Chambers USA 2021 Honors Blank Rome Maritime Attorneys and Practices

BAND ONE: Shipping Litigation (New York) – Nationwide

What the team is known for: “Esteemed practice with significant experience handling high-profile maritime litigation for national and international clients, including P&I clubs, shipping companies and owners. Highly regarded for crisis response and offering additional expertise in alternative dispute resolution. Maintains an excellent reputation for advising maritime industry entities in federal investigations arising from intentional misconduct allegations and casualty events, as well as in a host of cybersecurity issues. Recently active on a range of fuel contamination, cargo loss, salvage and collision cases.”

Strengths: “An impressed client reports: ‘Blank Rome really caters to its clients’ needs, and each of the partners are very savvy and really provide great and succinct advice.’ Sources praise the ‘great team with good associates,’ and highlight their ‘wealth of knowledge.’ Interviewees say: ‘The team really is a leader in the space and really on top of the matters.’

Notable Practitioners for Shipping Litigation (New York) – Nationwide

Thomas H. Belknap, Jr. – Band Two. Chambers USA states: “Thomas Belknap has deep expertise in shipping litigation with significant capabilities in cargo damage claims and contract and salvage disputes.” – “A very careful, organized lawyer who gives good advice.”

William R. Bennett, III – Band Three. Chambers USA states: “William Bennett is well known for his strong shipping practice, typically advising clients on maritime casualties resulting from collisions, groundings and sinkings. He is also well placed to handle maritime-related fraud disputes.” – “He is succinct, proactive and really gets to the point.” “A prepared, well-presented and well-spoken attorney before a tribunal. He also provides a great insight into the market.”

John D. Kimball – Band One. Chambers USA states: “John Kimball frequently assists clients with maritime casualty disputes including ship fires, collisions and sinkings. He is also adept at handling shipping arbitrations.” — “He is a very impressive lawyer.”

Richard V. Singleton II – Band Three. Chambers USA states: “Richard Singleton is known for his abilities in shipping litigation and arbitration. He typically assists clients with maritime casualty as well as charter party and contractual disputes. He advises both domestic and international clients.” – “He is a very experienced and very good tactical lawyer. He thinks out the steps and manages expectations.” “He is very knowledgeable.”

Lauren B. Wilgus – Band Four. Chambers USA states: “Lauren Wilgus works on a variety of international maritime litigation matters. Her practice covers charter party disputes, cargo damage and loss and marine casualty investigations including collisions.” — “She is a fantastic operator. She gets ‘wow’ reviews!”

BAND ONE: Shipping Litigation (Outside New York) – Nationwide

Strengths: “Interviewees say: ‘It is a very prominent firm with international capabilities.’ A client remarks: ‘It is our go-to maritime and associated litigation firm. The attorneys really know our company and culture; it’s a very seamless relationship.’”

Notable Practitioners for Shipping Litigation (Outside New York) – Nationwide

Michael K. Bell – Band One. Chambers USA states: “Michael Bell has extensive experience in the space and is a seasoned shipping litigator. He skillfully advises clients on a range of maritime casualties including collisions, sinkings, explosions and fires.” – “A very fine lawyer with tons of knowledge.”

Jeremy A. Herschaft – Band Three. Chambers USA states: “Jeremy Herschaft has a dynamic shipping and maritime practice acting on both domestic and international issues. He regularly advises clients on marine casualty environmental matters including pollution incidents.”

Keith B. Letourneau – Band Two. Chambers USA states: “Keith Letourneau provides guidance on a range of issues including vessel arrests, maritime collisions and insurance coverage disputes.” – “A talented and respected lawyer.”

Douglas J. Shoemaker – Band Two. Chambers USA states: “Douglas Shoemaker is highly regarded for his shipping and maritime expertise with capabilities litigating maritime personal injury, property damage and seizure proceedings.” – “He is an extremely smart person and a truly excellent lawyer.”

BAND ONE: Shipping Regulatory – Nationwide

What the team is known for: “Highly acclaimed practice well known for its representation of significant shipping clients on a range of regulatory matters. Has expertise in Jones Act compliance, environmental investigation defense of companies and individuals, and government relations including legislative advice. Advises on maritime cybersecurity issues, including attacks and security breach avoidance. Further strength in counseling shipowners and operators on US trade sanction issues. Offers wider industry expertise in shipping within the context of offshore oil, gas and wind energy compliance matters.”

Strengths: “Interviewees note: ‘It is a very strong maritime firm and provides excellent regulatory advice.’ Another source says: ‘They keep their eyes to the ground and keep us informed of developments. They’re very good at strategy and I’m impressed by their responsiveness.’”

Notable Practitioners for Shipping Regulatory – Nationwide

Jeanne M. Grasso – Band One. Chambers USA states: “Jeanne Grasso is held in high esteem for her representation of owners, cargo interests and operators. She advises clients on general regulatory compliance as well as investigations and enforcement proceedings.” – “There is no one better in addressing maritime issues of all types. Her expertise, practical knowledge and legal skills are unsurpassed.” “She is an extremely useful lawyer in everything to do with the US Coast Guard and issues surrounding that area. She’s very skilled and knowledgeable.”

Matthew J. Thomas – Band Three. Chambers USA states: “Matthew Thomas represents all manner of maritime industry participants including shipowners, insurers, ports and marine terminal operators. An expert in maritime logistics, he is particularly recognized for his expertise in trade sanctions issues concerning sector clients.” – “He is very clear and concise in his advice and knows his stuff inside and out in quite a technical area. He’s willing to stick his neck out and say what he feels is the right thing to do. He’s very user-friendly and a popular choice of attorney.”

Jonathan K. Waldron – Band One. Chambers USA states: “Jonathan Waldron has an impressive reputation for his work in maritime environmental compliance, international trade and Jones Act work. Clients additionally benefit from his 20 years of service in the US Coast Guard.” – “He’s extremely responsive, knows the subject inside out and is well connected in the community and with the legislature.” “He is an incredible advocate for his clients and the maritime industry as a whole.”

All referenced quotes, commentary, and rankings are published in Chambers USA 2021.

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