CWM has been a leading maritime and admiralty law firm in Virginia since its establishment in 1923. Our maritime team is available 24/7 to assist clients and provide guidance when an emergency response is required. The firm represents clients in matters involving vessel accidents, cargo damage, vessel and marina fires, personal injury and death, limitation of liability, vessel arrest and attachment, marine salvage and pollution. With respect to U.S. marine casualties, the firm also represents vessel owners and operators in U.S. Coast Guard and OSHA investigations, as well as civil penalty proceedings with the Coast Guard. We also represent merchant mariners in license suspension and revocation proceedings before the Coast Guard. Maritime clients are also served in commercial matters including vessel financing, and vessel and facility pollution response plans.
We serve a broad cross-section of marine underwriters on a spectrum of maritime insurance issues, including defense, coverage determinations and disputes, bad faith defense, reservations, declaratory actions, reinsurance, excess liability and subrogation. Underwriter interests represented include all aspects of marine and inland transportation, including hull and machinery, cargo, pollution, P&I, F.D.&.D., marine products liability defense, toxic tort, ship repairers and subrogation.
On the historic waterfront of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, the firm is situated to serve the maritime legal needs in the heart of the country’s premier naval, shipbuilding, and terminal operations port.
Our team of attorneys are experienced in the following:
- Vessel Arrest and Attachment
- Vessel Casualty and Collision
- Cargo Damage and Bills of Lading
- Charter Party Disputes
- Environmental Liability
- Insurance Coverage
- Jones Act
- Marine Contracts
- Marina Operator Liability
- Marine Insurance Coverage
- Maritime Liens
- Maritime Products Liability
- Marine Oil Pollution
- Riparian Rights
- Salvage and Wreck Removal
- Ship Repairer Liability
- Towage Contracts and Disputes
- Charter Parties
- Vessel Construction
- Towage Contracts
- Vessel Documentation
- Vessel Sales
- Vessel Finance
CWM was named Shipping & Maritime Law Firm of the Year – Virginia USA in the 2016 Global Awards published by Corporate LiveWire.
CWM received a Tier 1 Metropolitan Ranking for the 2016 listing of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and Best Lawyers in Admiralty & Maritime Law.
CWM was named Shipping & Maritime Law Firm of the Year – Virginia USA in the 2015 Global Awards published by Corporate LiveWire.
CWM received a Tier 1 Metropolitan Ranking for the 2015 listing of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and Best Lawyers in Admiralty & Maritime Law.
U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have released the 2014 “Best Law Firms” rankings. CWM is proud to announce that the firm received a Tier 1 Metropolitan Ranking in Admiralty & Maritime.
by Corporate INTL Magazine in its annual Global Awards for Legal Excellence
U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have released the 2013 “Best Law Firms” rankings, providing a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession. CWM is proud to announce that the firm received a Tier 1 Metropolitan Ranking in Admiralty & Maritime Law.
2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131981 (E.D. Va. Sept. 19, 2014)
791 F.Supp.2d 511 (E.D.Va. 2011)
594 F.3d 832 (11th Cir. 2010)
2009 A.M.C. 2465 (E.D. Va. 2009)
262 F.R.D. 502, 502 (E.D.N.C. 2009)
450 F.Supp.2d 620 (E.D. Va. 2006)
412 F.Supp.2d 566 and 369 F.Supp.2d 438 (E.D. Va. 2005)
287 F.Supp.2d 674, 2003 A.M.C. 403 and 2622 (E.D.N.C. 2003)
271 F.Supp.2d 818 (E.D.Va. 2003)
56 M.J. 771 (C.G. Ct. Crim. App. 2002)
64 F.3d 150, 1995 A.M.C. 2671 (4th Cir. 1995)
247 Va. 89 (1994)
742 F.Supp. 1327 (E.D.Va.1990), rev’d 974 F.2d 450 (4th Cir. 1992)
943 F.2d 48 (4th Cir. 1991)
Importers and Exporters
Marina Owners and Operators
Marine Construction Companies
Marine Fuel Suppliers
Tug and Barge Operators
U.S. and London Market Marine Insurers
Steven M. Stancliff, “Ethical Dilemmas for Maritime Attorneys”, co-presenter at SEALI Annual Seminar (June 2016)
James L. Chapman, “Shipping and Maritime Law 2014”, Roundtable Panel, presented by Corporate Live Wire (October 2014)
Steven Stancliff , “It’s No Fun Being an (Injured) Illegal Alien (Maritime Worker),” presented at SEALI Annual Meeting (2010)
Steven Stancliff, “The Continuing Vitality of the Limitation of Liability Act,” presented at SEALI Annual Meeting (2009)
Steven Stancliff, “A Legal Guide to Pleasure Boating” — presented at Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association CLE Seminar — covering subjects including: the nautical rules of the road, the legal framework for Coast Guard search and rescue operations, the evolution of government maritime security regimes, laws for the protection of the environment, and law enforcement authorities on the navigable waters of the United States; May 2008 and 2010
J. L. Chapman, “Red Letter Clauses in Marina Slip Leases,” presented at SEALI Annual Meeting (2008)
Steven Stancliff, State and Federal Cooperation in Maritime Homeland Security Mission; Panelist at National Association of State Boating Law Administrators 45th Annual Conference, 2004
J. L. Chapman, S. A. Voyles, “Cargo Litigation: A Primer on Cargo Claims and Review of Recent Developments,” 16 U.S.F. Mar. L.J. 1 (Spring 2004)
Steven Stancliff, United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Maritime Security, and International Fisheries Law and Management; Defense International Institute of Legal Studies 2003 mission to the archipelagic state of Vanuatu.
J. L. Chapman, M.M. Poindexter, “Treasure Salvage: Is it Finders-Keepers?” presented at SEALI Annual Meeting (1991)