Attorneys in Duane Morris' Maritime, Shipping and International Trade Practice Group in Singapore and across the United States represent international and U.S. companies in a range of shipping and marine issues. Clients include domestic and foreign cargo interests, vessel owners and operators, charterers, licensed pilots and pilots' associations, insurers and reinsurers, shipyards, importers and exporters, and manufacturers and distributors of consumer and industrial goods. The firm's attorneys have appeared before the courts of virtually all of the major ports of the United States, all U.S. federal agencies and numerous jurisdictions around the world, as well as in arbitration proceedings in the U.S. and internationally. Attorneys in the group are involved in a myriad of maritime corporate transactional work. From corporate transactional work, to litigation, arbitration and insurance coverage, the attorneys of Duane Morris and Duane Morris & Selvam offer clients full legal representation across the United States and around the world with immediate availability.


Global Access

Many of our attorneys have extensive experience assisting clients in specific geographic regions of the world. As a result, our attorneys are able to provide knowledge and experience when assisting clients venturing into or from Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and other European Union countries, Central and South America and the Middle East. A number of our attorneys are also qualified to practice law in France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, The Philippines and Russia. In addition, based on our years of experience dealing with cultural differences and our fluency in major world languages (such as French, German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese), we are able to more easily navigate through otherwise difficult cross-border negotiation and dispute resolution.

When local counsel is needed in countries outside the ones in which we practice, Duane Morris provides referrals to, and coordinates worldwide client representation with, other global service providers. Our active participation and leadership roles in prominent international legal networks and our extensive dealings over the years with service providers around the world give our clients unprecedented and immediate access to qualified assistance in more than 100 countries.

Strength in Asia

Duane Morris' joint law venture with Selvam LLC, based in Singapore, strategically positions the firm to advise on all legal aspects relating to the shipping industry. Our attorneys in Singapore draw upon experience and in-depth industry knowledge to support clients and their needs. Areas of focus include: arrest of vessels; collisions and marine casualties; charterparty and bill of lading disputes; cargo claims; commodity trading and trade finance; mortgage enforcement and ship finance disputes; marine insurance; oil trading and transportation; shipbuilding, repairs and conversion; and ship finance, ship sale, and purchase. Attorneys in our Singapore office are able to call on attorneys worldwide as needed, in a wide variety of practice groups, to serve clients.

International Trade Compliance

Businesses engaged in the import/export of goods and international trade face numerous compliance requirements and oversight responsibilities. Duane Morris assists our multinational clients in navigating through the maze of diverse international trade rules.

We represent clients before all relevant U.S. regulatory bodies, including Customs and Border Protection; the Coast Guard; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; the Food and Drug Administration; the National Transportation Safety Board; the Department of Commerce; the Department of Agriculture; the International Trade Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Treasury Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Department of Energy; the Department of Transportation; the Federal Trade Commission; the Department of Justice; the Court of International Trade; and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Duane Morris attorneys represent clients in connection with antidumping and countervailing duty cases, including annual administrative, changed circumstance and sunset reviews; customs transshipment/country of origin disputes and transfer pricing issues; bilateral and multilateral governmental agreements, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), NAFTA and specific country-to-country agreements, including the GSP and various free trade agreements; and Foreign Trade Zone (sub-zone) and other customs compliance audits.

Duane Morris attorneys assist clients to ensure that all products imported into the United States comply with a myriad of safety regulations enforced by numerous federal agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.

Maritime Transactions

Duane Morris attorneys are involved in increasingly varied and complex maritime transactions around the world, including vessel construction and finance; port development; large-scale dredge projects; oil and commodities trading; energy projects; and large-scale maritime private equity deals. Our attorneys understand the complex corporate, technical, financial, tax, regulatory and environmental issues associated with such transactions.


Duane Morris attorneys have secured some of the leading decisions in marine insurance and are experienced with all classes of marine coverage and have consulted on and litigated virtually every form of marine insurance, including bumbershoot; marine pollution; Protection & Indemnity; marine general liability; excess; increased values; wreck removal; shipper's liabilities; marine reinsurance; charterer's legal liability; FC&S; War Risk; hijack and ransom; cargo policy static extensions; maritime employer's liabilities; ship repairers' legal liability; and cargo.

The firm's lawyers have consulted on and drafted language for all classes of marine coverage. Our attorneys have litigated some of the leading reported cases in the field and continue to be active nationally and internationally in the development of new marine insurance products and on industry-leading issues.

Range of Services

Our lawyers represent clients in the full range of shipping and maritime matters involving:

  • Bulk cargo spills
  • Cargo loss or damage
  • Charterparty and contracts of affreightment
  • Collisions and allisions
  • Containers overboard
  • Contracts of carriage
  • Dredging
  • Fishing
  • General average
  • Import/export
  • Insurance and reinsurance coverage
  • Logistics and intermodal carriage
  • Marine casualties
  • Marine pollution incidents
  • Marine products liability
  • Offshore energy (oil, gas, wind)
  • Piracy
  • Port development and infrastructure
  • Recreational boating
  • Salvage
  • Ship construction, sale, registration and finance
  • Stranding
  • Taxation
  • Territorial disputes
  • Towage and pilotage
  • Vessel documentation
  • Vessel and port security

For More Information

For additional information, please contact Robert B. Hopkins or any of the practice members referenced in the Attorney Listing.