Chambers USA 2016 Honors Blank Rome Maritime Attorneys and Practices

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Notable Practitioners for Shipping Litigation (New York)

Thomas H. Belknap, Jr. ranked as a band two attorney. Chambers USA states: “Thomas Belknap has experience working on insurance litigation and arbitration for a range of maritime clients. He also covers charter party disputes, salvage disputes, and cargo damage claims.”

John D. Kimball ranked as a band two attorney. Chambers USA states: “John Kimball focuses his practice on the representation of shipping clients in a wide range of contentious issues, including maritime casualties, charter party, and insurance coverage disputes. Interviewees describe Kimball as ‘extremely thorough and very experienced and knowledgeable.’”

Richard V. Singleton ranked as a band four attorney. Chambers USA states: “Richard Singleton has expertise in litigating maritime casualty cases, insurance matters and bankruptcies. One client reports: ‘It is his combination of being on top of the details and the law and also thinking strategically that keeps me going back.’”

Lauren B. Wilgus ranked as an associate to watch. Chambers USA states: “Lauren Wilgus works with domestic and international clients on maritime litigation and in alternative dispute resolution forums. Areas of experience include marine insurance matters and cargo damage claims.”

Chambers 2016: Blank Rome Maritime’s “esteemed” shipping litigation practice (New York) has “significant experience handling high- profile maritime litigation for national and international clients.” The practice is “highly regarded for crisis response and offering additional expertise in alternative dispute resolution.”

Client sources say: “They have the depth for anything you need, and a lot of backup if you need help. The service is always prompt and efficient.”

Notable Practitioners for Shipping Litigation (Outside New York)

Michael K. Bell ranked as a band three attorney. Chambers USA states: “Michael Bell is well known for his representation of large maritime clients on issues such as contract disputes, casualties and commercial litigation. He ‘has a great understanding of the industry itself and a strong command of maritime law,’ say sources.”

Keith B. Letourneau ranked as a band three attorney. Chambers USA states: “Keith Letourneau has expertise in vessel arrests, hazardous materials pollution and contract disputes involving shipyards and oil rigs. One client reports: ‘He is our first line of defense; he is knowledgeable and the particular knowledge he has is of the market and what is going on. That really helps us in negotiations.’”

Douglas J. Shoemaker ranked as a band three attorney. Chambers USA states: “Douglas Shoemaker is described as ‘pragmatic and a great communicator’ by a client. His practice covers areas such as navigational error, cargo damage defense and onboard investigations. He also has a strong arbitration practice.”

Jeremy A. Herschaft ranked as an up and coming attorney. Chambers USA states: “Jeremy Herschaft is a rising star of the maritime litigation space. He works with shipping and energy companies in a range of maritime issues. Areas of strength include charter party disputes, terminal-related matters and cargo claims.”

Chambers 2016: Blank Rome Maritime’s shipping litigation practice (outside New York) is a “strong practice recognized for an accomplished stable of attorneys with expertise across the full spectrum of maritime litigation matters.” The practice, with key offices in Houston, Texas, and Washington, D.C., “represents well-known clients including shipowners and operators, energy corporations and P&I clubs” and has an “accomplished Gulf Coast- based practice supported by the additional national strength of the wider firm.”

Client sources say: “It is my direct experience that the partners have great expertise in their respective areas. They have demonstrated strong professionalism.”

Notable Practitioners for Shipping Regulatory (Outside New York)

Jeanne M. Grasso ranked as a band two attorney. Chambers USA states: “Jeanne Grasso works with large corporations such as vessel owners, charterers, cargo owners and facilities. She has expertise in government enforcement actions, pollution incident response and regulatory compliance.”

Matthew J. Thomas ranked as a band three attorney. Chambers USA states: “Matthew Thomas is noted for his knowledge of international trade sanctions and related issues concerning maritime clients. He has experience working with shipowners, terminal operators and P&I clubs.”

Jonathan K. Waldron ranked as a band one attorney. Chambers USA states: “Jonathan Waldron has ‘extensive legal knowledge and a practical approach to everything—he is really knowledgeable about the industry, not just the law,’ reports one client. He is highly regarded for his work in areas such as maritime compliance, environmental regulation and response and vessel operations.”

Chambers USA 2016: Blank Rome Maritime’s “highly acclaimed” shipping regulatory practice is “well known for its representation of significant shipping clients in a range of regulatory matters.” The practice “has expertise in Jones Act compliance, environmental investigation defense of companies and individuals and government relations” and is “further noted for working with shipowners on related aspects of trade sanctions.”

Client sources say: Blank Rome’s shipping regulatory practice is “knowledgeable and professional.”