Michael G. Chalos has joined the New York office of global law firm K&L Gates LLP as a partner in the maritime practice. Previously the senior partner at the firm of Chalos O’Connor, LLP, Chalos is accompanied in his move by associates Luke Reid and George Kontakis in the firm’s Boston and New York offices, respectively.
With a focus on traditional maritime and criminal environmental law, Chalos represents clients involved in high-profile civil and criminal environmental litigation. This has included the successful defense of the masters of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker and Selendang Ayu cargo ship, as well as numerous United States- and foreign-based corporations, ship owners, managers, operators, and crew who were the targets of criminal investigations by the U.S. government. In addition to the Exxon Valdez matter, Chalos has represented owners, operators, and/or underwriters involved in major pollution casualties, including the Morris J. Berman, the Buffalo 405, the Cape Mohican, the Bermuda Islander, the Athos I, and the Cosco Busan.
Chalos has substantial experience defending and resolving oil pollution incidents, Natural Resources Damage Assessments, MARPOL and the Act for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships violations, and other environmental claims, frequently interacting with environmental regulation enforcement entities such as the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States Coast Guard, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, federal and state trustees, and various state departments of environmental protection. He also has authored a number of environmental management systems/compliance programs that are currently in use as part of settlement agreements with governmental authorities.
“Michael’s considerable experience, deep knowledge, and reputation in the global maritime industry further strengthens our thriving maritime practice, through which we represent clients on transactional, legislative, and regulatory matters and in litigation,” said John A. Bicks, Administrative Partner of K&L Gates’ New York office.
With more than four decades of experience in domestic and international maritime law, K&L Gates’ maritime practice advises vessel owner/operators, ports, marinas, energy companies, shore facilities, shipyards, investment and financing entities, industry groups and associations, shippers, and others on virtually all aspects of the industry. The practice is made up of lawyers across the firm’s U.S., European, and Asia Pacific offices, including Washington, D.C., partner Emanuel Rouvelas, the only practicing lawyer to ever receive the Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award, recognizing individuals who have made significant contributions to maritime commerce