Lloyd’s Open Form
The Lloyd’s Open Form “LOF” is an internationally recognized standard salvage agreement that is carried on the bridge of virtually every vessel in the world. The updated and improved version “Which was launched on Friday 1 September 2000” marks its tenth revision since Lloyd’s of London first devised the contract in 1908. The new version of the form has been shortened from six pages to just two by removing most of the legal and procedural information and placing it in a separate reference document. The language used has also been simplified to take account of the increasingly international nature of ships’ crews. The form was created by Lloyd’s in order to save a ship’s master from having to take part in time consuming contract negotiations while the vessel was in jeopardy. The LOF has been based on a “No Cure No Pay” relationship between the salvor and the shipowner. Agreement on the use of the contract means that all parties know exactly what terms are being signed, so that salvage services can commence with a minimum of delay. The form also provides a framework for the collection of security to protect a salvor’s claim and arbitration machinery in the event that salvors and the owners of the vessel cannot agree on the payment for successful services. Although Lloyd’s plays no part in the arbitration, it retains the services of a panel of experienced arbitrators to hear cases arising under the form.