The rapid evolution of the domestic and international supply chain brings challenges and risks as different tiers of manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers collaborate on efforts to transport products or services to consumers.
With these challenges comes a need for counsel that not only solves legal problems, but deeply understands the transportation industry’s logistical interplay as companies confront the surging demand for their services.
Blank Rome has deep roots and a long history of representing clients with business in all modes of transportation, placing us in the position to help our clients solve problems that cut across all the elements of the supply chain. From long-standing air, sea, and land transportation methodologies to cutting-edge logistics and last-mile services, our attorneys have established a legacy of helping businesses throughout the transportation industry develop efficient and effective legal strategies.
Our Transportation team is seamlessly integrated with attorneys who have deep experience in maritime, mergers & acquisitions, labor & employment, finance, real estate, energy, government relations, white collar defense & investigations, and other industry-specific areas, allowing us to address the unexpected and provide our clients with comprehensive solutions.
What Sets Us Apart
- Our Transportation team includes former trial attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), including the Environmental Crimes Section; former officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”); and former Assistant United States Attorneys.
- With nearly 40 shipping lawyers in New York; Washington, D.C.; Houston; and Philadelphia, Blank Rome has the largest and most comprehensive maritime practice in the United States.
- Our financial services attorneys know the inner workings of the SEC, the OCC, the FDIC, and the OTS and one of our government relations principals is the former legislative counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking and Governmental Affairs Committee.
- Members of Blank Rome’s tax group have previously served as CPAs and members of “Big Four” national tax practices and the group is composed of former government officials from the IRS, Department of Justice, and the Treasury who have strategic relationships within Congress and who have presented before the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees.
- Recipient of the Lloyd’s List Excellence in Maritime Law Award in 2019, recognizing “exemplary expertise and commitment to the shipping industry as well as innovation through which lawyers have played a crucial role in notable cases, restructuring, or dispute resolution.”
- Chambers USA consistently ranks our Maritime practice group Band 1:
- 2019–2022: ranked Blank Rome Band 1 for Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York) – Nationwide, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (Outside New York) – Nationwide, and Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Regulatory.
- 2013–2018: ranked Blank Rome Band 1 for Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York) – Nationwide and Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Regulatory.
- The Legal 500 United States 2021 ranked Blank Rome
- Top Tier in Transport: Shipping – Finance and Transport: Shipping – Litigation and Regulation.
- Recommended Firm in M&A – Middle Market.
How We Can Help
We routinely represent major U.S. and international corporations and industry-leading companies in high-profile, complex matters throughout the country and the world. These clients include various logistics, trucking, and maritime corporations and associations; regional transportation authorities; some of the largest cruise operators in the world; state and local transportation agencies; major airlines, airports, and aviation boards; automotive manufacturers and dealerships; and railroads.
Our attorneys represent transportation clients in the following practice areas:
Key Contact: Peter Schnur
Blank Rome’s Corporate group is a leading national practice representing clients in capital-raising, mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate transactions. Our attorneys take a business-minded approach to counseling transportation sector clients on all phases of acquisitions:
- Responding to acquisition offers
- Analyzing and preparing letters of intent and term sheets
- Establishing special committees
- Advising proxy contestants
- Structuring acquisitions
- Making acquisition offers
- Arranging public and private financing to fund deals
Blank Rome’s tax attorneys bring a breadth of knowledge to handle tax planning across jurisdictions and corporate transactions and litigation experience to help our transportation clients accomplish their goals and overcome obstacles. We work to understand our clients’ businesses and provide proactive and practical tax advice, including in international tax matters involving:
- International mergers and acquisitions
- Structuring inbound investments to the United States
- Conducting outbound investments from the United States
- Branch profits tax
- Transfer pricing
- Interest stripping
- Employee migration
- Tax withholding and tax treaties
In addition, Blank Rome’s prominent state + local tax (“SALT”) team works with transportation clients on state and local tax law planning throughout the United States with a broad base of experience that includes matters involving:
- Corporate franchise and income taxes
- Sales and use taxes
- Personal income taxes
- Real and personal property taxes
- Local business license taxes
- Gross receipts taxes
- Transfer taxes
- Severance taxes
- Hotel occupancy taxes
- Energy/utility taxes
- Motor fuels taxes
- Unclaimed property obligations
Blank Rome Maritime helps companies find safe passage in challenging times by providing legal and business counsel to companies in all aspects of the maritime industry. We represent publicly traded and privately owned companies throughout the world, including shipowners, vessel operators and charterers, cargo owners, ship managers, shipyards, wind farm operators, marine construction and transportation companies, waterfront facilities and terminals, energy companies, P&I clubs, marine insurers, shippers, financial institutions, and private equity investors.
