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The Kookmin Bank v Rainy Sky case certainly had any number of people frothing at the mouth at Posidonia last month and speculation was running high about the potential loss of confidence in the English court system following the Court of Appeal judgment.

While many commentators have suggested the judgment's impact may be less anti-owner than was originally thought, it was the words of the third judge that got people going. In allowing the appeal, Lord Justice Thorpe said "I find myself in the invidious position of expressing a decisive opinion in a field that is completely foreign. With considerable trepidation I support the judgment of Patten LJ. I found that Mr Philipps' submissions had turned me from my preliminary position that Simon J was right for the reasons he gave. I would allow the appeal for the reasons stated by Patten LJ."

Invidious position? Decisive opinion? Foreign field? Considerable trepidation? Come on Lord Justice Thorpe – either you're fit to hear the case or you're not. The shipping community expects better from the English courts.

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