Mainbrace Live: U.S. Maritime Regulatory Update

Blank Rome’s internationally recognized Maritime & International Trade practice group presents a new series of informative webinars covering hot topics in the shipping industry and key insights into 2021 and beyond. Sessions will cover:

    • Sanctions and international trade
    • Offshore wind developments
    • Shipping litigation
    • Maritime regulation
    • Ship finance
    • And more!

For the fourth webinar in our Mainbrace Live series, Blank Rome LLP attorneys Jeanne M. GrassoDana S. Merkel, and Stefanos N. Roulakis presented “U.S. Maritime Regulatory Update” on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Jeanne, Dana, and Stefanos discussed:

    • The conundrum in ballast water management: VIDA, VGP, and the IMO
    • Ongoing industry challenges as COVID-19 continues
    • Emerging greenhouse gas regulation and shipping


    • Jeanne M. Grasso, Partner and Co-Chair, Maritime & International Trade Practice Group


To watch a recording of this webinar, please go to the webinar on-demand registration page here.

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.’”

Continue readingChambers USA 2021 Honors Blank Rome Maritime Attorneys and Practices”

Note from the Editor

Thomas H. Belknap, Jr., Editor

When Mainbrace started some 30 years ago, it was a traditional print newsletter that went out by mail. Over the years, the publication has seen many updates in form and format, mirroring the industry-wide evolution from print to digital. This spring, Mainbrace took the next step in its evolution with the launch of our Mainbrace Live virtual webinar series. In April, we hosted two webinars, the first on preparing for the Biden administration’s maritime and foreign policy and the second on providing an update on the offshore wind industry. If you missed these presentations, you can still view them using the links in our Mainbrace Live section below. I also encourage you to register for our upcoming sessions, U.S. Maritime Litigation Trends (May 18) and U.S. Maritime Regulatory Update (June 22). If you miss them, don’t worry—recordings will be posted for later viewing. And keep an eye out for more Mainbrace Live sessions in due course.

As you will see from this latest newsletter issue, we aren’t abandoning or replacing the traditional print version of Mainbrace—we view Mainbrace Live as an addition to our communications toolbox. We are grateful for these opportunities to communicate with our clients and colleagues in the industry, and we hope that you enjoy this latest issue which, we think, dovetails nicely with the subjects covered in our new webinar series. As always, we welcome suggestions for new topics for Mainbrace, and now for Mainbrace Live as well.



June 22, 2021
6:00–7:00 a.m. PDT / 9:00–10:00 a.m. EDT / 1:00–2:00 p.m. GMT

Join Blank Rome maritime attorneys as they discuss the latest U.S. maritime regulatory updates, including:

  • The 8-year conundrum in ballast water management: VIDA, VGP, and IMO
  • Ongoing industry challenges as COVID-19 continues
  • Emerging greenhouse gas regulations and shipping




Blank Rome LLP and Blank Rome Government Relations LLC maritime attorneys and professionals discussed the outlook for maritime policymaking under the new Biden administration and Congress, as well as its impacts on the global shipping industry, including international trade sanctions, foreign policy, and enforcement trends. VIEW WEBINAR »


Blank Rome maritime attorneys discussed U.S. offshore wind development projects and infrastructure, the Biden administration’s commitments to expand renewable energy, the Jones Act’s impacts on existing and planned offshore wind installation and servicing projects, and pitfalls and opportunities for contractors and service providers looking to enter the industry. VIEW WEBINAR »

Blank Rome maritime attorneys discussed the latest U.S. maritime litigation trends, including the purpose of and criteria for section 1782; judgment enforcement; timeline of a federal case; and spill investigations. VIEW WEBINAR »

Blank Rome Announces 2021 Promotions: Kierstan L. Carlson Elected as Maritime Partner

Effective January 1, 2021, Blank Rome announced the election of Kierstan L. Carlson to partner in the firm’s Maritime and International Trade practice group. In total, the firm elected eight associates and five of counsel to partner, and elevated four associates to of counsel.

In addition to Kierstan, the newly elected partners are Ory Apelboim, Michael J. Barry, Shaun J. Bockert, Melanie S. Carter, Thomas A. Cournoyer, Molly E. Crane, Ryan E. Cronin, Stephanie M. Harden, Martin S. Krezalek, Kevin M. O’Malley, Michael D. Silberfarb, and John P. Wixted. The new of counsel are Samir Ahuja, Kevin M. Eddy, Alexander S. Perry, and Michael P. Trainor.

