Note from the Editor

Thomas H. Belknap, Jr,

When Mainbrace started some 30 years ago, it was a traditional print newsletter that went out by mail. Over the years, the publication has seen many updates in form and format, mirroring the industry-wide evolution from print to digital. This spring, Mainbrace took the next step in its evolution with the launch of our Mainbrace Live virtual webinar series. In April, we hosted two webinars, the first on preparing for the Biden administration’s maritime and foreign policy and the second on providing an update on the offshore wind industry. If you missed these presentations, you can still view them using the links in our Mainbrace Live section below. I also encourage you to register for our upcoming sessions, U.S. Maritime Litigation Trends (May 18) and U.S. Maritime Regulatory Update (June 22). If you miss them, don’t worry—recordings will be posted for later viewing. And keep an eye out for more Mainbrace Live sessions in due course.

As you will see from this latest newsletter issue, we aren’t abandoning or replacing the traditional print version of Mainbrace—we view Mainbrace Live as an addition to our communications toolbox. We are grateful for these opportunities to communicate with our clients and colleagues in the industry, and we hope that you enjoy this latest issue which, we think, dovetails nicely with the subjects covered in our new webinar series. As always, we welcome suggestions for new topics for Mainbrace, and now for Mainbrace Live as well.

Thomas H. Belknap, Jr., Editor



May 18, 2021
6:00–7:00 a.m. PDT / 9:00–10:00 a.m. EDT / 1:00–2:00 p.m. GMT

Join Blank Rome maritime attorneys as they discuss the latest U.S. maritime litigation trends, including:

  • 1782: Purpose and criteria
  • Judgment enforcement: Arrest, attachment, and more
  • Timeline of a federal case: From complaint to trial, discovery, etc.
  • Spill investigations: Practical “boots on the ground” information

June 22, 2021
6:00–7:00 a.m. PDT / 9:00–10:00 a.m. EDT / 1:00–2:00 p.m. GMT

Join Blank Rome maritime attorneys as they discuss the latest U.S. maritime regulatory updates, including:

  • The 8-year conundrum in ballast water management: VIDA, VGP, and IMO
  • Ongoing industry challenges as COVID-19 continues
  • Emerging greenhouse gas regulations and shipping




Blank Rome LLP and Blank Rome Government Relations LLC maritime attorneys and professionals discussed the outlook for maritime policymaking under the new Biden administration and Congress, as well as its impacts on the global shipping industry, including international trade sanctions, foreign policy, and enforcement trends. VIEW WEBINAR »


Blank Rome maritime attorneys discussed U.S. offshore wind development projects and infrastructure, the Biden administration’s commitments to expand renewable energy, the Jones Act’s impacts on existing and planned offshore wind installation and servicing projects, and pitfalls and opportunities for contractors and service providers looking to enter the industry. VIEW WEBINAR »


Considerations on the Use of Offshore Wind Vessels for U.S. Operations
By Jonathan K. Waldron and Dana S. Merkel 

As the offshore wind industry is growing in the United States, there is an influx of vessels that are considering operating on the U.S. outer continental shelf, both foreign- and U.S.-flag Jones Act-qualified vessels. Read More »

Criminal Enforcement under the Biden Administration
By Kierstan L. Carlson

We are nearly six months into the Biden administration and its civil and criminal enforcement policies are taking shape. Under the Trump administration, the government’s enforcement focus shifted away from white collar crimes and violations towards immigration, violent crimes, opioids, and the like. Read More »

Favorable Offshore Winds Blowing from the Biden Administration
By Joan M. Bondareff

As part of his Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (EO 14008)—issued on the first day he took office—President Biden made significant commitments to renewable energy. Read More »

Risks Attendant to U.S. Rule B Alter-Ego Vessel Seizures
By Keith B. Letourneau 

A recent wave of vessel seizures premised on alter-ego theories has swept through various U.S. federal courts. These cases present significant risks for vessel owners and ship managers, even if the underlying claims are ultimately defensible. Read More »

Seaman’s Manslaughter: An Arcane Statute Turned Present-Day Enforcement Risk
By Jeanne M. Grasso and Kierstan L. Carlson

Owners and operators of ships calling on the United States know well that criminal prosecutions are now a regular occurrence in the maritime industry. Most relate to environmental violations and post-incident conduct like false statements and obstruction of justice. Read More »


Blank Rome Announces 2021 Promotions: Kierstan L. Carlson Elected as Maritime Partner

Effective January 1, 2021, Blank Rome announced the election of Kierstan L. Carlson to partner in the firm’s Maritime and International Trade practice group. In total, the firm elected eight associates and five of counsel to partner, and elevated four associates to of counsel. Read More »

Jeanne M. Grasso Named a Top Woman in Shipping 2020 by All About Shipping

Jeanne M. Grasso was named among All About Shipping’s “Top Women in Shipping” for the second year in a row. She is notably ranked in the top 30 of the 189 women from all sectors of the shipping industry recognized for 2020. Read More »

Chambers Global 2021 Ranks Blank Rome Attorneys and Shipping and Energy Practices

Chambers Global 2021 recognized our firm's attorneys, including our maritime partner John D. Kimball, for their industry knowledge and leading practices, as well as Blank Rome LLP as a global leader in “Shipping: Litigation — Global-wide” and “Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation).” Read More »

Blank Rome Attorneys Recognized by Who’s Who Legal 2020

Who’s Who Legal 2020 recognized 23 Blank Rome attorneys as “Thought Leaders” and “Global Leaders” in 12 practice areas across the firm, including in the area of “Transport – Shipping.” Read More »

Blank Rome Earns Perfect Score in 2021 Corporate Equality Index

Blank Rome received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. With this score, Blank Rome has been designated for the sixth year in a row as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” Read More »

Blank Rome Recognized in 2021 Yale Law Women’s Top Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness Report

Blank Rome was honored for the fourth year in a row in the Yale Law Women’s Top Firms for Gender Equity & Family Friendliness Report 2021, in recognition of our commitment to advancing women within our firm and throughout the legal industry. 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

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus is impacting businesses and public life around the world. From supply chain disruption, government-ordered closures, and event cancellations to employee safety concerns and social distancing recommendations, every company is facing its own unique challenges in the face of the uncertainties surrounding this 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.