Maritime claims and casualties require experience on both global and local levels.

Our dedicated lawyers provide advice and advocacy related to cargo claims, general average, collisions and allisions, sanctions compliance, personal injury and wrongful death defense, insurance, vessel arrests and asset seizures.

You can see our Regulatory experience and our dry Shipping & Marine contract drafting and dispute resolution on specific pages.

Floyd Zadkovich regularly advises vessel interests, terminal operators, logistics service providers, equipment owners and operators, P&I Clubs and domestic insurers on all facets of maritime and transportation law. Our global team has been recognized as leaders in this sector, utilising industry experience and legal know-how to provide efficient and effective service to our clients.

Our team’s practical, hands-on industry experience includes:

  • A graduate of the US Naval Academy and service as a US Marine Corps officer;
  • A P&I Club senior claims executive;
  • A US Coast Guard-licensed master mariner;
  • An in-house attorney for a US tug and barge operator; and
  • An in-house lawyer for a major energy trading company.

In addition, our lawyers regularly publish articles, present at industry seminars and teach maritime law as guest lecturers and adjunct professors.

Our practical approach to the business needs of our clients has earned us recognition in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as go-to lawyers in this sector.

Casualties, Collisions and Oil Spills

Casualties, collisions and oil pollution claims require an urgent and considered response. We act swiftly, always cognisant that the first priority in any casualty situation is the safety of the vessel and crew.

As we have held the command position in these emergency situations, we are adept at managing the various interested parties, including responders, salvors, technical experts, investigatory bodies, media relations, insurers/P&I Clubs and the corporate clients and counterparties.

Evidence gathering, protecting and preserving is another aspect. Such steps as: securing witness statements, relevant vessel documents, attending witness interviews by investigative authorities and liaising closely with other concerned parties in the immediate aftermath to obtain information. Each casualty response demands a different approach. Our experience makes us adaptable.

We can be contacted in an emergency at our 24/7 phone line: +1 917 868 1245 or +44 7920 519 233.

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Personal injury defense

Personal injury and wrongful death verdicts have reached all-time highs.

Whether defending against maritime personal injury claims on the water, or injuries suffered in over-the-road accidents, lawyers at Floyd Zadkovich have the experience and know-how to investigate the incident, identify critical defenses at an early stage, and protect the interests and assets of our clients. Our attorneys regularly appear in state and federal courts throughout the country, achieving excellent results as efficiently as possible.

Our lawyers stand ready to respond to maritime incidents, preserving critical evidence, interviewing witnesses and assisting with US Coast Guard investigations. We defend clients in court cases involving Jones Act and LHWCA 905(b) claims, and injury and death actions resulting from vessel accidents.

In addition, we represent transportation and logistics companies involved in injury claims on land. Our clients include carriers, brokers and equipment owners throughout the US. We vigorously defend claims in court, preserve contractual and equitable claims against responsible parties, and assist insurers in analysing the merits to set appropriate reserves.

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Shipbuilding, Ship Sale and Purchase

We have experience acting on both sides of newbuild transactions: both for major shipyards and for purchasing vessel owners.  We advise buyers during the transaction period and have acted for buyers in respect of warranty claims following delivery.

We also advise on disputes relating to ship sale agreements, including issues relating to vessel condition and sellers’ delivery obligations.

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Ship Finance and Mortgage

Our Shipping team are experts in enforcement actions, either in our office jurisdictions or further afield (working in close contact with known and trusted foreign lawyers).

We have acted for a series of major financing institutions in obtaining a recovery against vessel portfolios. Our experience includes overseeing the entire process, from an initial letter of default to a court ordered sale of a vessel. Our approach is to maximise recovery, while minimising risk to the lender.

We also have considerable experience advising on ship finance transactions, loan agreements and ship mortgages.

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Shipping contracts - projects and advisory

We have extensive experience of charterparty negotiations and drafting. We perform various roles in the charterparty process – from leading negotiations with the counterparty and the drafting exercise to advising behind the scene on specific clauses. We have been involved in countless long-term and short-term charter negotiations both from an in-house and a private practice perspective and consider ourselves well-placed to work efficiently with our clients to finalise the contracts accurately and promptly.

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Asset security and enforcement actions

A successful claim means an actual return. Not just the paper an award is written on.

Across our office jurisdictions and working closely with our local network, we act swiftly, accurately and where necessary, assertively to secure our client’s position. We are recognised as market-leaders in US security actions, including enforcement actions against ‘alter-ego’ defendants by piercing the corporate veil.

