South Carolina Maritime Attorneys 



Whether you are operating a small business, negotiating for the purchase of a vessel, contracting for maritime employment or contracting for supplies — contracts are a part of doing business. In order to make knowledgeable decisions and fully preserve your interests, it is important to contract with reputable people or businesses, and that contracts formed are crafted carefully through knowledgeable legal counsel.

The Charleston Maritime Attorneys at Cooper and Bilbrey, P.C., offer more than 40 years of combined experience in admiralty and maritime law. Our lawyers have the knowledge and skill to provide effective guidance to clients, whether they need assistance with maritime contracts, landside contracts or any other legal agreement.

We assist vessel owners, captains, charterers, commercial shipping companies and other individuals and businesses in all aspects of contract formation, including contract review, contract negotiation, contract drafting and breach of contract dispute resolution. Our attorneys are adept at handling all types of maritime and vessel contracts as well as landside contracts for clients throughout coastal South Carolina.

What is a “Maritime” Contract?

Contracts between persons or businesses are “maritime” contracts when they address the subject matter which is within the scope of admiralty jurisdiction. Many years of judicial decision making has led to a fairly well defined class of maritime contracts. Some common maritime contracts include: charter agreements, vessel supply contracts, dockage or wharfage agreements, vessel repair contracts, preferred ship mortgages, seamen’s employment agreements, marine insurance contracts, and contract salvage.

Oddly enough, contracts for the purchase and sale of vessels are not considered maritime contracts for purposes of admiralty jurisdiction. Contracts or services which are “merely ancillary” to the purchase or sale of a vessel are also excluded from admiralty jurisdiction.

Maritime contracts are governed by a unique body of laws, much of which are judge-made rather than statutory. Under maritime and admiralty laws, any oral agreement can be an enforceable contract. Our Charleston Maritime Attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of clients in both oral and written maritime contracts, such as ship employee contracts, vessel supply contracts, charter contracts, vessel repair contracts, vessel insurance contracts, salvage contracts and any other contracts concerning vessel navigation, maritime employees, and aid or necessities provided to a vessel.

If you have questions regarding the review, negotiation, or drafting of a maritime contract, contact our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys today for a free, confidential consultation with no obligation.