“Maritime law is among the most vital and complex of all transportation sectors. At Kaufman & Canoles, we understand these complexities and are committed to developing lasting solutions.”

    • Who We Are


      With decades of knowledge, Kaufman & Canoles’ Maritime Law attorneys have substantial experience assessing risks associated with maritime disputes and resolving cases, often by trial. Our team has handled numerous maritime trials and 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, shippers, and flag states on a variety of regulatory matters. Our team includes a former Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs for a major flag state. Our lawyers have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Best of the Best USA, Shipping and Maritime, Super Lawyers, Virginia Business, Legal Elite, and AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

    • How We Help


      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.

      Maritime activity is heavily regulated by numerous federal and international treaties. 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; U.S. sanction and embargo laws under the Maritime Administration (MARAD), Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC); and many other domestic and international regulatory regimes impacting the maritime industry. 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, vessel registration, 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.

    • Who We Represent

      Kaufman & Canoles’ Maritime Law team represents terminal and ship owners, cargo shippers, shipyards, terminal operators, fishing vessels operators, towing and barge companies, stevedores, salvors, government agencies, and flag states in a variety of maritime litigation matters, including cases involving personal injury and death, cargo, collision, salvage and charter disputes, and in regulatory matters.

    • Representative Matters

      • Represented owners or charterers in charterparty disputes; advising on their respective contractual responsibilities standard charterparties, including liability allocation under Clause 8 of the standard NYPE Time Charter and similar charters
      • Represented maritime construction companies in their undertaking to build out our nation’s infrastructure
      • Represented tugs and/or tows against third claims or one against the other
      • Represented vessels in collisions, cargo damage, oil pollution and salvage matters
      • Advised and counseled foreign entities on U.S. cabotage laws
      • Represented foreign shipowners and seamen accused of violating International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS)
      • Advised vessel owners on compliance with U.S. Fisheries laws
      • Handled coverage issues under marine insurance policies
      • Represented flag state in international assessments by the European Union (EU) and various international bodies