Our security actions involve vessel arrests, asserting liens over cargo, sub-freights and sub-hires, securing attachments over business receivables or attaching other assets belonging to the defendant. We frequently do so in the backdrop of insolvency, including actions to unwind potentially fraudulent transfers and to trace funds so that our clients can make a full recovery.

Obtaining security requires a blend of creativity and forensic study. We combine these attributes to enforce claims and turn judgments into money.

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Carriage and Freight Contract Disputes

We have extensive experience acting on the full range of shipping contract disputes. Those include bills of lading, charterparties, contracts of affreightment, letters of indemnity, seawaybills, and bills of exchange.

Under time charterparty disputes, our work encompasses off-hire issues, advising on withdrawal for non-payment of hire, re-delivery issues, hold cleanliness cases, speed and performance warranties and much more.

In respect of voyage charterparites, we act on demurrage claims, claims relating to payment of freight or deadfreight and missed cargoes. We also act for clients in respect of bill of lading claims, including mis-delivery or damage to cargo.

Shipping disputes regularly involve arbitration (LMAA, LCIA, ICC, SMA, AAA, SIAC, HKIAC, CIETAC and ad hoc), as well as litigation and conservatory measures in the English courts, and the US federal and state courts.

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Zach Barger
Senior Associate - Chicago
Mitchell Beebe
Associate - London
Miguel Caballero
Senior Associate - London
Calum Cheyne
Partner - London
Wafeek Elafifi
Associate - Chicago
Edward W. Floyd
Partner - New York
Joe Gosden
Partner - London
Eva-Maria Mayer
Senior Associate - New York
Timothy S. McGovern
Partner - Chicago
Leo Rees-Murphy
Associate - London
Harrison Smith
Associate - London
Damon Thompson
Partner - London
Philip Vagin
Senior Associate - London
Jonathan Webb
Partner - London
Jody Wood
Partner - London
Luke Zadkovich
Partner - New York, London, Sydney
Layesh Premraj
Trainee Solicitor - London
Andriy Shalennyy
Trainee Solicitor - London
Jakub Mikulski
Paralegal - London
Abigail Waag
Law Clerk - New York
  • Assessing criminal and civil options, and coordinating an asset seizure search and attach strategy in Mexico for a major case for shipowners pursuing a Chinese mining conglomerate in Mexico. The underlying case involved allegations of cartel cooperation and fraudulent dissipation of assets (USD 2.5 million).

  • Representation and assisting the representation of several clients in several US Federal District Courts regarding seeking of security for underlying claims by way of maritime attachment proceedings.

  • Representation of International bank involving actions under the Insolvency Act 1986 to unwind a transaction at an undervalue/a transaction entered into with intent to defraud creditors. Part of a broader coordinated global approach to enforce a claim against an insolvent entity.

  • Representation of a major US oil refinery in relation to disputes under their shipping contracts during the COVID-19 crisis. The dispute related to delays under a bespoke charterparty.

  • Pursued a claim for major US commodities trading house for damages in respect of late delivery / unseaworthiness against vessel owners in LMAA arbitration proceedings. Also handled negotiations with Mediterranean receivers. Brought related actions in Texas and Turkey for discovery and vessel arrest against the owners.

  • Legal advice to a major American oil company on disputes relating to their fleet of vessels, including queries relating to demurrage, off-hire and cargo contamination.

  • Commenced ad hoc London arbitration proceedings for an Italian coal trader claiming wrongful arrest in respect of a time charterparty. Involved complex conflict of laws questions.

  • Pursued a large energy company for shipowner clients seeking damages arising due to delay / fire to a terminal in Brazil. We intervened into related English Court of Appeal proceedings and obtained a favourable outcome.

  • Assessing the laws on lifting the corporate veil on companies in Mexico for a major shipping demurrage case, where the underlying cargo interests were not in a position to accept delivery and the vessel carrying crude ended up waiting for months before discharge could occur (USD 3+ million).

  • Advised a major international trading house (Singaporean plc), in respect of a cargo claim against vessel owners. Travelled to Lagos and Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to take evidence from our trading clients, surveyors, port terminal operators and harbour masters. In the arbitration proceedings, the Owners counter-claimed for wrongful arrest in Nigeria / breach of London arbitration agreement.

  • Acted on an ad hoc arbitration claim for international London-based trading house, specialising in steel and metals trade, against an Italian receiver for liability under UK COGSA for quality issues.

