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Maritime

For more than 50 years, Adams and Reese lawyers have advised maritime operators, employers, contractors, and joint venturers, as well as their underwriters and insurers. Recognized with a regional Tier 1 ranking in Admiralty & Maritime Law in U.S. News – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms ranking (2018, U.S News & World Report and Best Lawyers® (by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners)), we have provided counsel and handled litigation, mediation, and arbitration on matters involving the Jones Act, the LHWCA, the general maritime law, marine transportation, offshore service and supply contracts, oil and gas contracts, operations, construction activities, drilling contracts and activities, towing and barge lines operations and contracts, vessel repair and construction contracts, indemnity and breach of contract issues, well blowout and collapse, collisions and allisions, pipeline and other underwater damage, personal injury, employee relations issues, products liability disputes, toxic exposure claims, coverage issues, maritime liens, and agency/regulatory issues. 

With offices that span the Gulf Coast region from Texas to Florida, we are positioned to provide a full range of maritime legal services including advising on marine transactions, regulatory issues, emergency response situations, and maritime disputes.

The following are a few of the areas in which we serve clients:

  • Insurance coverage dispute in an Oil Pollution Act of 1990 claim arising out of a vessel allision with an offshore oil well, where the U.S. Fifth Circuit held that notice provisions in pollution policy endorsements precluded coverage under certain policies, but found coverage under another policy, where the insurer delayed delivery of the policy to the insured.
  • Successfully represented crane manufacturer and designer of deepwater lowering system to recover for loss of a $72 million oil and gas production facility which fell into the Gulf of Mexico, as well as claimed loss of production damages. 
  • Substantially mitigated $2.3 million in Customs penalties through agency proceedings for a maritime services provider.
  • Aided a company in structuring a public/private port infrastructure project to obtain a 500,000-square-foot logistics facility, involving $36.5 million in capital investment and secured $10 million in public incentives.
  • Handling a multi-million dollar salvage and related general average claim for a loss which occurred off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.

Summary

Adams and Reese maritime lawyers address the full range of issues facing companies operating offshore and at sea – from vessel purchases, sales, and construction to countless regulatory issues involving federal and state agencies. We advise clients when an emergency response is necessary – with collisions, allisions, spills, blowouts, hurricanes, and other catastrophic events – and we represent clients in maritime-related disputes and litigation. We provide counsel on a variety of maritime insurance issues, including coverage opinions, investigation, and early negotiation of claims, evaluation of indemnity obligations, and first- and third-party bad faith failure-to-pay disputes.

In coming months and years, our maritime lawyers anticipate a growing need for legal counsel related to tariffs, the decommissioning of old structures (drilling platforms and pipelines), as well as the use of artificial intelligence, automation, data and analytics to manage vessel movement, loading and off-loading of cargo and the tracking of vessels and cargo. We will be ready to address these needs and any needs that arise for our maritime clients.

"We learn the facts, discuss with clients their immediate and long-term objectives, give them their options and – as quickly as we can – lay out a strategy. The decisions you make at the very beginning affect the rest of the case – even with matters that cannot be resolved quickly.” — Kyle Potts, Maritime / Offshore Practice Leader

Defining Strengths

Regulatory

  • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
  • Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
  • MARAD
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule
  • Public wharfage and terminal tariffs
  • Shipping Act
  • Jones Act
  • Foreign trade zones
  • Marine terminal agreements
  • OPA 90
  • CERCLA

Shipping and International Trade

  • Collisions and allisions
  • COGSA
  • Stevedoring
  • Bills of lading
  • Manning requirements
  • Transfer of vessel ownership
  • Marine terminal operator and facility agreements and regulations
  • Cargo storage agreements
  • International freight forwarder regulations
  • Global lines of credit
  • Salvage
  • Limitation of liability
  • Cargo and vessel seizures
  • Cargo and maritime liens
  • Cargo damage and economic loss
  • Marine insurance
  • P&I
  • Vessel mortgages
  • Towage

Maritime Personal Injury

  • Jones Act claims
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act Claims
  • Evaluation and enforcement of indemnity obligations

Offshore Energy

  • Drilling contracts
  • Offshore service contracts
  • Energy Package Policies
  • Construction All Risk insurance
  • OCSLA
  • Excess Liabilities
  • Operator's Extra Expense insurance
  • Control of Well insurance
  • Making Well Safe insurance
  • Redrill Restoration insurance
  • Loss of Production Income (LOPI) insurance