AIYON Abogados collaborates with the publication “The Insurance Disputes Law Review”, 2021

We would like to thank “The Law Reviews” for allowing us to contribute to the 2021 edition of “The Insurance Disputes Law Review”, a work that we have carried out in collaboration with other prestigious international firms.

This cooperation is being carried out for the second consecutive year and has allowed our partners Verónica Meana and Mikel Garteiz-goxeaskoa to provide a broad and very complete overview of Spanish insurance regulation.

In addition to reviewing the general aspects of insurance and the legal framework, the study has also focused on studying the types of litigation that have increased in Spain in recent months in areas such as: limitation and delimitation clauses of insurance; compensation for loss of profit due to business interruptions due to Covid-19; malice and gross negligence; insurance contracts for large risks and possible negligence in the health sector, among others.


Read the AIYON Abogados chapter by clicking on the following link.

Comments on Supreme Court Judgment Nº 901/2021 in the “Spanair Case”

Back in 2019, in our article “Judgement of the Spanish Supreme Court in the Spanair crash case”, we pointed out that the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court in its judgment of 17 May 2019 no. 1513/2019 settled the question of the evaluation of personal injuries suffered in an air accident, by confirming the criteria of the Provincial Court of Barcelona, judgment no. 165/2016, of 12 July, and determining that, in the absence of regulation for the evaluation of personal injuries caused in aviation accidents, it was more appropriate to provide compensation based on the existing legal scale for personal injuries caused in motor vehicle accidents (RDL no 8/2004, of 29 October, approving the revised text of Civil Liability and Insurance Act in the Circulation of Motor Vehicles).

However, the judgement pointed out that the indicative use of the scale does not prevent the application of corrective criteria according to the circumstances of the sector of activity to which it refers. In the case of an air accident, due to its catastrophic nature and the other circumstances surrounding it, it is reasonable that the compensation resulting from the application of the scale be increased by an additional percentage, which in this case was set at 50 %.

Now, after years of litigation arising from the very serious plane crash suffered by the now defunct airline Spanair in 2008, resulting in the death of one hundred and fifty four people and eighteen injured, the recent Judgment of the Supreme Court no. 901/2021 of 21 December 2021 dismisses the extraordinary appeal for procedural infringement and the cassation appeals against judgment no 5/2018, of 8 January, of the Provincial Court of Madrid, filed by Mapfre Global Risks Compañía Internacional de Seguros y Reaseguros S.A., among others, to confirm that, without prejudice to other possible causes, the accident occurred as a result of an inadequate configuration of the aircraft to perform this maneouver, attributable to the pilot an co-pilot of the aircraft. Likewise, the court establishes hat Mapfre is civilly liable for the damages caused by the accident, as it was the insurer of the company Spanair at the time of the accident.

Furthermore, in line with the above, Judgment no 901/2021 in its Sixth Legal Basis states that, by using as a criterion for compensation the indicative application of the scale in the annex to Legislative Royal Decree no 8/2004, of 29 October, the Provincial Court did not violate the principle of indemnity in the compensation of damages or apply limitations to compensation for death or bodily injury, incompatible with the framework of the Montreal Convention and Regulation (EC) no. 2027/1997, as amended by Regulation (EC) no. 882/2002, of 13 May 2002.

Consequently, the insurer is ordered to pay compensation, the amount of which now exceeds four million Euro.

Renewal of the Board of Directors of the Propeller Club of the Basque Country Port of Bilbao

On 27 January 2002, the Propeller Club of the Basque Country – Port of Bilbao, an association in which our firm participates, began the year 2022 with a change in its presidency.

Gerardo Tiedemann, who has led the association for years with great success and dedication, handed over his post to José Luis Grijalvo, to whom we wish the best in this new journey.

In the Board of Directors of the Propeller Club of the Basque Country-Bilbao, together with the rest of the relevant representatives of the maritime and logistics sector in Bilbao, our partner from Bilbao, Mikel Garteiz-goxeaskoa, remains as treasurer and member of the Board of Directors.

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) Continues to Deploy Drones to Monitor Emissions from Merchant Ships in EU Waters in 2022

According to the Roadmap of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), in 2022, which is now beginning, the development of the capabilities of remotely piloted aircraft, commonly known as drones (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems or RPAS), will continue, especially regarding the detection of possible pollutant emissions from merchant ships exceeding the limits established in Annex VI of the International Convention on Marine Pollution (MARPOL). Sulphur content limit for marine fuels is currently set at 0.5 % by mass.

