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The maritime practice at Semmes is nearly one hundred years old and offers the most diverse range of maritime legal services in the Mid-Atlantic region. Semmes’ maritime attorneys handle all types of maritime litigation and transactional matters for a wide variety of local, national, and international clients, including marine lenders, marine insurers and underwriters (hull, cargo and P&I), shipowners, charterers, pilots, marinas, tug companies, stevedores, terminal operators, shipbuilders and repairers, trucking companies, ship suppliers, importers and exporters, and other entities involved in maritime commerce and transportation. Clients are served out of the Firm’s Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. offices.

Our maritime attorneys have developed considerable expertise in matters involving collisions, whether on the high seas or on the waters of the East and Gulf Coasts; maritime personal injury claims, including claims under the Jones Act and Longshore Act; claims for oil spills under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990; claims for cargo damage or other breaches of contracts to carry goods; the enforcement of maritime liens for supplies, repairs, and other services; the chartering, buying, mortgaging, arrest, repossession, foreclosure, and disposition of all kinds of vessels, from yachts to tankers; marine insurance coverage disputes; Federal Maritime Commission matters and proceedings; commercial and consumer marine lending and financing; international sales contracts; ship repair and shipbuilding disputes; maritime arbitration; and marine insurance claims.

The Firm’s maritime attorneys have garnered both national and international renown. They have held, and hold, leadership positions in the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Propeller Club of the United States, and the Comite Maritime International, and they have been invited to address national and international audiences on maritime subjects. Our attorneys also have been invited to testify before subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives on such topics as marine financing and foreign sovereign immunity and have participated, as members of the U.S. Delegation, in the diplomatic conference on the United Nation’s Convention on the Liability of Terminal Operators in International Trade. They are the authors of respected texts on yacht financing, admiralty jurisdiction, and maritime practice and procedure. They also are frequent contributors of articles to prominent maritime law journals, both domestic and foreign.


  • ACE USA Insurance Co.
  • American Bureau of Shipping
  • American International Marine Agency, Inc.
  • American Reliable Insurance Company
  • Association of Maryland Pilots
  • Baltimore Marine Terminal Association
  • Baltimore Maritime Exchange
  • Baltimore Metals and Commodities Terminal
  • Bluewater Yacht Sales, Inc.
  • Boat U.S.
  • Ceres Terminals, Inc.
  • Charterers P&I (Michael Else)
  • Circle International Group, Inc.
  • Conoco Inc.
  • Crown Central Petroleum Corp.
  • Foster Wheeler LLC
  • Harbor Seafood, Inc.
  • International Navigation Corporation
  • Liberty International Underwriters
  • Liquid Transfer Terminals, Inc.
  • Liverpool and London Protection and Indemnity Association
  • Maersk Line
  • Marine Transport Corp. (Crowley)
  • Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.
  • Merrill’s Marine Terminal (Portland, Maine)
  • Moss Marine USA, Inc.
  • National Casualty Company (Scottsdale Insurance Company)
  • National Marine Underwriters, Inc.
  • Ocean Ship, Inc.
  • Paradigm Insurance Company
  • Ports America
  • Port of Wilmington (Delaware)
  • Potomac Navigation, Inc.
  • Raets Club Maritime Ins. B.V.
  • Riggs Bank, N.A
  • Rukert Terminals Corp.
  • Smith Brothers, Inc.
  • Spirit Cruises, LLC
  • Starr Marine Agency, Inc.
  • St. Paul Fire Travelers
  • Stevedoring Services of America, Inc.
  • C. Steinweg Handelsveem, B.V.
  • Tolchester Marina, Inc.
  • Travelers Insurance Company
  • Underwriters at Lloyd’s
  • Universal Maritime Service Corporation
  • Vane Brothers Companies
  • Viking Yacht Company
  • Wachovia Bank, N.A.
  • Western Bulk Carriers
  • Vitol, SA
  • Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
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