Updated Guidance on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Of 2015

Kate B. Belmont and Sean T. Pribyl

Action Item: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) jointly issued a notice announcing the availability of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”) Final Guidance Documents, Guidance to Assist Non-Federal Entities to Share Cyber Threat Indicators and Defensive Measures with Federal Entities and The Privacy and Civil Liberties Final Guidelines(“Final Guidance Documents”). These updated Final Guidance Documents address policies and procedures relating to the receipt and sharing of cyber threat indicators from non-federal entities and defensive measures by the federal government, as well as guidelines regarding privacy and civil liberties. Clients should seek counsel in navigating CISA and to assist with developing comprehensive cyber risk management strategies. Continue reading “Updated Guidance on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Of 2015”

Final Rule on Inspection of Towing Vessels Published After 12 Years in the Making

Jeanne M. Grasso, Jonathan K. Waldron, Sean T. Pribyl, and Stefanos N. Roulakis

 

 

 

Action Item: The recently published Subchapter M Final Rule establishes a comprehensive safety system and inspection program for towing vessels.  Stakeholders involved in the operation or ownership of towing vessels should carefully evaluate the new measures, review safety procedures, and develop plans to comply with the timeframes mandated by the new regulations. Continue reading “Final Rule on Inspection of Towing Vessels Published After 12 Years in the Making”

Blank Rome Wins Lloyd’s List 2016 Maritime Legal Services Award

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Blank Rome was recognized as the winner of the Lloyd’s List 2016 North American Maritime Award for Maritime Services – Legal” at the Lloyd’s List awards ceremony held on May 19, 2016, at Pier Sixty, in New York, NY. The maritime services award, as stated by Lloyd’s List, is awarded “for exceptional achievement or contribution to any service sector of the North American maritime industry by a company, individual or organisation.”

“We are very proud that for the second year, Lloyd’s List has honored us for the legal services we provide to our clients. In selecting Blank Rome for this highly prestigious award, Lloyd’s List’s panel of judges recognized that we offer a range and breadth of shipping knowledge to clients that is unmatched among U.S.-based law firms,” said John D.  Kimball, co-chair of the Firm’s maritime practice group.

 “We continue to be most grateful to Lloyd’s List for this recognition two-years in a row. We are delighted that our efforts to build and maintain a team-oriented national practice to handle all of the needs of our clients has been high- lighted again,” added maritime co-chair Jonathan K. Waldron.

This year’s annual awards event attracted more than 300 maritime industry representatives and celebrated the success of the North American maritime industry. For a full list of winners, please visit http://ibiawards.com/north-america/.

Former U.S. Energy Secretary & DOE Chief of Staff Join Blank Rome Government Relations

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Blank Rome Government Relations LLC (“BRGR”) is pleased to announce that the Honorable Spencer Abraham, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and former U.S. Senator from Michigan, and Joseph P. McMonigle, former Vice-Chairman of the International Energy Agency and former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Energy, have joined Blank Rome Government Relations as Principals in the Washington, D.C., office. Continue reading “Former U.S. Energy Secretary & DOE Chief of Staff Join Blank Rome Government Relations”

Meet Blank Rome’s Government Contracts Practice

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Government contracting can be a maze. We’ll be your guide.

David M. Nadler and Brian S. Gocial

Regular readers of Mainbrace know that Blank Rome LLP has the largest and most comprehensive maritime legal practice in the United States, providing unparalleled knowl- edge and counsel to our maritime industry clients. With the recent addition of more than 100 attorneys from Dickstein Shapiro LLP’s New York and Washington, D.C., offices, Blank Rome now offers our maritime clients a nationally recog- nized, full-service government contracts practice with a deep bench of dedicated professionals who can assist our maritime clients in navigating the increasingly competitive world of contracting with the U.S. government. From bid protests, claims, dispute resolution, and litigation, to cyber- security, government audits and investigations, False Claims Act cases, mandatory disclosure issues, and suspension and debarment, Blank Rome’s attorneys can assist our maritime industry clients with the complex regulatory matters facing government contractors today in all aspects of government contracts, from contract formation through close-out.

