It’s hard to believe another summer has come and gone. The kids are back in school, the commuter trains are a bit more crowded, and everyone is back from their holidays, hopefully refreshed and ready to get back down to business. We know we are.
In this issue of Mainbrace, we discuss some of the hot and developing issues in our practice these days. First and foremost is offshore wind development. It is no secret that the United States has been well behind our friends in Europe in developing and installing this technology, but there are clear signs that the United States is finally getting serious about this important source of energy. Deepwater Wind, a five-turbine project off Block Island in Long Island Sound is nearing completion; the State of Massachusetts (home of the ill-fated but not deceased Cape Wind project) recently enacted legislation requiring the state to take a significant portion of its energy from offshore wind going forward; and other projects are starting to get off the ground up and down the East Coast. Jonathan Waldron and Joan Bondareff, two members of our offshore wind practice team, discuss recent developments in greater detail in their article (see page 2).
Unfortunately, bankruptcy has been another hot story in the maritime space for the past few years, and this shows no signs of abating any time soon. Our maritime group has worked very closely with our bankruptcy group to develop a focused maritime bankruptcy practice experienced in advising clients, be they in the position of debtors or secured or unsecured creditors. In his article (see page 13), Mike Schaedle discusses recent developments in Chapter 15 prac- tice, which involves recognizing foreign bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.
Meantime, technology races on, in shipping as in every other aspect of our lives. New technology brings increased productivity, but it also brings disruption and uncertainty. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the area of cyber- security, where increased integration of systems means heightened risk. The shipping industry has been struggling to make up lost ground in responding to these risks. And meanwhile, the development of drones brings great promise of new and innovative uses in the maritime industries, from inspecting tanks and platforms to delivering consumables to vessels offshore. But it also raises important questions about safety and regulation. Kate Belmont addresses the former in her article (see page 7), and Sean Pribyl the latter (see page 4).
We also cover recent developments in the South China Sea (see Joan Bondareff and Sean Pribyl’s article on page 16), new opportunities in government contracting (see David Nadler and Justin Chiarodo’s article on page 11), and age-old questions about the continued relevancy of the Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act (see Jeffrey Moller’s article on page 9).
Hopefully, there is something for everyone in this issue of Mainbrace, and we hope you enjoy the read.