Note from the Editor

Thomas H. Belknap Jr.

Spring seems to be upon us, at last. Perhaps we have no right to complain about the weather, but that has never stopped us! It seems like our New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia offices spend the winter months coveting our Houston office’s weather, and our Houston office in turn spends the summer being envious of their fellow East Coast colleagues. Spring, perhaps, is that narrow window of time when everyone has something to be happy about. Spring is also a particularly exciting time for our New York office this year, as we get ready to relocate from our current Chrysler Building address to the iconic 1271 Avenue of the Americas building near Rockefeller Center. We hope that you will all come visit us once we’ve settled in!

In the meantime, we have a great new issue of Mainbrace for your reference and enjoyment. As always, we cover a lot of ground in this edition, and I think the range of timely topics aptly mirrors the breadth of Blank Rome’s Maritime practice. Jeremy Herschaft and Michelle Gitlitz offer a terrific article that moves past the basics of “what is blockchain” and discusses several new and practical applications that we are starting to see emerge in the maritime industry, and Joan Bondareff provides timely updates and developments on offshore wind farms in the United States as well as collaborates with Genevieve Cowan to offer a helpful summary of the opening weeks of the 116th Congress. We have an excellent article from our white collar defense attorneys, Carlos Ortiz and Mayling Blanco, with the assistance of our own maritime attorney Alexandra Clark, about the application of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in shipping, as well as an article from our bankruptcy & restructuring colleagues, Rick Antonoff and Evan Zucker, concerning court-to-court communications in cross-border insolvency cases. Additionally, Jeanne Grasso provides updates on recently announced ballast water regulations from the U.S. Coast Guard as well as critical provisions and obligations under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act of 2018. Last, but certainly not least, Greg Linsin and Dana Merkel discuss critical MARPOL compliance matters, notably involving APPS violations, and we provide some noteworthy news and recognitions that honor the significant work of our maritime attorneys and practice.

We hope that you enjoy this issue. We also remind you that the articles published in past issues of Mainbrace do not just disappear. We have created an online archive for these articles called Safe Passage that can be found at safepassageblankrome.com. Past articles are searchable by topic and by author, providing a helpful reference tool for your research.

As always, we welcome your feedback as well as any suggestions that you may have for articles for our next issue. Happy spring!