“You will judge, whether by my speech I am wise or foolish, as the vessel is judged by her sound, whether she is cracked or not”
Shipping, if it can be accurately described, is about trading across the seas and oceans. Business in shipping means time and money. Litigation and long protracted cases, often in various jurisdictions at the same time, may result in no winner because the potential winner gets exhausted, if not broke, before litigation is completed. Enormous sums are daily spent in legal actions and inestimable time is invested in seeing these actions through to some meaningful end. The shipping merchant needs another response. What we are seeking is a practical cure which will not make him right or wrong but will, instead, get him out of the trouble and put him back ahead into doing business with his commercial partner he had been against. Significantly, he is asking for a remedy which is both time and cost efficient. His Insurers and Financiers are surely demanding the same, are they not? Conciliation or, its variant, Mediation is such a way forward. Maritime Conciliation geared by the effort of very experienced and prestigious figures, by men or women who have seen it all and have been through all those maritime legal battles, by minds who know that costs and results do not ever match, by experts in communication skills who will always remain in possession of the facts without interlude of legal argument or jargon. The conciliators of the shipping market, who will be tactful enough to let the parties face up to one another and skilful enough to persuade them and guide them into solutions. Quick and inexpensive solutions, such shall be. The cost is affordable; based on a daily rate, it will hardly reach up to one third of the expenditure incurred in legal or arbitral proceedings, let alone a contingency fee. The time for mediation services, coordinated internationally for shipping, has definitely come. Forty capable and well known professionals from 26 countries of 5 continents, believing in this approach, have formed the IMCAM Panel as a service to the world-wide shipping community. We truly hope to be able to meet our goals and to satisfy the market’s needs and expectations.
José M. Alcántara
Extracts from the speech of the President at the inauguration of IMCAM Panel in London, Grey’s Inn, on 13th October 2006