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Porter Hedges Construction Team Successfully Represents Beacon Maritime in Dispute Over Refurbished Offshore Drilling Rigs

I am very pleased to report an excellent outcome for our client, Beacon Maritime Inc. Beacon is a company who specializes in building, converting and refurbishing offshore drilling rigs. They entered into a contract with Aban Offshore Ltd., India’s largest offshore drilling company back in 2005. The contract was originally for $ 7.5 M. Over time and due to hurricane Rita and many,many Owner initiated changes and increases in scope, the contract amount grew to $28M. Our client almost finished (but not quite) the work scope before Aban took the rig back to India to drill wells (refusing to let us complete the work). As they were about to leave , our client seized the rig and made them put up a letter of credit for the unpaid work. They put up the LC, left with the rig and then sued our client for $15 to 17M in actual damages and $75M in punitives for fraud, negligent misrep, negligence, breach of warranty and breach of K. We also had an affirmative claim of $186,000, which our client had never really billed for because the relationship soured so fast.

We tried this case in arbitration for a week and a half in May. We just received an arbitration Award from the Panel ordering our client to pay the other side $13,000. They granted the other side $ 200,00 in liquidated damages (10 days times $20K a day) and granted our claim for the $186,000. They offset the 2 claims and so we owe Aban $13,000. They denied Aban’s claims for fraud, negligent misrep, negligence and breach of warranty. Our client is estactic. The contract required the parties to waive attorneys fees, so no one gets fees.

We were hired at the end of October (6 months before trial) after two other firms had worked on the case. Tim Ross and Pam Ford put their all into this case, working nights and weekends with Pam even missing a wedding and a family reunion due to the timing of trial. Tim did a superb job of preparing and deposing fact and expert witnesses as well as trying the case. They both were at their best !! Our main expert, Ray Koon, of Synergen did as good a job as any expert I have ever seen. Our client worked hard to analyze the data and teach us the background and a pretty complicated set of facts…….a lot of which they only began to understand and appreciate themselves while we were preparing for depositions in the last 60 days of the case.

Congrats to All……..

Allison Snyder

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