Stephen P. Kyne


Stephen P. Kyne joined the Firm in 1971 as a law clerk while still in law school. He became the protégé of veteran maritime casualty counsel Max Taylor and, since his admission to the bar in 1974, has specialized in casualty matters. Steve has counseled shipowners, operators, charterers, cargo owners and their underwriters in connection with collisions, groundings, allisions, fires and other hull and machinery casualties and salvage matters occurring worldwide.

Steve also practices in the maritime environmental area, representing various interests in connection with significant oil and hazardous material discharges in the United States and abroad. In recent years, he has acted for shipowners and operators involved in U.S. criminal investigations and prosecutions arising from MARPOL violations. Steve also conducts environmental audits of fleets and companies, with a view toward preventing such violations.

He has frequently represented parties in connection with U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board hearings and investigations arising from marine casualties and pollution incidents.

In addition to his casualty and environmental practices, Steve also engages in litigation, arbitration and mediation, principally in connection with charter party disputes and ship construction and repair contracts.


  • Villanova University, B.S. 1968
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D. 1973

Military Service

  • U.S. Army, 1968-1970

Memberships and Affiliations

  • The Association of Average Adjusters of the United States
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • New York State Bar Association

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York, 1974
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1975
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1988

Practice Areas

  • Marine Casualties
  • Salvage
  • Maritime Environmental
  • Litigation
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation


  • Represented vessel owners in several successful arbitrations on significant demurrage claims in connection with massive congestion resulting in lengthy loading delays at U.S. coal ports
  • Counseled the owners and underwriters of a VLCC that was a constructive total loss as the result of a collision with a Soviet naval-type vessel. Proceedings in the U.S. included the arrest of a Russian passenger vessel transiting the Panama Canal (then U.S. territory) for security and a nine-week collision liability trial in a Texas federal district court
  • Represented petroleum cargo owner in U.S. salvage litigation resulting from a tanker’s engine room flooding and vessel abandonment in the Caribbean off the coast of Jamaica
  • Acted for the private operator of U.S. government-owned Fast Sealift Ships in a series of shipyard disputes arising from vessel overhauls
  • Lead counsel for vessel owners and their P&I Club in the first major post-OPA 90 oil spill occurring as a result of a pilot error grounding in the port of Boston
  • Represented vessel owners and their P&I Clubs in connection with several oil spills in Valdez, Alaska, and acted as counsel for the responsible party in a Spill of National Significance exercise conducted there by the U.S. Coast Guard
  • Counseled a major container shipping company in connection with successfully seeking dismissals of multi-district U.S. litigation of a very large collision damages claim
  • Lead counsel for vessel owners and their P&I Club in a pilot error bridge allision and oil discharge in Portland, Maine. Proceedings included obtaining the first grant of limitation of liability to a responsible party by the U.S. National Pollution Funds Center, coordinating extensive claims documentation submission to the NPFC and effecting a very significant recovery from the U.S. Oil Pollution Trust Fund of clean-up costs, third-party claim settlements and natural resource damage assessment costs and damages. See “JULIE N – OPA 90 In Action,” Shipping and Transport Lawyer, Vol. 3, No. 3, Summer 2002
  • Conducted an extensive internal investigation for a major tanker owner of attempted commercial and financial blackmail by crewmembers in connection with an oil discharge to the sea which had not been reported to the company or to the appropriate authorities
  • Counseled vessel owner in connection with U.S. National Transportation Safety Board investigation of negligent navigation allision causing destruction of Ambrose Light Tower at the entrance to New York Harbor
  • Lead maritime counsel for a major tanker owner during a three-year U.S. Department of Justice investigation and prosecution of alleged MARPOL violations in its large fleet