Rate this article:  

Table of contents

The first edition of this book was written in 2008 and was itself a development of the foundations that were laid in earlier editions of the Gard Handbook on P&I Insurance, the first edition of which was published in 1972 and the 5th in 2002. However, since 2008, the corporate structure of the Gard group has seen many changes and the scope of cover that is now provided by the group is much broader. Consequently, staff members are required to provide guidance on a much broader range of questions and issues. Nevertheless, the one thing that has not changed in any way throughout these years is the ability and readiness of those staff members to provide their Members and Assureds with the maximum assistance and support. Consequently, the commentary that is provided in this new edition is the culmination of many hours of in-house analysis and consideration based on real issues, events and developments that the group has been required to consider and resolve. The deliberate usage of the word ‘Guidance’ continues to emphasise the purpose and intention of the publication and the desire of Gard to provide assistance to its Members and Assureds and also to those who work for Gard either in-house or on a delegated basis. 

The first edition of this Guidance purported to explain not only the extent of P&I cover but also the reasons why such cover might not be available in particular circumstances. However, since that time, Gard has sought to assist its Members by developing additional insurances that may provide cover for Members on payment of an additional fixed premium in those circumstances where mutual P&I insurance cannot provide cover. Therefore, the new edition also seeks to provide a detailed commentary on such additional insurances and to continue to do so in a readable and clear manner whilst at the same time treating all issues with the weight and importance which the subject matter requires, and which is expected by a sophisticated and knowledgeable readership. This is, after all, only what Gard personnel strive to do on a day-to-day basis. 

This work is the culmination of the collective and extensive experience and wisdom of all of the Gard workforce. My task was simply to edit all their contributions and I have again learned much whilst doing so. I cannot say that my task has been an easy one since all contributors have been ready to spend time to review drafts (often repeatedly) to ensure that the commentary is both accurate and as clear as circumstances (often complex circumstances) allow. This is as it should be and demonstrates the pride that those staff members have in their work and their desire to provide their Members and Assureds with the maximum assistance and comfort. 

I have once again been exceedingly fortunate to have had the assistance, support and encouragement of those whose expertise and experience I respect and value. Since this has been a truly collective project it is not possible for me to mention and thank individually all of those that have devoted their time and energy to it. However, you know who you are and I extend my profound thanks to each and every one of you.

However, particular thanks must be extended firstly to Bart Mertens and Lars Lislegard-Bækken who cheerfully assumed responsibility for coordinating and vetting the contributions that were made by individual staff members. Their assistance made the subsequent drafting process so much easier. Profound thanks must also be given to Nick Platt and Christen Guddal. Nick was the leader of the core project team and had the unenviable task of firstly collating all materials and then the even more unenviable task of reviewing my first drafts and pointing out their deficiencies and omissions in his customary courteous fashion. Nick is not only one of the most diligent and hard-working of persons that I have ever met but is also someone who has a very extensive experience across the whole breadth of maritime claims and who is able to draw on that experience to good and sensible effect when assisting Members and Assureds. Nick and I also profited enormously from the customary guidance, stewardship and overview that was provided on behalf of the Steering Committee by Christen Guddal who has the happy ability to stand back and spot issues that have been missed or wrongly or insufficiently described and which require clarification. Christen is the most professional of people and lives by the rule that if something needs to be done, it will be done. 

This project would not have been possible without the managerial support and commitment that has been provided unswervingly by the Steering Committee consisting of Kjetil Eivindstad and Svein Andresen as well as Christen Guddal and who not only provided the vision and drive that was necessary to make the project a reality but who also took time out of their ridiculously busy schedules to read and comment on all materials both meaningfully and constructively. In my experience, such dedication is certainly beyond the call of duty and is a clear illustration of the Gard traditional ethos as stated in the Gard Centenary Book: “to take all the steps that are required to help our clients navigate the often troubled waters of commercial life.” 

Finally, I also thank Randi Gaughan at Gard UK who once again not only eliminated most of my inexcusable typographical and formatting errors but also co-ordinated arrangements with the publishers with her usual patience and efficiency and made it possible to produce yet another stylish and polished finished product. 

I thank Gard once again for the opportunity to be involved with this worthwhile project. I repeat that I have learned much in the process and have had both the good fortune and the pleasure of learning from those whose knowledge and understanding is impressive and who clearly have a real concern for the wellbeing of Gard and its Members and Assureds.

 

Richard Williams

London, August 2015