By 2022, these drones are also expected to be able to monitor the NOx content of smoke from ships underway, in addition to the SOx mentioned above.

In fact, during 2021, emission control campaigns were already carried out with drones in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, Lithuania, France, and the Baltic Sea. Specifically, in relation to the deployment of the drone in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar between July and October, EMSA, together with the Directorate General of the Merchant Navy and Harbor Master of Algeciras, carried out a total of 319 controls on different merchant vessels while they were sailing through the Strait, detecting possible non-compliance in twenty-eight (28) of the vessels.

Although the readings obtained using these novel aerial means may be indicative of excess sulphur marine fuel consumption, they do not directly result in the initiation of a sanctioning proceeding or in the imposition of a penalty for the monitored vessel.  In order to corroborate the preliminary drone readings, a detailed Port State Control (PSC) inspection will always be required upon arrival of the ship in port, together with the corresponding sampling of the fuels used during the voyage.

After this inspection and chemical analysis of the fuel samples obtained, if the sulphur reading is above 0.5 % by mass, the corresponding Harbor Master’s Office will initiate an administrative sanctioning proceeding against the “ISM Manager” and against the master of the inspected vessel, and the vessel will be provisionally detained until sufficient guarantees have been provided at the discretion of the responsible Harbor Master’s Office.

The data obtained from the drone measurements are also communicated to the THETIS-EU database, also managed by EMSA. The purpose of this is to effectively monitor the non-compliance detected and to establish a system of alerts for the different maritime administrations of the Member States of the European Union, facilitating thus the taking of appropriate measures to prevent and/or sanction the aforementioned typified conducts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

El Canal Marítimo y Logístico Highlights the Trajectory of AIYON Abogados since its Foundation

The journal El Canal Marítimo y Logístico analyses and highlights the trajectory of our firm since its foundation in 2015 and catalogues it as a model of success that continues to develop and grow.

The article confirms that, since the firm was founded more than six years ago, AIYON Abogados has formed a multidisciplinary, solid, and participative team of professionals, with marked quality standards in its services, and always respecting its concept of “boutique law firm” firmly connected with its clients and the sector.

From its basic nature with regard to maritime law, our firm aims to further reinforce the relationship with our international clients (maritime insurers, shipping companies and freight forwarders) on the basis of specialised training. This is one of the areas in which    we are involved as part of our activity, collaborating as regular lecturers in the Master of the Spanish Maritime Institute (Madrid), giving training talks at the University of Cadiz, maintaining collaborations with the universities of Deusto and La Laguna, as well as acting as members of the Court of Arbitration of the Madrid Bar Association. This is a commitment to the new generations, but also to clients, who expect andobtain personalised professional advice.

Likewise, the publication makes special mention of the website on the lifting of the ship arrest that the firm launched in 2021, which can be consulted at:

On the other hand, the AIYON team informs that we continue to be clearly committed to handling matters related to land transport, especially in the area of national and international road transport, and the world of insurance and trade, where we have great professionals advising our clients on a daily basis and accompanying them on theirprofessional journey.

Finally, our firm’s clear vocation to deepen its knowledge of Air Law – air chartering, incidents, claims or purchase and sale of aircraft, among others – and Space Law is reflected in the “Postgraduate Specialist Course in Aeronautical and Space Law”, taught by the Faculty of Law (ICADE) in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Aeronauticaland Space Law (AEDAE).

You can read the article at the following link:

Broad representation of AIYON Abogados at the National Congress of the Spanish Association of Maritime Law (AEDM)

Verónica Meana, Zuberoa Elorriaga and José Antonio Dominguez, partners of the offices in Madrid, Bilbao and Algeciras, respectively, took part in the National Congress of the Spanish Association of Maritime Law (AEDM) on November 18thand 19th which was held in Madrid under the title “The Maritime Law of the Recovery. Challenges and Reforms”.

The congress, which provided information of great interest to the participants, began with an In Memoriam tribute to Javier Galiano, Ramón Fernández Guerra and Fernando Meana Green. In memory of the great personal and professional legacy of the latter, Verónica, his daughter and our colleague, made a brief speech.

