PRACTICE DIRECTION 61 – ADMIRALTY CLAIMS
61.1 – Scope
1.1 Practice Direction 58 also applies to Admiralty claims except where it is inconsistent with Part 61 or this practice direction.
1.2 Practice Direction 57AC (Witness Evidence at Trial) applies to witness statements for use at trials in admiralty claims (including claims in rem, collision claims, and limitation claims) in the Admiralty Court, notwithstanding that such claims are not proceedings under CPR Part 7 or Part 8. It applies to proceedings in the Admiralty Court whenever begun, but only to trial witness statements signed on or after 1 October 2021.
(Rule 61.1(2) defines an ‘admiralty claim’ as a claim within the Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court as set out in section 20 of the Senior Courts Act 1981.)”
2.1 After a claim form is issued the Registrar will issue a direction in writing stating –
(1) whether the claim will remain in the Admiralty Court or be transferred to another court; and
2.2 In making these directions the Registrar will have regard to –
(1) the nature of the issues and the sums in dispute; and
(2) the criteria set in rule 26.8 so far as they are applicable.
2.3 Where the Registrar directs that the claim will be dealt with by the Admiralty Judge, case management directions will be given and any case management conference or pre-trial review will be heard by the Admiralty Judge.
2.4 Where it is directed that a claim is to be dealt with by the Registrar, it is the Registrar who will give directions, conduct any case management conference and any pre-trial review, and try the claim.
2.5 Appeals from all decisions and judgments of the Registrar are to the Admiralty Judge, unless otherwise ordered (and subject to article 4(1)(a) of the Access to Justice 1999 (Destination of Appeals) Order 2016, S.I. 2016 No. 917).
61.3 – Claims in rem
3.1 A claim form in rem must be in Form ADM1.
3.2 The claimant in a claim in rem may be named or may be described, but if not named in the claim form must identify himself by name if requested to do so by any other party.
3.3 The defendant must be described in the claim form.
3.4 The acknowledgment of service must be in Form ADM2. The person who acknowledges service must identify himself by name.
3.5 The period for acknowledging service under rule 61.3(4) applies irrespective of whether the claim form contains particulars of claim.
3.6 A claim form in rem may be served in the following ways:
(1) on the property against which the claim is brought by fixing a copy of the claim form –
(a) on the outside of the property in a position which may reasonably be expected to be seen; or
(2) if the property to be served is in the custody of a person who will not permit access to it, by leaving a copy of the claim form with that person;
(3) where the property has been sold by the Marshal, by filing the claim form at the court;
(4) where there is a notice against arrest, on the person named in the notice as being authorised to accept service;
(5) on any solicitor authorised to accept service;
(6) in accordance with any agreement providing for service of proceedings; or
(7) in any other manner as the court may direct under rule 6.15 provided that the property against which the claim is brought or part of it is within the jurisdiction of the court.
3.7 In claims where the property –
(1) is to be arrested; or
(2) is already under arrest in current proceedings,
the Marshal will serve the in rem claim form if the claimant requests the court to do so.
3.8 In all other cases in rem claim forms must be served by the claimant.
3.9 Where the defendants are described and not named on the claim form (for example as ‘the Owners of the Ship X’), any acknowledgment of service in addition to stating that description must also state the full names of the persons acknowledging service and the nature of their ownership.
3.10 After the acknowledgment of service has been filed, the claim will follow the procedure applicable to a claim proceeding in the Commercial list except that the claimant is allowed 75 days to serve the particulars of claim.
3.11 A defendant who files an acknowledgment of service to an in rem claim does not lose any right he may have to dispute the jurisdiction of the court (see rule 10.1(3)(b) and Part 11).
3.12 Any person who pays the prescribed fee may, during office hours, search for, inspect and take a copy of any claim form in rem whether or not it has been served.
