Cozen O’Connor: Maritime Litigation

Maritime Litigation

Recent News:

2018 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" Ranks Cozen O’Connor

In the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms, Cozen O’Connor is ranked nationally in 17 practice areas and regionally in 64 practice areas.


Shipping is one of the most common and lucrative methods of transporting goods around the globe. As such, disputes frequently arise. For maritime clients whose daily operations involve complicated contracts, high-value cargo and unpredictable seas, it is important to have sophisticated litigation counsel at the ready. Cozen O’Connor attorneys have been successfully representing clients in their most critical maritime litigation for decades.

The firm represents a diverse array of maritime clients, including the world’s largest ocean carriers, port and terminal operators, P&I Clubs, chassis pools, classification societies and Fortune 500 companies with bulk shipping capacity. Clients in the maritime arena are often embroiled in complex disputes around the world, and our attorneys have extensive experience helping both U.S. and international clientele contend with the laws of extra-territorial jurisdictions.

Cozen O’Connor represents maritime clients in all manner of marine casualty (e.g., collisions, allisions, groundings, container losses and sinkings) as well as personal injury, wrongful death, loss of cargo and pollution claims. We handle commercial disputes arising from charter parties, construction and shipbuilding contracts, liner service agreements, terminal and equipment leases, and other agreements unique to the maritime industry. Our attorneys handle coverage disputes with regard to cargo, hull and marine general liability insurance on behalf of marine insurers and insurance syndicates.

The firm regularly assists clients in disputes to which the U.S. government is a party. We respond to major government investigations, administrative and criminal enforcement actions; appeals of agency decisions to the courts; and high-profile criminal and civil litigation. With respect to government contracting in the maritime sector, Cozen O’Connor protests deficiencies in solicitations, defends or challenges contract awards and handles disputes that arise during execution of the contract.

Our maritime litigation attorneys regularly appear before state and federal courts, appellate courts, federal and state administrative agencies (such as the Federal Maritime Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Foreign Asset Control and U.S. Maritime Administration), international and domestic arbitration panels, boards of contract appeals, Congress and international bodies. They have successfully prosecuted and defended hundreds of arbitration proceedings in the U.S. and overseas.

Knowledge of the specific governing body of law is necessary but not sufficient to successfully resolve complex maritime disputes; it is vital to understand the maritime industry as well. From Himalaya Clauses to bilge strainers, Cozen O’Connor’s attorneys have detailed knowledge of maritime contracts and ship engineering.

Our maritime counsel also have an uncommonly diverse array of litigation experience with respect to intermodal freight, surface transportation and logistics. Nothing is transported by ship alone, and Cozen O’Connor attorneys are able to represent clients in casualty or contract disputes that arise at any phase in the transportation process. With offices in 28 cities, we are well positioned to respond wherever and whenever conflicts arise.



Supreme Court Considers Safe Berth Warranty [Alert]

June 25, 2019

David Loh discusses U.S. v Citigo and what it means that the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing this appeal from the Third Circuit.

Supreme Court Rejects Seaman’s Claim for Punitive Damages [Alert]

June 25, 2019

David Loh discusses the U.S. Supreme Court — in a 6 to 3 decision — holding in Dutra Group v. Batterton that a seaman may not recover punitive damages on a claim of vessel unseaworthiness.

Opportunity to Comment on MARAD’s U.S. Citizenship Regulations and Policies [Alert]

April 30, 2019

Anne Mickey and Jeff Vogel discuss two Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting comments on steps that MARAD can take to simplify and/or modernize its U.S. citizenship regulations and policies.

Supreme Court Finds Classwide Arbitration Available Only When Clearly Set Forth in Contract [Alert]

April 29, 2019

David Loh discusses how a recent SCOTUS decision could impact the maritime industry.

SCOTUS Rejects Bare Metal Defense in Maritime Products Liability Actions Involving Asbestos Exposure [Alert]

March 20, 2019

Chris Kende and Chris Raleigh discuss the Supreme Court's decision in Air & Liquid Systems Corp. et al v. Devries, et al, and how this decision could open up a new class of defendants to those claiming injury or death as a result of exposure to asbestos or other toxic substances not previously recognized in maritime law.

Recent Supreme Court Decision Will Likely Affect the Taxability of Personal Injury Settlements [Alert]

March 19, 2019

David Loh discusses how a recent Supreme Court ruling will impact the calculation of damages in any personal injury action governed by the FELA, including personal injury actions governed by the Jones Act.

