• Texas


  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • State Bar of Texas


  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, JD
  • U.S. Naval Academy, BS
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James C. Arnold

Of Counsel

Houston, TX v. +1.713.632.8642 f. +1.713.228.6605

James Arnold is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”).

James Arnold concentrates his practice in admiralty and maritime/offshore business and contractual matters, including marine insurance, salvage, crude oil and refined products transportation and terminaling, drilling and exploration, vessel and barge chartering, and vessel/drilling rig construction, sales, and repair. Mr. Arnold has more than 30 years of experience advising clients in:

  • inland, ocean, and offshore shipping operations
  • onshore/offshore energy and infrastructure projects
  • international/domestic tanker and barge operations
  • ship and drilling rig newbuilding
  •  vessel/rig financing and documentation
  • international regulatory compliance
  • oil spill and emergency disaster coordination and response

Prior to rejoining private practice, Mr. Arnold served as senior counsel for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) from 1995 to 2010. In this role, he advised the Saudi Aramco Marine Department and Saudi Aramco Contracting and Project Management and was an instrumental adviser in numerous onshore and offshore energy infrastructure construction and operations projects and offshore vessels and drilling rig newbuilding contracts and sales. He also counseled the Saudi Aramco Global Oil Spill Response Organization and Crisis Response Team. This involved advising the organization in two major crisis response efforts, as well as other minor emergency incidents and response drills. During this period, Mr. Arnold also served as Saudi Aramco’s representative to the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (“OCIMF”) Legal Committee.

During this time, Mr. Arnold also served as Associate General Counsel/Secretary and principal attorney for Saudi Aramco’s wholly-owned tanker subsidiary, Vela International Marine Limited based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which operated a fleet of 50+ owned and chartered VLCCs and MR/Aframax Product Tankers worldwide. In this capacity, he served as principal attorney for a 20-ship Very Large Crude Carrier (“VLCC”) and product tanker building program and oversaw the sale of 21 second-hand VLCCs and product tankers.

Mr. Arnold is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served seven years as an officer in the United States Navy, including four years of sea duty as a Surface Warfare Officer with sea duty in Vietnam and the Western Pacific. He was also an instructor and Assistant Professor of Naval Science at the Department of Naval Science, California Maritime Academy.