61.3A – Claims in personam
3A.1 This section applies to Admiralty claims in personam (defined in rule 61.1(2)(bc) as an admiralty claim other than a claim in rem). Subject to the provisions of Part 61 and this practice direction relating to limitation claims and to collision claims, the following provisions apply to such claims.
3A.2 All such claims will proceed in accordance with Part 58 (Commercial Court).
3A.3 The claim form must be in Form ADM1A and must be served by the claimant.
3A.4 The claimant may be named or may be described, but if not named in the claim form must identify themselves by name if requested to do so by any other party.
3A.5 The defendant must be named in the claim form.
3A.6 Any person who files a defence must identify themselves by name in the defence.
61.4 – Collision claims
4.1 A collision statement of case must be in form ADM3.
4.2 A collision statement of case must contain –
(1) in Part 1 of the form, answers to the questions set out in that Part; and
(2) in Part 2 of the form, a statement –
(a) of any other facts and matters on which the party filing the collision statement of case relies;
(b) of all allegations of negligence or other fault which the party filing the collision statement of case makes; and
(c) of the remedy which the party filing the collision statement of case claims.
4.3 When he files his collision statement of case each party must give notice to every other party that he has done so.
4.4 Within 14 days after the last collision statement of case is filed each party must serve a copy of his collision statement of case on every other party.
4.5 Before the coming into force of Part 61, a collision statement of case was known as a Preliminary Act and the law relating to Preliminary Acts will continue to apply to collision statements of case.
4.6 In all collision claims—
(1) a case management conference is mandatory;
(2) the claimant must apply for a case management conference within 7 days after the last collision statement of case is filed, failing which any other party may apply for a case management conference;
(3) the mandatory case management conference will normally take place on the first available date 6 weeks after the last collision statement of case is filed.
Fast track collision claims
4.7 In any collision claim where electronic track data has been disclosed by one or more parties as being in its control in accordance with rule 61.4(4A)—
(1) the court will seek to adopt fast track procedures for the determination of issues of liability as part of its duty actively to manage cases in accordance with the overriding objective, which may include directions—
(a) limiting further disclosure to contemporaneous documents made shortly before and shortly after the collision;
(b) limiting witnesses to those most closely involved with the collision;
(c) excluding or limiting expert evidence;
(d) requiring the parties to provide a memorandum of points of agreement and dispute, to include an agreed plot of each vessel’s track leading up to the collision;
(e) dispensing with oral evidence;
(f) limiting the number of assessors to one, or dispensing with the assistance of assessors;
(g) dispensing with an oral hearing, and instead determining issues of liability only on the basis of—
(i) an agreed bundle of evidence, and
(ii) written submissions, limited to 10 pages or such other length as is approved by the court, on fault, causation and apportionment,
in which case the court will identify the date on which the trial will be deemed to start for the purposes of rule 61.4(10)(a);
(h) allocating the case to a deputy High Court Judge sitting in the Admiralty Court, or to the Admiralty Registrar; and/or
(i) making a costs capping order.
(2) The parties should give careful consideration to adopting these and/or other procedures and directions when completing their case management information sheets. The court will give due consideration to any agreement made by the parties which is intended to dispose of the claim in an expeditious and cost-effective manner.
Shorter and flexible trials of collision cases
4.8 In a collision action to which rule 61.4(4A) and paragraph 4.7 of this practice direction do not apply, the parties will be expected to consider whether the claim is suitable to tried in accordance with Practice Direction 57AB (Shorter and Flexible Trial Schemes).
4.9 Practice Direction 57AB applies to collision claims with the following modifications—
(1) paragraphs 2.09 to 2.34 do not apply and paragraphs 4.1 to 4.6 of this practice direction will apply instead; and
(2) at the case management conference, in exercising its powers under PD57AB, the court will consider the options in paragraph 4.7(1)(a) to (i) above.
61.5 – Arrest
5.1 An application for arrest must be –
(1) in form ADM4 (which must also contain an undertaking); and
(2) accompanied by a declaration in form ADM5.
