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Robert E. O'Connor
New York Office

437 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022

P: 212-551-7794
F: 212-599-1759

Biography

Robert E. O’Connor is a general litigator and a partner of the firm’s Maritime and Transportation practice group. He represents insurers, owners and operators of vessels, and marine fuel suppliers among others. He specializes in environmental matters relating to oil pollution and coral damage under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, emissions regulations under MARPOL, and criminal investigations under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. He has significant experience handling claims arising from major marine casualties such as collisions, allisions, and fires under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and the Shipowners’ Limitation of Liability Act. Recently, he was lead counsel to one of the world’s largest marine fuel suppliers in connection with its bankruptcy proceedings and related litigation.

Robert also has experience arbitrating charter party disputes, attaching and arresting vessels and other property, drafting documents for the sale and purchase of vessels, and advising shippers and carriers about customs regulations. He provides pro bono legal assistance to mariners during suspension and revocation proceedings before the United States Coast Guard.

Before joining Montgomery McCracken, Robert was an associate with Chalos O’Connor LLP. Previously he was a research assistant with an environmental economics consulting firm where he conducted natural resource damage assessments.

Selected Representations

  • Counseled one of the world’s largest marine fuel suppliers in connection with its bankruptcy proceedings and related litigation.
  • Represented fleet owner and operator in connection with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigation concerning compliance with MARPOL Annex VI Emissions Control Areas (ECA) and fuel oil sulphur limits.
  • Represented OPA 90 Responsible Parties during NRDAs and when presenting claims for reimbursement to the National Pollution Funds Center and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
  • Represented a ship owner and operator in connection with litigation arising from a collision, explosion, and fire on a vessel while at sea, before trial and appellate courts.
  • Counseled foreign and domestic ownership interests in connection with the formation of holding companies and the purchase, documentation, and registration of vessels.

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, “Bunkers in the US: Compliance with Emissions Regulations and Enforcement of Maritime Liens”, International Maritime Law Seminar, October 2018, London, England
  • Presenter, “OPA 90 – Liability & Claims”, Gallagher Marine  Systems – 2017 Maritime Symposiums, November 2017, Athens, Greece and London, England
  • Presenter, “MARPOL & The Department of Justice – Environmental Compliance Programs”, Gallagher Marine  Systems – 2017 Maritime Symposium, July 2017, New Jersey, USA
  • Presenter, “Athos I – Recovery of Response Costs and Damages,” Gallagher Marine Systems – 2016 Maritime Symposium, November 14, 2016, London, England
  • Keynote Speaker, “Maritime Bankruptcies”, St. John’s Admiralty Law Society – Annual Dinner, April 2016

Professional Activities & Achievements

  • New York State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association
  • North American Marine Environmental Protection Association
  • Connecticut Maritime Association
  • American Caribbean Maritime Foundation
    • At-Large Director

Academic Achievements

Robert received a J.D. degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 2010. He was the president of the Joseph A. Calamari Admiralty Law Society, editor in chief of and a frequent contributor to The Admiralty Practicum, and vice president of the Student Bar Association. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with B.A. degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies.