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An accomplished trial lawyer with more than 30 years of consistent and proven success, Mark J. Spansel has vast experience in all aspects of commercial and complex litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, energy and maritime litigation, and economic development.

As Senior Partner in the New Orleans office, Mark advises clients throughout the Gulf Coast region, including the energy, oil and gas industries – upstream, midstream and downstream – as well as companies in the stevedoring, health care and construction industries. Mark has held numerous leadership roles at the firm, including serving four terms as a member of the Executive Committee, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Practice Team Leader, Strategic Planning Committee, and the Expansion Committee.

Mark’s litigation career has been defined by significant achievements, including obtaining successful trial verdicts and outcomes in casualty and commercial litigation with offshore and onshore drilling operations for a major international energy company, whom he has served as trial and coordinating counsel for over three decades. Mark has also represented a Fortune 500 oil and gas refinery in litigation and corporate matters for more than 15 years in cases involving environmental exposure, commercial, casualty, environmental regulation and transactional matters.

In addition to his senior leadership role at Adams and Reese, Mark frequently lectures on maritime law and offshore/oil field liabilities at professional and industry seminars, including the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Contracts & Risk Management Conference. He has also been a regular speaker at IRMI's Construction Risk Conference since 1984 and its Energy Conference since its inception, and has co-authored several articles on maritime law for their “Risk Report.”

When Mark is not in the office advising clients, he enjoys being with his family and following the interests and activities of his children and grandchildren, doing charitable and community work, and playing golf.


  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 1978
  • Tulane University, B.A., 1975

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Louisiana Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

Community Involvement

Outside of his role as Senior Partner, Mark is deeply involved in his community, currently serving as an Advisory Board Member for Tulane Law School Center for Energy, as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, on the Board of Directors of the East Jefferson Hospital Foundation, and on the Steering Committee for the New Orleans Peace Project – an initiative he helped form with faith and business leaders with an aim of mitigating violence and murder in New Orleans.

Throughout his career, Mark has also been appointed to, and served on, numerous local advisory bodies in the following capacities: as a member of the Executive Committee and Super-Region Committee for Greater New Orleans, Inc; as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce – where he also served as General Counsel; as Co-Chair of the Christian Brothers School's Capital Campaign; and, as Chairman of the 2010 Archbishop's Community Appeal – where he still serves as a core member. He has also served as a member of the New Orleans Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute, as a Proctor Member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and as a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association.


Mark is the recipient of countless awards and recognitions, including being listed in Best Lawyers®, Chambers USA, and Louisiana SuperLawyers®, and being AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Additionally, Mark was honored with the "Words of Wisdom" Speakers Award presented by the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. in 2007, and named among the New Orleans CityBusiness "Leadership in Law," Class of 2009.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Archbishop's Community Appeal, Former Chairman
  • Bar Association of the 5th Federal Circuit
  • Christian Brothers School, Capital Campaign, Former Co-Chair
  • Defense Research Institute
  • East Jefferson Hospital Foundation, Board of Directors Member
  • GNO Inc., BRAC Super-Region Committee, Member
  • Greater New Orleans, Inc., Former Executive Committee Member
  • GNO Inc., Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy (CCRE), Member
  • Jefferson Business Council, Former Board Member
  • Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce, Former Board of Directors and Executive Committee Member
  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Member
  • New Orleans Association of Defense Counsel
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • New Orleans Peace Project, Steering Committee Member
  • St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association
  • Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Chairman, Board of Directors, Jan 1, 2022-Dec 31, 2023
  • Tulane University’s Center for Energy Law, Advisory Board Member
  • Representation of the States of Texas and Oklahoma in successful recovery of damages to rebuild a bridge struck by a towing vessel with barges.
  • Successful defense of a Spanish shipbuilding company in connection with a collision on the Mississippi River.
  • Defense and management of exposures of a company in various lawsuits alleging maritime exposure to asbestos.