The Supreme Court Finds International Organizations Are Entitled to Limited Immunity [Alert]

March 19, 2019

David Loh discusses the Supreme Court's recent decision in Jam v. International Finance Corp., and how it impacts international organizations governed by the IOIA.

Designation of Witnesses under Rule 30(b)(6) May Change [Alert]

February 11, 2019

David Loh and Chris Raleigh discuss what changes were made to this rule, who is objecting, and how you can still voice your concerns.

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Another Look at Maritime Punitive Damages [Alert]

December 18, 2018

David Loh discusses the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Dutra, how it contradicts the 2014 Fifth Circuit decision in McBride v. Estis Well Service LLC, and how the Supreme Court, by granting certiorari, will revisit the issue of maritime punitive damages and resolve the conflict between the Ninth and Fifth Circuit.

Fire on Water [Best's Review]

December 14, 2018

David Loh,a member of the firm's Transportation & Trade Group, authored, "Fire on Water" for Best's Review.

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.

Piercing Limitation of Liability in the Admiralty and Maritime Context

November 22, 2017

David Loh, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Transportation and Trade Group, published, "Piercing Limitation of Liability in the Admiralty and Maritime Context," with Ethan Price-Livingston for Best Lawyers.

Shipowner Who Tried to Skirt Club Rules Runs Aground in Court

June 21, 2017

David Y. Loh and Hallie McDonald discuss a recent ruling that a shipowner member was bound to a P&I Club’s board of directors' decision denying coverage for that member’s losses arising from a maritime casualty.

Third Circuit Decisions Affirms Contractual Extension/Modification of Maritime Liens [Maritime Alert]

April 25, 2016

Wayne Rohde discusses the decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on April 20, 2016, that affirms the ability of ocean carriers and their customers to extend and/or modify the possessory lien that carriers have on cargo under common law.

The COGSA $500 Package Limit Does Not Apply to On-Deck Cargo [ABA Section of Litigation]

February 29, 2016

David Loh of the Transportation & Trade Practice Group wrote this article for the Admiralty Committee, ABA Section on Litigation.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Admiralty Regional Meeting 2018

April 06, 2018 - Houston, TX

EMLO 2017 Spring Seminar

April 27, 2017 - Genoa, Italy

In The News

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O'Connor Practice Areas and Nine Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2019 Legal Guide

June 14, 2019

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O'Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, and Jeffrey Mullen to its 2019 Legal Guide.

Sailors' Supreme Court Win Buoys Hopes For Tort Victims

March 20, 2019

Chris Raleigh was quoted in Law360's article on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hand a victory to sailors who claim they developed mesothelioma.

Justices Focus Mostly On Tort Issues In Sailors' Asbestos Suit

October 10, 2018

Christopher Raleigh, a member in the firm's Transportation and Trade Practice, was quoted in Law360's article "Justices Focus Mostly On Tort Issues In Sailors' Asbestos Suit."

18 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named New York Metro Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

September 21, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 17 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list. Twelve were recognized as Super Lawyers and five were named "Rising Stars."

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Fifty Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Ranked by Chambers USA 2018

May 21, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Chambers USA has recognized 50 Cozen O’Connor attorneys for 2018 as leaders in their respective fields; 12 attorneys were recognized nationally and 14 were ranked in the top band either nationally or at the state level.

2018 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" Ranks Cozen O’Connor

February 01, 2018

In the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms, Cozen O’Connor is ranked nationally in 17 practice areas and regionally in 64 practice areas.

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2017 Chambers USA Rankings

May 26, 2017

Chambers USA recognized 47 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 14 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.

11 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 15, 2017

Selection to Super Lawyers is based on peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Cozen O’Connor Named 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in Admiralty & Maritime Law

December 12, 2016

Cozen O'Connor was recognized as the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year” for outstanding work in Admiralty & Maritime Law. Cozen O’Connor is one of only five firms to have been honored with this prestigious recognition in this area of practice since the inception of “Best Law Firms” in 2010.

Cozen O'Connor ranked in 2017 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"

November 23, 2016

Firms included in the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.

Cozen O’Connor’s Transportation & Logistics Practice Highlighted in Bisnow

January 21, 2015

Bisnow interviewed several members of the Transportation & Logistic Practice who are residents in our Washington, D.C., office to get a realistic perspective of transportation and logistics issues coming up in 2015. For the article titled “This Firm Puts Advisors on Seven Continents. Here’s Why,” Bisnow spoke with David Heffernan, Ken Hines, Mark Atwood and Steve Lachter regarding aviation regulatory issues. On the maritime side, Bisnow had discussions with Marc Fink and also interviewed Jeff Lawrence as the chair of the Transportation & Logistics Practice Group.