United States: Mainbrace - October 2015, No. 4

A Note from the Chair

By John D. Kimball 

As with the world economy, the shipping markets are currently experiencing a major bout of volatility. The wide range of matters we are handling in our maritime law practice certainly reflects the current swings the shipping industry is seeing. Just a few examples below help paint the full picture. ( Read more)

Due Diligence Key to Successful Liner Mergers

By Matthew J. Thomas and Brett M. Esber

Like the change in seasons, every few months brings a new report of potential consolidation in the liner shipping sector. Container carriers continue to look for new ways to address overcapacity and reduce costs while maintaining the highest possible level of service to their shipper customers. Vessel sharing alliances have been part of the solution, as they can dramatically reduce capital costs. ( Read more)

Maritime Cyber Attacks: Changing Tides and the Need for Cybersecurity Regulations

By Kate B. Belmont

Front-page headlines revealing devastating cyber attacks on government agencies and the world's largest companies have become a regular occurrence. Recent cyber attacks reported by the mainstream media include the cyber attack against SONY, Anthem Health Insurance, the White House, the Office of Personnel Management ("OPM"), Ashley Madison, and even the Houston Astros. As the list of companies and agencies that suffer cyber attacks grows longer, it is clear and undeniable that no industry is safe, and any company that relies on information and communication technology ("ICT"), must take the appropriate steps to protect itself against cyber threats. ( Read more)

Reporting Marine Casualties: U.S. Coast Guard Guidance Helps Bring Some Clarity to the Debate

By Jeanne M. Grasso 

In July 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard released the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 01-15 ("NVIC"), Marine Casualty Reporting Procedures Guide with Associated Standard Interpretations. The purpose of the NVIC is to assist vessel owners and operators in understanding the marine casualty reporting requirements, which many in the industry think are about as clear as mud. Confusion as to what constitutes a marine casualty and what incidents need to be reported has persisted in the marine industry for years. ( Read more)

Europe, Migrants, and the Perils of the Sea

By Noe S. Hamra 

Increased international media coverage has brought to light the plight of thousands of Syrian migrants making the dangerous journey to Europe. Many of these migrants travel to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea and are often rescued by commercial ships transiting through the area. This article addresses the current international legal framework governing the duties and obligations of owners and operators who conduct search and rescue operations of migrants. A summary of the applicable cover afforded by P&I clubs in the International Group (IG clubs) to their members follows. ( Read more)

The Non-U.S. Investor: Unforeseen Exposure to U.S. Gift and Estate Taxation for Non-Resident Aliens

By Susan Peckett Witkin 

An individual who is neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States (referred to here as a "non-resident alien" or "NRA") may be presented with an opportunity to invest in U.S. real estate, tangible property such as art or collectibles that will be located in this country, stock of a U.S. company, or as a partner in a limited partnership or member of a limited liability company ("LLC"). Typically, the savvy NRA investor knows what he must do to avoid being treated as a U.S. resident for income tax purposes. However, he may not be aware that these investments could attract one of the three federal transfer taxes, namely, the federal gift tax, estate tax, and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax. ( Read more)

To read the full text of the articles in the October 2015 edition of Mainbrace, please download the PDF.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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