John E. Holloway

    Member • Chair of Maritime Law
    Office: Norfolk, Raleigh
    Admissions: North Carolina, Virginia


    With more than 30 years of experience, John has handled a wide range of issues for shipowners, terminals, banks, cargo owners, and others. He emphasizes early evaluation of cases and provides risk assessments and strategy recommendations informed by substantial experience.

    John represents owners of commercial vessels (ships, barges, tugs, and dredges) in personal injury, death, pollution, collision, ship fire, and cargo cases and hedge funds, banks, vessel owners, shipyards, and construction companies in matters involving U.S. cabotage laws and marine insurance coverage opinions and litigation. He also reviews and negotiates maritime contracts, including ocean shipping service agreements, charters, towage contracts, bills of lading, and other shipping documents, and resolves logistics issues stemming from arrest of cargo or vessels.

    In litigation matters, John emphasizes early evaluation and collaboration with the client to assess goals and develop options. He evaluates and communicates the risks and benefits of each course and works with the client to develop a strategy early in the case, and he has a track record of achieving his clients’ goals.

    Representative Matters

    • Obtained favorable outcomes in numerous maritime death and injury cases, including jury verdicts and summary judgments
    • Represented shipyards, vessel operators, construction companies, banks and hedge funds in regulatory matters, including cabotage laws (e.g., Jones Act, Dredge Act) and coastwise laws administered by the Maritime Administration, Customs and Border Patrol, and the Coast Guard
    • Handled marine product liability cases involving lashing gear, asbestos or transportation of dangerous cargoes
    • Assisted clients with transportation issues involving containers held for demurrage or to secure in rem claims
    • Assisted clients negotiating ocean shipping service contracts and other transportation documents (charters, towages agreements, etc.)
    • Represented both foreign banks financing fishing fleet operations and fishing vessel operators in casualty cases, in buy/sell transactions and in regulatory matters
    • Consulted with foreign governments and vendors to evaluate fisheries regulations and use of artificial intelligence technology in fisheries enforcement
    • Represented ship operators in matters governed by OPA 90 and APPS (including oil spills and oily water separator cases)
    • Handled matters involving alleged violations of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act
    • Represented salvors, including treasure salvors, in admiralty proceedings to establish title to items found or salvaged in both territorial waters and the high seas

    Recognition & Honors

    • Top Lawyers; CoVaBIZ, 2024
    • BTI Client Service All Stars, 2023
    • Best Lawyers in America, 2007–2024
    • Best of the Best USA, Shipping and Maritime, 2021
    • Super Lawyers, 2007-2021, 2023
    • Virginia Business, Legal Elite, 2014-2015, 2018
    • AV® Rated; Martindale-Hubbell
    • Law Clerk to Hon. Robert G. Doumar, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 1987-1988
    • George Mason Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 1987


    • Association of Average Adjusters of the United States and Canada
    • Maritime Law Association of the United States
    • Southeast Admiralty Law Institute
    • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
    • Propeller Club of Hampton Roads
    • Honorary Consul of Iceland, 2000-2017
    • Adjunct Professor of Admiralty Law, College of William & Mary, 2001-2014

    Military Service

    • Captain; United States Marine Corps, 1981-1987 


    • Virginia Military Institute; B.A., 1981
    • George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School; J.D., 1987