Maritime - Litigation

Overview

"The group is excellent for complicated and difficult litigation where there's a lot of money at stake."

— Client feedback, Chambers USA

Blank Rome Maritime’s attorneys have the breadth and depth of experience to assist clients in resolving all aspects of maritime disputes. From collisions, allisions, groundings, and oil spills to cargo damage to charter party disputes to insurance coverage to salvage and general average, we’ve handled it all. Our attorneys work with clients to understand their objectives and always seek to resolve disputes as expeditiously as possible.

When maritime executives face civil or criminal charges or their companies are threatened by regulatory action, Blank Rome can offer a team of defense attorneys whose sole focus is the maritime industry.  We regularly handle complex and multijurisdictional litigation and have substantial experience defending criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement actions, responding to environmental incidents and other casualties, and assisting those subject to government investigations. In addition, our attorneys have more experience in maritime arbitration than any other U.S. firm. We also represent maritime clients in non-maritime corporate and commercial disputes of all types.

How We Can Help

  • marine casualties
  • collisions, allisions, groundings, and sinkings
  • charterparty and contract disputes
  • vessel construction/shipbuilding disputes
  • cargo claims
  • protection and indemnity claims
  • freight, demurrage, and defense insurance claims
  • insurance coverage and subrogation matters
  • tug and tow matters
  • arrests and attachments
  • commercial disputes
  • bankruptcy
  • salvage and general average claims
  • environmental matters
  • Jones Act coastwise trade issues
  • maritime personal-injury claims
  • defense of criminal, civil, and administrative actions
  • mediation and alternative dispute resolution
  • internal and government investigations

White Collar Defense and Investigations

When clients face government investigation, a whistleblower’s accusations, or self-discovered misconduct, we address the allegations, while mitigating the damage to the company’s or individual’s reputation. We use a combination of investigative tactics, media relations, and negotiating strategies, and, when needed, have the billings of seasoned trial and appellate team. Blank Rome Maritime’s team includes internationally known trial lawyers and former U.S. federal prosecutors.

Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Many disputes can best be resolved through alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), which can include negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Using maritime arbitrators to resolve disputes can be quick, cost-effective, and can help avoid negative publicity. It also allows you to continue conducting other commercial arrangements by isolating the dispute.
Our attorneys are often called upon to serve as arbitrators and have been counsel of record in more than 600 New York arbitration awards reported by the Society of Maritime Arbitrators in New York—more than any other firm in the United States.

International Litigation

Our attorneys have served as expert witnesses in international litigation on numerous occasions, testifying in worldwide courts on issues of American law, such as in a major reinsurance dispute before the High Court of Justice in London arising out of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and in O.W. Bunker cases.

What Sets Us Apart 

  • With nearly 40 shipping lawyers in New York, Washington, DC, Houston, and Philadelphia, Blank Rome has the largest and most comprehensive maritime practice in the United States. 
  • Chambers USA ranks Blank Rome Band 1 for Nationwide Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Regulatory and Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York) – Nationwide. 
    • “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.”
    • “The firm has a fantastic reputation in the international shipping community.” (Chambers Global)
    • “Clients praise ‘the lawyers’ willingness to assist quickly and proffer reliable off-the-cuff advice.’” (Chambers Asia)
  • The Legal 500 United States 2017 ranked Blank Rome Tier 1 in Transport: Shipping.
  • Recipient of the Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Legal Services Award 2015 and 2016.
  • U.S. News & World Report—Best Lawyers recognized us as the “2013 Law Firm of the Year” for Maritime & Admiralty Law.
  • Who’s Who Legal recognized us as a leading maritime law firm.
  • 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.