  • Representation of major Danish shipowner in an off-hire and performance dispute which threw to both US and English jurisdictions.

  • Acted for a Belgian/Turkish shipowner in relation to outstanding sums under a series of charter parties.  Obtained an award in the client’s favor. The matter involved dispute over jurisdiction, overdue hire payments and the validity of an assignment.

  • Preparation of bespoke template charterparty documents for vessel owners in the LNG industry. Advising on the terms of ShellLNGTime 1 and ShellLNGTime 2 to provide a comprehensive template/standard form document at an appropriate risk level for clients.

  • Representation of major international LNG supplier and charterer on their position in respect of a multi-million dollar off-hire claim. The dispute turned on bespoke off-hire wording and complex legal questions in LCIA arbitration.

  • Defense of logistics company against claims involving a cargo of copper that disappeared from a container in transit. Enforced package limitation under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and won appeal before Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Representation of client insurance company in the Eastern District of Wisconsin regarding damages to a cargo of food products carried from California.

  • Representation of European bank regarding recovery of a multi-million dollar claim against an insolvent entity under claims relating to mis-delivery of cargo. Assertively pursued security actions against possible assets and successfully obtained an attachment over assets belonging to an alter-ego in a US targeting a vessel in the Southern District of Texas. In a reported decision, successfully defeated post-discovery motion to vacate seizure order and dismiss action. Global litigation included proceedings in UK and East Asia.

  • Representation of Italian shipowners in defense of numerous cargo claims resulting from signficant vessel incident involving major container loss.

  • Advised on and drafted protective clauses for a major US oil refinery in relation to risk under their shipping contracts during the Covid-19 crisis.

  • Acted for a Norwegian chartering company in four separate arbitrations/charters.  Issues include failure to nominate, coercion to pay outstanding demurrage, failure to pass on money received from sub-charterers and receipt of fund by agents for principals. There were separate Norwegian proceedings for security.

  • Advised a major Polish chemical company, as charterers, in relation to an LMAA arbitration claim brought by the Owners for demurrage and other outstandings.

  • Representation of global energy major in an LMAA arbitration in a long-term charterparty dispute for a LNG carrier.

  • Representation of European ro-ro operator and logistics services provider in relation to a multi-jurisdictional dispute arising from container damage at the Port of Cork, UK.

  • Defended oil spill indemnification claims against client time charterer following oil spill event on Mississippi.

  • Representation of Asian shipowner in US federal litigation brought against a publicly traded US minerals and mining company in connection with the pursuit of fraudulent transfer claims. In a reported decision, successfully defeated summary judgment motion made by defendant.

  • Secured a settlement at almost the entire value of the claim for a major shipping operator in respect of a shortage claim under bills of lading.

  • Defended an ICC arbitration claim for our Egyptian trader clients, as sellers, for short shipment under a sale and purchase contract.

  • Obtained dismissals based on U.S. maritime law defenses resulting in reduction of client’s damages from multimillion-dollar jury verdict to less than $300,000.00 in a lawsuit by former Jones Act employee and family.

  • Advising Mexican subsidiary of a major Austrian group in the oil drilling industry on its day-to-day corporate and employment issues, including the drafting and reviewing of master sales agreements that contain provisions stipulating specific timeframes and transportation information for delivery and return of rental equipment, as well as other complex commercial contracts.

  • Acted for an international metals trading house, and then its cargo underwriters, in a major subrogated claim against Owners, Shippers and Receivers in relation to stolen steel cargo. The case involved multi-layered court action across the world, including vessel arrest proceedings in Turkey and Lebanon, and other corporate criminal actions in Russia, Florida and Switzerland.

  • Representation of US energy major in defense of general average claims following vessel grounding. Claims not pursued following aggressive pursuit of international discovery and investigation. Handled global coordination of legal and investigatory team.

  • Defended demurrage claim based on a series of long-term delays at various load/discharge ports. Developing arguments based on tendering of an invalid NOR and deploying compelling fact-based evidence to fall within an exemption to demurrage

  • Advised coal trader on a 1.5 year coal supply contract dispute against the receiver. The receiver argued repudiation for alleged fraudulent conduct, namely backdating a B/L. Client claimed damages for wrongful repudiation in LCIA proceedings. There were related LMAA arbitration proceedings and UK court proceedings for freezing orders and vessel arrest.

