Note from the Editor

Thomas H. Belknap, Jr.

Looking back through past issues of Mainbrace, the articles published over time clearly reflect the ebb and flow of “hot” topics in the maritime industry. These have included—among many others—the global financial crisis and resulting scramble for maritime security on claims, the sharp rise of piracy, the perilous state of maritime cybersecurity, the ever-changing ballast water and emissions regulations landscape, the flood of maritime bankruptcies, and the dynamic U.S. sanctions landscape. Finding these topics covered in our newsletter should not be surprising to our readers—we have always aimed to provide timely and relevant analysis of the issues that are important to our clients.

This issue of Mainbrace is no different. Perhaps most importantly, the #MeToo movement has spurred a long-overdue discussion of the role of women in the maritime industry and the many challenges they face, both shipboard and in the home office. In their article, Susan Bickley, Emery Richards, and Jeanne Grasso overview of this topic, both from the vantage point of the employee and the employer.

Additionally, Sean Pribyl addresses new developments in the industry’s inexorable march towards autonomous vessels; Jon Waldron and Joan Bondareff discuss recent developments that strongly indicate that offshore wind is finally moving from concept to mainstream project in the United States; and Joan and Jeanne highlight some of the issues arising from the massive (and growing) island of plastic circling the Pacific Ocean.

We also bring you a roundup of recent developments in the maritime litigation world, including raising new questions about when a defendant may be “found” in a district for purposes of maritime attachment under Rule B (Thomas Belknap and Noe Hamra); what constitutes a safe port in the modern world (Emma Jones); and when a “knock for knock” indemnity agreement may be enforceable under maritime law in oil and gas exploration contracts (David Meyer). And Mike Schaedle and Rick Antonoff from our Firm’s bankruptcy group discuss a recent decision concerning chapter 15 of the bankruptcy code, relating to recognizing foreign main proceedings.

Lastly, I am very excited to announce the launch of our maritime blog, Safe Passage, where readers can find archives of articles from our Mainbrace newsletter and also our maritime development advisories. Articles are sorted both chronologically and by broad topic area to make the blog not only easy to peruse, but also a useful research resource.

We hope you find this issue interesting and informative. As always, we welcome any comments and, particularly, ideas for future articles.