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Monday, May 25, 2009

Shipping firm appeals order to seize assets

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Israeli shipping firm ZIM Israel Navigation Co. Ltd. has asked the Manila Regional Trial Court to overturn an earlier order to seize its properties to pay for damages sought by erstwhile local partner Overseas Freighters Shipping, Inc. In a motion, ZIM Israel Navigation said the issuance of the writ of attachment was done "maliciously, with evident bad faith, and undue haste."
Overseas Freighters is seeking P207 million in damages, pointing to the supposedly arbitrary termination of a 50-year agency agreement, in which it was appointed to manage ZIM Israel Navigation’s vessels.
The agreement was terminated because of Overseas’ "failure to properly care for the interests of ZIM, its principal, and in breach of fiduciary duty as an agent ... ," ZIM Israel Navigation said.
ZIM Israel Navigation has been operating in the Philippines for over 30 years.
The trial court had ruled in favor of the local firm, ordering the seizure of ZIM Israel Navigation’s properties worth P20 million. The writ covers 285 shipping containers in Manila and 190 in Davao, worth P74.5 million, the company claimed.
ZIM Israel Navigation claimed the trial court has no jurisdiction over the matter since both firms were supposed to go into arbitration proceedings. It said Overseas Freighters itself served a notice to arbitrate last April 1.
"Overseas maliciously withheld from this court its earlier representation to ZIM that it intended to submit the dispute to arbitration, rather, with evident bad faith, Overseas hastily, conveniently and fraudulently commenced a civil suit before this court with the intention to harass, intimidate, and coerce the defendants into giving in to its monetary demands," ZIM Israel Navigation said.
Source: BusinessWorld