Practice Areas

Marine Casualties

As counsel to shipowners, vessel operators and shippers engaged in the carriage of bulk and containerized cargoes, the firm has traditionally represented clients in controversies arising out of collisions, groundings, fires, engineering casualties and salvage operations around the world.

Our attorneys travel globally to protect clients’ interests at casualty investigations, inquiry proceedings by Flag State or Port State agencies, surveys and shipyard repair periods.

We assist by arranging for the provision of security to avoid arrest and delay to vessels and cargo and offer counsel on questions involving marine insurance, general average and salvage. We regularly conduct or manage related litigation and arbitration proceedings arising out of marine casualties. In addition, the firm has represented shipyards and a major classification society in defense of claims brought against them.


Construction, Repair, Sale, Purchase and Financing of Ships and Related Transactional Work

We have extensive experience on behalf of both shipowners and lenders in the negotiation and documentation of ship financing transactions involving vessels registered in the United States, as well as the Marshall Islands, Bahamas, Liberia and Panama and other principal open and national registries.

The firm has acted for owners in connection with the negotiation and administration of shipbuilding and ship repair contracts with many of the major shipyards. We have regularly represented both sellers and buyers of all types of commercial vessels trading worldwide and large yachts.

Our attorneys frequently provide counsel to parties in litigation or arbitration arising out of building, repair and sales contracts.

We have acted for both shipowners and lenders in restructuring and default situations involving both commercial vessels and large yachts.


Charter Party Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

Our attorneys have assisted clients in the negotiation and formation of long and short-term charter parties, offering counsel on drafting specific contracts or in the choice or construction of particular clauses and charter party forms. We are active in charter party dispute resolution, representing clients in maritime arbitration proceedings, formal mediation sessions and in litigation before the federal and state courts in New York.


Cargo Claims

The firm has investigated, defended and prosecuted claims for the loss, damage, shortage and misdelivery of cargoes. We have counseled and represented clients in negotiations or proceedings to obtain security and in litigation and arbitration which arose out of cargo claims. Our experience ranges from breakbulk and containerized shipments to petroleum, chemical, gas and dry bulk cargoes.


Marine Environmental Law

Our attorneys regularly counsel clients with respect to MARPOL Compliance Programs and review contracts with third-party providers and vendors in connection therewith.

The firm has experience with environmental criminal defense counsel and has jointly conducted internal audits and investigations of allegations of illegal conduct with respect to bilge water, tank washings, ballast and waste oil disposal. We have represented shipowners and operators during Port State and Flag State investigations and litigation of civil and criminal environmental violations.

Growing public awareness of environmental issues has led to a proliferation of international conventions and regional, national and local laws and regulations intended to prevent marine pollution and to compensate public and private interests injured by pollution. Our attorneys have counseled clients with respect to a number of oil and hazardous material discharges, often attending at the scene of the casualty, and have handled the administrative claims and litigation which followed.

The firm has extensive experience with claims before the U.S. Coast Guard National Pollution Funds Center. We have assisted shipowners and operators in the preparation of Vessel Response Plans required by the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990, in negotiating contracts with spill response companies and service contracts with “Qualified Individuals” in the United States.

The firm has experience with environmental criminal defense counsel and has jointly conducted internal audits and investigations of allegations of illegal conduct with respect to bilge water, tank washings, ballast and waste oil disposal.  We have represented shipowners and operators during Port State and Flag State investigations and litigation of civil and criminal environmental violations.

Firm attorneys have regularly been invited to speak and present papers at international seminars and conferences on topics related to marine pollution liability.


Marine Insolvency and Bankruptcy

The firm has acted as maritime counsel in a number of major bankruptcy proceedings in recent years. In this capacity, we have assisted bankruptcy counsel by offering advice relating to the protection of shipowners’ interests arising out of a charterer’s bankruptcy, and have represented both creditors and debtors in liquidation and reorganization proceedings of companies involved in maritime trade.


Maritime Litigation and Arbitration

The firm has handled a full range of maritime and marine-related litigation and arbitration for our clients. Our attorneys regularly appear before New York maritime arbitration panels and mediators, and in the federal, and state trial and appellate courts located in New York.  Several of our attorneys also sit as arbitrators.

In addition, we have close working relationships with maritime counsel throughout the United States and in other countries, and coordinate legal representation on various matters throughout the world.


Marine Insurance

The firm has assisted insureds, insurers and brokers in connection with issues of coverage, proof of loss and other disputes regarding contracts of insurance, including hull and machinery, marine cargo and war risk policies. Our assistance has ranged from providing opinions on policy disputes to actively representing clients in litigation.


Commercial and Regulatory Law

We frequently advise on matters involving New York, Delaware and Marshall Islands corporation law, the negotiation and drafting of international contracts, the applicability of United States regulations concerning trading sanctions or boycotts, and other commercial and regulatory law matters.