It seems that every time I write one of these notes, it is against the backdrop of some new global upheaval—the latest, of course, being the war in Ukraine. I am of a certain generation whose memory of World War II was through our parents, but not so distant that we were not regularly exposed to people with first-hand experiences with the horrors of that war. How many times have we said never again, only to be proved wrong?
The world currently hangs between the terrible tragedy that has already unfolded and the terrifying unknown of just how much worse things could still get. And yet, through this all, I have been repeatedly inspired by our Ukrainian friends who have shown the world the true meaning of the term “soldier on,” both in simultaneously defending their homeland and continuing to work and care for their families and friends. Their experience certainly puts our own “problems” in perspective.
Apart from the human tragedy, this war has imposed new complications and challenges on the global economy and, particularly, in shipping. As with the pandemic, the true impacts of this global disruption will be felt for months and years to come in ways we can only now imagine. And yet, as always, with great disruption comes great opportunity, and we have no doubt that our clients and friends are already hard at work looking for new ways to proactively harness this rapidly changing business environment. In today’s age, it seems, rapid change is“business as usual.”
In this issue of Mainbrace, we address the impact of the war on maritime commerce as well as some of the “business as usual” stories that are always relevant to players in the shipping field. We hope you enjoy these articles. As always, we welcome suggestions for topics for future issues of Mainbrace.
Firm Receives 100 Percent for the Seventh Year in a Row on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Annual Scorecard on LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality
Blank Rome LLP is proud to announce that our firm has received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index (“CEI”), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (“HRC”) Foundation. With this score, Blank Rome has been designated for the seventh year in a row as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” by the HRC, and joins the ranks of major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.
To learn more about this honor, visit our website.
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (“LCLD”) has selected Megan R. Wood to join the 2022 LCLD Fellows Program and Saloni R. Patel and Samar Aryani-Sabet to join the 2022 LCLD Pathfinder Program. These hallmark programs are dedicated to producing a generation of attorneys with strong leadership and relationship skills who are committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within their individual institutions and throughout the legal industry.
“We are thrilled to have Megan, Saloni, and Samar represent Blank Rome in the 2022 LCLD Fellows Program and Pathfinder Program,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “They have all demonstrated a real commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at our firm, throughout the legal industry, and within their local communities, and we look forward to celebrating their successful achievements in this critical mission in the years to come.”
“As a longstanding LCLD member organization, Blank Rome is more committed than ever to accelerating diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization, legal industry, and beyond,” said Krystal Studavent Ramsey, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Blank Rome. “The retention, development, and advancement of our diverse attorneys is at the core of our firm’s culture and mission, and we are proactively engaged in identifying, implementing, and supporting new opportunities through progressive programs, policies, and initiatives such as the LCLD Fellows and Pathfinders programs.”
To read more about the program and Megan, Saloni, and Samar, please visit our website.
The BR Privacy & Security Download We invite you to read our April 2022 edition of The BR Privacy & Security Download, the monthly digital newsletter of Blank Rome’s Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice, which covers current trends and updates in the areas of state, local, and federal laws and regulations, U.S. litigation and enforcement, and international laws and regulations, as well as the group’s recent events and webinars, media activity, and news. ReadMore »
The BR State + Local Tax Spotlight Welcome to the March 2022 edition of The BR State + Local Tax Spotlight, our monthly newsletter from Blank Rome’s State + Local Tax team that highlights important State + Local Tax developments across numerous jurisdictions and provides updates on significant legislative developments and judicial decisions that could impact business operations. Read More »
From supply chain disruption, government-ordered closures, and event cancellations to employee safety concerns, vaccine requirements, and social distancing recommendations, every company is facing its own unique challenges surrounding this ongoing global pandemic. Blank Rome’s Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) Task Force is monitoring this ever-changing situation and is here to help.
When I wrote the introductory note for the December 2020 issue of Mainbrace, I certainly hoped that by this time COVID-19 would be a distant memory. But as I write this, we are once again looking at more uncertainty ahead, and it seems that our collective ability to adapt and adjust will continue to be tested for the foreseeable future.
And on the very topic of needing to adapt, I hope you have been able to catch some of our recent Mainbrace Live webinar presentations. Following the successful launch of this new series in the spring, we presented four panels this fall covering topics as diverse as COGSA, marine casualty investigations, maritime liens and arrests, admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, shipowner limitation of liability, maritime environmental developments, and the role of insurance in ship finance. If you missed them, you can still view the recorded sessions (see the section after our articles below). We are pleased to note that this series has been very well received, so keep an eye out for more sessions next spring.
This issue of Mainbrace complements our recent Mainbrace Live webinar series to some extent, as several of the articles are companion pieces to this fall’s webinar presentations. In addition, we have included a number of other articles likely to be of interest to our maritime clients, on such topics as maritime cybersecurity, EU data transfer considerations, and Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. We hope you enjoy this issue!
We also take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a healthy and prosperous 2022!
Over the last month, our internationally recognized Maritime & International Trade practice group presented a new series of informative webinars on hot topics in the shipping industry. The series featured up-and-coming talent in the firm with sessions discussing the following critical industry trends:
USCG Issues during a Marine Casualty
COGSA Fundamentals and Time Bars
Insurance Requirements in Ship Financings
Jones Act Update and VIDA/VGP Status and Enforcement
Arrest Fundamentals and Acceptable Security Terms
State and Federal Court Distinctions and Admiralty Jurisdiction
Welcome to Blank Rome’s Pro Bono Report (2020–2021), which highlights various pro bono cases, clinics, and projects that our attorneys worked on last year and in recent months to provide equal access to justice in our communities.
In particular, we discuss our significant work surrounding key issues across the country, including the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, and voter protection, as well as work on behalf of immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals, persons facing homelessness, senior citizens, and small business owners and nonprofits.
Also featured in this report:
Blank Rome’s 2020 Pro Bono Year in Review
Summary of pro bono awards presented to our firm and attorneys
Blank Rome’s pro bono corporate and community partners
Overview of pro bono initiatives and priorities for 2021 and beyond
To download Blank Rome’s Pro Bono Report, please click here.
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that our firm was nationally ranked in 28 practice areas and regionally ranked in 82 practice areas in the 2022 “Best Law Firms” survey by U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers.®
Earlier this year, Blank Rome was also recognized in the 2022 Best Lawyers in America survey, which ranked 117 firm attorneys in the annual categories of “Lawyers of the Year,” “Ones to Watch,” and “Best Lawyers” in 44 practice areas across 11 regions.