Transportation & Logistics Litigation

Businesses operating in the transportation sector are party to some of the most complex contracts, transactions, and logistical undertakings in the corporate world. Moving a shipping container from Taiwan to Texas involves numerous companies, multiple legal regimes, dozens of oversight agencies, and several modes of transportation. One consequence of this complexity is that transportation-related companies are exposed to a long and diverse list of liabilities, ranging from breach of contract and anti-competitiveness claims to personal injury and environmental harms. Transportation clients need litigation counsel who are not simply trial specialists, but are also leading practitioners in transportation and logistics law.

Cozen O’Connor represents clients operating in the transportation fields of maritime, aviation, intermodal, trucking, auto, rail, offshore energy, and logistics. Within these fields, we represent carriers, product manufacturers, ports and terminals, suppliers, operators, lenders, lessors/lessees, insurers, investors, and governmental bodies. Our attorneys regularly appear on behalf of transportation industry clients before state and federal courts, arbitration panels, boards of contract appeals, federal agencies, Congress, and international bodies.

All of our work is founded on a deep knowledge of the various federal and international regulatory and statutory regimes that govern the transportation industry. Whether responding to claims involving sanctions against a foreign country, Marad protocols concerning trade routes, or a catastrophic train derailment, the difference between success and failure in litigation often turns on counsel having mastery of the ever-changing regulatory precepts. Cozen O’Connor’s attorneys combine legal knowledge with tremendous trial experience. We have successfully represented clients in complex transportation litigations worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cozen O’Connor also brings an international perspective to this practice, which is invaluable because trade today is undeniably a global activity. Our attorneys interact regularly with foreign government agencies and foreign counsel in the course of resolving multinational disputes. Members of Cozen O’Connor are well versed in foreign treaties and legal regimes, understand international competition codes, and have good rapport with foreign counterparts. We have testified as experts on maritime competition law in proceedings before the European Union Competition Directorate and are often brought in to act as advisors to foreign organizations and law firms.



  • Advise clients in maritime, aviation, intermodal, trucking, rail, auto, offshore energy, and logistics
  • Counsel on transportation laws, including those governing antitrust/competition, trade sanctions, and export licensing; environmental obligations and liabilities; and cabotage, citizenship, vessel requirements, towage, salvage, fisheries, and dredging
  • Appear before state and federal courts, courts of appeals, federal administrative agencies, administrative law judges, and international and domestic arbitration panels
  • Represent clients in complex commercial disputes and government contracting protests
  • Defend clients against claims by domestic and foreign regulatory agencies
  • Represent clients in claims arising from transportation accidents and disasters


More Money, Same Problems for U.S. Port Infrastructure [Marine News]

September 01, 2019

Jeff Vogel contributed an article to Marine News Magazine discussing the investment made toward the U.S. Department of Transportation Port Infrastructure Program and the effect it has had.

What Is a “Mary Carter” Agreement? [ABA Practice Points]

November 09, 2018

David Loh, a member in the firm's Transportation & Trade Practice, and Willliam Lesser, an associate in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "What Is a “Mary Carter” Agreement?" for the American Bar Association Practice Points.

Considerations in Cases Involving Engine Damage Caused by Contaminated Bunkers [American Bar Association]

July 27, 2018

Christopher Raleigh, a member in the firm's Transportation & Trade Practice Group, authored, "Considerations in Cases Involving Engine Damage Caused by Contaminated Bunkers" for the American Bar Association Admiralty Litigation Committee.

P5+1 Nations Reach Nuclear Deal with Iran [Transportation & Logistics Alert]

July 16, 2015

Under the JCPOA, Iran will reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, limit the number of centrifuges it operates for uranium enrichment, and allow monitoring of its nuclear program by IAEA inspectors and the U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions against Iran will be eased and ultimately phased out.

U.S. and Cuba Reestablish Diplomatic Relations [Transportation & Logistics Alert]

July 06, 2015

President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba had reached agreement on the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and that the two countries would soon reopen embassies in each other’s capitals for the first time since 1961.

