The correct timing for service of a contractual notice can be a tricky issue where parties and/or transactions are located in different time zones. This was the novel issue dealt with in the case of Euronav NV v Repsol Trading.

The contract in this case included a clause requiring notification of a claim within 30 days of a certain event taking place (failing which, any claim would be time-barred).

The event in question took place in one time zone, but the contractual parties were in a different time zone (and the event occurred on a different date in their time zone).

When calculating time, the general rule is that you do not count the first day of a time period (that is, the day when the event took place) and a day means a calendar day (starting at midnight) – the law does not recognise fractions of a day. However, none of those rules resolved the problem in this case.

After reviewing prior case law and textbook commentary, Henshaw J concluded that the time zone where the relevant act took place was the applicable time zone for calculating time.