MAINBRACE: December 2021


Note from the Editor

Tom Belknap, Jr,

When I wrote the introductory note for the December 2020 issue of Mainbrace, I certainly hoped that by this time COVID-19 would be a distant memory. But as I write this, we are once again looking at more uncertainty ahead, and it seems that our collective ability to adapt and adjust will continue to be tested for the foreseeable future.

And on the very topic of needing to adapt, I hope you have been able to catch some of our recent Mainbrace Live webinar presentations. Following the successful launch of this new series in the spring, we presented four panels this fall covering topics as diverse as COGSA, marine casualty investigations, maritime liens and arrests, admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, shipowner limitation of liability, maritime environmental developments, and the role of insurance in ship finance. If you missed them, you can still view the recorded sessions (see the section after our articles below). We are pleased to note that this series has been very well received, so keep an eye out for more sessions next spring.

This issue of Mainbrace complements our recent Mainbrace Live webinar series to some extent, as several of the articles are companion pieces to this fall’s webinar presentations. In addition, we have included a number of other articles likely to be of interest to our maritime clients, on such topics as maritime cybersecurity, EU data transfer considerations, and Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. We hope you enjoy this issue!

We also take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a healthy and prosperous 2022!

Thomas H. Belknap, Jr., Editor


What If the Ever Given Grounding Had Occurred Here?
By Jeffrey S. Moller

The timing of the Ever Given’s grounding in the Suez Canal could not have been better, at least as far as my admiralty law students at Drexel University and I were concerned. The incident occurred right after we covered the subject areas of casualties, cargo losses, and the potential liability of pilots. Read More »

The Gateway to Federal Court: Admiralty Jurisdiction and Limitation of Liability
By Noe S. Hamra and Zachary R. Cain

In the United States, state and federal courts operate on a dual track, with the difference that state courts are courts of “general jurisdiction” (hearing all cases not specifically reserved to federal courts), while federal courts are courts of “limited subject matter jurisdiction” (hearing cases involving “diversity of citizenship,” raising a “federal question,” or “sounding in admiralty”). Read More »

Marine Casualty Investigations: Legal Standards
By Zachary J. Wyatte

Without a doubt, shipping industry stakeholders should always strive to have zero days lost due to accidents. But, equally, the industry should also always be prepared to immediately respond to and investigate unfortunate events when they occur. Read More »

Maritime Decarbonization
By Stefanos N. Roulakis and Vanessa C. DiDomenico

As the international shipping industry prepares to reduce emissions, there are many recent developments that present both obstacles and opportunities that must be explored while preparing to set sail on the challenge. Read More »

Maritime Law Primer: Maritime Liens and Arrests under U.S. Law
By Alexandra Clark and Emma C. Jones

A maritime lien is a non-possessory right in a vessel that gives the lienholder a right to proceed in rem against the property. In the United States, maritime liens are based on the fiction of a “personified” vessel. Read More »

Can the Biden Administration Meet Its Offshore Wind Goals?
By Joan M. Bondareff and Dana S. Merkel

In the first week of his presidency, President Biden, by Executive Order, set a goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030—an ambitious goal to help put the United States on a path to meet its commitments under the Paris Climate Accords, which President Biden rejoined. Read More »

Carriage of Goods by Sea Act Fundamentals
By Vanessa C. DiDomenico

The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (“COGSA”) defines the basic relationship—duties, liabilities, rights, and immunities—between ocean carrier and cargo owner. COGSA was passed in the United States in 1936 and its enactment was the result of various concerns by Congress. Read More »

Changing EU Data Transfer Requirements Create New Challenges
By Karen H. Shin and Alex C. Nisenbaum

Businesses in the maritime industry may not think of themselves as engaged in significant processing of personal data. However, global shipping and logistics companies regularly transport personal data around the globe. Read More »

Don’t Ignore Bankruptcy Code’s Chapter 15 in Civil Actions; It Ends the Unpredictable Ad Hoc Comity Analysis
By Michael B. Schaedle and Evan J. Zucker