DOT Revises Its “Mistaken Fares” Enforcement Policy [Aviation Regulatory Update]

May 12, 2015

Until now, the DOT’ has generally required airlines honor fares once a consumer purchased the fare, even if such fares were inadvertently offered for sale. Now, the DOT will not enforce the prohibition against airlines increasing fares post-purchase when such fares are mistakenly offered.

April 2015 Update on Significant DOT, FAA & Other Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions [Aviation Regulatory Update]

April 15, 2015

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes an overview of the FAA’s new contract maintenance rules, DOT and FAA notices on flight prohibitions in conflict zones, the latest news on the integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System, Congressional hearings on FAA reauthorization and air traffic control modernization, and DOT and FAA enforcement actions.

Legislation Alters Shipping Act Treatment of Attorneys’ Fees [Transportation & Logistics Alert]

December 11, 2014

Late yesterday, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed S. 2444, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014. In addition to appropriating funds for Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) operations for fiscal year 2015 and limiting the terms of future FMC commissioners, this legislation, if signed into law by the president, would make a potentially significant change in the U.S. Shipping Act of 1984, as amended (the Shipping Act).

Bill Introduced to Congress Which Establishes National Hiring Standards for Motor Carriers [Transportation & Logistics Newsletter]

August 13, 2014

The recent introduction of H.R. 4727 in the House of Representatives marks the first step toward insulating freight brokers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) from claims by plaintiffs who seek an alternate source for recovery when a motor truck carrier’s insurance is insufficient to cover the damages that are alleged.

How Convenient: Vessel Registration and Mortgages in the Republics of the Marshall Islands and Liberia [Transportation & Logistics Newsletter]

August 13, 2014

Two registries of significant interest to shipowners are the registries of the Republics of the Marshall Islands and Liberia. Significantly, insofar as it does not conflict with the statutory laws, each country has adopted the non-statutory general maritime laws of the United States. This gives added certainty to shipowners, particularly those familiar with U.S. maritime laws.

Malaysian Block Exemption for Liner Shipping Agreements; Read the Fine Print to Ensure Compliance [Transportation & Logistics Newsletter]

August 13, 2014

Cooperative agreements among liner shipping companies have existed in most trades for more than 100 years. Most major trading nations in Asia and the Pacific Rim have recognized the importance of these agreements to both the shipping industry and national economies. To the extent that these countries have competition laws that could restrict such agreements, many have found after careful study that these agreements should be afforded an exemption from those competition laws for economic, public policy and international comity reasons.

U.S. Ukraine-Related Sanctions: Another List to Check and What It Means [Transportation & Logistics Alert]

July 23, 2014

On July 16, 2014 in response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that it was adding several individuals and entities to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. As with previous designations, most of the individuals appear to be high ranking members of Russia’s political or military establishment, while the entities appear connected to Russia’s energy and defense sectors.

Iran Nuclear Talks: Extension of Joint Plan of Action [Transportation & Logistics Alert]

July 23, 2014

On Friday, July 18, 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement that the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) negotiated between the P5+1 nations and Iran would be extended until November 24, 2014. As we reported previously, the JPOA was an agreement under which the United State s and others would provide limited and temporary sanctions relief to Iran in return for Iran foregoing certain elements of its nuclear program, including a reduction of its stockpile of enriched uranium.

A New Era For Vessel Sharing Agreements – FMC Allows P3 and G6 Alliances To Go into Effect [Transportation & Logistics Newsletter]

May 02, 2014

On March 20, 2014, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that by a vote of 4-1, it had decided to let the P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement, among CMA CGM S.A., A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S trading under the name of Maersk Line and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA, become effective on March 24, 2014. On April 2, 2014, the FMC announced a similar decision with respect to the G6 Vessel Sharing Agreement among APL Co PTE Ltd., Hapag-Lloyd AG, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and Orient Overseas Container Line, Ltd., which became effective on April 4.

