Maritime Law

    Our clients rely on us for our experience and dedication in obtaining swift resolutions of their maritime issues and disputes.

    • Who We Are


      Maritime law is among the most vital and complex of all transportation sectors, given its centuries-long history and global reach.  With decades of knowledge, Kaufman & Canoles’ Maritime Law attorneys have substantial experience resolving maritime disputes, often by settlement, but also by trial or arbitration. Our team has handled numerous maritime appeals in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.  Our maritime attorneys also handle transactional and regulatory matters, including representation of banks, vessel operators and shippers on a variety of regulatory matters. 

    • What We Do


      Kaufman & Canoles’ Maritime Law team represents terminal and ship owners, cargo shippers, shipyards, terminal operators, towing and barge companies, stevedores and salvors in a variety of maritime litigation matters, including cases involving personal injury and death, cargo, collision, salvage and charter disputes. We are deeply connected to the maritime community and have a firm understanding of the complex laws and standards governing the operations of terminal facilities. 

      Maritime activity is heavily regulated by numerous federal and international agencies. We counsel clients on regulations enforced by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), including tariffs and service contracts; discussion agreements; vessel sharing agreements; and niche or specialty agreements. We assist with towing, salvage and fisheries law compliance; maritime promotional programs; and U.S. sanction and embargo laws under the Maritime Administration (MARAD), Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). We work closely with other practice groups within the firm including Litigation, Environmental Law, Eminent Domain, Governmental Contracts & Construction, and International to ensure coverage on a range of regulatory matters.

      The K&C Maritime Law attorneys also handle traditional asset-backed ship finance, leasing transactions and other custom-tailored financings, as well as capital raised in the public and private markets. We provide ongoing counsel on charter parties, citizenship requirements, restructuring, workouts and maritime lien enforcement. Our attorneys serve as special counsel in mergers and acquisitions involving foreign and domestic maritime-related assets. We also advise on ship construction and repair contracts as well as vessel sale and purchase matters.

      Our attorneys handle complex commercial disputes arising from agreements unique to the maritime industry as well as marine casualty, personal injury, wrongful death, loss of cargo and pollution claims. We respond to government investigations, resolve administrative and criminal enforcement actions and defend criminal and civil litigation. Moreover, we handle coverage disputes with regard to cargo, hull and marine general liability insurance on behalf of marine insurers. We emphasize in-depth investigations and evaluate all settlement options in order to settle personal injury cases quickly under reasonable terms without litigation. When litigation is warranted, however, we work closely with the client to develop and execute an effective trial or appeal strategy. 

      The K&C Maritime Law team is exceptionally knowledgeable about how U.S. and international antitrust and competition laws apply to the maritime industry. We advise on all matters of antitrust compliance, review M&A and joint venture transactions, and defend clients in private antitrust class actions and U.S. and multi-jurisdictional government antitrust and enforcement proceedings.