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Foley’s many years of practical, global experience give clients an advantage when faced with shipping, offshore oil and gas exploration and production (E&P), and other complex maritime, aviation and admiralty law issues. Our first-hand history with these industries means that we have a better understanding of our clients’ needs, structure, governance and internal practices, resulting in quicker, more efficient solutions to even the most difficult and sophisticated concerns of our clients.

The members of our team have worked for major banks, freight and passenger carriers, tanker and shipping entities, offshore drilling and support services, and petrochemical corporations. Our high-profile presence in Texas and Mexico have allowed us to know – and be known by – the oil and gas majors, drillers, carriers, specialists, sources of capital and others important to energy exploration, production and commerce internationally.

Client Stories

Helping a Group of Asian Banks in an Insolvency

Where we started: In 2013, a group of banks in Asia asked us to help with a complex, multijurisdictional shipping company insolvency involving $1.5 billion in assets. This assignment required us to coordinate parties in Gibraltar, Ukraine, England, Asia and Mexico.

Our roadmap: We advised our clients about foreclosure options and relevant jurisdiction issues and relied on our worldwide network and years of experience with maritime insolvency claims.

And finally: We ultimately succeeded in sale of the ships and return of the banks’ collateral.

Assisting an Offshore Drilling Company with the Construction and Financing of a New Class of Drill Ships

Where we started: We were asked by an offshore drilling company based in Houston, Texas, to assist it with the construction and financing of two new drill ships to be used at deep water drilling sites around the world.

Our road map: We had previously worked with this client on the acquisition, refurbishment and financing of other drilling units and we had worked with both banks and rig owners on other similar projects. We were therefore able to help the client with the negotiation and management of construction contracts with shipyards in China and Singapore, the structuring of the ownership entities for the two drill ships, the negotiation of long term contracts for the use of the drill ships with a major oil company and the negotiation and closing of two $465 million syndicated credit facilities.

And finally: The new drill ships were delivered, the financings were completed, and the drill ships are at work.

Maritime Practice Essentials

Finance and Corporate

Our team handles transactions involving financial and corporate issues for aircraft, ships, tankers, drillships, drilling rigs and other maritime, aviation and offshore energy-related matters, including:

  • Tax, intellectual property and securities law
  • Secured loans
  • Equipment leasing
  • Title XI guaranteed debt financings
  • Charters, sales and purchases of vessels and drilling rigs
  • Maritime liens
  • Registration of vessels and perfection of mortgages under U.S. law and in major open registries, such as Liberia, Panama, Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands and the Bahamas
  • Establishment of corporations and related corporate unit in Liberia, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands
  • Mortgage enforcement proceedings in ports all over the world
  • Restructuring
  • Coastwise trade restrictions
  • Admiralty enforcement proceedings.

Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

We help clients resolve domestic and foreign claims and disputes worldwide, including:

  • Maritime-related workouts and foreclosures
  • Charter party disputes
  • Maritime and aviation lien litigation
  • Bankruptcy, insolvency, restructuring and reorganization
  • Casualty and environmental response and litigation
  • Personal injury
  • Cargo disputes
  • General average claims
  • Allision and Collision
  • Vessel arrests and cargo seizures
  • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
  • Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) investigations and response
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) investigations and response