Maritime and Admiralty

Overview

Maritime and Admiralty Law

Our Maritime and Admiralty team provides comprehensive counsel regarding the broad range of issues that arise in the maritime, transportation, and oil and gas industries. From international shipping regulations and environmental issues to litigation and commercial contracts, our team is focused on providing practical solutions that advance our clients’ business interests and protect their assets.

Our practice traces its history through predecessor firms that have served the international shipping community since 1883. Our clients have included leading United States, overseas, and multinational ship and rig owners, operators and charterers; ship mortgagees; a major classification society; hull underwriters and protection and indemnity clubs; financial institutions; major trading and oil companies; multinational grain houses; governments and agencies; offshore drilling contractors; offshore energy exploration, production and transportation businesses; ship brokers; ship registries; shipyards; and construction and oilfield service companies.

We have developed close working relationships with experienced maritime counsel in most of the principal maritime jurisdictions of the world, and we are able to call on that network to assist clients with multi-jurisdictional issues that require a coordinated effort across national boundaries.

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We have represented clients in complex maritime litigation and provided informed counsel and strategic guidance on matters including:

  • Arbitration, dispute resolution and complex maritime litigation
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Cargo claims
  • Charter parties
  • Collisions, allisions and groundings
  • Contract, bill of lading and charter party drafting and negotiation
  • Environmental matters
  • Fuel contamination
  • Government contracts
  • Import/export controls
  • Insurance and class issues
  • International trade compliance
  • Jones Act compliance issues
  • Marine engineering casualties
  • Maritime employment
  • Maritime liens, arrest and attachment
  • Maritime sale and purchase contracts
  • Offshore wind farm construction projects
  • Salvage matters
  • Ship finance
  • Shipbuilding and repair contracts
  • U.S. and international shipping regulations

Our team includes several U.S. Navy and Coast Guard veterans with decades of experience in maritime and admiralty law. We have comprehensive knowledge of the regulatory regimes pertaining to maritime operations, including coastwise requirements of the Jones Act cabotage laws, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and vessel reporting and clearance requirements of U.S. customs regulations. In addition, members of our team have served in high-level positions for various international shipping corporations. We work seamlessly with the firm’s highly regarded Litigation, Business, Labor and Employment, Digital Assets and Data Management, intellectual Property, Wealth Management and Tax teams to provide holistic advice that takes into account the totality of our clients’ interests.

Select Experience

  • Negotiated the construction contracts for the world’s first ocean containerships to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • Handled all legal aspects of the sinking of a U.S. cargo ship, deemed the worst maritime shipping disaster in more than 35 years. Settled all lawsuits and more than 600 cargo claims within 22 months.
  • Represented a vessel owner and crew in a case arising from the salvage of the external fuel cell for a NASA space shuttle, resulting in the largest salvage award in U.S. history.
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Experience

  • Negotiated the construction contracts for the world’s first ocean containerships to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • Handled all legal aspects of the sinking of a U.S. cargo ship, deemed the worst maritime shipping disaster in more than 35 years. Settled all lawsuits and more than 600 cargo claims within 22 months.
  • Represented a vessel owner and crew in a case arising from the salvage of the external fuel cell for a NASA space shuttle, resulting in the largest salvage award in U.S. history.
  • Represented clients in negotiating contracts for the construction and purchase of yachts.
  • Worked with a major classification society in a major oil spill case.
  • Worked on various new construction and repair disputes on a worldwide basis.
  • Represented an offshore drilling contractor in successfully recovering unpaid day rates against a declaration of force majeure following the Deepwater Horizon blowout and defeated a $27.1 million counterclaim.
  • Represent a major ocean shipping company in connection with limitation of liability proceedings and cargo claims arising out of a catastrophic fire onboard a container vessel, owned by another shipping company, on which our client was a space charterer.
  • Represent maritime employers responding to Fair Labor Standards Act claims for overtime, and pre-suit advice and counsel.
  • Conducted due diligence, audits and internal investigations of existing trade compliance policies and procedures for clients related to imports, exports, sanctions and anti-bribery/corruption compliance.
  • Supported clients in assessing application of the Jones Act to offshore projects and inland waterways transportation, including transportation, construction, research and dismantling operations.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Litigation: General Commercial
    • Ohio (2007 to 2018)
      • Band 2
    • Recognized Practitioner in Florida (2014 to 2018)
  • U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" Admiralty & Maritime Law (2016)
    • National Tier 3
    • Metro Houston, Tier 2
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2016)
    • 1 lawyer named in Admiralty & Maritime Law
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year.

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