Port Line v Ben Line [1958] 2 QB 146

Key point

  • Overruled Strathcona
  • A charterparty is not binding on a third party purchaser of a vessel with notice


  • Port line (C) time chartered a vessel from Silver Line
  • Silver line sold vessel to Ben Line (D)
  • The vessel was requisitioned by Ministry of Transport for 2 months
  • C sought compensation from D in accordance with the principle of Strathcona

Port Line

Held (High Court)

  • C’s claim failed

Diplock J

  • Strathcona was wrongly decided
  • A time charterer, like a voyage charterer (unlike a demise charterer) has no proprietary interest in the ship, hence the basis of enforcing an injunction is lacking
  • Even if Strathcona was rightly decided, it would only entitle C to an injunction and did not mean that the charterer had positive rights, hence no compensation could be given