John Kavanagh works with clients to provide solutions to problems and to avoid potential problems for business interests along the waterfront. John's experience and close relationships with the USCG, surveyors, port authorities and repair facilities help facilitate expedited resolutions to the multiple (and sometimes unique) issues facing maritime clients.

He is a member of the firm’s transportation and maritime team and has been recognized by many highly regarded organizations and directories nationwide.

Born and raised on the nearby Mississippi Gulf Coast, John has practiced in Mobile since 1993. After graduating from the University of South Alabama, John attended Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, serving as a Managing Editor of the Tulane Law Review. Following law school, John served as a law clerk to the Hon. John M. Duhe’, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Professional / Community Development

Since 2015, John has been a judge tasked with grading briefs submitted by law students in the “Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition,” sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law. This is the second year he has participated in this interscholastic appellate advocacy competition.

John is a long-standing participant and judge of the Mississippi State Bar’s High School Mock Trial Competition for the Coast Regional Rounds in Gulfport, MS.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Named, Chambers USA, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (2013-2024)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Admiralty & Maritime Law since 2007, Commercial Litigation since 2022, Insurance Law since 2022, Litigation- Insurance since 2023, Transportation Law since 2023
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®️ "Lawyer of the Year," Admiralty & Maritime Law (2023)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Transportation/Maritime (2016-2018, 2022)
  • Alabama Super Lawyers, Transportation/Maritime (2011-2015)


Speaking Engagements

Professional & Community

Professional Activities

  • Alabama Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Mississippi Bar Association
  • Mobile County, AL Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit, Louisiana
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • The Propeller Club of the United States
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States



Sandy E. Litton
(251) 345-8225

Legal Practice Assistant

Sonja Kenny
(251) 345-8226

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