Recent Blank Rome Maritime Rankings

Chambers Global 2019

Chambers Global 2019 recognized Blank Rome as a global leader in Shipping: Litigation – Global-wide, as well as Partner John D. Kimball as a leading shipping litigation attorney.

As published in Chambers Global 2019:

Shipping Litigation – Global-wide

WHAT THE TEAM IS KNOWN FOR: “Well-regarded shipping litigation practice, with considerable

expertise in dealing with high-profile disputes, as well as maritime arbitration. Handles a wide range of issues, including casualties, charter party disputes, bankruptcy and environmental matters.

Acts for a mix of owners, operators, charterers, financial institutions and shipyards. Respected both within the USA and internationally for its deep industry knowledge, and noted for its expertise in shipping issues as they intersect with environmental litigation.”

STRENGTHS: “One peer described the team as a ‘real quality outfit.’”

John D. Kimball – Shipping: Litigation, Global-wide

The “excellent” John Kimball offers clients a wealth of experience across a range of different matters, including collisions, Chapter 11 bankruptcies and high-value salvage. He is regularly instructed by both domestic and international P&I clubs and frequently sits as an arbitrator in shipping disputes. He is based in New York.

To view all of Blank Rome’s Chambers Global 2019 rankings, please click here.

U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers 2019®

Blank Rome’s Maritime practice was ranked in the top national and regional tiers for Admiralty & Maritime Law, as well as nationally ranked in 29 practice areas and regionally ranked in 77 practice areas in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” survey by U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers®.

To view all of Blank Rome’s U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers 2019® rankings, please click here.

Who’s Who Legal 2018

The following Blank Rome Maritime attorneys were recognized in Who’s Who Legal 2018 for their leading shipping industry knowledge and practices.

To view all of Blank Rome’s Who’s Who Legal 2018 rankings, please click here.


Welcome to the March 2019 edition of Perspectives, Blank Rome’s diversity and inclusion newsletter that keeps you informed on our latest diversity news and provides insight on current diversity issues in the legal industry and beyond.

Featured in this edition:

    • Insightful and in-depth conversation with Judge James T. Giles
    • Update on participation in Mansfield Rule 2.0
    • Initiatives aimed at advancing women in law and promoting LGBTQ+ equality
    • Highlights from heritage history months celebrations
    • Overview of recent diversity and inclusion headlines, accolades, and events

To learn more about Blank Rome’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, please visit

Download Perspectives here.

Recent Maritime Elevations, Appointments, and Additions

New Maritime Elevations and Appointments

Lauren B. Wilgus Elevated to Blank Rome Of Counsel

Blank Rome is pleased to announce that Lauren B. Wilgus was elevated from associate to of counsel in the Firm’s Maritime and International Trade practice group, effective January 1, 2019. Lauren has more than 17 years of experience in the shipping industry and concentrates her practice in the areas of international and maritime litigation and alternate dispute resolution. She is also a member of the Firm’s Maritime Emergency Response Team, and has been an active member in numerous maritime industry organizations throughout her career.

To learn more, please read Blank Rome Announces 2019 Promotions: 14 Partners, 4 Of Counsel.

Richard V. Singleton Appointed Co-Chair of IBA’s Maritime and Transport Law Committee

Blank Rome Partner Richard V. Singleton has been appointed to serve a two-year term as co-chair of the International Bar Association’s (“IBA”) Maritime and Transport Law Committee, one of the oldest and most established committees of the IBA.

To learn more on Richard’s appointment, please click here.

Joan M. Bondareff Reappointed to Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority

Blank Rome Of Counsel Joan M. Bondareff has been reappointed to a new four-year term on the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority where she has served as chair since November 2016.

To learn more, please read Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority Elects New Officers (press release, January 4, 2019).

New Energy Attorneys Bolster Maritime Practice

Blank Rome Welcomes Experienced Energy Group to Firm’s Washington, D.C., Office

Blank Rome welcomed Partners Mark R. Haskell and Brett A. Snyder and Of Counsel George D. Billinson to the Firm’s Energy group in the Washington, D.C., office, on January 16. Together, they bring notable experience advising clients on a wide breadth of energy industry-related matters involving regulation, compliance, enforcement, transactions, and litigation.

In addition, their collective practice has significant maritime law synergies, with many of their projects involving the exports of liquified natural gas, natural gas liquids, and other commodities by ship. In joining Blank Rome and collaborating with the Firm’s leading maritime practice and attorneys, they are now able to offer their clients service from wellhead to shipping contract.

To learn more, please read Blank Rome Continues Ongoing Lateral Expansion with the Addition of Energy Group in Washington, D.C. (press release, January 16, 2019).

