Maritime - Government Relations


Companies in the maritime industry navigate a host of regulatory regimes and international conventions. But navigating the existing legal landscape isn’t enough; companies must also be proactive in understanding potential changes on the horizon and ensuring their interests are represented as legislation and new regulations are being considered.

Blank Rome’s maritime practice understands the interplay between law and politics and our experienced team of lobbying and communications professionals help position companies before the U.S. Congress and regulatory agencies to assist them achieve their objectives. 

We serve as both advisers and advocates, helping clients anticipate and take advantage of the issues and opportunities that affect the maritime industry to shape the decision-making process on behalf of clients. We advise clients in obtaining government funding for projects, and influence maritime, transportation, and trade policy and legislation. Our attorneys and government relations professionals design strategies that allow our clients to directly participate in the legislative and regulatory process and to effectively address their issues with Congress and federal, state, and local governments. We have a proven track record of success handling government relations issues such as environmental matters, government financing programs, port security, energy, Jones Act, trade sanctions, and numerous other issues. Our government relations efforts can stand alone, or as part of a multidisciplinary strategy, to tackle complex and challenging policy issues through a mix of lobbying, regulatory affairs, and, if appropriate, litigation.  

How We Can Help

  • Appropriations and grants
  • Communications and public relations
  • Congressional oversight
  • Renewable energy programs
  • Environment, health, and safety
  • Federal investigations
  • Government contracts
  • Homeland security
  • Infrastructure funding and reforms 
  • Legislation and maritime policy development
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Tax
  • Transportation
  • Coastwise trade waivers and exemptions

Government and Public Relations Partners

Through Blank Rome Government Relations LLC, we provide strategic and public relations advice. From a simple phone call to multifaceted representation before Congress and U.S. agencies, we keep your interests secure in Washington’s rough political waters. 

We maintain top-level relationships with key agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Maritime Administration, Federal Maritime Commission, Transportation Security Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Military Sealift Command, and Office of Foreign Assets Control, as well as the Departments of Transportation, Defense, Energy, State, Interior and Homeland Security. 

What Sets Us Apart 

  • With nearly 40 shipping lawyers in New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Philadelphia, Blank Rome has the largest and most comprehensive maritime practice in the United States. 
  • Chambers Global 2023 recognized Blank Rome as a global leader in Shipping: Litigation — Global-wide.

    • “Blank Rome has a well-regarded shipping litigation practice, with considerable expertise in dealing with high-profile disputes, as well as maritime arbitration. It is respected both within the USA and internationally for its deep industry knowledge. The law firm offers:

      • Notable expertise in handling a wide range of issues, including casualties, charter party disputes, bankruptcy and environmental matters.

      • Experience acting for a mix of owners, operators, charterers, financial institutions and shipyards.

      • Additional strength advising on shipping issues as they intersect with environmental litigation.” 

    • Sources have said:

      • “One peer described the team as a ‘real quality outfit.’”

      • “A source particularly praised the firm’s skills in handling maritime transactions.”

      • “The firm has a fantastic reputation in the international shipping community.”

  • Chambers USA consistently ranks our Maritime practice group Band 1:

    • 2019–2023: ranked Blank Rome Band 1 for Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York) – Nationwide, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (Outside New York) – Nationwide, and Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Regulatory. Sources have said:

      • “It fields one of the most highly regarded regulatory teams in the USA alongside stellar litigation and transactional practices, and is also home to one of the premier governmental affairs groups…The firm has excellent resources to handle large, complex cases with serious consequences.”

      • “Clients value the firm’s ‘amazing array of subject matter experts across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions’”

      • “‘Their service is excellent and they are very responsive.’”

      • “‘They’re absolutely top of the line, no question at all.’”

      • “[T]he team has ‘a lot of very successful and talented lawyers’ and … [a] ‘truly international practice.’”

  • The Legal 500 United States 2023 ranked Blank Rome Top Tier in Transport: Shipping – Finance and Transport: Shipping – Litigation and Regulation.
  • Recipient of the Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Legal Services Award 2015 and 2016.
  • 2013 U.S. News & World Report—Best Lawyers (Woodward/White, Inc.): designated “Law Firm of the Year” for Maritime & Admiralty Law.
  • Several of our maritime attorneys lecture at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s OPA 90 Qualified Individual Training Program on legal issues related to pollution incidents, and are often asked to serve as arbitrators and expert witnesses in foreign litigation and courts on issues of U.S. maritime law. 
  • Our attorneys include former U.S. Coast Guard and Navy officers, representatives and senior staff from Congressional committees, and high-level officials of government agencies, including the Department of Justice, Maritime Administration, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Among our attorneys, we have a professor of maritime law at the New York University School of Law, an adjunct professor at Drexel University’s School of Law teaching admiralty law, and an adjunct professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology where she teaches Information Security & Law. Additionally we have several authors and editors of leading maritime treatises and textbooks, including Time Charters, Voyage Charters, The International Law of the Shipmaster, Maritime Security Handbook, the chapter “Maritime Cyber Security: The Unavoidable Wave of Change,” in Issues in Maritime Cyber Security and the Benedict on Admiralty volume relating to salvage.

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