A Note from the Chair, Maritime and International Trade Practice Group

Mainbrace | March 2016 (No. 2)

John D. Kimball

As we gather for CMA 2016, “Volatility” seems to be the key word for this year. It is the year of the monkey in the Far East. It is a presidential election year here in the United States, with such a wide range of campaign themes and personalities in the running that a state of uncertainty and confusion is understandable both at home and abroad. Stock markets world-wide continue gyrating. And many sectors of the shipping industry seem to be in the mode of simply bracing to get through the year, wishing that 2016 would hurry up so that we can put it behind us. To the extent the work of law firms can be said to serve as an economic indicator, what do we see happening? Our insolvency and restructuring practice continues to be very active. Regulatory compliance continues to have an important role, and we expect that to be a permanent feature of the business. Sanctions issues also remain very active. But the shipping business has been through turbulent seas many times before and the resilient spirit of the people working in this business is remarkable. It is impressive that so many sectors of the shipping business are holding to a long-term positive view. This year’s theme of the CMA is “Local Talent, Global Impact,” and that seems very apt. We look forward to participating in the discussions.