A Note From the Chair

John D. Kimball

What’s different about “change” in 2017? It certainly seems that we need to redefine what we mean when we consider the term itself.

Shipping historically has been a conservative industry, but its adaptability over the long haul has been proven time and time again. Some sectors of the industry will be coming to this year’s CMA Shipping 2017 conference with a more buoyant step than we have seen in recent memory, and for good reason. Only time will tell if the global markets will create the right environment for a strong economic recovery. With the Trump administration promising fiscal stimulus and interest rates still at low levels, however, there is a feeling of optimism in the room.

From a maritime lawyer’s perspective, being adaptable in a “change” environment has never been more important. Classic maritime legal work, such as handling cargo claims or charter party disputes, is at a low ebb, but financial restructuring and workouts have surged. And, addressing government regulations remains a challenge; whether we will see significant deregulation in the Trump administration is a matter of guesswork. Regardless, it is certain that more change is coming—it is a time to stay on our toes! The good news is that the buzz around CMA Shipping 2017 will be more upbeat than we have felt for some time.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Mainbrace. As you will see, our articles are as diverse as our practice and cover a wide range of subjects, including ballast water management, chapter 15 bankruptcy actions, the future of “blockchain” technology in shipping, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards, new developments concerning the scope of U.S. court jurisdiction, and the applicability of Texas oil spill regulations. As always, we welcome your comments and questions, and we always appreciate receiving ideas for future articles.

Blank Rome Announces 2017 Promotions

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that the following attorneys have been elected partner and elevated to of counsel, effective January 1, 2017. The newly elected partners are Mayling C. Blanco, Dayna C. Finkelstein, Andrew J. Haas, Alex E. Hassid, Nikhil A. Heble, Michael A. Iannucci, Rustin I. Paul, Christopher J. Petersen, James J. Quinlan, and Jonathan M. Robbin. The new of counsel are Marquel S. Jordan, Jason I. Miller, Kevin M. O’Malley, and Adrien C. Pickard.

“We congratulate this exceptional group of attorneys on their new roles at Blank Rome,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Chairman and Managing Partner. “We approach our elevation decisions as a long-term investment in the Firm and are confident that this group of talented attorneys will continue to provide exceptional service to our clients and further strengthen our business.”

Celebrating 70 Years

Dear Friends of Blank Rome:

Did you know that in 1946, Blank Rome started as a Philadelphia-based law firm of just two attorneys, then known as the law offices of Blank & Rudenko? We recently celebrated our 70th anniversary by reflecting upon the many milestones and successes we have achieved on behalf of our clients, for the communities in which we live and work, and as an innovative firm that continues to grow and evolve.

As a friend of Blank Rome, I invite you to join us in celebrating the hard work and dedication that has transformed us from a small, regional firm to the current-day Blank Rome with numerous offices throughout the U.S. and in Shanghai and more than 620 attorneys.

To commemorate each turning point in our history, we’ve created an animated timeline that will guide you through the years and highlight important occasions along the way. I hope you’ll spend a few moments navigating the facts, photos, interactive maps, and abbreviated history we’ve assembled here:


It has been a true honor to lead Blank Rome through what have been some of our most transformative and successful years. With your ongoing support and confidence in us, we have stayed true to our culture, expanded our reach by practice and geography to meet our clients’ needs, embraced technological advances, affected case law and legislation, and made a positive impact on our communities. Thank you for being a part of our history, and we look forward to what the future brings.

Alan J. Hoffman, Chairman and Managing Partner
215.569.5505 | Hoffman@BlankRome.com

Blank Rome’s Maritime Practice Ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2017 “Best Law Firms”

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that the Firm’s maritime practice was highly ranked in the national U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers® 2017 “Best Law Firms” survey, and received numerous regional top-tier rankings throughout the Firm’s offices. To view Blank Rome’s full 2017 rankings, please click here.

Blank Rome’s industries and services recognized in this year’s survey include:

The U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers® survey rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer reviews from leading attorneys in their field, and a review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. For more information on the methodology, please visit bestlawfirms.usnews.com.