- Vessel Secured Financings
- Vessel Lease Financings
- Title XI Loan Guarantee Financings
- Shipbuilding Contracts
- Ship Purchases and Sales
- Vessel Charters and Management Agreements
- Maritime Bankruptcies and Restructurings
- Jones Act Citizenship Issues
- Export/Import Control and Trade Sanctions
- Cross-Border Transactions
- Collisions and Allisions
- Fires, Explosions, Groundings, and Sinkings
- Personal Injury and Death
- Charter Party Disputes
- Commodity Disputes
- Vessel Arrest and Attachment
- U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental, Protection Agency, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Federal Maritime Commission, and Maritime Administration
- Sanctions Advice and Counseling
- Maritime Environmental Compliance and Training
- Internal and Grand Jury Investigations
- Administrative, Civil, and Criminal Enforcement Actions
- Risk Mitigation Strategies Related to Pollution Incidents
- Administrative and Legislative Solutions
Key Contact: Caroline Powell Donelan
Blank Rome’s nationally recognized Labor & Employment attorneys represent clients in a wide array of issues faced by the transportation sector, including the operational and legal challenges of working with independent contractors and issues related to interstate travel. We routinely provide training and guidance on appropriate independent contractor/employee classifications; review, draft, and negotiate independent contractor agreements; counsel clients during investigations of their independent contractor classifications; and defend clients in lawsuits based on alleged misclassifications of workers as independent contractors.
Our attorneys also have a deep understanding regarding carrier challenges to California Assembly Bill 5 (“AB5”) and can help clients navigate the resulting operational considerations and legal issues.
Our team is at the forefront of many other issues impacting the transportation industry, including addressing discrimination claims, EEOC charges, non-compete agreements, wage and hour claims, and Department of Labor audits. We also regularly assist clients with the negotiation and drafting of executive employment contracts and other employment issues.
Key Contact: William E. Lawler III
Blank Rome’s Antitrust Counseling & Litigation attorneys work with transportation clients in ensuring compliance with competition laws. While recent enforcement trends have focused on industry consolidation among the largest carriers and alliances that may hinder competition and increase prices, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division also pursues conduct cases against firms suspected of cartel activity such as price fixing, market allocation, and bid rigging conspiracies. From compliance counseling to planning an acquisition to responding to government investigations, Blank Rome’s antitrust attorneys have the breadth of experience and knowledge to help our transportation sector clients, including air transportation and ocean shipping companies, address private, criminal, and corporate antitrust issues.
Key Contact: Sharon R. Klein
Blank Rome’s Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice is adept at helping clients resolve a wide array of complex technology and database issues that arise in transportation and logistics, including compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and state data privacy laws. We assess clients’ business practices for compliance with industry standards and government regulations, draft policies and procedures, negotiate and draft privacy language in contracts and permission documents, and develop security protocols and audits of security practices.
Key Contact: Dipu A. Doshi
Blank Rome’s Intellectual Property attorneys are dedicated to helping our transportation clients develop, protect, strategically manage, and maximize the value of their intellectual assets and logistical technology developments. We deliver high-level legal services in all aspects of intellectual property law, including:
- Patent Litigation
- Patent Prosecution and Counseling
- Trademark Prosecution and Enforcement
- IP Licensing and Transactions
- IP Due Diligence for M&A
- Copyright Registrations and Infringement