A Note From the Chair

Mainbrace | March 2017 (No. 2)

John D. Kimball

What’s different about “change” in 2017? It certainly seems that we need to redefine what we mean when we consider the term itself.

Shipping historically has been a conservative industry, but its adaptability over the long haul has been proven time and time again. Some sectors of the industry will be coming to this year’s CMA Shipping 2017 conference with a more buoyant step than we have seen in recent memory, and for good reason. Only time will tell if the global markets will create the right environment for a strong economic recovery. With the Trump administration promising fiscal stimulus and interest rates still at low levels, however, there is a feeling of optimism in the room.

From a maritime lawyer’s perspective, being adaptable in a “change” environment has never been more important. Classic maritime legal work, such as handling cargo claims or charter party disputes, is at a low ebb, but financial restructuring and workouts have surged. And, addressing government regulations remains a challenge; whether we will see significant deregulation in the Trump administration is a matter of guesswork. Regardless, it is certain that more change is coming—it is a time to stay on our toes! The good news is that the buzz around CMA Shipping 2017 will be more upbeat than we have felt for some time.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Mainbrace. As you will see, our articles are as diverse as our practice and cover a wide range of subjects, including ballast water management, chapter 15 bankruptcy actions, the future of “blockchain” technology in shipping, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards, new developments concerning the scope of U.S. court jurisdiction, and the applicability of Texas oil spill regulations. As always, we welcome your comments and questions, and we always appreciate receiving ideas for future articles.

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