Tom Belknap is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”) and is co-chair of Blank Rome’s Maritime Industry Team.
Tom Belknap concentrates his practice on international commercial and insurance litigation and arbitration, with particular emphasis on the maritime industry. He also focuses on offshore construction, casualty, and insurance issues. Tom has been involved in a wide variety of domestic and international maritime, commercial, and insurance matters, including:
- Marine casualty and collision cases and vessel limitation of liability actions
- Maritime bankruptcy matters, advising debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, and unsecured creditors’ committees
- Marine insurance coverage disputes, including protection and indemnity, general commercial liability, marine liability, hull and machinery, cargo, and war-risk insurance coverage issues
- International and domestic commercial contract disputes, including arbitrations under AAA, ICC, SMA, and ad hoc arbitration terms
- Charterparty disputes, including arbitrations under SMA, MAA, and ad hoc arbitration terms
- COGSA and multi-modal cargo damage claims
- Offshore wind and pipeline installation and construction projects and related insurance issues
- Maritime commercial and “treasure” salvage and general average disputes
- Maritime attachment (Rule B) and vessel arrest (Rule C) actions
- Recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards and judgments
Tom is a co-author of Time Charters (7th ed. 2014), and he co-authors the annual update to Benedict on Admiralty, Vol. 3A: The Law of Salvage. He also authored the chapter titled “Enforcing and Challenging Arbitral Awards” in Navigating Maritime Arbitration: The Experts Speak (2019). Tom is the editor of Mainbrace, Blank Rome’s quarterly maritime newsletter.
Tom has been recognized by Chambers USA every year since 2009 as a leading shipping litigation attorney. Chambers has stated, “Thomas Belknap is praised for his ‘thoughtful and thorough approach.’ He has expertise across a range of matters including contracts and charter party disputes, casualty litigation and insurance coverage.” Chambers further noted that he is “fantastic when it comes to the details of a claim, where you have to go through a complaint, take it to pieces and put it back together again,” and he is “always prepared, articulate, knowledgeable and practical in his approach to running cases.” He is “a rising force—he is hard-working, with a good understanding of the law, particularly cargo matters.” Chambers particularly highlighted his “really good connections in the Asian shipping arena.”
Outside the Firm
Tom is an avid sailor, racing one design boats in Connecticut throughout the year, and also enjoys playing guitar in his band, Small Craft Warning.