  • Advised shipowner clients and its P&I Club on a cargo misdelivery claim and associated indemnity action.  The bill holders’ claim was subject to LMAA arbitration proceedings and the indemnity proceedings were before the English High Court.  Our client obtained freezing orders against the commodities trader in England, enforced those in Switzerland and Rule B attachments against the indemnifying party in the US, having defended a sister-ship arrest in Morocco and related proceedings in Dakar.

  • Obtained dismissal of employee’s workers’ compensation claim for Longshore Act employer client at trial level, resulting in settlement for amounts previously paid following appeal of court’s dismissal.

  • Representation of a Singaporean shipping company with its main seat of business in London in enforcement and recognition of foreign award proceedings (USD 5.7 million, Mexican courts).

  • Advised a large US commodities trader in an arbitration claim for overpaid hire and bunkers on a time charterparty. This involved insolvency proceedings in Greece and various actions for security.

    Super Lawyers 2022

    Chambers USA 2022

    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Transport: Shipping - Litigation and Regulation
      "Floyd Zadkovich and zeiler.partners merged equally to form Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich (a Swiss Verein) in September 2020. The practice acts in the full range of claims involving shipping contracts, cargo and general average, along with collisions, sanctions, and personal injury and wrongful death; the team also stands out in insurance matters, vessel arrests and asset seizures. The principal names in New York are name partners Luke Zadkovich and Edward Floyd; Zadkovich has a strong focus on the maritime and international commodities sectors, while Floyd focuses on international disputes involving the shipping and commodities trading industries. Chicago office head Timothy McGovern is a maritime and transportation specialist."

    Super Lawyers 2021

    Chambers USA 2021

    • Luke Zadkovich
      USA Nationwide: Transportation - Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York) (Band 4)
    • Edward Floyd
      USA Nationwide: Transportation - Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York) (Band 4)
    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      USA Nationwide: Transportation - Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York) (Band 3)
    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Tier 3 Firm in Transport: Shipping - Litigation and regulation
      “[T]he team is noted for its ability to advise on US and UK law, working in conjunction with its counterpart in the firm’s London office.  The firm is led by name partners Luke Zadkovich and Edward Floyd: Zadkovich has previous experience working at a major P&I Club…”
    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Tier 3 Firm in Transport: Shipping - Litigation and regulation
      “From its base in New York, the team has expanded quickly over the past couple of years, having opened an office in Chicago with the hire of Timothy McGovern from Swanson, Martin & Bell; and then establishing an office in Houston in 2020. In addition to its expansion across the US, the team is noted for its ability to advise on US and UK law [...]"

    Chambers & Partners USA 2020

    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Ranked firm (Band 3 - US Nationwide Shipping/Maritime)
      “A boutique firm with specialist expertise in maritime and admiralty law… Stands out in the market for its combined focus on English and US maritime logistics and trading cases.” Notable practitioner – Ed Floyd and Luke Zadkovich
    • Edward Floyd
      Ranked Individual (Band 4 - US Nationwide Shipping/Maritime)
      “Ed Floyd has noteworthy experience advising clients on maritime and trading law. His broad practice covers cargo damage and loss, charter party disputes and sanctions advice.”
    • Luke Zadkovich
      Ranked Individual (Band 4 - US Nationwide Shipping/Maritime)
      “Luke Zadkovich is frequently engaged in complex cargo disputes as part of his broader shipping and maritime practice. He also provides strong guidance to clients on English maritime law.”
    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Tier 5 Firm
      “For shipping, the team... is 'knowledgeable, personable and hardworking, with a genuine dedication to its clients, and a commercially astute understanding of their needs'.”
  • Pre-emptively Peremptory? | Case by Case (Ep. 73)

    Pre-emptively Peremptory? | Case by Case (Ep. 73)

    With Luke deep in hearing prep this week, Calum was joined by Miguel to look at a (slightly speculative…) attempt to use the wording of the LMAA Small Claims procedure to bar a claim.

    A quick fire one this week – but a snapshot into an interesting maritime law point, London Arbitration 9/23.

  • Refining the Law on Foreign Experts | Case by Case (Ep. 71)

    Refining the Law on Foreign Experts | Case by Case (Ep. 71)

    Case by Case 71 – Refining the law on Foreign Experts

    “This is not a paid commercial… but … TimTams!”

    After the yummy detour, this pod is about a serious arbitration topic.

    The scope of an arbitration agreement. We know it well under English law. Here the question is subject to Iranian law.

