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Maritime activity in the United States is heavily regulated. It is overseen by numerous federal agencies and governed by a legal regime that is neither simple nor intuitive. Businesses with maritime-related operations require sophisticated maritime counsel. Cozen O’Connor has one of the largest, oldest, and most renowned maritime regulatory practices in the country.
Attorneys at Cozen O’Connor represent major global vessel operating common carriers; alliances, consortia, and other groups of ocean shipping companies; terminals and terminal operators; offshore energy rig owner-operators; entities involved in the installation of offshore wind turbines and other marine construction, carrier-terminal management groups; and ocean transportation intermediaries.
We counsel clients on all regulations enforced by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), including tariffs and service contracts; discussion agreements; vessel sharing agreements; and niche or specialty agreements. Cozen O’Connor’s team has drafted and finalized more service contracts and carrier agreements than any other maritime group in the world.
The firm’s regulatory attorneys also advise clients on the flagging or reflagging of vessels according to the maritime laws of the U.S., the Republic of Vanuatu, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Liberia. We help clients comply with a litany of other U.S. maritime laws (e.g., Jones Act, Towing and Salvage Statute, Dredging Statute, Passenger Vessel Services Act, and American Fisheries Act) and the requirements of various maritime promotional programs (e.g., cargo preference programs and the Maritime Security Program). We also provide clear guidance on environmental and offshore energy regulations, sanctions, and embargos.
Cozen O’Connor attorneys, many of whom have been practicing in the maritime field for three or more decades, have earned a reputation for excellence among top regulators in Washington, D.C., including those at the FMC, Maritime Administration, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Military Sealift Command, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation, and Department of Homeland Security.
In the maritime arena, U.S. regulators often oversee the conduct of non-U.S. participants. Our attorneys have deep experience representing international clients and helping clientele based both in the U.S. and overseas understand extra-territorial legal requirements. We frequently assist clients dealing with foreign governments on issues relating to regulatory compliance and reform.
Most important to our maritime clients, Cozen O’Connor attorneys don’t just understand the regulations—we understand their businesses. From ship hull engineering to trade routes, we have deep knowledge of all aspects of the maritime industry. This allows us to provide regulatory advice that is astute and practical.
Members of our team have directly shaped U.S. maritime law. They have testified before Congress on dozens of critical legislative reforms and served on U.S. delegations to negotiate and implement bilateral and international transportation and security agreements. Cozen O’Connor was named 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in Admiralty & Maritime Law. The Legal 500 United States has recognized the practice group as a Top Tier Firm for Transport: Shipping. The maritime group, as well as numerous individual members, has also been recognized by Chambers and Partners, and the team includes several past presidents of the Maritime Administrative Bar Association.