulfilled; otherwise, it will not be possible to request a provisional attachment for an unoriginated marine claim, if requested it will most likely be rejected. In the same way; as a rule, if the pecuniary claim provided by the ship’s mortgage is not due; a provisional attachment of the ship cannot be requested for the follow-up of the right to a direct mortgage.

7. Implementation of Provisional Attachment

The creditor must request the execution of the decision from the court’s jurisdiction or the execution office where the ship is located, within 3 working days from the date of the court’s sequestration decision. Otherwise, the preliminary injunction will be removed by itself.

1. Seizure and Restriction of the Ship

How the ships’ provisional attachment decision should be enforced is stated in TCC. art. 1366 as “All ships that have been decided on its provisional attachment relief are prohibited from sailing by the executive director, regardless of the flag and what register they are registered in.” At this point, it is important that “all ships” will be subject to the same procedure. Unlike the previous Bankruptcy and Enforcement Law, the new BEL; art. 23 puts all ships in the same set of rules as; “… movable provisions apply to all ships, regardless of their flag and whether they are registered in the register.” which is fair.

Because in the previous TCC and Bankruptcy and Enforcement Law, immovable procedures were applied to Turkish ships and movable procedures were applied to foreign ships, which in this case led to foreign ships being granted asylum both in terms of executive bankruptcy provisions.

In summary, all ships shall be deemed to be movable and shall be arrested, regardless of flag and record in case of provisional attachment. In addition, from the point of view of Turkish ships, if the ships are on a cruise, the owner, non-owner equipper or a third party responsible for the debt will be warned to provide a guarantee to the enforcement department within 10 days for the guarantee of sea claim.

If there is a situation where there is no guarantee; of course, the obligation to deliver the ship arises. Because both the guarantee is not given and the ship is not delivered in this case TCL art. 289 provisions, that is, provisions relating to the confiscation and destruction of officially surrendered property, will apply.

Although it is stated that the same procedures will be applied to all ships, the practice is not so righteous. As such, for foreign ships, so to speak, the provisions of the provisional attachment of the ship can only be implemented at the point where the ship stops.

Although according to TCC art. 1367; it is stated that the foreign-flagged ship can be stopped until Turkish territorial waters are abandoned and an order to anchor in a safe place will be given; in practice, a provisional attachment can only be implemented if the ship stops.

2. Release of Ship in Return of Collateral

Article 1370 of the TCC. regulates the matter that not implementing the actual seizure measure on the ship at all or the removal of the seizure. According to this provision, temporary legal protection on the ship continues, it is intended to provide collateral to eliminate the danger of seizure of the ship.

A vessel that has been sequestrated can be delivered to the debtor or a 3. party by providing a guarantee to be submitted to the Enforcement office at any time. Cash that meets the value of the ship, a real estate hypothec to be accepted by the executive officer, a mortgage on the ship, a bank guarantee can be used as collateral. In terms of the type of collateral, it is possible for the creditor and debtor to enter into an enforcement law agreement.

In addition, collateral can be provided in respect to the 3. party.  In this case, the provisional attachment remains, but the ship is released, that is, the danger of actual seizure is eliminated, and the ship can be operated.

ARTICLE 1370 – (1) The ship that has been provisionally attached, provided that the value of the ship to be reserved in order to be delivered to the Executive Office at any time and to ensure this, or an immovable hypotec, ship mortgage or a reputable bank surety to be accepted by the executive officer is shown may be left to the debtor; or if the ship was attached while in the hand of a third person, it may be left to this person by taking a bond.

(2) It is necessary to inform the institutions listed in article 1366 that the ship has been released and to preserve the record of the injunction in the register, provided that the provisional attachment on it continues.

3. Removal of Provisional Attachment in Exchange for Collateral

The shipowner or the debtor may require the removal of the provisional attachment by providing enough collateral for all marine claims in terms of interest and expenses, provided that it does not exceed the ship value.

From this moment on, the special temporary legal protection of the provisional attachment on the ship ends. In other words, there is another guarantee in question when removing the provisional attachment.

ARTICLE 1371 – (1) The owner or debtor of the ship may request from the court to cancel the provisional attachment by showing sufficient collateral for all, interest, and expenses of the sea receivables, provided that it does not exceed the value of the ship. After the execution begins, this authority passes to the enforcement court.

(2) It is necessary to inform the institutions listed in Article 1366 that the provisional attachment of the ship has been lifted and to delete the record of the provisional attachment from the register.

(3) At the end of the case filed for the continuation of the provisional attachment, if it is decided to pay the collateral to the creditor, other marine claimants may not place a sequestration on this collateral.

8. Provisional Attachment of the Same Ship Over Again

As a rule, it is not possible for a creditor who has previously sequestrated the ship discreetly sequestrate the ship again, if the ship is released in exchange for collateral. But there are some exceptions.

  • Insufficient Collateral
  • Incapability of Warrantor: That the warrantor being in debt, like the P&I Club, which gives collateral for sea claims and suspends the payments.
  • In cases where the ship is unjustly released, of course, it is possible to re-sequestrate the same ship in the case of approximate proof.

As a result, the provisional attachment of the ship can be defined as removal of the ship from possession of the debtor by seizure or arrest of the ship, with a decision from the court in exchange for collateral. Provisional Attachment to be implemented on ships are limited in terms of statute and international law. Unlike real estate claims, the way of counting and limiting the ship claims individually has been preferred. But when the subject of a provisional attachment in question is a ship and a ship with a foreign flag, the application of this decision differs significantly from the normal provisional attachment decision.

The type, amount of collateral requested before the provisional attachment, removal of this sequestration or re-sequestration has been established by separate special provisions of the general rules of law. For this reason, it is necessary to carefully examine risks of collateral and value of the claim.

This article was originally published in Mondaq.