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July 18th, 2023

NBF attorney Rod Fonda will be presenting on September 27, 2023 at the Current Issues in Maritime Law Conference organized by the Admiralty Committee of the Federal Bar Association. Rod will be speaking about “General Average,” the mysterious legal principle originally developed around 1750 B.C., a few centuries if not millennia before the first insurance policies appeared. Yet insurance policies did not displace General Average, which still remains a valid legal concept today. In the original application, if a ship got in trouble and needed to lighten its load to survive, the owners of “sacrificed” cargo thrown overboard would be compensated, on an “average” basis, by the cargo and vessel that survived because of that sacrifice. Today General Average is invoked in situations like ship fires or when enormous container ships get stuck in the Suez Canal and a “sacrifice” (paying money to firefighters or salvors) results in the saving of the vessel and remaining cargo.