5.2 When it receives an application for arrest that complies with the rules and the practice direction the court will issue an arrest warrant.
5.3 The declaration required by rule 61.5(3)(b) must be verified by a statement of truth and must state –
(1) in every claim –
(a) the nature of the claim or counterclaim and that it has not been satisfied and if it arises in connection with a ship, the name of that ship;
(b) the nature of the property to be arrested and, if the property is a ship, the name of the ship and her port of registry; and
(c) the amount of the security sought, if any.
(2) in a claim against a ship by virtue of section 21(4) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 –
(a) the name of the person who would be liable on the claim if it were not commenced in rem;
(b) that the person referred to in sub-paragraph (a) was, when the right to bring the claim arose –
(i) the owner or charterer of; or
(ii) in possession or in control of,
the ship in connection with which the claim arose; and
(3) in the cases set out in rules 61.5 (5) and (6) that the relevant notice has been sent or served, as appropriate; and
5.4 The notice required by rule 61.5(5)(a) must be in form ADM6.
5.5 Property is arrested –
(1) by service on it of an arrest warrant in form ADM9 in the manner set out at paragraph 3.6(1); or
5.6 When property is arrested the Registrar will issue standard directions in form ADM10.
5.7 The Marshal does not insure property under arrest.
61.7 – Cautions against arrest
6.1 The entry of a caution against arrest is not treated as a submission to the jurisdiction of the court.
6.2 The request for a caution against arrest must be in form ADM7.
6.3 On the filing of such a request, a caution against arrest will be entered in the Register.
6.4 The Register is open for inspection when the Admiralty and Commercial Registry is open.
61.8 – Release and cautions against release
7.1 The request for a caution against release must be in form ADM11.
7.3 The Register is open for inspection when the Admiralty and Commercial Registry is open.
7.4 A request for release under rule 61.8(4)(c) and (d) must be in form ADM12.
7.5 A withdrawal of a caution against release must be in form ADM12A.
61.9 – Judgment in default
8.1 An application notice for judgment in default must be in form ADM13.
61.10 – Sale by the court and priorities
9.1 Any application to the court concerning –
(1) the sale of the property under arrest; or
9.2 Unless the court orders otherwise an order for sale will be in form ADM14.
9.3 Unless the Admiralty Judge orders otherwise, an order for sale before judgment may only be made by the Admiralty Judge.
9.4 Unless the Admiralty Judge orders otherwise, a determination of priorities may only be made by the Admiralty Judge.
9.5 When –
(1) proceeds of sale are paid into court by the Marshal; and
(2) such proceeds are in a foreign currency,
the funds will be placed on one day call interest bearing account unless the court orders otherwise.
9.6 Unless made at the same time as an application for sale, or other prior application, an application to place foreign currency on longer term deposit may be made to the Registrar.
9.7 Notice of the placement of foreign currency in an interest bearing account must be given to all parties interested in the fund by the party who made the application under paragraph 9.6.
9.8 Any interested party who wishes to object to the mode of investment of foreign currency paid into court may apply to the Registrar for directions.
61.11 – Limitation claims
10.1 The claim form in a limitation claim must be –
(1) in form ADM15; and
(2) accompanied by a declaration –
(a) setting out the facts upon which the claimant relies; and
(b) stating the names and addresses (if known) of all persons who, to the knowledge of the claimant, have claims against him in respect of the occurrence to which the limitation claim relates (other than named defendants and interested parties), verified by a statement of truth.
10.2 A defence to a limitation claim must be in form ADM16A.
10.3 A notice admitting the right of the claimant to limit liability in a limitation claim must be in form ADM16.
10.4 An acknowledgment of service in a limitation claim must be in form ADM16B.
10.6 An application for a general limitation decree must be in form ADM17A.
10.7 Where –
(1) the right to limit is not admitted; and
(2) the claimant seeks a general limitation decree in form ADM17A,
the claimant must, within 7 days after the date of the filing of the defence of the defendant last served or the expiry of the time for doing so, apply for an appointment before the Registrar for a case management conference.
