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Practice areas

Nearly all Commerce in Goods involves interaction among four interconnected "Commercial Pillars": Transportation, Trade, Logistics, and Insurance. The Firm's focus is in handling issues in all four Commercial Pillars. In so doing, we are able to provide our clients practical macro and micro level advice in order to guide them to their best commercial results.

Transportation

All goods must travel from their place of origin to the place of their ultimate use.

The goods may travel in containers by multiple modes (ocean, rail, truck, air) or in bulk via large, purpose built vessels. Problems occur when the goods are damaged or lost. For example, containerized goods or bulk chemicals lost or damaged on ocean vessels, or mobile telephones damaged in a motor truck or rail collision. Or perhaps a charter party dispute arises out of poor vessel performance or damage to cargo.

In such instances, we interpret the relevant contracts of carriage, service agreements, and applicable law to advise our clients with respect to recovery, liability, limitation of liability, damages and salvage. As the case may be, our clients, whether cargo owners, vessel charterers, carriers, NVOCCs, freight forwarders, or their insurance underwriters, receive the best advice in order to bring the issues to resolution. Whatever the goods, mode, origin or destination, we are prepared to serve our clients with our unique expertise in transportation law and contracts of carriage as quickly and economically as possible.

Trade

The entire world economy depends upon free trade.

Commercial parties seek to enter into relationships with other commercial parties to buy and sell goods or services. For example, Company A in the United States may seek the supply of Chemical X from Company B in China. This relationship begins a series of relationships which ultimately bring the desired goods to an end consumer. The seminal and subsequent relationships are all governed by commercial terms comprised of applicable laws and contractual language put in place among the parties, which may include:

  • United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)
  • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
  • INCOTERMS (terms of sale and allocation of cost & risks between buyer & seller)
  • Other commercial terms varying by industry

We are able to litigate and arbitrate commercial contract disputes in Federal and State Courts and in various arbitral bodies including the American Arbitration Association (AAA), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Society of Maritime Arbitrators of New York (SMA), and the Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA).

Logistics

Logistics is the management of information and resources between the origin and end use of goods.

Logistics is the management of information and resources between the origin and end use of goods. It comprises the arrangement of transportation, distribution nodes, warehousing, and technical central nervous system of the global supply chain. It requires knowledge of the proper handling, storage, and transportation arrangements of the goods and particular needs of the customers. The more specialized the goods, the more knowledgeable the logistics professionals must be.

For example, pharmaceuticals are subject to strict manufacturing and distribution standards. When the integrity of the goods falls into question due to irregularities in handling or transportation, the value of the goods is often significantly reduced. When these failures occur, we are able to advise our clients on the best course to either recover for their loss or limit or be exonerated from liability.

Notably, the Firm has a growing commitment to expertise in Cold Chain Logistics and current Good Manufacturing and Distribution Practices as these areas develop due to the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Insurance

Insurance is the life blood of the global economy and crucial to the success of international commercial trade.

Without it, entrepreneurs would not push innovation or take the risks necessary to advance our world. The origins of marine insurance trace to the Rhodian Sea Law of the Sixth Century Byzantine Empire. While insurance has grown more complex and comprehensive since it inception, many of the basic insurance concepts remain in today's modern marine insurance.

This firm regularly serves needs of various Lloyd's Market syndicates, along with United States, European, and Asian based marine and inland marine insurers, and their Assureds. The firm is privileged to have a robust practice specializing in cargo subrogation, motor truck cargo legal liability claims, and marine, inland marine, and product liability policy coverage opinions.

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