Admiralty, Maritime and Transportation

Admiralty, Maritime and Transportation

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP represents clients in admiralty, maritime and transportation-related matters. The firm serves as correspondents to many international group protection and indemnity (P&I) clubs, and handles claims and coverage issues for marine and transportation insurers, including some of the world’s largest shipping lines, towboat operators and logistics companies.
Firm attorneys are experienced in assisting clients in the following matters:
  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Defense
  • Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims
  • Cargo Matters
  • Collision and Allision
  • Maritime Liens
  • Vessel Arrests
  • P&I Cover / Insurance Coverage
  • Inland Marine Claims
  • Charter Party Disputes
  • Limitation of Liability Actions
  • Freight Claims
  • Marina Liability
  • Marine Officer License Defense
  • United States Coast Guard Investigations
  • Product Liability Defense
  • Environmental Claims
  • Compliance and Regulatory Matters
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys guide and counsel financial institutions and businesses through the complexities of maritime collections, protecting clients’ rights in vessel and cargo arrests, seizure of collateral, and adjudication of maritime liens. These can include seeking additional remedies via in personam proceedings to maximize potential recoveries and defending against related claims. 

In addition, firm attorneys counsel marine, transportation, logistics and related service providers on financial transactions, risk management, loss prevention and compliance issues involving the Federal Maritime Commission. This leads to the identification of areas of exposure and development of proactive strategies to minimize liability.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys are always on call and prepared to be on the scene of any casualty for owners and underwriters to prevent their interests from being compromised by delay. The firm’s lawyers work with clients through government investigations, conduct interviews of witnesses, protect evidence and engage experts to preserve claims and defenses.

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP attorneys include a former master mariner; adjunct professors of admiralty law, trial and appellate advocacy at local law schools; and members of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and the Transportation Lawyers Association. Firm attorneys have the rare combination of operational experience and legal knowledge that enables them to serve clients in an effective and efficient manner.


Chicago, March 5, 2019
McGovern, Fitzgerald Prevail Before Seventh Circuit in Maritime Contract Case
McGovern and Fitzgerald defended a logistics company in a maritime case involving the international carriage of copper from China to the United States.

Chicago, September 12, 2018
Daniel G. Wills, 1959 – 2018
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces with much sadness the death of equity partner Daniel G. Wills. Wills, a partner in the firm's Chicago office, passed away suddenly last week at the age of 59.

Chicago, March 12, 2018
Court Vacates $23 Million Default Judgment Against International Client
McGovern, Fitzgerald secure dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.

Chicago, September 16, 2016
McGovern Represents Vessel Owner in Lawsuit Against International Container Line
The vessel owner alleges that the container line breached its charter party by failing behind on over $1.7 million in charter hire payments for the vessel.

Chicago, March 22, 2016
McGovern, Wills Earn Appellate Victory in Legal Malpractice Case
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin included a front-page article on the result.

Chicago, June 28, 2013
McGovern Represents School District in Flood Damage Lawsuit
Damage from April flooding forced an elementary school to close for the remainder of the school year.

Chicago, January 21, 2013
McGovern, Maritime Law Professors Submit Amicus Brief to United States Supreme Court
McGovern was one of 36 maritime law professors who submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach.

Chicago, May 9, 2011
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Article Profiles McGovern
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin profiled Timothy S. McGovern and his admiralty law practice in a recent issue.

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Chicago, April 28, 2011
McGovern to Chair Admiralty, Maritime and Transportation Practice Group
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP announces the arrival of Timothy S. McGovern to the firm.

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