Unicredit Bank AG v Euronav NV [2023] EWCA Civ 471

May 2023
Region: Europe

On 4 May 2023, the Court of Appeal handed down a widely anticipated judgment dismissing Unicredit Bank AG’s appeal of a High Court decision of Mrs Justice Moulder and upholding the dismissal of Unicredit’s claim for damages against Owners, Euronav N.V., for delivering part of a cargo to a third party without presentation of the original bills of lading.

The Court of Appeal found that, while there was a breach of Owners’ obligation under the bill of lading to discharge without the original of the bills, there was no causation of the loss and, therefore, Unicredit’s appeal was dismissed.This short briefing will focus on the wider ramifications for commodity trade financing and the shipping industry, rather than an analysis of the court’s key findings on the nature and status of the bill of lading.