Martin F. Conniff focuses his practice on transactions related to the international maritime industry. He represents leading enterprises in the container shipping, marine container terminal, shipbuilding, and oil and gas sectors, as well as the lenders that finance their operations. Martin handles complex, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and a range of financing transactions, including restructurings. When a non-US enterprise invests in the United States, Martin works with the client to address citizenship, national security, and other regulatory issues.
Martin also advises clients facing government investigations or involved in disputes under charter parties and shipbuilding contracts. Before joining Morgan Lewis in 1994, Martin was a partner at a US-based firm, managing its London office.
Selected recent matters in which Mr. Conniff has participated include:
Mergers & Acquisitions and Joint Ventures
Represented A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S subsidiaries APM Terminals North America, Inc. and Universal Maritime Service Corp. in the sale of APM Terminals’ state-of-the-art container terminal in Portsmouth, Virginia to a partnership of Alinda Capital Partners and Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited.
Represented A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S subsidiary Maersk Inc. in the sale of its marine drayage subsidiary to an affiliate of private equity firm Platinum Equity.
Represented A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S subsidiary Maersk Line, Limited in its acquisition of 3PSC LLC, the operator of a fleet of six special mission hydrographic survey vessels for the US Navy's Military Sealift Command.
Represented A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S subsidiary Maersk Inc. in the sale of its chassis owning subsidiary Maersk Equipment Service Company, Inc. to private equity firm Littlejohn & Co.
Represented A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S subsidiary Maersk Line, Limited in its acquisition of two multi-purpose/heavy lift vessels from Chinese shipyard Tongfang Jiangxin Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and the formation of a joint venture for the operation of the vessels with Rickmers Linie.
Represented a Mexican private equity firm in connection with four jack-up drilling rig construction contracts with two leading Singapore shipyards.
Represented Fincantieri – Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA in its joint venture with Lockheed Martin Corporation in its $120 million acquisition of Manitowoc Marine Group, owner of two US shipyards, one of which is the builder of Littoral Combat Ships, a new generation of warships for the US Navy.
Represented A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S subsidiary Farrell Lines Incorporated with respect to the sale of its interest in Port Newark Container Terminal to P&O Ports North America as part of the disposition by Dubai Ports World of its US port terminals portfolio.
Represented A.P Moller-Maersk A/S in connection with a series of franchise building transactions including its $3 billion public bid to acquire the capital stock of P&0 Nedlloyd N.V., its $800 million acquisition of Sea-Land Service, Inc. from CSX and the $9.4 billion reorganizational merger of its two principal holding companies.
Represented Wilmington Trust FSB as collateral agent in connection with secured financings in favor of Trico Shipping AS and certain of its affiliates.
Represented A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S in connection with the US law aspects of its $1.6 billion common stock offering.
Represented Maersk Line, the container shipping business of the Maersk Group, in connection with the termination of a series of leveraged lease financing transactions and the sale of the subject vessels to various parties.
University of Virginia, 1970, B.A.
University of Virginia School of Law, 1973, J.D.
Awards and Affiliations
Ranked, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Finance, Nationwide, Chambers USA (2012–2018)
Recognized, Acritas Star Lawyer (2017)
Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (2008–2018)
Recognized, BTI Client Service All-Stars (2014, 2016)
Recommended in The Legal 500 for Mergers and Acquisitions (2014)
Member, Admiralty Committee, New York City Bar Association