Case Study: Confidential Client

Advising on oil spill litigation in China.


ERM was commissioned by an international insurance company to help its legal and technical team respond to the grounding of an oil tanker and an alleged oil spill in China.  The oil tanker was carrying an estimated 100 thousands metric tons of crude oil at the time, and as a result of the alleged oil spill, more than 100 lawsuits were filed by the local farmers demanding compensation of up to US$125million; making it one of the biggest maritime claims in China.

Our Approach

ERM worked closely with the defendant’s legal team as part of a group of independent experts appointed by the local maritime court to participate in the sampling program at the grounding site. This included collecting on-site evidence collection, assessing the quality of seawater and seabed matter, oil fingerprint sampling and the claimants’ investigation and damage assessment. We also helped the insurer’s legal team to monitor the appointed experts’ work procedures and review their reports to the maritime court.

The insurer’s legal team also asked us to gather information from various national, provincial and local authorities, and international organizations such as the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited. Our local network and reputation also helped us to identify and form a group of experts to support the insurer’s legal team in the court proceedings.

Benefits and Value

We were able to provide them with independent expertise as required to ensure they had all the evidence needed to help them to make an informed decision in determining outcomes

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