Covering risks in both blue water and brown water markets


Burr & Forman’s maritime attorneys provide a wide range of services, offering our clients timely and proactive assistance with concerns involving property, casualty, commercial, transactional, and logistics matters. This representation includes work for domestic and international insurers/underwriters, covering risks in both blue water and brown water markets.  In addition to the interests of deep-draft vessels in foreign trade and the push boats plying the inland waters, our attorneys also represent marinas, ship repairers, owners and operators of pleasure craft, and numerous other marine concerns.

Our lawyers regularly litigate cases involving maritime personal injuries, illnesses and deaths, cargo claims, collisions, allisions, damage to docks and other structures, groundings, pollution, and other matters of maritime tort and contract.  We routinely conduct shipboard and on-site investigations with respect to such matters to protect the interests of the firm’s maritime clients.  Our representation also includes dealing with stowaways and immigration problems, repatriations, Customs issues, problems associated with Coast Guard regulations, and other aspects of United States and foreign law bearing on maritime commerce.

We represent maritime clients such as:

  • Creditors & marine financiers
  • Logistics operations
  • Manufacturers
  • Marinas
  • Operators & charterers
  • Recreational marine companies
  • Ship & barge owners
  • Shipbuilders & suppliers
  • Shipyards & repair yards
  • Warehouses

Areas of representation include:

  • Cargo claims
  • Coast Guard regulations
  • Compliance
  • Creditors' rights & bankruptcy
  • Customs issues
  • Immigration matters
  • Intellectual property protection
  • International trade agreements: FTA, USMCA, & GATT/WTO
  • Logistics
  • Maritime contracts – drafting, review & disputes
  • Personal injury & wrongful death
  • Pollution events, including criminal defense of APPS charges
  • Property damage to docks & other structures
  • Shipboard & other on-site investigations
  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Tariffs and quotas 

Our team handles matters arising out of the discharge of oil and other hazardous material into navigable waters, including issues covered by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). We assist clients with United States Coast Guard and Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and charges arising from the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). We also have relationships with criminal defense counsel to immediately attend and participate as needed during onboard inquiries and later phases of these investigations.

Our lawyers have close, long-standing relationships with marine and cargo surveyors, steamship agencies, spill responders, USCG personnel, and State Port Authorities.  We can draw on these contacts to quickly address and efficiently handle all manner of concerns to vessel owners and operators, P&I clubs, defense clubs, hull underwriters, and other clients at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 



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