FDA Proposes Regulations on Safe Food Transport [Transportation & Logistics Newsletter]

May 02, 2014

In early February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its seventh and final major rule as part of the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA). The proposed rule seeks to prevent the contamination of human and animal food during transport by establishing requirements for the design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment, transportation operations, training of carrier personnel and record keeping. It would apply to shippers, receivers and carriers who transport food in the United States by motor or rail.

Congressional Questions on LNG Exports Could Impact the Jones Act [Transportation & Logistics Newsletter]

May 02, 2014

Last month, Congress began consideration of comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the Coast Guard and other maritime transportation programs. Consideration of such legislation is an annual occurrence and generally moves through Congress and becomes law with little attention outside the maritime and fisheries industries. However, a small provision relating to maritime transportation of U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has drawn broader attention as the questions posed in the provision could impact international trade and potentially threaten the future of the Jones Act.

United States Imposes Sanctions in Response to Ukraine Crisis [Transportation & Logistics Newsletter]

May 02, 2014

Since March 6, in response to the events in Ukraine, the Obama administration has issued three executive orders targeting individuals and entities deemed to be undermining the security of Ukraine. While all appear to be directed at Russia’s annexation of Crimea, each expands the potential number of sanctions targets and could collectively be used to deter further Russian activities in the region.

Seller’s Invocation of Force Majeure Under NAESB Contract Rejected by NJ Appellate Division [Utility, Environmental & Energy Alert]

March 03, 2014

In a case of first impression that interpreted the force majeure provisions of an industry contract form promulgated by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB), Cozen O’Connor prevailed on behalf of plaintiff when, on January 9, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s ruling in Hess Corporation v. Eni Petroleum U.S. LLC, et al., No. A-3464-12T4 (A.D., January 9, 2014).

Implementation of Temporary Iran Sanctions Relief [Maritime Alert]

January 28, 2014

Last November, the group of nations known as the P5+1 (United States, U.K., Germany, France, Russia and China) reached an initial understanding with Iran whereby Iran agreed to accept limits on its nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from economic sanctions. The initial agreement was intended to last six months, during which time the parties would seek to negotiate a comprehensive agreement.

Du coté de Quimper [Review of Transportation Law]

December 16, 2013

Cozen O'Connor lawyers in New York and Washington author an article for French Lexis Nexis Transportation Law newsletter. For the second year in a row, Christopher Kende, Christopher Raleigh and David Loh of the New York office and Marc Atwood and Wayne Rhode of the D.C. office have co-authored an article providing a summary review of developments in transportation law for the French Lexis Nexis publication Review of Transportation Law, which is distributed electronically to approximately 4000 registered readers in France.

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 Practice Areas Nationwide, 115 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2020

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.

With driver drug testing facilities struggling to stay afloat, DOT considers enforcement leniency

July 08, 2020

Tia Ghattas was featured in the Commercial Carrier Journal discussing how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it will attempt to use discretion in enforcing the 2020 requirement that fleets issue random drug tests for 50% of their drivers.

Three Cozen O’Connor Attorneys recognized as Crain's Chicago Business “Notable Gen X Leaders in Law”

May 31, 2019

Three Cozen O’Connor attorneys have been recognized as 2019 Chicago Notable Gen X Leaders in Law by Crain’s Chicago Business for their success and accomplishments in their leadership roles within the firm and across the legal community.

Shippers' Law: Contained losses

July 22, 2017

Christopher Raleigh, of Cozen O'Connor's Transportation & Trade Department, discusses the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York upholding the decision to deny coverage to TransAtlantic Lines LLC over costs associated with a suit resulting from lost cargo.


Tia C. Ghattas


(312) 382-3116

Paul K. Leary, Jr.

Co-Vice Chair, Business Litigation

(215) 665-6911

Christopher Raleigh


(212) 908-1245



Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 Practice Areas Nationwide, 115 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2020

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.

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