With more than a century of experience representing national and international maritime clients, maritime law is a core practice area of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB). We offer a comprehensive range of maritime-related services to our clients who are located all over the world. We provide advice on a broad spectrum of maritime and business transactions, litigation, and arbitration.

Our clients afloat include ship owners and charterers, underwriters, tug and barge operators, pilots, fishermen, and dredging companies, as well as yacht owners and licensed mariners. Our clients ashore include shipyards, terminals, marine lenders, brokers, marinas, repair facilities, small energy companies, ship agents, freight forwarders, shippers, and cargo underwriters.

Our team of attorneys represents domestic and international interests in virtually all areas of maritime law.

Representation of P&I Clubs and Ship Owners, Operators and Charterers

We are seasoned in handling all vessel-related matters for ship owners, operators, charterers and their P&I Clubs, including but not limited to collisions, groundings, personal injury, cargo, salvage, tug and tow, general average, charter parties, pollution, Coast Guard proceedings, crew issues, vessel arrests, governmental investigations, criminal prosecutions, vessel financing and documentation, and other commercial transactions.

Representation of Terminal Operators

We are experienced in representing and advising both large and small terminal operators in all aspects of their business, including tariff and contract issues, transportation, LHWCA, environmental, and cargo handling matters. We represent importers, exporters, freight forwarders and customs house brokers with their maritime related legal needs, ranging from Customs fines, duties and classification issues, to cargo damage, compliance, and transactional issues.

Transactional and Contractual Matters

Our transactional experience includes all types of contracts, vessel documentation, vessel financing, vessel sale agreements, charter parties, towing contracts, terminal agreements, tariffs, salvage agreements and bills of lading.


We have extensive trial experience in federal courts on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts, as well as in Virginia state courts. We have engaged in appellate practice in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits, as well as in the U.S. Supreme Court. We have handled local and New York arbitrations, but have also represented clients in London arbitrations. We have litigated Customs matters before the Court of International Trade in New York.

Counsel to Maritime Organizations and Associations

We serve as General Counsel to maritime industry organizations & associations and served as admiralty counsel to local municipalities in maritime litigation involving bridges, pipelines, ferries and other state-owned maritime facilities. Our attorneys have served on the Board of Directors of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the Southeast Admiralty Law Institute, and the Virginia Maritime Association. We are correspondents for most of the P&I Clubs in the International Group and represent the primary domestic marine underwriters. Several of our attorneys have maritime service experience and all are actively involved in international, national and local maritime organizations.

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