Howard M. McCormack

Of Counsel

Howard M. McCormack joined Burke & Parsons in 2003 after a prior career as a partner in two New York maritime firms and as maritime counsel for an American steel corporation. Based on his prior active duty Navy experience at sea as a deck officer and Department Head, Howard has concentrated on maritime casualty cases including matters arising out of vessel collisions, groundings, allisions, marine salvage and matters involving marine insurance issues. He has also developed a practice in charter party and ship repair contract issues and dispute resolution, both as counsel and as an arbitrator in various matters.

Howard has represented various vessel owners, operators, underwriters, charterers and shipyards in cases involving various disputes of vessel performance and shipyard practices.


  • College of the Holy Cross, A.B. 1954
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D. 1961
  • New York University School of Law, L.L.M., International Law, 1965

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • American Maritime Cases (Associate Editor)
  • The Association of Average Adjusters of the United Kingdom
  • The Association of Average Adjusters of the United States (Chairman 2001 – 2002)
  • Comité Maritime International (Titulary Member)
  • Commercial and International Panel of American Arbitration Association
  • Fordham Law School (Adjunct Professor of Law)
  • Hofstra Law School (Adjunct Professor of Law)
  • Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution (international division of the American Arbitration Association)
  • International Maritime Conciliation and Mediation Panel
  • London Maritime Arbitrators Association (Supporting Member)
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States (President 1998 – 2000)
  • Maritime Law Journal
  • Southeast Admiralty Law Institute
  • Tulane Admiralty Law Institute (Board of Advisors)
  • University of San Francisco (Board of Advisors)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York, 1962
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1963
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1963
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1965
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1977
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals, 1982
  • U.S. District Court of Connecticut, 1988

Practice Areas

  • Marine casualties, including salvage, groundings, collisions and allisions
  • Charter party drafting and interpretation
  • Litigation and arbitration as counsel and as arbitrator
  • Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Contracts
  • Cargo Claims
  • Marine Insurance and General Average


  • Acted for owner in limitation of liability proceedings arising out of sinking of U.S. flag vessel
  • Acted as House Counsel for owners of a Liberian VLCC vessel in a collision matter involving sister vessels off the Coast of South Africa, as well as in U.S. litigation and London Salvage Arbitration
  • Acted as co-counsel for U.S. Great Lakes vessel owner in limitation proceedings in U.S. and Canadian courts
  • Acted as co-counsel for Liberian flag owner in New York arbitration proceedings on issue of charter clause substitution of vessel when nominated vessel sunk
  • Acted for Genovese shipyard in U.S. court actions brought against it for damage to yacht owned by prominent American
  • Counsel for Liberian owner, subsidiary of American steel company, in litigation on issue of hell or high water charter and right to damages for collision damages
  • Acted as House Counsel for American shipyard in litigation in U.S. court for damages arising from alleged negligence under shipbuilding contract resulting in major collision in U.S. waters with substantial deaths and property damages
  • Acted as counsel for Liberian owners in U.S. district court and Court of Appeals on issues of salvage law in major collision involving deaths, oil pollution and vessel damage
  • Acted as House Counsel for American shipyard builder of oil drilling rig which capsized and sunk in Gulf of Mexico involving deaths and property loss
  • Acted as counsel for foreign government against Class Society in U.S. courts for damages arising from alleged negligence in class approvals for four foreign flag OBOs
  • Acted as co-counsel in claims brought against client Liberian flag OBO relative to collisions in Persian Gulf

Published Articles and Presentations

  • “Uniformity of Maritime Law – History and Perspective from the U.S. Point of View,” 73 Tulane Law Review 1481 (1999)
  • “Finders Keepers – Losers Weepers: Underwriters’ Problems with Deep Sea and Other Salvage Operations,” 49 Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel Quarterly 82 (1998)
  • “Warranties and Disclaimers,” 62 Tulane Law Review 545 (1988)
  • “A Lawyer’s View of Arbitration Proceedings and Composition of the Arbitration Panel,” 1984 Yearbook of Maritime Law 57
  • “Arbitration in Combined Transport – A Rare Bird,” International Counsel for Commercial Arbitration Series 4, at 325-326
  • “Chairman’s Paper: The Impetus for Change in the 1994 York Antwerp Rules Real or Fanciful,” MLA Document No. 789, at 13397
  • “Recent U.S. Legal Decisions on Arbitration Law,” 11 Journal of International Arbitration 73
  • Served as lecturer and speaker at various venues from 1968 to 1999, including International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators, Society of Maritime Arbitrators, William and Mary Law School, Tulane Law School, Lloyd’s Press Seminars, Shanghai Maritime Law Institute, Southeast Admiralty Law Institute, BIMCO, Maritime Law Association Seminar, Ocean Routes Seminars and Association of Average Adjusters of the United Kingdom