Keith B. Letourneau

Biography

CHAIR, MARITIME & INTERNATIONAL TRADE PRACTICE GROUP

CO-CHAIR, BLANK ROME BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY & DIGITAL CURRENCIES GROUP

Keith Letourneau is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”).

Keith Letourneau focuses his practice on maritime and energy transactions and litigation matters, including:

  • contract negotiations and disputes
  • vessel arrests and attachments
  • collisions and allisions
  • oil and hazardous materials pollution
  • complex commercial litigation
  • OCSLA transactions and disputes
  • oilfield contracts
  • insurance coverage opinions
  • cargo damage Keith’s government contract experience includes shipyard bid protests, labor standards disputes, and appeals of contracting officers’ final decisions before boards of contract, as well as solicitation and bid reviews and evaluations. He has also defended document-intensive shipyard and oil rig repair contract disputes.

He is co-chair of the Firm’s Blockchain Working Group. He has published recent articles about the industry, specifically as it relates to maritime matters, and presented on Blockchain issues at the Firm’s Litigation Department CLE program in Philadelphia in November 2017.

Keith served as a trial attorney for both the U.S. Coast Guard’s Procurement Law Division and the Admiralty Section of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division. He is a retired commander of the U.S. Coast Guard. His military service included assignments as a deck watch officer aboard a medium-endurance cutter that engaged in drug law enforcement efforts in the Caribbean Basin and as commanding officer of a Coast Guard patrol boat stationed along the southeast Texas coast.

Keith is a member of the Order of the Coif, an honorary academic society that recognizes law students, teachers, judges, and lawyers for their scholarly or professional achievements.

Keith is ranked by Chambers USA for his work in shipping litigation matters, which notes that clients describe him as a “very steady and thoughtful attorney” and that he is “very studious, measured and looks at the overall structure of a case, and what may happen several steps down the road.”

Outside the Firm

Keith provides pro bono assistance to the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Association, and the Kids in Need of Defense (“KIND”) program.

Experience

  • Vessel owners and operators, in myriad personal injury and wrongful death cases brought by Jones Act seamen, mooring masters, and longshoremen.
  • Terminal operators, with respect to dock-allision claims.
  • Fuel suppliers, regarding maritime lien claims for the provision of bunker fuel to ocean-going vessels.
  • Numerous vessel owners and charterers, with respect to domestic and international cargo damage claims.
  • A vessel owner, in a cargo vessel capsizing case.
  • Represented the interests of the United States, U.S. Coast Guard, and Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund with respect to a variety of maritime and environmental claims while serving on the staff of the Justice Department’s Aviation and Admiralty Section.
  • Vessel interests and pilots, with respect to Coast Guard and state pilot marine casualty investigations.
  • Vessels' interests, with respect to personal injury and wrongful death claims involving crane accidents.
  • Handles numerous demurrage disputes between charterers and owners, and buyers and sellers of petroleum products.
  • Provides charter-party and maritime contract advice to maritime-industry clients.

News & Views

See all News and Views

Recognitions

  • 2016–2018, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation Law, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2017–2018, listed in Legal 500

Affiliations

Memberships

  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Mariners Club
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Propeller Club
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Virginia State Bar
Professional Activities

Keith is a member of the Texas State Bar, Virginia Star Bar, Fifth Circuit Bar Association, Maritime Law Association of the United States, and Houston Bar Association.

Credentials

Admissions

  • Texas
  • Virginia

Education

  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy, BS, with honors
  • College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, JD