10.8 On an application under rule 61.11(12) the Registrar may –
(1) grant a general limitation decree; or
10.9 The fact that a limitation fund has lapsed under rule 61.11(20)(a) does not prevent the establishment of a new fund.
10.9A A limitation fund may be constituted by—
(1) making a payment into court;
(2) providing court-approved security; or
(3) a combination of (1) and (2).
10.10 Where a limitation fund is established by making a payment into court, the sum paid in must be –
(1) the sterling equivalent of the number of special drawing rights to which [the claimant] claims to be entitled to limit his liability under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995; together with
(2) interest from the date of the occurrence giving rise to his liability to the date of payment into court.
10.11 Where the claimant does not know the sterling equivalent referred to in paragraph 10.10(1) on the date of payment into court he may –
(1) calculate it on the basis of the latest available published sterling equivalent of a special drawing right as fixed by the International Monetary Fund; and
(2) in the event of the sterling equivalent of a special drawing right on the date of payment into court being different from that used for calculating the amount of that payment into court the claimant may –
(a) make up any deficiency by making a further payment into court which, if made within 14 days after the payment into court, will be treated, except for the purpose of the rules relating to the accrual of interest on money paid into court, as if made on the date of that payment into court; or
(b) apply to the court for payment out of any excess amount (together with any interest accrued) paid into court.
10.12 An application under paragraph 10.11(2)(b) –
(1) may be made without notice; and
(2) must be supported by evidence proving, to the satisfaction of the court, the sterling equivalent of the appropriate number of special drawing rights on the date of payment into court.
10.13 The claimant must give notice in writing to every defendant and interested party whose address the claimant knows, of –
(1) any payment into court specifying –
(a) the date of the payment in;
(b) the amount paid in and how it has been calculated;
(c) the amount and rate of interest included; and
(d) the period to which it relates; and
(2) any excess amount (and interest) paid out to him under paragraph 10.11(2)(b).
10.13A Where a claimant wishes to establish a limitation fund (in whole or in part) by providing security, the claimant must apply to the court for an order approving the security. The application may be made on paper and without notice, but the applicant should first seek to agree the provider, form, nature, and terms of the proposed security with any named defendant and any interested party before making the application (unless the circumstances of the case make that impracticable).
10.13B An application under paragraph 10.13A must be –
(1) accompanied by the proposed security or a draft thereof; and
(2) supported by evidence of—
(a) the adequacy of the proposed security; and
(b) if the proposed security is expressed in sterling, the sterling equivalent of the appropriate number of special drawing rights on the date the application is made.
10.13C The court shall approve the proposed security if it is satisfied that it is adequate in all the circumstances (including its form, nature, terms, and the financial standing of the person offering it).
10.13D Where a limitation fund is established (in whole or in part) by providing court-approved security, the security may be expressed in special drawing rights or sterling. If the security is expressed in sterling, the amount of the security shall be the same as if the fund were being constituted by payment in to court and paragraphs 10.10 and 10.11(1) above shall apply in an equivalent sense.
10.13E The claimant must give notice in writing to every named defendant and any interested party whose address is known of any court-approved security lodged at court, specifying—
(1) the terms of the security;
(2) the date on which the security was lodged at court;
(3) how the amount of security was calculated;
(4) the amount and rate of interest included, and the period to which it relates,
and shall provide on request any person so notified with a copy of the security so lodged and the application made under paragraph 10.13A.
10.13F An application to set aside the court’s approval of a security may be made by—
(1) any person (whether a defendant, an interested party or another), who was not given notice of the claimant’s application under paragraph 10.13A; or
(2) any person (whether a defendant, an interested party or another) if circumstances relevant to the adequacy of the security have changed since it was approved by the court.
