James Arnold concentrates his practice in admiralty and maritime/offshore business and contractual matters and has over 38 years of experience advising clients in:
- vessel and drilling rig construction, financing, documentation, and repair
- international onshore and offshore drilling and exploration and energy infrastructure projects
- marine insurance, salvage, oil spill, and emergency disaster coordination and response
- crude oil and refined products transportation and terminaling agreements, vessel and barge chartering, long term COAs, master service agreements, and a wide variety of other maritime contracts
- legal oversight of a wide variety of international and domestic inland, ocean, and offshore tanker and barge and dry cargo shipping operations
Senior Counsel, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)
Prior to rejoining private practice in 2011, Jim served as in-house Senior Counsel for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) from 1995 to 2010. In this role, he:
- served as Associate General Counsel, Secretary and principal legal adviser to Saudi Aramco’s wholly-owned tanker subsidiary Vela International Marine Limited, which operated a fleet of 50+ owned and chartered VLCCs and MR/Aframax product tankers operating worldwide, including oversight of a 20-ship newbuilding program and sale of 21 older vessels as part of a fleet replacement program over a 10 year period
- served as legal adviser to the Saudi Aramco Marine Department and Saudi Aramco Contracting and Project Management Departments, with legal oversight of numerous onshore and offshore energy infrastructure construction and operations projects and offshore vessels and drilling rig newbuilding contracts and sales
- served as principal legal adviser for the Saudi Aramco Global Oil Spill Response Organization and Crisis Response Team
- served for eight years as Saudi Aramco’s representative to the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (“OCIMF”) Legal Committee
Jim 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 and three years as an instructor and Assistant Professor of Naval Science at the Department of Naval Science, California Maritime Academy.
Outside the Firm
Jim is a member of the Houston and Austin chapters of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association. He lives in the country with his wife of 20 years in historic Fayette County, Texas, and is the proud grandfather to three grandchildren.