We support our clients involved with construction and repair disputes in courts or arbitration, as well as preparation for mediation. Our early intervention often helps clients avoid litigation.
Fisher Maritime has been providing technical analysis and assessment for litigation to clients for over thirty years. We have supported our clients - in state and federal courts for both civil and criminal matters - in a variety of shipyard construction and repair disputes as well as matters relating to our expert witness services. Our assistance spans every stage of litigation, and our clients have been shipyards, shipowners, vendors, and government agencies.
— We can also assist you to avoid litigation. —
A major US shipyard had produced a series of new technology, high-value cargo ships for several different owners, some of whom obtained construction differential subsidy funds for the construction. The amount of the subsidy was based on advance productivity estimates by the shipyard. Later, it turned out that the shipyard achieved a better-than-expected learning curve in the series of ships, and made significant profit on the last several ships, although sustaining losses on the first several ships of the series.
The federal government alleged the shipyard made excessive profits on the subsidized ships and was demanding from the shipyard the return to the government of the excess profits plus a three-fold damage penalty with interest, all totaling over a third of a billion dollars.
On behalf of the shipyard, Fisher Maritime assessed, and explained to the court in expert testimony, the risks that the shipyard had undertaken on fixed-price contracts. The testimony focused on the new ship production technology that had not been fully developed at the time of contract execution, but for which the shipyard had executed fixed price shipbuilding contracts. The federal court accepted the Fisher Maritime testimony in its entirety and fully rejected the government's claim, thus saving the shipyard over a third of a billion dollars.
A shipyard undertook the construction of two large vessels, utilizing a subcontractor to supply several topside structural modules for each vessel. The subcontractor encountered difficulties - and extra costs - when fitting the modules to the hull structure.
The subcontractor asserted a $15 million claim focusing on its extra direct and indirect costs due to vessel design changes, delays and interpretation of specifications.
Fisher Maritime was selected by the shipyard to independently assess and, if appropriate, rebut the subcontractor's claim. Fisher Maritime advised its client shipyard that money was owed to the subcontractor, but assessed the correct amount owed at about $2 million. Fisher Maritime personnel subsequently testified in Federal Court, which awarded the sub-contractor only about $3 million of its $15 million claim.
Additional sample cases underscoring Fisher Maritime's experience are presented in the link below.