Timothy S. McGovern is a partner with our firm, with expertise in maritime and transportation matters, such as personal injury and wrongful death defense, cargo claims and commercial disputes. Tim also advises maritime and transportation clients with respect to contracts and related commercial matters.

Tim has extensive experience litigating matters throughout the United States and is admitted to practice in the state of Illinois, along with the federal courts in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. He has engaged in appellate advocacy before the Illinois Supreme Court, the Appellate Courts for the state of Illinois and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

In addition to contentious matters, Tim has advised major energy, maritime and logistics service providers on contractual issues. He has prepared form contracts, advised clients and served as a trusted advisor to the industry he has worked in and served for nearly three decades.

Prior to his legal career, Tim served as a USCG licensed master of passenger vessels operating in Lake Michigan. His operational experience and legal expertise allow him to provide clients with advice based on a unique mix of hands-on familiarity and courtroom experience.

Highlights of Tim’s work include the following:

  • 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 cargo interest in claims for cargo damage caused by collapse of warehouse. Won key motion for sanctions and defeated the warehouse’s motion for summary judgment to enforce a limitation of liability.

  • 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.

  • Representation of client aircraft manufacturer in defense of asbestos related lawsuit for personal injuries resulting from asbestos exposure during maintenance and repair. Upon removal to federal court, plaintiff’s motion to remand was denied.

Interested in specific aspects of Tim’s recent work? Contact [email protected] for further reference cases.

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Floyd Zadkovich, Chicago/USA (since 2020)
  • Partner, Floyd Zadkovich, Chicago/USA (2019-2020)
  • Of Counsel, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, Chicago/USA (2011-2019)
  • Adjunct Professor of Admiralty Law, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago/USA (2011-2019)
  • Member, Snyder McGovern LLC, Chicago (2005-2011)
  • Associate Attorney, Conklin, Murphy, Conklin & Snyder, Chicago/USA (2001-2005)
  • Master Mariner, M/V Spirit of Chicago, Chicago/USA (1997-2001)


  • Juris Doctor, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago/USA (2001)
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign/USA (1997)
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    The case involved a dispute over an insurance claim for a damaged vessel, which evolved into a complex legal analysis of contractual agreements and pinning state versus federal law. The following sections detail the factual background, judicial proceedings, and broader implications of this case, shedding light on its impact on maritime commerce and legal practices.

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