Ports & Maritime

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Counseling and Litigating on Regulatory Matters

With 90 percent of the world’s international trade moving by ship, ocean shipping is an essential part of the economic health and strength of the U.S. and the world. Since the maritime industry has been extremely chaotic for nearly a decade, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and other federal and state agencies have intensified both oversight of, and regulatory and enforcement actions against, ports, marine terminal operators and ocean carriers. 

The attorneys in Saul Ewing’s Ports & Maritime Practice routinely defend ports and other maritime clients before the FMC for alleged Shipping Act violations and guide clients through the complex rules governing mandatory and optional FMC filing requirements. We also represent clients before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in the federal courts and in arbitrations; before Department of Transportation entities including the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) (domestic ocean shipping only); and before the Departments of Homeland Security (Customs and Border Protection), Commerce, Treasury (CFIUS) and State. 

In addition, Saul Ewing Ports & Maritime attorneys represent clients with regulatory issues before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board and State Lands Commission.  We also represent clients on issues arising out of the dormant commerce clause, FAAAA, MTSA and a host of similar statutes.

Our clients include not only ports, but also ocean carriers, marine terminal operators and shippers.  We also represent domestic and foreign ship owners and those with financial interests related to the ports and maritime industry.  We have handled numerous negotiations between these parties as well as maritime-related antitrust issues.


Key Contact
Matthew Antonelli
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For a selection of our ports and maritime law representations, click here.

  • Represent major West Coast port in FMC and federal court litigation over terminal financing and public-private partnerships
  • Represent major Gulf port in FMC litigation, including marine terminal lease disputes with ocean carriers and with marine terminal operators
  • Represent major East Coast ports on issues ranging from longshore labor disputes to Shipping Act compliance
  • Represent U.S. and foreign-owned ocean carriers in FMC, NLRB and STB litigation, terminal lease disputes and in negotiating marine terminal leases
  • Represent cargo owners in negotiating confidential service contracts with ocean carriers
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