Qwest Legal

Qwest Legal offers unlimited and deductible-free general legal advice for all maritime or trade enquiries. 

Using a tiered structure Qwest Legal can take care of all arbitration and litigation needs, offering a legal fee protection scheme with flexible levels of protection.

Our services range from case-by-case consultations to full retainer arrangements for operators who are looking to outsource their legal functions, all tailored to the individual client’s needs and competitively priced.

Key features

  • High quality advice from experienced maritime lawyers who understand your problem

  • Available around the clock from our global network

  • Service provided on a permanent basis or as and when needed

  • Value for money with flexible arrangements to fit your requirements and all agreed in advance 

  • Legal fee support scheme available up to US$1m for English Law disputes (other jurisdictions can be agreed) backed by Lloyd’s security.

Who is it for?

  • Ship owners and operators
  • Time and Voyage Charterers and traders
  • Ship Managers
  • Freight forwarders
  • Brokers

What does it cover?

  • Tier 1 – unlimited legal and claims advice in relation to any maritime or trade query, pre or post fixture, and at any time up to the commencement of legal proceedings, with no deductible and no limit on the number of times you can use the service.

  • Tier 2 - $500,000 of legal fee protection to cover the costs of litigation or arbitration

  • Tier 3 – an additional $500,000 of legal fee protection

  • A 25% deductible applies to Tiers 2 and 3 and these are not available without Tier 1.

  • Tier 1 is also available as a free- standing product for clients seeking legal and commercial advice. If proceedings are commenced and clients do not have Tier 2 or 3 cover, discounted rates are available for handling the matter through to conclusion.

Product Guide

FAQ - Qwest Legal

No, its focus is different. The essence of the Tier 1 service is ground-up, unlimited and deductible-free legal advice on any and all pre- and post-fixture issues, however small and as often as required. Traditional Defence Clubs entries often apply deductibles for formal legal advice and typically do not have the resources to provide unlimited advice at the operational level, preferring to deal only with actual disputes. Qwest Legal is designed to fill this gap by offering unlimited ground-up advice to a client’s operations, legal and insurance teams as required. It also offers protection for legal expenses with Tiers 2 and 3. 

This provides unlimited ground up, deductible free legal advice on English law contracts where an operator needs assistance with pre- or post-fixture enquiries. It covers advice whether there is a dispute or not and can then assist an operator in pursuit of or defence from a claim not covered by an operator’s traditional arrangements.

These are legal expense covers offered by a Lloyd's underwriter with cover up to $500,000 or $1,000,000. This is not insurance cover offered directly by Qwest but it cannot be purchased without Tier 1 cover.

Tier 1 is provided without deductible – unlike most traditional products – and it will respond to an unlimited number of enquiries – again unlike other products. The service stops – and Tiers 1 and 2 start – where a claim is being prepared for legal proceedings, but we will work closely with you to determine when this point is reached.

The legal expense cover requires the ship operator to contribute 25% of the legal costs incurred in investigating, preparing and completing the legal proceedings or arbitration. There is minimum dispute amount of $25,000.

Yes. If independent legal opinion does not recommend the merits of the case, then the legal cost insurer can refuse to proceed. This is to avoid crusades.

A second opinion can be sought which, if it convinces the legal costs insurers, will be paid for by the insurer who will then cover the cost of the legal action or arbitration. If however it is not convincing then a separate arrangement can be made with Qwest Claims to pursue the matter.

This will be handled in strict accordance with established conflict procedures - separate claims handler, management layers and complete confidentiality - ensuring the interests of both parties are properly protected.

This is an annual retainer agreed much like a traditional insurance cover with an agreed annual fee.