“We congratulate this outstanding group of talented attorneys on their new roles at Blank Rome,” said Grant S. Palmer, Managing Partner and CEO. “Our firm’s elevation decisions are a long-term investment in the future of Blank Rome, and we are confident that this impressive group of attorneys will continue to promote our culture of teamwork and collaboration while providing exceptional service to our clients.”

Continue reading “Blank Rome Announces 2021 Promotions: Kierstan L. Carlson Elected as Maritime Partner”

Jeanne M. Grasso Named a Top Woman in Shipping 2020 by All About Shipping

Jeanne M. Grasso, co-chair of Blank Rome’s Maritime and International Trade group, was named among All About Shipping’s “Top Women in Shipping” for the second year in a row. She is notably ranked in the top 30 of the 189 women from all sectors of the shipping industry recognized for 2020.

To determine the Top Women in Shipping, All About Shipping collects data and notes on the leading women in the industry who have offered and influenced the shipping world and the wider female community to all intents and purposes. The honorees for 2020 were particularly commended for being “valiant and admirable women” who outperformed during such a challenging year. At Blank Rome, Jeanne focuses her practice on maritime, international, and environmental law for clients worldwide. She counsels owners and operators of vessels, charterers, cargo owners, and facilities, including manufacturing facilities, both marine-side and inland. She writes and lectures extensively on criminal enforcement of environmental laws and U.S. Coast Guard regulatory matters, and also conducts training sessions and helps clients establish compliance programs in an effort to avoid enforcement actions. Jeanne is highly ranked by Chambers USA for her work in shipping regulatory matters, and has also been recognized as a leading maritime attorney by The Legal 500 United StatesWho’s Who LegalLloyd’s List, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers.

Chambers Global 2021 Ranks Blank Rome Attorneys and Shipping and Energy Practices

Chambers Global 2021 recognized our firm’s attorneys, including our maritime partner John D. Kimball, for their industry knowledge and leading practices, as well as Blank Rome LLP as a global leader in “Shipping: Litigation — Global-wide” and “Energy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation).”

Continue readingChambers Global 2021 Ranks Blank Rome Attorneys and Shipping and Energy Practices”

Blank Rome Attorneys Recognized by Who’s Who Legal 2020

Who’s Who Legal 2020 recognized 23 Blank Rome attorneys as “Thought Leaders” and “Global Leaders” in 12 practice areas across the firm, including in the area of “Transport – Shipping.”

Continue reading “Blank Rome Attorneys Recognized by Who’s Who Legal 2020

Blank Rome Earns Perfect Score in 2021 Corporate Equality Index

Blank Rome received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. With this score, Blank Rome has been designated for the sixth year in a row as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

“We are honored to continue receiving recognition by the Human Rights Campaign for our Firm’s ongoing commitment to fostering and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) in our workplace, the legal industry, and beyond,” said Grant S. Palmer, Managing Partner and CEO at Blank Rome. “Celebrating our Firm’s 75th Anniversary this year not only honors Blank Rome’s history, founded on the core mission and vision of cultivating a law firm where people of diverse backgrounds could gather to practice law, but also focuses on our Firm’s future. Through the dedicated efforts of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which recently welcomed our new Director of Diversity and Inclusion Krystal Studavent Ramsey, and our affinity groups—BR PrideBR UnitedWomen’s Forum, and BR Parents Forum—Blank Rome will continue its ongoing commitment of advancing progressive DEI initiatives for generations to come.”

“From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality,” said Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President and Blank Rome Alumnus. “This year has shown us that tools like the CEI are crucial in the work to increase equity and inclusion in the workplace, but also that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways. Thank you to the companies that understand protecting their LGBTQ employees and consumers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do—but the best business decision.”

The 2021 CEI rated 1,142 U.S.-based businesses and evaluated in detail LGBTQ-related policies and practices under the following four central pillars: non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture; and corporate social responsibility. Blank Rome’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” For more information on the 2021 CEI, or to download a free copy of the report, please visit The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.

Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team (“SWERT”)

SWERT is an interdisciplinary group of Blank Rome attorneys and government relations professionals with decades of experience helping companies and individuals recover from severe weather events, including recent hurricanes, wildfires, and mudslides across the United States. We are ready to assist those in the path of storms and other severe weather events

Learn more:

Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) Task Force

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus is impacting businesses and public life around the world. From supply chain disruption, government-ordered closures, and event cancellations to employee safety concerns and social distancing recommendations, every company is facing its own unique challenges in the face of the uncertainties surrounding this global pandemic. Blank Rome’s Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) Task Force is monitoring this ever-changing situation and is here to help.

Learn more: