Attorneys in Saul Ewing’s Ports and Maritime practice represent U.S. and foreign ship owners, marine terminal operators, freight forwarders, importers and exporters, financing institutions, and ports and port interests in a wide range of federal regulatory matters before the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Surface Transportation Board (STB), the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), Bureau of Customs, Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce and State Department, as well as the courts. We have won several significant victories for port clients to help deter the wave of litigation that threatened ports after the FMC’s 1997 Ceres decision, and have represented ports, carriers, terminal operators and shippers before the FMC for ocean shipping issues and the STB for domestic offshore carriage issues for many years
Saul Ewing attorneys represent a number of port clients on a wide range of matters affecting their business and operations, including government infrastructure funding and project finance, environmental compliance and liability, land use planning, construction, federal maritime laws, labor and employment compliance and disputes, public-private partnerships (P3) and tax.
Saul Ewing’s maritime work focuses primarily on international and domestic offshore ocean shipping. We represent ports, ocean carriers, marine terminal operators and cargo interests (both exporters and importers) on federal maritime regulations to, help clients look beyond the legal issues to the underlying business issues that can drive litigation.
Attorneys in our maritime practice represent clients in:
- maritime regulatory issues before the FMC and STB (for domestic offshore shipping)
- maritime-related antitrust issues
- labor and employment issues for maritime employers (both shipboard and shoreside)
Labor and Employment, including union issues, employment discrimination and employment at will. This includes the full spectrum of labor and employment issues, covering diverse issues from long shore union secondary boycotts to ADA compliance for cruise ships. Our work for clients is not limited to traditional labor and employment law. Port construction also raises a host of legal issues, such as project labor agreements, prevailing wage laws, minority and woman-owned business set-asides, local participation requirements, Buy American mandates and flow-down requirements. Our labor and employment attorneys counsel governmental and private-sector employer clients though the tangle of state and federal requirements attached to funding.
Environmental Compliance and Liability, including negotiating and obtaining environmental permits, assisting clients in minimizing environmental risks associated with real estate and business transactions, negotiating with regulatory agencies, including the Army Corps, protecting clients during investigations and dockside and sediment remediation, and representing clients in state and federal administrative and court proceedings, including maritime, Oil Pollution Act (OPA) and insurance disputes. We also deal with environmental issues arising in project development, including negotiating multi-party agreements on CERCLA and other environmental responsibilities, indemnities, insurance and other mechanisms to minimize environmental risk. We counsel clients on issues arising from local, state, regional and federal efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions.
Land Use Planning, including regulatory compliance and community concerns for major real estate transactions and project developments, such as brownfield redevelopment, land development approvals, variances and special exceptions and zoning code compliance. Understanding that achieving consensus is often the greatest challenge in facilitating real estate development and land use projects, we employ a coordinated, community driven approach.
Construction, including land acquisition, zoning and permitting issues, formation of the owner’s development program, formation of the owner's construction management team, preparation of bid documents and specifications for public and private projects and the negotiation and preparation of contracts in virtually all hierarchies used in construction projects.
Public-Private Partnerships (P3) and financing, including helping finance port construction projects with public funds. We have been involved in P3 work for more than 150 years and understand that different P3 projects have different needs. For brownfield developments, environmental remediation, permitting and indemnities may be a primary issue. For greenfield projects, land use planning and community concerns may be the primary issues. We have experience in these areas, beginning with P3 work on maritime facilities when the carriers operated only sailing vessels. More recently, our attorneys have worked on a wide variety of P3 matters, from representing a developer in the purchase of the controlling interest in a $600 million toll road franchise to representing lenders to consortia bidding for the building and operation of major port projects.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including classification, valuation and marking requirements for imported goods. In addition, we counsel clients with respect to the establishment and maintenance of Customs compliance and recordkeeping programs, provide strategic and technical advice for clients that anticipate or become subject to a Customs audit, assist clients regarding their participation in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, and compliance with Customs’ “10 + 2” requirements.