Morgan Lewis represents various participants in the maritime industry, including shipping companies, financial institutions, investors, and, most recently, shipbuilders (commercial and military). We regularly advise our clients on a wide range of maritime business matters, including mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures of companies involved in the maritime industry (e.g., shipping companies, logistics companies, terminal operating companies), the construction and purchase and sale of vessels, capital markets transactions (with particular knowledge in the area of U.S. public offerings), lease and secured financing transactions, and bankruptcies and restructurings. When necessary, we provide our clients with experienced maritime dispute resolution resources. Our labor and employment lawyers are well versed in dealing with U.S. maritime industry labor issues, including the negotiation of maritime union collective bargaining agreements, multiemployer pension plan underfunding issues, and the full range of employee discrimination and harassment and occupational health and safety claims to which maritime industry participants are exposed.
We work on transactions involving different types of maritime assets, including container vessels and terminals, crude and product tankers, bulk carriers, barges, and tugboats. We also have a background dealing with the major flags of convenience. In addition, we are familiar with U.S. citizenship requirements, including those with respect to the Maritime Security Program under the Maritime Security Act of 2003, effective on October 1, 2005.
While our client base has been for the most part located in Europe and the United States, in recent years our practice has seen a significant increase in the involvement of Asian market participants, including shipbuilding contracts with Korean companies and container terminal projects in China (both Hong Kong and mainland China).