A UK high court judge has ruled that Dutch salvage company Smit was not bound by a pre-agreed salvage contract when it assisted in refloating the Ever Given from the Suez Canal in 2021.

The ruling now opens the door for Smit to make a common law claim for its salvage services to the 20,388-teu Ever Given (built 2018) under the 1989 International Convention on Salvage.