The congress program was structured into six modules that were addressed with rigour and depth. The latest experiences on the implementation of the Paris Memorandum, with the presentation of the point of view of various sectors (insurance, shipowners, and Directorate-General for Merchant Shipping); the “Next Generation” Funds in the maritime sector, with the analysis of the requirements for their application; liability and insurance in accidents in ports; technological challenges in technical investigation of maritime accidents; and the ongoing reforms of the Law on State Ports and Merchant Marine and the Maritime Navigation Act were discussed.

Ship arrest

By Irantzu Sedano and Zuberoa Elorriaga

The usual short stay of ships in the ports where they load and unload goods, as well as the international nature of the maritime sector, means that, on many occasions, it is very difficult to recover a debt from shipowners and charterers. It is in this context that the concept of ship arrest emerges.

Ship arrest is a legal tool that enables the creditor of a claim, which must be defined as a “maritime claim” to secure the detention of the ship concerned in order to guarantee its payment. This precautionary, preventive, and urgent legal action can also be regarded as a burdensome measure due to the economic damage it can cause to the operator of the vessel, as it can lead to delays in the vessel’s navigation plans, unforeseen costs due to its stay at berth in port, etc. It can also be a costly measure for the person requesting the arrest if it is wrongly or improperly proposed.

Reasons for the arrest
The arrest of ships pursues different objectives, which vary depending on the asserted maritime claim. That is to say, when the maritime claim consists of a monetary claim, the arrest will operate so that the shipowner/charterer (debtor) provides sufficient security to lift the ship arrest, with the attaching creditor obtaining security. When the maritime claim consists of a claim to the ownership of the vessel, the arrest will ensure the application of an eventual sentence to hand over the vessel.

The detention of the vessel may be replaced by the provision of a guarantee or substitute security by the shipowner/charterer before the court applying the measure, since the ultimate objective of the arrest is to guarantee the effectiveness of a later judgement on the merits of the claim / “maritime claim”, ensuring thus the possibility of its enforcement for the creditor/attaching creditor’s.

In the event that the arrest is requested unjustifiably or improperly, the shipowner/charterer of the vessel is entitled to claim for any damages resulting from the arrest.

Requirements for the ship arrest
The international legal regime in force in Spain is the International Convention on Arrest of Ships (Geneva 1999), which entered into force on 14 September 2011. At the national level, we must resort to the Maritime Navigation Act 14/2014, of 24 July.

The requirements are as follows:

  • The allegation of a “maritime claim”: ships may only be arrested on the basis of maritime claims and not on the basis of any other claim. The list of so-called “maritime claims” is numerus clausus and is set out in Article 1(1) of the 1999 Geneva Convention. The creditor of the precautionary measure, requesting the arrest, shall be exonerated from proving his claim, being sufficient for him to allege its existence and the cause for it.
  • The arrest of the “offending ship”: arrest of the vessel causing the claim is permitted provided that the person who was the owner/bareboat lessor of the ship at the time the claim arose is still the owner/bareboat lessor at the time the arrest is requested. Under certain conditions it also provides for the possibility of arresting other vessels owned by the person liable for payment of the claim (“sister ships”).
  • The existence of periculum in mora: this refers to the risk that the ship, in principle the only property of the debtor known to the creditor, may at any time leave the port leaving the creditor without guarantees.
  • The obligation to deposit a guaranteed by the attaching creditor: its purpose is to ensure that, in the event that the arrest is requested improperly and without complying with the legal requirement, the damages generated to the shipowner/charterer as a result of the incorrect arrest can be economically alleviated.
  • The pendency of the proceedings: the arrest may be requested before, during or after the commencement of the legal proceedings on the merits. The lawsuit will be brought before the court that is to hear the merits of the dispute.

Release of the arrest and the protective measure
In order to confirm ship’s release from the arrest, the arrested party (shipowner) must lodge a replacement security or guarantee before the court covering the amount claimed by its creditor (arresting party), provided that such amount does not exceed the value of the arrested vessel. If it does, the vessel will continue its voyage, leaving deposited this amount as a security for the alleged maritime claim.

Since, as a general rule, the request for arrest is placed as a precautionary measure prior to the filing of the lawsuit, it will remain without effect if the creditor/attaching creditor does not initiate the proceedings on the merits of the dispute before the competent court and within the time limit established by the court executing the precautionary measure. In such a situation, the arresting party shall be ordered to pay damages that will be considered by the court, and the security deposited by the arresting party before the court shall be forfeited.