Our Team and Multidisciplinary Capabilities

Led by Practice Chair Dave Nadler, a former Navy lawyer, Blank Rome’s government contracts practice features more than 20 attorneys focused on government contracts law and litigation who regularly deal with the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, U.S. Army’s Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, United States Coast Guard, Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, United States Maritime Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and other government agencies. Our government contracts team works closely with Blank Rome’s maritime and complementary national practices, including government relations, insurance coverage, labor and employment, white collar defense and investigations, and mergers and acquisitions, providing a broad base of knowledge and full range of experience to serve the maritime industry.

Our collective pool of talent encompasses a wide variety of backgrounds, including former U.S. Coast Guard and Navy officers, representatives and senior staff from  congressional committees, and high-level officials of the U.S. Maritime Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Our government contracts attorneys understand the interplay between law and politics, and coordinate strategies with  Blank Rome Government Relations LLC to help clients anticipate and take advantage of the issues and opportunities that affect the maritime industry. Our team approach focuses on bringing the right resources and counsel to resolve our clients’ issues, whether it be advising on a new regulatory development or guiding a client through a bet- the-company government investigation.

Our Recent Noteworthy Representations

Most recently, our government contracts team represented a leading provider of ship repair and maintenance services on Guam, filing a bid protest at the Government Accountability Office after the U.S. Coast Guard awarded a multimillion dollar contract to a competitor for drydock repairs. As a result of our protest, the Coast Guard took corrective action, resulting in a contract award to our client.

Our government contracts attorneys also worked closely with our corporate lawyers to assist a leading middle-market private equity firm focused on the maritime sector in its acquisition of a leading provider of scaffolding systems and environmental containment solutions for the maintenance, repair, and overhaul of U.S. government vessels.

We also successfully resolved a False Claims Act case on behalf of the largest container shipping company in the world related to detention changes for cargo shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, our government contracts team represents a shipowner in Federal District Court con- testing the default termination of a military charter.

Government Contracting Today

Government contracting in today’s marketplace presents both great opportunities and challenges. Government contractors face heightened risks presented by ever-changing regulations and aggressive enforcement. Blank Rome’s maritime and government contracts attorneys, combined with the Firm’s full-service commercial and corporate legal capabilities and significant litigation experience, allow us to offer our maritime clients a highly sophisticated set of legal solutions for maritime contractors both large and small, experienced government contractors, and those seeking to enter the government marketplace for the first time.

U.S. Export Controls Pose Risks for Offshore Energy Companies’ Return in Iran

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Matthew J. Thomas

In March, Blank Rome co-hosted a breakfast seminar in Dubai with Fichte & Co Legal Consultancy to discuss with local shipping and energy professionals the real risks and opportunities presented by the rollback of international sanctions on Iran. We were awed by the warm reception we received, the huge turnout (well over 250 clients and friends), and by the insightful questions and contributions of those who joined us. Continue reading “U.S. Export Controls Pose Risks for Offshore Energy Companies’ Return in Iran”

New China-Liberia Maritime Bilateral: Savings on Port Fees Just One Element of Broader Trade Cooperation

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Matthew J. Thomas

In a November 2015 state visit in Beijing, the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Liberia signed a historic bilateral maritime agreement offering significant benefits to Liberian ship- owners. Headlines on the bilateral highlighted the immediate economic impact of the agreement: a 28 percent discount on tonnage dues in Chinese ports, putting Liberian ships on parity with Chinese vessels, and potentially saving $75,000 to $150,000 in annual port costs for capesize, VLCC, and large container vessels. Less well-understood, however, are the reasons behind this new alliance, and where the relationship appears to be headed in the future. Continue reading “New China-Liberia Maritime Bilateral: Savings on Port Fees Just One Element of Broader Trade Cooperation”