Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Lessons learned again?

April is said to be the cruelest month. It is memorable for disasters, from the Titanic to Texas City, Deepwater Horizon and so on. Continue reading

Oversight, assessment of risk and management: please don’t shoot the regulators

Do you recognize the name Oswald Grübel? Mr. Grübel was until recently CEO of the Swiss Banking Group UBS. Continue reading

Liability risk is major issue

Frank Dunne, Chairman of Watson, Farley & Williams, a major London maritime law firm, has warned that “a lot of owners pay lip service to environmental issues. The industry needs to change, or it will face serious consequences”. Continue reading

Don’t burn the toast

The fable of the boy who cried “wolf!” too often seems to be worth revisiting as the wisdom of applied hindsight appears to be increasingly employed by the various learned bodies investigating the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Continue reading

Running the risk

So this week, I’m in Hamburg for the bi-annual shipbuilding and ship machinery behemoth that is SMM and have been kindly asked by Jochen Deerberg to speak at his new environmental conference that runs parallel to the exhibition. Continue reading

The trial lawyers’ payday comes to the Bayou

As an American lawyer, my heart rate naturally goes up when I think about large-scale litigation. My professional pride also swells to see that our legendary legal ingenuity is not a thing of the past. Continue reading

The ISM code comes into its own

The many victims of maritime paperwork fatigue may, in the wake of Deepwater Horizon, soon have even more to bewail. Continue reading

Shout a little less

mikethumbI suppose with half a million tons of oil so far ejected into the Gulf of Mexico one is entitled to feel pretty angry with the response. Just as long as it is flowing, nobody will ever have done enough to mitigate its effects. Continue reading

Planning for next time: Matching resources with reality

Nostalgia, as the saying goes, isn’t what it used to be. Reminiscence is kinder; when we look back, in the mellow afterglow of selective memory, it often seems that everything either went according to plan or, at any rate, went just as we said it would. Hindsight is more rigourous. It means examining, understanding and learning from experience. Continue reading

Getting serious about risk management?

The Gulf of Mexico postmortems are landing with explosive force, even if the well has not yet been sealed. At what Churchill liked to call the root of the matter, there wasan inability to appreciate and apply a safety or risk management system to the drilling and operation of at least some exploratory and production wells on the U. S. outer continental shelf. Continue reading

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