10.13G An application under paragraph 10.13F(1) must be –
(1) made on notice to the provider of the security, all claimants, all named defendants, and all interested parties (whose addresses are known);
(2) supported by evidence setting out the reasons why the court’s approval of the security should be set aside; and
(3) made within 21 days of receipt by the applicant of notice given under paragraph 10.13E (if such notice was given to the applicant) or as soon as reasonably practicable (if no such notice was given to the applicant).
10.13H An application under paragraph 10.13F(2) must be—
(1) made on notice to the provider of the security, all claimants, all named defendants, and all Interested Parties (whose addresses are known);
(2) supported by evidence setting out the change in circumstances justifying the setting aside of the court’s approval of the security; and
(3) made as soon as reasonably practicable after discovery of the change of circumstances.
10.13I On an application under paragraph 10.13F, the court may—
(1) confirm its approval of the adequacy of the security;
(2) set aside its approval of the adequacy of the security; and/or
(3) require the fund to be reconstituted in such manner and on such terms as it thinks fit.
10.13J If a claimant has constituted a fund by payment in of money, it may apply at any time for an order permitting the reconstitution of the fund (in whole or in part) by means of a court-approved security. Any such application shall be made in accordance with paragraphs 10.13A to 10.13E, and paragraphs 10.13F to 10.13I shall apply to any order made.”.
10.14 A claim against the fund must be in form ADM20.
10.15 A defendant's statement of case filed and served in accordance with rule 61.11(15) must contain particulars of the defendant's claim.
10.16 Any defendant who is unable to file and serve a statement of case in accordance with rule 61.11(15) and paragraph 10.15 must file a declaration, verified by a statement of truth, in form ADM21 stating the reason for his inability.
10.17 No later than 7 days after the time for filing claims [or declarations], the Registrar will fix a date for a case management conference at which directions will be given for the further conduct of the proceedings.
10.18 Nothing in rule 61.11 prevents limitation being relied on by way of defence.
Proceeding against or concerning the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1992 and the International Oil Pollution Supplementary Fund
11.1 For the purposes of section 177 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (‘the Act’), the Fund may be given notice of proceedings by any party to a claim against an owner or guarantor in respect of liability under section 153 of the Act by that person serving a notice in writing on the Fund together with copies of the claim form and any statements of case served in the claim.
11.2 Notice given to the Fund under paragraph 11.1 shall be deemed to have been given to the Supplementary Fund.
11.3 The Fund or the Supplementary Fund may intervene in any claim to which paragraph 11.1 applies, (whether or not served with the notice), by serving notice of intervention on the –
(2) guarantor; and
11.4 Where a judgment is given against –
(1) the Fund in any claim under section 175 of the Act;
11.5 Notice to the Registrar of the matters set out in –
(1) section 176(3)(b) of the Act in proceedings under section 175; or
References to the Registrar
13.1 The court may at any stage in the claim refer any question or issue for determination by the Registrar (a ‘reference’).
13.2 Unless the court orders otherwise, where a reference has been ordered –
(1) if particulars of claim have not already been served, the claimant must file and serve particulars of claim on all other parties within 14 days after the date of the order;
(2) any party opposing the claim must file a defence to the claim within 14 days after service of the particulars of claim on him;
(3) the rules concerning statements of case shall apply to the particulars of claim, the defence and any other statements of case served in the reference; and
(4) all documents which the claimant (or counterclaimant) in a reference intends to rely on in order to show that the sums claimed were properly incurred and paid (‘vouchers’) shall be appended to their first statement of case in the reference and cross referenced to the sums being claimed, unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.
13.3 Within 7 days after the defence is filed, the claimant must apply for an appointment before the Registrar for a case management conference.
14.1 Where, in [Part 61] or this practice direction, any undertaking to the Marshal is required it must be given –
(1) in writing and to his satisfaction; or
(2) in accordance with such other arrangements as he may require.
14.2 Where any party is dissatisfied with a direction given by the Marshal in this respect he may apply to the Registrar for a ruling.
ADM1 to ADM22
Available on the forms page.