Shipyards, vessels, and ports in the Pacific Northwest are represented by Schwabe.
Schwabe maintains one of the largest ports and maritime practices in the Pacific Northwest. Ports and maritime operators call on Schwabe and its 30+ talented industry team members to help solve problems and seize opportunities throughout the industry. We stay current with legal issues and help derive business opportunities in this vital industry.
What do you get when you’re “Represented by Schwabe”? Lawyers who know the business. Spotting industry trends, seizing dynamic opportunities, and overcoming challenging legal problems require more than a law book or a computer. Clients in this industry need knowledgeable and connected lawyers, who deliver agile legal solutions that make business sense. Entities involved in maritime commerce and the movement of cargo turn to Schwabe for a full spectrum of legal knowledge. We work collaboratively to meet complex legal, regulatory and political challenges. From contracts to real estate to labor and employment. From the most arcane issues of maritime law to the latest regulatory wrinkle, our lawyers see clients through every challenge to get the job done.
Our clients include:
• Ports throughout Oregon and Washington
• Maritime contractors
• Fishing vessel operators and seafood companies
• Maritime operators
Rapid response to incidents and emergencies
Companies and society have become safer through improved equipment and increased knowledge, but we still must be ready to respond to incidents both small and large. Schwabe’s Rapid Response team deploys within minutes to help clients comply with reporting requirements, secure evidence at the scene of an incident, craft public statements, and protect interests in investigations and/or litigation.
Collaborative approach to litigation and transaction work
No single lawyer can address every operator’s need throughout the region. Our lawyers consciously work to share their expertise with other lawyers in the firm. When a problem arises, or an opportunity is presented, we approach it as a team to assist the client as efficiently and productively as possible.
7 lawyers selected
SuperLawyers Rising Star list
7 lawyers listed
Best Lawyers in America & Ones to Watch list
- Provide ongoing general counsel services for important ports, including drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts and leases, licenses, and other real estate transaction documents. Consult and advise regarding the Washington Public Records Act and Public Meetings Act. Manage litigation and other non-general counsel legal work. Provide day-to-day general recommendations and discussions with staff on compliance, legal risks, legal strategies, and legislative and constitutional authority.
- Represented maritime clients regarding highly contentious labor disputes with the longshoremen’s union, which have involved several administrative hearings, lawsuits, and appeals to both the Ninth Circuit and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals.
- Developed a long-term (25 years) container terminal lease, requiring extensive due diligence on environmental, labor, tax, and commercial contracting issues.
- Achieved a summary dismissal of a six-figure salvage claim against a vessel-owner client by educating a state-court fact-finder on complex nuances of federal maritime salvage law.
- Worked with an important regional port in the significant expansion of freight access capabilities, providing support on substantial environmental, permitting, acquisition, condemnation, and construction issues.
- Represented a port in a complicated settlement involving the Columbia River Channel Deepening, development of real property, and ultimate transfer of a portion of the property—subject to conservation easement—to a nonprofit land trust.
- Successfully challenged an illegal transit tax imposed against passing ships by a Columbia River Port under the Tonnage Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Port was ordered to repeal its tax and return all collected funds.
- Represented maritime operators and a port in defeating an “Act of God” defense when multiple ships dragged anchor in a 50-year windstorm, damaging four Columbia River docks.
What our clients say
“The Schwabe maritime team’s expertise is second to none. They expertly helped us navigate a complex maritime matter involving a NOAA natural resources damages claim and a lawsuit from the vendor associated with the event. Their early recommendation to actively pursue cooperation with NOAA was instrumental in helping us achieve a favorable outcome. We continue to rely upon Schwabe to support our business.”
“Schwabe is recognized in the maritime industry as a force to be reckoned with.”
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