John D. Kimball


John Kimball is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”).

John Kimball concentrates his practice in the areas of admiralty and maritime law, commercial litigation, and international arbitration. He has more than 30 years’ experience both domestically and internationally and counsels clients regarding maritime matters, including:

  • Maritime casualties, including ship collisions, sinkings, groundings, explosions, and fires
  • Charterparty disputes
  • Insurance coverage disputes
  • Creditors’ rights
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Mass tort litigation
  • Maritime environmental law, including oil spills
  • Maritime salvage and general average cases
  • Maritime piracy cases
  • General commercial litigation
  • Commodity disputes

Additionally, John has served as a party-appointed arbitrator or chairman of panels in SMA and ICDR arbitrations.

Chambers USA states that John “has a wealth of experience in the maritime industry who has ‘excellent knowledge and experience in supporting the client,’” and has honored him with a “Star Individual” ranking, which is only given to lawyers with exceptional recommendations in their field, noting that he is “renowned for his prowess in marine insurance issues” and highlighted as “an absolutely top choice for these matters.” Chambers adds, “Clients are ‘extremely satisfied,’ finding him to be a ‘top expert who has a combination of subject matter expertise and many years of litigation experience.’” Chambers Global calls him “talented, well prepared and methodical.” Commentators say “he really is excellent.”

John is an adjunct professor at New York University Law School, where he teaches the course in admiralty law, and at the University of Miami Law School, where he teaches a course on maritime arbitration.

John is a prolific writer and speaker both domestically and internationally on legal issues facing the maritime industry.


  • Navigating Maritime Arbitration: The Experts Speak (2019)
  • Voyage Charters (4th ed. 2014)
  • Time Charters (7th ed. 2014)
  • Benedict on Admiralty, Vol. 3A: The Law of Salvage (2017 revision)
  • The Healy Lectures (Editor, 2005 and 2016)

He also presented the 2005 Donald O’May Lecture on Maritime Law at the University of Southampton, England and the Fifth Cadwallader Memorial Lecture at the London Shipping Law Centre in 2002.

Outside the Firm

John enjoys playing golf and writing songs.

News & Views

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  • 1989–2023, Admiralty and Maritime Law in New York, listed in Best Lawyers in America©
  • 2020–2021, Thought Leaders: Global Elite - Shipping, listed in Who’s Who Legal
  • 2019–2021, Global Leader in Transport - Shipping, listed in Who’s Who Legal
  • 2012–2022, Global-wide, Shipping: Litigation Law, listed in Chambers Global
  • 2003–2022, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2017–2022, listed in The Legal 500 United States
  • 2022, Hall of Fame: Transport: Shipping - Litigation and Regulation, listed in The Legal 500 United States
  • 2017–2021, “Leading Lawyer,” listed in The Legal 500’s Guide to Outstanding Lawyers Nationwide
  • 2006–2021, New York Metro “Super Lawyer” in Transportation & Maritime, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2017–2018, listed in Who’s Who Legal – Shipping
  • 2018–2019, listed in Euromoney’s Shipping and Best of the Best USA Expert Guides
  • 2018, listed in Euromoney’s Best of the Best Expert Guides
  • Shipping and Maritime Law, listed in Who’s Who Legal and by the Legal Media Group
  • AV-Preeminent®, listed by Martindale-Hubbell®



  • American Bar Association
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
  • New York City Bar Association
Professional Activities

John holds leadership positions in maritime industry publication and organizations, including the board of editors for the Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce and the board of directors of New York Maritime Inc. (“NYMAR”). He is a titulary member of the Comite Maritime International and is a former member of the board of directors for the Maritime Law Association of the United States. John is also a member of the ABA House of Delegates as the representative of the Maritime Law Association of the United States.



  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit


  • Duke University, BA
  • Georgetown University Law Center, JD