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Maritime & Admiralty Law

A history of representing maritime clients for more than 130 years. 
Maritime law has always been Vandeventer Black’s core practice area. We offer a comprehensive range of maritime-related services to our clients who are located all over the world. We provide advice on a broad spectrum of maritime and business transactions, litigation, and arbitration. Our team of attorneys represents domestic and international interests in virtually all areas of maritime law. 

We are seasoned in handling all vessel-related matters for ship owners and P & I clubs, including collisions, groundings, personal injury, cargo, salvage, tug and tow, general average, charter parties, pollution, Coast Guard proceedings, crew issues, vessel arrests, governmental investigations, criminal prosecutions, vessel financing and documentation, and other commercial transactions.

We are experienced in representing and advising both large and small terminal operators in all aspects of their business, including tariff and contract issues, transportation, LHWCA, environmental, and cargo handling issues. We represent importers, exporters, freight forwarders and customs house brokers with issues ranging from Customs fines, duties and classification issues, to cargo damage and transactional issues.

Our clients afloat include ship owners and charterers, underwriters, tug and barge operators, pilots, fishermen, and dredging companies, as well as yacht owners and brokers. Our clients ashore include shipyards, terminals, marine lenders, marinas, repair facilities, small energy companies, ship agents, freight forwarders, shippers, and cargo underwriters.

Our transactional experience includes all types of contracts, vessel sale agreements, charter parties, terminal agreements, tariffs, tonnage contracts, and bills of lading. We have extensive trial experience in federal courts on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts, as well as the Virginia state courts. We have engaged in appellate practice in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits, as well as in the U.S. Supreme Court. We have handled local and New York arbitrations, but have also represented clients in London arbitrations.  We handle Customs matters in general, and before the Court of International Trade in New York.  

Vandeventer Black serves as General Counsel to a number of organizations and associations, and has served as admiralty counsel to local municipalities, and Departments of Transportation in maritime litigation involving bridges, pipelines, ferries and other state-owned maritime facilities. Several of our attorneys have served as officers of sea going vessels and are actively involved in international, national and local maritime organizations. Our attorneys have served on the Board of Directors of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, and the Southeast Admiralty Law Institute; and as correspondents for most of the P & I clubs in the International Group, and represent domestic underwriters including IMU, CNA, and Travelers / St. Paul. In addition, a number of our attorneys have served as officers onboard sea going vessels. 

Our Maritime & Admiralty Law Team has the depth and experience to handle the full spectrum of legal issues that arise. To find out how you can benefit from our experience, please contact us.


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