Eugene J. O’Connor


Eugene J. O'Connor has nearly 40 years of experience in maritime and environmental law and focuses his practice on marine pollution, litigation of ship casualties, cargo defense and arbitration of charter party disputes.

Gene frequently counsels clients on the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) and has substantial experience in representing Responsible Parties with respect to oil spill responses and cleanup, coral reef groundings and restoration, natural resource damage assessments (NRDA), defense of third party claims, and claims for reimbursement to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSTLF) as administered by the U.S. Coast Guard through the National Pollution Fund Center (NPFC). He has written and lectured extensively on these subjects in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Prior to joining Montgomery McCracken, Gene was a partner with Chalos O'Connor LLP.

Gene received a J.D. degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1975. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1972.

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Selected Representations
  • Acted as counsel for the responsible party in numerous oil pollution incidents, including many of the largest OPA ’90 cases, such as: GENMAR PROGRESS (2007) in Puerto Rico; the ATHOS I (2004) in Philadelphia; ANTHEA Y (2003) in New York; the DREDGE STUYVESANT (1999) in California; the ANITRA (1997) in New Jersey; the NORTH CAPE (1996) in Rhode Island; and the B-155 (1993) in Tampa Bay; also claims by responsible parties to the National Pollution Fund Center
  • Served as counsel on serious coral damage cases in Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii and U.S. Pacific Territories, including the MELL SENTOSA in Micronesia (2011); the PORT STEWART (2009), the MATTHEW (2009), the MARGARA (2006), and the FORTUNA REEFER (1997) in Puerto Rico; the ATC 350 (1998) in Florida; and the VOGETRADER (2010) and CAPE FLATTERY (2005) in Hawaii
  • Acted as counsel in a number of major marine casualties, including the MSC FLAMINIA (explosion and fire in the Atlantic, 2012); the NEW DELHI EXPRESS (grounding in NY harbor, 2006); the RICKMERS GENOA (collision and fire, South China Sea, 2005); the ATHOS I (allision with abandoned anchor in Delaware River, 2004); the DSV MR. SONNY (anchor drag in L. I. Sound, 2002); the NEW CARISSA ( wreck on Oregon coast, 1999); the BRIGHT FIELD (allision in New Orleans, 1996); the RECIFE (fire in the Atlantic, 1991); and the DAMODAR TANABE (fire in the Pacific, 1985)
Selected Speaking Engagements
  • Panelist, “Current Issues in US Casualty Investigations and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Expectations in the Post-‘Deep Water Horizon’ Environment,” MLA Marine Torts and Casualties Committee Spring Meeting, April 2015
  • Presenter, “Multi-Modal Carrier Liability Limits Post-Kirby,” Ladner Gervais Annual Maritime Law Seminar, December 2008
Selected Publications
Honors & Awards
  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© – Admiralty and Maritime Law list in 2022-2024. The Best Lawyers in America© list is issued by Best Lawyers and a description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
  • Selected to the Chambers USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers Guide, Transportation: Shipping: Litigation list from 2021-2023. The award is issued by Chambers USA and a description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

No aspect of these advertisements has been approved by the highest court of any state.

Professional Activities
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Member, Connecticut Maritime Association
  • Chair, Zoning and Appeals Board, Village of Plandome Heights

Law School

  • Fordham University School of Law

Undergraduate School

  • College of the Holy Cross