In 2005, the United States adopted the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, promulgated by the United Nations Commission on Internal Trade, under chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. In so adopting, Congress intended chapter 15 “to be the exclusive door to ancillary assistance to foreign proceedings.” Read More »

Maritime Cybersecurity: Prepare, Detect, and Respond
By Vanessa C. DiDomenico

At a time when the world has become more aware than ever before about the vital importance of the world’s ocean shipping fleet, which carried supplies, merchandise, and much-needed personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increased risk from a different threat, cyberattacks, presents a set of new challenges. Read More »


Over the last month, our internationally recognized Maritime & International Trade practice group presented a new series of informative webinars on hot topics in the shipping industry. The series featured up-and-coming talent in the firm with sessions discussing the following critical industry trends:

  • USCG Issues during a Marine Casualty
  • COGSA Fundamentals and Time Bars
  • Decarbonization
  • Insurance Requirements in Ship Financings
  • Jones Act Update and VIDA/VGP Status and Enforcement
  • Maritime Liens
  • Arrest Fundamentals and Acceptable Security Terms
  • State and Federal Court Distinctions and Admiralty Jurisdiction
  • Limitation of Liability
In Case You Missed It…

The Gateway to Federal Court: Admiralty Jurisdiction and Limitation of Liability
VIEW: Recording │ Materials

Maritime Liens and Arrest Fundamentals
VIEW: Recording │ Materials

Maritime Environmental Update and the Role of Insurance in Ship Finance
VIEW: Recording │ Materials

What to Do Following COGSA and USCG Marine Casualty Investigations?
VIEW: Recording │ Materials


Blank Rome Pro Bono Report (2020–2021)

Our annual Pro Bono Report highlights various pro bono cases, clinics, and projects that our attorneys worked on last year and in recent months to provide equal access to justice in our communities. Read More »

Blank Rome Highly Ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2022 “Best Law Firms”

Our firm was nationally ranked in 28 practice areas and regionally ranked in 82 practice areas in the 2022 “Best Law Firms” survey by U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers. Read More »

Blank Rome Attorneys and Practices Highly Ranked in The Legal 500 United States 2021

Our firm’s practice groups and attorneys were highly ranked and recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2021, notably ranking as a “Top-Tier” firm in the areas of Transport: Shipping – Finance and Transport: Shipping – Litigation and Regulation. Read More »

Chambers USA 2021 Recognizes Blank Rome Attorneys and Practices

Our firm’s practice groups and attorneys have again been highly ranked and recognized by Chambers USA in a number of categories, with 76 Blank Rome attorneys notably ranking as “leaders in their fields.” Read More »


Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team (“SWERT”)

SWERT is an interdisciplinary group of Blank Rome attorneys and government relations professionals with decades of experience helping companies and individuals recover from severe weather events, including recent hurricanes, wildfires, and mudslides across the United States. We are ready to assist those in the path of storms and other severe weather events. Read More »

Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) Task Force

From supply chain disruption, government-ordered closures, and event cancellations to employee safety concerns, vaccine requirements, and social distancing recommendations, every company is facing its own unique challenges surrounding this ongoing global pandemic. Blank Rome’s Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) Task Force is monitoring this ever-changing situation and is here to help.

Safe Passage Blog

We invite our readers to dive into our archive of Mainbrace newsletters and maritime development advisories, as well as keep abeam with all of our current and upcoming analyses on trending maritime topics and legislation, in our Safe Passage blog. Read More »

Blank Rome’s Maritime Industry Team

Our maritime industry team is composed of practice-focused subcommittees from across many of our firm’s offices, with attorneys who have extensive capabilities and experience in the maritime industry and beyond, effectively complementing Blank Rome Maritime’s client cases and transactions. Read More »

© 2021 Blank Rome LLP. All rights reserved. Please contact Blank Rome for permission to reprint. Notice: The purpose of this update is to identify select developments that may be of interest to readers. The information contained herein is abridged and summarized from various sources, the accuracy and completeness of which cannot be assured. This update should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.