Noteworthy Maritime Publications

Navigating Maritime Arbitration: The Experts Speak

Blank Rome Partner John D. Kimball co-authored Navigating Maritime Arbitration: The Experts Speak (February 2019, Juris Legal Information, Arbitration Law), which brings together a collection of essays concerning virtually all aspects of maritime arbitration in the United States, with a strong focus on New York due to the volume of arbitrations the state holds.

The book features chapters written by a wide range of experienced arbitrators and attorneys who are widely recognized as being among the leading experts in maritime arbitration. In addition to John’s chapter, “Arbitrators’ Dilemma: Stick Your Head in The Sand?,” Blank Rome Partner Thomas H. Belknap, Jr., authored chapter 11, “Enforcing and Challenging Arbitral Awards.”

To learn more, please visit

United States, Ports & Terminals 2019

Blank Rome Partner Matthew J. Thomas authored the “United States” chapter in Ports & Terminals 2019, a Getting the Deal Through publication by Law Business Research Ltd (2018).

To learn more, please visit

Risk Management Tools for Maritime Companies


Blank Rome Maritime has developed a flexible, fixed-fee Compliance Audit Program to help maritime companies mitigate the escalating

risks in the maritime regulatory environment. The program provides concrete, practical guidance tailored to your operations to strengthen your regulatory compliance systems and minimize the risk of your company becoming an enforcement statistic. To learn how the Compliance Audit Program can help your company, please visit


Blank Rome provides a comprehensive solution for protecting your company’s property and reputation from the unprecedented cybersecurity challenges present in today’s global digital economy. Our multidisciplinary team of leading cybersecurity and data privacy professionals advises clients on the potential consequences of cybersecurity threats and how to implement comprehensive measures for mitigating cyber risks, prepare customized strategy and action plans, and provide ongoing support and maintenance to promote cybersecurity and cyber risk management awareness. Blank Rome’s maritime cyber risk management team has the capability to address cybersecurity issues associated with both land-based systems and systems onboard ships, including the implementation of the Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships and the IMO Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems. To learn how Blank Rome’s Maritime Cyber Risk Management Program can help your company, please visit or contact Kate B. Belmont (, 212.885.5075).


Blank Rome’s Trade Sanctions and Export Compliance Review Program ensures that companies in the maritime, transportation, offshore, and commodities fields do not fall afoul of U.S. trade law requirements. U.S. requirements for trading with Iran, Cuba, Russia, Syria, and other hotspots change rapidly, and U.S. limits on banking and financial services, and restrictions on exports of U.S. goods, software, and technology, impact our shipping and energy clients daily. Our team will review and update our clients’ internal policies and procedures for complying with these rules on a fixed-fee basis. When needed, our trade team brings extensive experience in compliance audits and planning, investigations and enforcement matters, and government relations, tailored to provide practical and businesslike solutions for shipping, trading, and energy clients worldwide. To learn how the Trade Sanctions and Export Compliance Review Program can help your company, please visit or contact Matthew J. Thomas (, 202.772.5971).

Joan Bondareff Receives NAMEPA’s 2018 Marine Environment Protection Award

Blank Rome Of Counsel Joan M. Bondareff has been named the North American Marine Environment Protection Association’s (“NAMEPA”) 2018 Marine Environment Protection Individual Award winner in recognition of her lifetime career in working to protect the marine environment. Joan serves as general counsel and secretary of NAMEPA, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable practices for the shipping industry.

Joan will be presented with the award at NAMEPA’s 2018 Annual Conference and Awards Dinner on October 25, 2018, aboard the Hornblower Infinity in New York City. The theme for this year’s conference is “The New CSR: Ethical, Strategic, Sustainable,” and the awards dinner will recognize the achievements of individuals and corporations who “Save Our Seas.”

Kate Belmont Appointed to Port of NY/NJ and Port of Albany Area Maritime Security Committee’s Executive Steering Committee

Kate B. Belmont, a senior associate in Blank Rome’s maritime group, has been appointed to the Executive Steering Committee (“ESC”) to the Port of New York/New Jersey and Port of Albany Area Maritime Security Committee (“AMSC”), a community of port stakeholders with an interest in port security who regularly advise on maritime security issues.

The ESC comprises designated individuals from the maritime industry, maritime trade and labor organizations, maritime associations, and federal, state, and local law enforcement and first responders. Kate was invited to join the ESC for her valuable insight and knowledge of maritime cybersecurity and information security.

In addition to this new role and her practice at Blank Rome, Kate serves as president of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association USA’s New York/New Jersey Chapter, is a founding member of the Maritime Law Association Cybersecurity Committee, and is an adjunct professor at The Stevens Institute of Technology where she teaches Information Security and Law.