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Rising Star: Montgomery McCracken’s Robert E. O’Connor

July 6, 2022

Law360
By Adrian Cruz

Robert O’Connor of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP has become one of the go-to maritime lawyers in the U.S., recently representing shipping giants Maersk and Ocean Network Express in dozens of separate disputes over the loss of thousands of shipping containers worth millions, earning him a spot among the transportation attorneys under age 40 honored by Law360 as Rising Stars.

Simply put, maritime work has been an O’Connor family business for generations. From his grandfather, who worked with owners and operators of tugs and barges in New York Harbor, to his father, Eugene J. O’Connor, who isĀ also a maritime law partner at Montgomery McCracken, Robert O’Connor said maritime practice “ran in his blood.”

“I remember as a kid, hearing stories about the things my father would deal with. For example, a barge full of jet fuel was hit by a ship, causing an explosion and oil spill, and he’d get on a plane to some faraway land to try and protect his clients’ interests,” Robert O’Connor said. “It was all very exotic and interesting. And despite his advice as a good parent telling me not to go to law school, I decided to follow him into law anyway.”

O’Connor said also he enjoys the cross-border and dynamic nature of his practice, adding that because maritime disputes tend to be large-scale matters involving various players and jurisdictions, the work stays interesting, with no two cases being alike.

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