In the case of Melinda Holdings SA v Hellenic Mutual War Risks Association (Bermuda) Ltd  EWHC 181 (Comm) Hellenic provided Melinda with a war risks policy in relation to its vessel the SILVA (the War Risks Policy). That ship was arrested by the Port Suez Court in Egypt in December 2008 and, at the time of judgment, remains there. SILVA had been seized by the Port Suez Court in an effort to recover a fine levied on another vessel in 1996. This fine was to benefit the Egyptian "judges fund" used to pay for the "health and welfare of the judges". It was agreed between the parties that the ship was a constructive total loss.
Mr Justice Burton was asked to consider two provisions in the War Risks Policy which, if applicable, would exclude Melinda's claim. First, the War Risks Policy excluded losses arising out of ordinary judicial process; and, second, the War Risks Policy obliged Melinda, by virtue of a Sue and Labour Clause, to take all reasonable steps to minimise the loss.
Mr Justice Burton heard the evidence of the two Egyptian lawyers who were both critical of the Egyptian Court in this case. As a result, he concluded that it was clear the Egyptian Court had knowingly relied on forged documents to link the SILVA to the fined vessel. As a consequence, Mr Justice Burton concluded that the Egyptian proceedings did not qualify as an "ordinary judicial process" and as a consequence the loss was not excluded in that way. In relation to the sue and labour exclusion, Mr Justice Burton found that he must assess whether an ordinary competent Egyptian lawyer would have acted differently from Melinda's lawyers. On the facts, Mr Justice Burton concluded that this was not the case.
As a consequence of his findings, Hellenic was ordered to pay Melinda's loss in respect of SILVA.