In summary, Article 1 of the International Convention on the Arrest of Ships lists what are considered “maritime claims” that can justify the arrest of a ship, so there are many agents in the sector that may be protected by this tool to guarantee their claims (seafarers, ship suppliers, shipyards, administration, etc.).

AIYON Abogados handles arrests of ships requested by any kind of creditors, as well as lifting of the arrests of shipowners/charterers affected by this measure; moreover, for all those who want to find out more in detail about this concept we have the following platform:

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Comments on Spanish Law 13/2021, of 1st October, on combating late payment in the carriage of goods by road

On 2 October 2021, the Act 13/2021 was published in the Official State Journal, which amends the Land Transport Act to combat late payment in the field of land freight transport; this regulation came into force one day after its publication.

The need for this regulation arises from the fact that in Spain the average payment term for commercial transactions is 90 days, well above the European average, and that the existing asymmetry between the parties to the land transport contract may generate possible situations of unfair competition in the regulatory framework regulating the activity.

In order to correct this situation, a new type of infringement has been created under this new law, which will penalize cases in which transport prices are paid more than sixty days in advance (payment terms of more than 60 days were already void according to pre-existing regulations).

Two new infringements are created: a very serious one, in the event that the price of the transport exceeds EUR 3,000 and another serious one when it is less than or equal to EUR 3,000.

The regulation establishes a scale of penalties depending on the price of transport, ranging from a minimum fine of EUR 401 to a maximum of EUR 6,000, which, in the even of a repeated offence, may be increased to a maximum of EUR 18,000, with aggravated fines of up to EUR 30,000.

For dissuasive purposes, the regulation contemplates the possibility of publishing the sanctioning resolutions imposed for incurring in very serious infringements.

The regulation does not establish when the maximum period of 60 days starts to be calculated, and although it is most likely to begin with the provision of the service (delivery of the goods at destination), the alternative would be that this period would be calculated from the issuance of the invoice for which the carrier has a maximum period of 15 days from the date of transport/delivery of the goods at destination.

The offending party may be any type of company that owes the price of a transport (even a carrier in the case of subcontracting), regardless of whether the creditor company is a carrier or not. To this effect, it must be taken into account that in the case of subcontracting for transport between companies belonging to the same group, these will also be considered as offending parties and will have to face the corresponding penalties in the event of not complying with the maximum payment term.

It will not be necessary for the creditors to denounce the non-payment of the transport price, that is, the Administration will act ex officio, and we assume that it will be by the inspectors of the Ministry of Transport within the inspections they perform in the transport companies. Although it seems that the sense of this amendment is to support and facilitate the collection of the transport price by the carriers, it is also true that this makes it unlikely that it will be applied to foreign clients of Spanish carriers.

The regulation does not apply retroactively, that is, to transports carried out prior to October 3, 2021.

AIYON Abogados strengthens its position in Aeronautical and Space Law

AIYON Abogados maintains its commitment to becoming a benchmark law firm in Aeronautical and Space Law. Its position in these areas is reinforced by the new qualification obtained by Zuberoa Elorriaga, partner of Aiyon’s Bilbao office. Her graduation was held last October 25, becoming the first class of the “Postgraduate Course of Specialist in Aeronautical and Space Law” offered by the Faculty of Law of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE), in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Aeronautical and Space Law (AEDAE).

These two prestigious entities have launched this pioneering initiative whose objective is solving the existing training deficit in Spain in these two fields, which have traditionally been monopolized by the Administration and other public entities until their liberalization.

AIYON Abogados will continue advising its clients in matters derived from the dynamics of airports, such as handling its legal regime, aircraft contracts, certification and legal regime related to the manufacture and financing of aircrafts, code sharing and interlining in contracts with airlines, insurances, aeronautical inspections and labour contracts, among others.

It is also worth mentioning the training acquired in the increasingly present and relevant space law environment: international treaties and conventions, legal aspects of satellite navigation systems, use of resources, space waste, etc.

The interest and involvement of AIYON Abogados in these areas will be evident on November 5 with the participation of partners from Bilbao and Algeciras,  Zuberoa Elorriaga and José Antonio Dominguez, in the 33rd Annual Conference of the European Air Law Association (EALA) in Copenhagen.

During this meeting of experts, issues related to competition in the sector will be addressed in relation to state aid and EU legislation, the impact of Brexit, changes in the financing of the airline industry and sustainable aviation, among many other issues.

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