Jeanne M. Grasso



Jeanne Grasso is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”).

Jeanne Grasso focuses her practice on maritime, international, and environmental law for clients worldwide. Jeanne counsels owners and operators of vessels, charterers, cargo owners, and facilities, including manufacturing facilities, both marine-side and inland. Her practice involves:

  • Regulatory compliance counseling related to the U.S. Coast Guard; Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Maritime Administration, among other federal and state agencies, including providing advice regarding ballast water, air emissions, EPA’s Vessel General Permit, and maritime security
  • Internal and grand jury investigations
  • Defense of administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement actions
  • Counseling on risk mitigation strategies related to pollution incidents around the world
  • Maritime environmental compliance and training in connection with federal and state requirements pollution incident response
  • Coastwise trade matters
  • Identifying administrative and legislative solutions in connection with maritime and environmental compliance challenges

Jeanne writes and lectures extensively on criminal enforcement of environmental laws and U.S. Coast Guard regulatory matters. She also conducts training sessions and helps clients establish compliance programs in an effort to avoid enforcement actions.

Before she joined Blank Rome, Jeanne worked in the Office of Congressional Affairs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) handling fisheries and oceans matters. She also served as staff to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.

Jeanne is highly ranked by Chambers USA for her work in shipping regulatory matters, where a client source stated, “When I think of her, I think of Coast Guard matters, and I think highly of her.” Chambers sources also described her as a “one of the most widely respected marine environmental lawyers.” Clients said that she is “very tied into the sector and the regulators, she is efficient, knowledgeable and experienced.”

Outside the Firm

Jeanne’s passion is SCUBA diving. She is also an avid golfer and cyclist, and die hard Notre Dame fan.


  • Vessel owners/operators (cruise ships, cargo vessels, fishing vessels, tug/barges), defended with respect to allegations of environmental violations in criminal and administrative cases.
  • Served as on-site company counsel during pollution incidents and response drills.
  • Vessel owners/operators, counseled regarding compliance with U.S. Coast Guard and international environmental, safety, security requirements, and coastwise trade.
  • Cargo owners and charterers, advised on risk mitigation strategies in connection with potential pollution incidents worldwide.
  • Vessel owners/operators, terminals, refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities, and pipeline operators, conducted internal investigations related to allegations of non-compliance.
  • Vessel and facility owners/operators, sought administrative rulings and handled voluntary disclosures in connection with Coast Guard and Customs coastwise trade matters.

News & Views

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  • 2020–2022, Admiralty and Maritime Law in Washington, D.C., listed in Best Lawyers in America©
  • 2013–2021, Washington, D.C., “Super Lawyer” in Transportation & Maritime, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2013–2021, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Regulatory Law – Band 1, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2019–2020, "Top 100 Women in Shipping," listed in All About Shipping
  • 2019–2021, “Leading Lawyer,” listed in The Legal 500’s Guide to Outstanding Lawyers Nationwide
  • 2017–2021, listed in The Legal 500 United States
  • 2020–2021, Global Leader in Shipping, listed in Who’s Who Legal
  • 2017–2019, listed in Who’s Who Legal – Shipping
  • 2015, “Top Ten Lawyer” for Shipping Law, listed in Lloyd's List



  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
  • Women's International Shipping & Trading Association
Professional Activities

Jeanne is a guest lecturer at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy where she speaks on legal issues related to pollution incidents for the Academy's OPA 90 Qualified Individual training program. In 2013, she was appointed to the Marine Board of the National Research Council where she served until 2016. Jeanne has served on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center since 2007.

In October 2013, Jeanne was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (“WISTA”). Prior to that appointment, Jeanne was the president of WISTA USA for five years. She is a member of the Maritime Law Association and served on the Board of Governors of the Propeller Club of Washington, D.C., from 2005 to 2011. She also served as a secretary and board member of the World Ocean Council from 2010 to 2013.



  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court - Maryland
  • United States Court of Appeals for Maryland
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of International Trade


  • University of Notre Dame, BS
  • University of Maryland School of Law, JD, Order of the Coif
  • University of Southern California, MMA, with honors