For years, Morgan & Morgan has been known to be the leader in Panama for ship finance and ship registration transactions worldwide.
According to the latest figures published by the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP, its acronym in Spanish) in February 2011, our country has the largest maritime registry in the world per number of ships (13,489) and tonnage (238,019,489.10 million of gross tons) and Morgan and Morgan leads the sector by having 26% of active ships registered in the country and 42% of the total gross tonnage; besides having the greatest number of open cases at the Maritime Courts of Panama, a judicial entity that has become an internationally recognized forum in the resolution of maritime disputes.
Morgan & Morgan is known to represent the most prestigious ship owning companies as well as the most prominent and active lending institutions worldwide.
The partners of the Ship Finance & Registration team of Morgan & Morgan also hold a leading position in the provision of legal advise on financing transactions, including drafting and registration of Panama law security documentation, attendance at closings, issuance of legal opinions on binding effects of transaction documents on Panama companies, sufficiency of corporate authorities and due registration of naval mortgages.
Throughout the year 2008, Morgan & Morgan among the many ship finance transactions, acted as Panama counsel for purchase finance transactions of vessels involving several billions of dollars by leading banks in the ship finance world, such as BNP Paribas; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; The Royal Bank of Scotland; DnB Nor Bank ASA; Korea Development Bank; Fortis Bank S.A./N.V.; ING Bank N.V.; Mizuho; Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi; Shinhan Capital Co., Ltd.; Calyon Asia Shipfinance Ltd.; Société Générale, among others.
Morgan & Morgan has developed significant expertise on the refinancing and drafting of mortgage security amendments involving Panama flag ships and the shares of Panama companies, which has gained momentum as a result of the worldwide trend of bank mergers and acquisitions. More specifically, Morgan & Morgan handled the amendment of mortgage securities in the vessel portfolios of major banks in the Far East covering a wide scope of refinancing structures.
The Firm has a duly approved electronic transfer platform, known as GAD, which allows e-transmission and printing of documents that stand as originals as per Panama legislation on technological storage of documents. The international network of Morgan & Morgan offices in major shipping centers plus GAD results in the most time effective assistance in the handling of registration of Panama naval mortgages and resolutions of Panama companies.
Amongst the publications by Morgan & Morgan attorneys, one will find Maritime Codes-1: Panama, Lloyd's of London Press Ltd., 1987; Ship Registries-1: Panama, Lloyd's of London Press Ltd., 1987; Panama - The Ship Mortgage, Fairplay Publications Ltd., 1992; Panama Maritime Labor Code, Fairplay Publications Ltd., 2000.
Furthermore, Morgan & Morgan contributed to update Panama’s new maritime legislation through the involvement of its partners in the enactment of four projects of law: 1) Law 55 on Maritime Trade, where Enrique de Alba headed the Committee in charged of drafting the project of law; 2) Law 56 on General Ports of Panama, where Enrique Jimenez participated as well in the Committee incharged of the project of law; 3) Law 57 on General Merchant Marine, where Jazmina Rovi actively participated within the Commission in charged of this project of law, and lastly the Project of Law on Maritime Procedural Code, where Juan David Morgan Jr. participated as active player in the Commission of this project of law and is in the process of being enacted as law of the Republic of Panama.