  • Captured in Time | Case by Case (Ep. 70)

    Captured in Time | Case by Case (Ep. 70)

    Case by Case – episode 70: Captured in Time

    We are back this week with an interesting shipping case. Just as we become podcaster septuagenarians.

    I could open this with a profound question like, “what is the meaning of time?”

    But this is a more concrete question about whether breach of a vessel hull cleaning clause was intended to create a debt claim for hire post-charter or damages claim.

  • From Gadani to the Garage | Case by Case (Ep. 69)

    From Gadani to the Garage | Case by Case (Ep. 69)

    Case by Case – episode 69: From Gadani to the Garage

    If you are on holidays and hire a car, then you will agree with the car hire company where that car needs to be redelivered. If you drop it off somewhere not agreed, then there will be a cost charged.

    We’re talking about the same kind of thing here.

  • The Place to Rule B | Case by Case (Ep. 68)

    The Place to Rule B | Case by Case (Ep. 68)

    Case by Case – episode 68: The Place to Rule B.
    “This is in our sweet spot…” so we start on video. And it is. Our original USP as a law firm was to handle US and UK legal matters seamlessly. We’ve grown, combined and added EU legal work into the mix too, and Australian law. This case explores the limits of the USA Rule B attachment in the context of maritime indemnity claims and how drafting of the underlying UK dispute can influence the US court’s approach to the attachment. Indemnity claims in the maritime space come in different shapes and sizes. They could be under an LOI for delivery without presentation of bills. Edward and Luke first started working together on such a case at different firms, where I handled the UK indemnity claim and Ed attached a litigated US claim under Rule B. That’s where our story all started.

  • A case by case of Case by Case: Live in New York | Case by Case (Ep. 67)

    A case by case of Case by Case: Live in New York | Case by Case (Ep. 67)

    Calum and Luke had a lot of fun in NY doing this session in front of key clients last week. Our colleagues’ heckling notwithstanding. Essentially, we skip through 6 recent English cases from the first half of 2023. Some we’ve done before and some are new. Traversing plenty of territory in the shipping, commodities and insurance space. This pod will give you a good flavour of what’s been going on in the courts.
    And yes, that’s our wacky art wall in the NYC office and not a virtual background…

  • Bull’s Eye??? | Case by Case (Ep. 66)

    Bull’s Eye??? | Case by Case (Ep. 66)

    This week Luke and Calum discuss English Court of Appeal case FIMBank PLC v KCH Shipping Co Ltd (“The Giant Ace”) [2023] EWCA Civ 569.

    This is a good one. All about whether a claim for misdelivery arising after discharge of the goods from the vessel is time barred or not. Hague Rules versus Hague Visby Rules… Is there a big difference between the two versions of the Convention on the application of the one year time bar to post-discharge misdelivery claims? The court states that it found the “bull’s eye” in the travaux préparatoires reaching its decision… We ask, with respect, did it really?

  • Cause and (no) effect | Case by Case (Ep. 65)

    Cause and (no) effect | Case by Case (Ep. 65)

    This week Luke and Calum discuss the English Court of Appeal case of Unicredit Bank AG v Euronav NV [2023] EWCA Civ 471.

    This is a fascinating case that gets into the heart of the status of paper bills of lading. It highlights the dangers for banks in relying on paper bills, where the charterparty allows for novation of the charterparty and delivery against a letter of indemnity from charterers.

  • In the Bunker(s) | Case by Case (Ep. 64)

    In the Bunker(s) | Case by Case (Ep. 64)

    Case by Case – episode 64: In the Bunker(s)

    What are bunkers? Fuel on ships. You know when you hire a rental car and it comes with a full tank… and you need to choose whether to give the car back with a full tank (having filled up yourself) or you pay the top up amount at the rental company’s price? Well, we are talking about something similar here. Ships don’t usually get delivered, or redelivered, on time charters with full tanks. But how do you deal with the bunkers? Here we look at what formula should apply to work out how much the charterers (ie. the renters) need to pay the owners (ie. the rental company) for the fuel on redelivery. It’s a neat one that deals with when charterers redeliver too much ! Remember the price of fuel fluctuates regularly and we’re not talking about the mere cost of filling up a car…

    Citation is LMLN London Arbitration 3/23.

  • The Usual Subjects | Case by Case (Ep. 61)

    The Usual Subjects | Case by Case (Ep. 61)

    This week Luke and Calum are back with a chat about England & Wales Court of Appeal case DHL Project & Chartering Ltd v Gemini Ocean Shipping Co Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 1555.