Could owners be liable for conversion by retaining bunkers on board the vessel after withdrawal?

In Daebo Shipping Co Ltd v The Ship GO STAR [2012] FCAFC 156, the Federal Court of Australia considered whether, as a matter of English law, head owners could be liable to disponent owners for conversion or detinue as a result of retaining bunkers on board the vessel after lawful withdrawal from the head charter. The court also dealt with a claim for interference with disponent owners’ contractual relations, arising from various notices sent by head owners to the charterers at the end of the chain. The vessel was chartered under a string of time charters on the 1981 NYPE form in the following charterparty chain: SA – BMS – Bluefield – Daebo – Nanyuan…

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